Electronic Mapping questions/advice

Submitted: Thursday, Mar 26, 2020 at 08:40
ThreadID: 139840 Views:831 Replies:6 FollowUps:26
Good morning all, I am going to bite the bullet and welcome the 21st Century into my travels around Oz. I currently have a head unit with GPS etc etc, but wish to expand to a tablet, easier to read with out changing glasses every time I wish to check etc. What would people recommend in the way of a tablet. Plan to use EO Topo and ExplorOz Traveller. I have done a search on here and the latest info I can find is 2017. Thanks in advance. John
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Reply By: Member - Jim S1 - Thursday, Mar 26, 2020 at 09:15

Thursday, Mar 26, 2020 at 09:15
Hi John

We have used an iPad for a few years and have found it does everything that we need. We have the model with in-built wi-fi, which costs a bit extra.
It fits in a cradle attached to the dash ........ only fell out once , on a very rough road where I got caught out for a moment.

Cheers
Jim
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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Thursday, Mar 26, 2020 at 09:46

Thursday, Mar 26, 2020 at 09:46
Jim,

How does in-built wi-fi help you out in the boonies? I would have though in-built GPS would be more useful.
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Follow Up By: The Explorer - Thursday, Mar 26, 2020 at 09:55

Thursday, Mar 26, 2020 at 09:55
All models of ipad come with WiFi . I think what he meant to say is that he has the model with the sim card slot...which also has inbuilt GPS. WiFi only models dont and you would need to utilise an external/add on GPS.

Cheers Greg
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Follow Up By: Member - Jim S1 - Thursday, Mar 26, 2020 at 11:14

Thursday, Mar 26, 2020 at 11:14
Yes, I did mean GPS ..... sorry to confuse.

Cheers
Jim
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Reply By: Member - Bigfish - Thursday, Mar 26, 2020 at 09:42

Thursday, Mar 26, 2020 at 09:42
I use a 10inch Samsung tablet. Android , but I,d love a 10inch tablet with windows! Works very well and with wi-fi/gps/bluetooth etc....it makes using it simple. Everything from streaming bluetooth music in car/camper...map reading...e-mails...web browsing..various apps..battery monitoring. Bought a glass shield and a heavy duty jacket also for the tablet to protect against drops/falls. Around $300 so not expensive.
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Follow Up By: Parafan - Thursday, Mar 26, 2020 at 10:19

Thursday, Mar 26, 2020 at 10:19
I am thinking of getting a Samsung tablet also for our mapping. Have you had any problems with the tablet getting hot if left in the car? Have heard the tablets don't like this.
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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Thursday, Mar 26, 2020 at 11:05

Thursday, Mar 26, 2020 at 11:05
Parafan,

I have my tablet mounted so that the back of it gets a share of aircon output from a vent - by accident rather than design, but a fortuitous one. It never overheats even if exposed to lengthy periods of direct sun, which sometimes happens.

When parked I place it under the seat, both for security and to keep it out of the sun.

I have forgotten to do that a couple of times. If it gets too hot it shuts itself down in an orderly manner and will restart once cooled.
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Follow Up By: Member - Bigfish - Thursday, Mar 26, 2020 at 11:39

Thursday, Mar 26, 2020 at 11:39
Yes, good point. I had an 8 inch one that I left on the dash in sun...The gel battery in it expanded and the whole tablet was ruined. I have the 10inch mounted via suction cup on windscreen. Extended the bracket about 250mm and now it sits with only 50 % of the tablet above the dash. I keep one of those silver windscreen heat reflectors handy for when I park in sun to shield it when only stopping in sun for short time. No tablet likes being in the sun. Stop for longer than 5 minutes and I would remove from cradle and put in glovebox or under seat. If I had the money I,d buy the Microsoft surface tablet with windows 10 ..entry level is about $750. Only weighs 522 grams though and full laptop functionality....
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Reply By: Frank P (NSW) - Thursday, Mar 26, 2020 at 10:59

Thursday, Mar 26, 2020 at 10:59
I use a 10 inch Samsung tablet with GPS, SIM card, and an SD memory expansion slot.

The SIM connects it to the mobile phone network to enable it to double up for email, browsing and general connectivity.

I use EO Traveller as my main navigation, tracking and trip recording tool. Traveller uses the EOTopo mapset and records the trip internally. Then when mobile service is available the SIM in the device enables Traveller to automatically upload the trip record to EO's server where it is stored in your account. So it's important to buy a device that accommodates a SIM.

I also use OziExplorer with the hundreds and hundreds of maps that are available for it. I'm a map person. I collect and use them, both digital and paper. Digital maps need storage space in your device and if you have many you can clog device memory. For this reason I prefer a device with an SD expansion slot. I store all my maps for both OZI and Traveller on an SD card which is transferrable to my phone as a backup should the tablet fail.

OziExplorer is not available for iDevices. That and iDevices lack of memory expansion rule them out for me.

I sometimes like to run Ozi and Traveller side by side. I use a small scale map in Ozi to give me the big picture and Traveller to give me the detail. Here's a screenshot of a simulation:



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Follow Up By: Member - Bigfish - Thursday, Mar 26, 2020 at 11:41

Thursday, Mar 26, 2020 at 11:41
Hi Frank. How do you get the tablet to show both apps at once?
Thanks.
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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Thursday, Mar 26, 2020 at 13:13

Thursday, Mar 26, 2020 at 13:13
Hi Bigfish,

Not all apps support split screen, nor do early versions of Android. My tablet is about 4, maybe 5 years old (Galaxy Tab S2, runs Android 7.0) so by today's standards is getting a bit long in the tooth. It does split screen ok.

I also have a Galaxy Tab A 2017, a gift from Telstra. Its hardware does not support split screen.

So for those contemplating buying Samsung tablet, make sure you get an S series. They're up to S4 now, I think.

To answer the question, Bigfish,

1 Open an app.
2 Minimise it with the left soft button.
3 In the minimised app, at the top right next to the X there is an icon with two small rectangles, one below the other. Tap the icon. The app opens in a default 50% split screen.
4 Click the big central button to access the home page and your apps ( or the More Apps option at the top right of the remaining split screen) and open another app.
5 That second app will open in the remaining screen space.

The dividing line between the two can be slid left and right. Traveller doesn't seem to mind split screen and changing window size, but OziExplorer is a bit iffy and may need to be re-opened. Once you have decided on window sizes it seems to be stable.

Closing apps is a bit curious, unless I have missed something:
1 Tap the left soft button. The last app to start is minimised. Close it with a swipe or touch the X. That returns you to the home screen.
1a If, instead of closing that app you choose "Close All Apps", it still closes only the last app you started. Weird!
2 Tap the left soft button again. That brings up the remaining app in its reduced window.
3 Slide the dividing line to make the window full size.
4 Tap the left soft button and close the remaining app.

Cheers

PS It takes a lot longer to write and describe than it does to do it!!
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Follow Up By: Rocket Rod - Thursday, Mar 26, 2020 at 13:20

Thursday, Mar 26, 2020 at 13:20
Here's another explanation. https://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/split-screen-mode-android/

I've tried this on my Samsung Tab 2 running Android 7 and it works.
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Follow Up By: Member - Bigfish - Thursday, Mar 26, 2020 at 13:29

Thursday, Mar 26, 2020 at 13:29
Thanks, all sorted. Mine is a 2019 Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10 inch...does split screen no worries..now.
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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Thursday, Mar 26, 2020 at 13:43

Thursday, Mar 26, 2020 at 13:43
Further to running split screen,

I've found my device to be pretty power hungry running Ozi and Traveller in split screen mode. Maybe my ciggy power plug is not up to scratch, but it cannot keep up, even though it has a 2.5amp Galaxy mode.

I have found you can run both apps simultaneously, but one in full screen and the other in the background. Just use the app switcher to swap between them. This seems to use less power because my charger keeps up ok.

However I have found that if you leave Ozi on the screen with Traveller in the background for a long time then swap them over, it may take quite some time for Traveller to bring the map up to date. You will see your snail trail on a grey screen, so it's tracking ok, but there will be a delay for the map depending on how long it's been in the background. At least on my system anyway.

Further on power management ...

If your device battery is low, you can run the app/s but use a short press of the power button to turn the screen off. The app/s continue to run but with no power hungry screen display the battery gets a chance to charge up more quickly if it's plugged in. Click the big button, do your security thing and the app comes straight up.

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Follow Up By: Rocket Rod - Thursday, Mar 26, 2020 at 13:47

Thursday, Mar 26, 2020 at 13:47
Turning the screen brightness down and setting a power saver mode will help as well.
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Reply By: Member - Boobook - Thursday, Mar 26, 2020 at 12:06

Thursday, Mar 26, 2020 at 12:06
It's easy. Assuming you want 10" screens.

If you have an android phone, then get an android tablet. They are from about $200, but get a Samsung WiFi Tab A which has GPS for around $350. You can add say 128 GB for $25

If you have an iPhone AND are happy to spend $900 for a Celular version which you have to buy to get a GPS with what is the minimum reasonable storage of 64GB get an IPAD. Do not get a WiFi only version. They don't have a GPS, and while you can get an external GPS they will cost almost as much for both devices anyway.

If you stick with the family you already have ( android or Apple) then you can also buy the software once and use it on your pgoone as well. PLUS it will have almost zero learning curve.
Tony
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Follow Up By: Member - rocco2010 - Thursday, Mar 26, 2020 at 12:24

Thursday, Mar 26, 2020 at 12:24
Sticking with the family (in my case Apple) is good advice.

And if you go Apple and want to save a few dollars (given their higher prices) hunt around for refurbished products.

Apple usually have some, though theirs are often newer and the savings smaller, and there are a couple of other resellers.

I have bought a phone and desktop both with six months warranty, which was extendable, and have had zero issues with either.

Would not trust ebay though.

Sure to be android resellers as well.

Cheers

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Follow Up By: Member - John - Thursday, Mar 26, 2020 at 12:30

Thursday, Mar 26, 2020 at 12:30
Good afternoon, have a dumb phone.
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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Thursday, Mar 26, 2020 at 12:48

Thursday, Mar 26, 2020 at 12:48
It will be a steep learning curve in that case John. I suggest a dedicated Hema HX1 Navigator.
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Follow Up By: Member - rocco2010 - Thursday, Mar 26, 2020 at 12:55

Thursday, Mar 26, 2020 at 12:55
John, my old phone and I were as dumb as each other.

It's pretty easy to run up a bill with technology I know but a phone and tablet running same system is handy. Gives you redundancy as well.

And if both fail there's always a map.

Cheers

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Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Thursday, Mar 26, 2020 at 14:12

Thursday, Mar 26, 2020 at 14:12
Been using an iPad since about 2012, John, with the Hema 4WD Map app on it. I like it though some say that Hema Explorer is better because you tailor the maps to suit yourself, and even add satellite layers on it.

IPads now come with up to 512 Gb memories, but you pay for the privilege, where as Samsung are much cheaper & you can add extra memory, no doubt much cheaper.

I now have my iPad mounted with a Ram mount(from Johnny Appleseed) that bolts to the floor, on the pax seat mount. Shakes about a bit on the GCR & CSR, but so does everything else! There’s a few charging requirements when tracking, but I’ll leave that for another reply.



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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Thursday, Mar 26, 2020 at 15:13

Thursday, Mar 26, 2020 at 15:13
Bob,

I have one of those Ram mounts. With corries and the weight of the tablet, mine broke at the weak point indicated by the arrow. I fixed it by gluing it back together with superglue, then drilling down as shown by the red line and inserting wire splints. From memory tie wire and a 1.5mm drill bit.



I did 6 splints around the circumference, including the repaired break - it's a permanent weak point. I used Araldite in the holes for the splints, working it through before it went off. There is still enough flex after the bracing for the screw clamp to work on the rod - it only has to move a few thou.

Also, I made sure the ally rod goes right past that slot and into the hole above, and shimmed it for a firm fit in that hole.

It's much steadier now - it's amazing how much that thing flexes at that notch (and then breaks). I don't think it will break again :-)

Sorry I can't post a pic of my bracket, I don't have my ute ATM. It's getting its heart transplant. Maybe have it tomorrow or Monday. Woohoo!!

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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Saturday, Mar 28, 2020 at 12:13

Saturday, Mar 28, 2020 at 12:13
Thanks for the reply & repair details Frank.

One end of that rod, think it was the lower one, exited its mount somewhere on the Canning, but will now have check the upper one too.

I purchased another brand in 2018, for an extensive trip through WA deserts, and it didn't vibrate a lot, but the screw holding the mount to the arm continually worked loose. In a rash moment, I gave the screw a liberal coating of Loctite, forgetting the 11th Commandment that: " Loctite plus plastic = disaster." Spent 60% of the trip sliding the iPad back onto the seat, while travelling on many of Len's tracks, north of Rawlinna.

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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Saturday, Mar 28, 2020 at 14:07

Saturday, Mar 28, 2020 at 14:07
I put a couple of steady brackets on mine, Bob,

In the picture the above repair was not yet needed. When I get access to my ute I'll post a pic of the repair.

Here's a pic of my installation

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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Friday, Apr 03, 2020 at 17:13

Friday, Apr 03, 2020 at 17:13
As promised, here's a pic of the repair to the RAM mount:

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Follow Up By: Member - John - Friday, Apr 03, 2020 at 17:25

Friday, Apr 03, 2020 at 17:25
Bob, in my search I have found this Ram mount, looking at maybe using one of these.
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Reply By: Member - Warren H - Friday, Mar 27, 2020 at 20:13

Friday, Mar 27, 2020 at 20:13
Cheapest option by far is aLenovo 8" tablet at around $130 for the wifi only version. So for ~$250 you can buy a tablet and load it with ExplorOz Traveller and maps. The screen size is a good compromise between a phone and a larger 10" tablet. Many on this forum have this setup, it avoids the premium you pay for both Samsung and Apple tablets and works without any issues. Note these are wifi only, the version that connected to the mobile network doesn't seem to be available any longer.
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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Saturday, Mar 28, 2020 at 07:08

Saturday, Mar 28, 2020 at 07:08
Personally, I would avoid Lenovo like the plague . so to speak.

I had a Lenovo tablet and my kid's school made the kids buy Lenovo Yoga's . I had to buy 2 laptops over 4 years.

All products broke in serious ways and the Lenovo support was awful. After months of inaction and failed repair attempts on the tablet and one of the computers, they refunded my money after consumer affairs intervened. The 3rd one just ended up in the trash after 6 months. After a parent revolt, the school stopped forcing parents to buy Lenovo's.

There is a reason they are cheap. They last about 6 - 12 months and there is no credible back up support.

It's not just me. Out of about 200 reviews, 170 were 1 star for the reasons above.

https://www.productreview.com.au/listings/lenovo

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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Saturday, Mar 28, 2020 at 08:05

Saturday, Mar 28, 2020 at 08:05
LOL reading through the reviews on that page have given me a headache. They mirror my stressful time trying to get the products working, Wrong parts shipped, people turning up 2 - 3 times without parts, hours on the phone. Computer missing for weeks on end, coming back exactly the same.

I need a Panadol just thinking about it.

Don't do it to yourself.
Tony
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Follow Up By: Member - Warren H - Saturday, Mar 28, 2020 at 08:21

Saturday, Mar 28, 2020 at 08:21
Kids are pretty hard on devices though. During his teens one of mine killed a Dell and two Asus ultrabooks, fortunately he pays for his own tech, my Dell XPS13 is still going after 6 years. My Lenovo is only used for navigation, so far it has lasted. Not sure if it was on this forum or MySwag, but in a similar discussion someone was using a number of Lenovo tablets for their business. I'm sure they're not as robust as Samsung but you can get 6+ for the price of one.
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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Saturday, Mar 28, 2020 at 08:28

Saturday, Mar 28, 2020 at 08:28
I hope yours is ok Warren. My kid never got near my tablet, it was for navigation too.

Mine cost about $220 plus around 8 hours on the phone to Lenovo and Consumer affairs or waiting at home for the technicians to turn up and $400 for a Samsung.

But I did eventually get my $220 back. They didn't even follow up to get the tablet back. LOL
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Follow Up By: Member - Warren H - Saturday, Mar 28, 2020 at 08:58

Saturday, Mar 28, 2020 at 08:58
Hi Tony, I've got my son's hand me down Galaxy Tab2 as well but it's slow and too big for my liking. Tried rooting it and installing a cut down version of Android which has helped, but 10" is too big for me and I would need to buy a bigger cradle for the RAM mount and reposition/abandon the floor mount as it would foul access to the transfer case lever. If the Lenovo dies I might try a smaller wifi only Samsung.
Cheers Warren
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