IPad, Memory Map and many straight line tracks!

Submitted: Wednesday, Sep 20, 2017 at 21:35
ThreadID: 135614 Views:4028 Replies:9 FollowUps:5
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Dear All

I have been using an Ipad4 (64mb with 40Mb free), Memory Map and EOTopo200k map as my primary navigation system ( paper backups in place). The IPad is used almost solely for off-road travel and there are no other apps running when using MM. In general the system works well however when logging tracks the system appears to lose satellite lock which results in numerous straight lines embedded in the track. That is a pain.

I have also found that each time I turn off the ignition MM stops logging (it's plugged into rear 12v socket all of the time). However I know this now and start a new track after every start up. That's also a pain.

The IPad is mounted on a custom made platform that sits on top of the transmission tunnel in the Prado, between the drivers and passenger seats but in the second seat row. Easily accessible to reach behind and retrieve by the Navigator. It is put on the Navigators lap when needed.

My suspicion is that the IPad location causes the satellite obscurities. However I also have some doubts about the robustness of the Memory Map software. Reason is that each time the Navigator has taken possession of the IPad our current location has been displayed on MM. Unfortunately I have never cross referenced Navigator possession vs track straight lines.

So I am looking for some advice. I have read many of the posts in this forum on GPS and Memory Map but can't find any solutions to this problem. There are a few potential options to solving the problem, provided the problem relates to the satellites in view. The problem being the logging of tracks.

1 Move the IPad to a better location. Where? The front cabin is already crowded.

2 Buy a GPS signal enhancing antenna. They are widely advertised but they look like a " snake oil" solution to me.

3 Buy a small GPS data logger that can be installed in a good location ( top LHS of windscreen) and then download the gpx data to Memory Map. More kit and more phaffing around!

All recommendations are most welcome. Anyone having similar experiences and finding a solution will be very welcome.

And finally the problem could be the MM software alone but I haven't thought through how to troubleshoot that yet.



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Reply By: RMD - Wednesday, Sep 20, 2017 at 22:17

Wednesday, Sep 20, 2017 at 22:17
Hello John
I use a different program to show moving maps, but on one of the 4wd sites there used to be great discussion about memory map and it's shortcomings.
I remember straight lines being mentioned too.
Memory Map isn't a program I would seek to use because of perceived reputation.

The antennae you mentioned would most likely be, a RE Radiating antennae and they don't boost, but receive GPS signals and retransmit the data signal< which is stronger, so devices can process nmea data consistantly.
Absoutely NO Snake Oil involved, but a sound way of ensuring signal. It is mounted in the vehicle and so supplies the same data as the Ipad would receive when it can get signal. Big difference is the Ipad would then nearly always get signal because of the favourable positioning of the re radiating device.
AnswerID: 613865

Reply By: PhilD - Wednesday, Sep 20, 2017 at 22:20

Wednesday, Sep 20, 2017 at 22:20
I use a IPad Mini on a RAM windscreen mount running Hema Explorer Pro, and it runs fantastically. So, it may be the location of the IPad?
AnswerID: 613866

Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Thursday, Sep 21, 2017 at 05:58

Thursday, Sep 21, 2017 at 05:58
I get straight lines often when travel from A to B with iPad off between the 2 points.

Think one of your problems may be the positioning of the iPad, so perhaps you could try one of thos GPS Bluetooth mouse things that people use when they have a wifi only iPad.

We often get a straight line between points when the iPad loses power, or goes to sleep. That's with the Hema 4WD mapping. Haven't used EO Topo much yet.


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AnswerID: 613867

Reply By: Member - Boobook - Thursday, Sep 21, 2017 at 07:07

Thursday, Sep 21, 2017 at 07:07
I use Memory Map in the IPAD, Phone, and previously an Android tablet till my kid killed that.

It has worked flawlessly. I love it. I have tracked tens, maybe a hundred thousandn of kms without a hitch. So i can't see the problem being software related.

IMHO either the IPAD doesn't have proper visibility of the sky, or the GPS antenna is dodgy.

Try it with another free app that logs tracks.
AnswerID: 613868

Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Thursday, Sep 21, 2017 at 07:09

Thursday, Sep 21, 2017 at 07:09
BTW there is a configuration that allows logging while app is in the background. Do you have that on?

Get an android, it is so much easier use use without Apples restrictions...
FollowupID: 884421

Reply By: ExplorOz Team - Michelle - Thursday, Sep 21, 2017 at 12:35

Thursday, Sep 21, 2017 at 12:35
John but what is the tracking software you are using? And do you mean this tracking service is logging to a remote webpage eg. EOTrackMe?

I can give you some info/advice but just trying to figure out how Memory Map is your tracking program as I don't think it has that capability or are you not talking about tracking but snail trail/breadcrumb onscreen routing? I know it might just seem like terminology but there is a significant difference when talking about this technology and offering advice and reviewing options. Happy to help.
Michelle Martin
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AnswerID: 613869

Follow Up By: ExplorOz - David & Michelle - Thursday, Sep 21, 2017 at 15:00

Thursday, Sep 21, 2017 at 15:00

Having just read this post, am sure John is referring to the tracking lines draw in MM on the map in moving map mode rather that Track Logging as per our EOTrackMe service.

David (DM) & Michelle (MM)
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FollowupID: 884428

Follow Up By: RMD - Thursday, Sep 21, 2017 at 15:34

Thursday, Sep 21, 2017 at 15:34
Good on you for asking for precise info to enable a problem to be solved.
Prompting posters of questions to be less ambigous or more accurate with terms and symptoms does allow better responses and less aimless replies.

FollowupID: 884429

Follow Up By: Member - J&A&KK - Thursday, Sep 21, 2017 at 20:14

Thursday, Sep 21, 2017 at 20:14
Hi Michelle

Sorry for the confusion. I only used the term "logging" to indicate an accumulation of points that is classed as a track.

There is no tracking software involved. Just recording " tracks" in Memory Map.

Cheers John
FollowupID: 884435

Reply By: Michael H9 - Thursday, Sep 21, 2017 at 13:16

Thursday, Sep 21, 2017 at 13:16
A straight line indicates that the software has lost the gps location and then found it again. The intermediate dark time is simply filled in with a straight line between the known points because actual information wasn't received. There's nothing inherently wrong with Memory Map, it's a nice bit of software. Only the licencing restrictions can be a pain some of the time.
I use a Windows tablet now with an external bluetooth gps mouse receiver. Far better than the internal gps in any Apple or Android tablet that I have used, and I have used both extensively. I also found I couldn't keep up with the charging requirements on the Apple/Android tablets when they were chewing GPS power. The advantages of the external receiver are multiple. The battery is large for the power requirements, mine easily lasts 20+ hours straight. It can be placed in a more prominent position in the car without hindering your vision. Beware though, I cooked one on the dashboard in summer once.I think you can buy an external gps receiver for the ipad now. I'm confident that would solve your problem.
AnswerID: 613870

Follow Up By: Member BarryG - Thursday, Sep 21, 2017 at 16:17

Thursday, Sep 21, 2017 at 16:17
I use a BadElf GPS with Lightning to connect to my WiFi-only iPad Mini 4 which is mounted via a heavy-duty suction cup to the windscreen.
BadElf also makes a Bluetooth GPS.

FollowupID: 884430

Reply By: Member - Paul B (WA) - Thursday, Sep 21, 2017 at 13:25

Thursday, Sep 21, 2017 at 13:25
I've used an iPad with Memory Map for some years, both off road with iTopo and EO Topo, and at sea with electronic marine charts. The best thing about Memory Maps for me is that they are Raster Maps (ie not Vector Maps, which hide the detail of the map until you zoom right in, and are often downright dangerous, particularly at sea).

Your problem is almost certainly the positioning of the iPad in the centre of the vehicle, where it does not get a clear enough view of the sky to enable satellite reception.

By yourself an Arkon mount (I have no relationship with them - just a very happy customer - in fact it would be good if you could buy them from the ExplorOz shop hint hint ??) from here either for the windscreen or (preferably) the floor. Here is a link to the 22 inch floor mount for the seat rail with a universal tablet holder which I have, for around $50. Don't buy the iPad-specific mount because they keep changing the sizes of them or you may want to use a different tablet, or even a very slim laptop.

I also used a Dual GPS receiver for some years with my old WIFI-only iPad, which of course didn't have a built in GPS. It always worked fine.

As for the matter of your iPad stopping each time you turn the engine off, what I did was to have my power outlets wired to my second battery, bypassing the ignition key, so they always have power to them. If you don't have a second battery, you might like to get an autosparky to wire a dedicated USB plug into the dash, or centre console for you, that bypasses the ignition so that you don't have the problem.

However it may well be that the temporary power drop from starting the engine is what causes your iPad to drop out. Maybe an electrically savvy forum reader could comment, or your auto sparky. Maybe there is some little gizmo like a capacitor(??) that protects the circuit from the sudden power drop, if indeed, that is the problem. Someone on here will know.

Best wishes with it.
AnswerID: 613871

Reply By: Member - J&A&KK - Thursday, Sep 21, 2017 at 20:32

Thursday, Sep 21, 2017 at 20:32
Dear All

Many thanks for your comments. Appreciated and considered.

I have decided to do a couple of things, to start with, based on your collective advice. Before I go to spending more money ( off road camping and caravanning is akin to boating when it comes to spending money) on additional kit I will do a couple of temporary things.

1. I will use a 15,000mAh lithium power source between the IPad and the 12V vehicle power outlet and see if that cures the drop out at start up.

2. I will move the IPad into the front compartment.

If that works I will invest in a permanent mount system and full time power supply. If not then plan B which will probably involving adding an external GPS.

I find Memory Map quite sufficient for my needs. The only gripe being the straight lines on my tracks.

Cheers John

AnswerID: 613877

Reply By: PeteS - Friday, Sep 22, 2017 at 16:46

Friday, Sep 22, 2017 at 16:46
G’day John,
I use Memory Map on my iPad extensively on our trips and have no issues with it logging. Mine is mounted on the front of the dash so it has good line of sight for the gps. I think the gps signal may be your issue.

Please also check under GPS SETTINGS that the ‘record track while app is backgrounded’ is Not set to OFF.

AnswerID: 613899

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