Revisiting Windows 10 and GPS - any recent innovations?

Submitted: Monday, Apr 12, 2021 at 08:21
ThreadID: 141386 Views:839 Replies:11 FollowUps:11
A winter trip is imminent and so it is overdue to revisit the curse of attaching a GPS to my Windows 10 notebook. It is not as good as a tablet to have in the cab as a moving map device (because of the attached keyboard (etc.)) but would be ok for the passenger but mostly to be used for planning and then sending an intended route to a Garmin GPS that is in clear view.

First I looked at the usual places for any sign of a GPS supported for Windows 10. Neither GPZoz nor Johny Appleseed have anything new it seems. Still all old stuff. The same Bad Elf products are for sale at high prices and no real sign of support from their website https://bad-elf.com/pages/be-gps-2200-detail . Amazon mentions that they are discontinued which is also not a good sign. [Thanks Warren H for posting the link to Stephen L's most helpful Bad Elf review from his 2017 installation https://www.exploroz.com/members/58567.500/12/2019/how-to-set-up-a-bad-elf-bluetooth-gps-receiver-to-work-in-windows.aspx ]


Maybe Microsoft has implemented the required support to link the USB or Bluetooth devices (that have been around for decades) into their Windows 10 Location Services? I am not holding my breath there . . Anyone noticed a useful w10 upgrade?
Even if it was possible to get the location from the tethered mobilephone or router? But that is apparently not supported either - even though the advertisers know exactly where we are!

That leaves the ExplorOz Traveller program updates as a great hope, and David has been very busy in many areas.
Has anything improved in the last year or so in this regard?

[At least it is now possible to run Traveller without a GPS attached (by setting the default location); but it has not been tested for use without a GPS as the persistent error warning re "bad GPS fix" cannot be muted. Pity.].

Looking forward to hearing some news :-)))
Thanks,

Jim
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Reply By: Frank P (NSW) - Monday, Apr 12, 2021 at 09:03

Monday, Apr 12, 2021 at 09:03
This has been discussed here in the last couple of days.

Have a look at System Requirements at https://www.exploroz.com/traveller, especially toward the bottom.

Edit:
I just saw your Follow Up at https://www.exploroz.com/forum/141336/incorrect-position, so you are probably aware already of the above. If you can get past the $$$ I don't see why a Bad Elf wouldn't work with the software mentioned in System Requirements.

I have an old bluetooth GPS mouse of unknown brand. It works perfectly.

Out of interest but a bit clumsy with dangling cables, the same software allows a GPS connected via USB to work as well. I had success with an old Magellan Explorist 600 set to output NMEA to USB.
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Follow Up By: Member - Jim and Trudy - Monday, Apr 12, 2021 at 09:47

Monday, Apr 12, 2021 at 09:47
Hi Frank,

I see nothing new in the System Requirements (for Traveller) at all, nor offering any hope that the w10/GPS/Traveller ecostructure has become properly supported.

There are plenty of reports of concern about that "free app" being a (possibly dangerous) "hack". It remains odd that no manufacturer wants to even declare that their GPS product is supported by w10! It is normal for any such drivers to be endorsed by Microsoft, automatically loaded when required, etc, etc.

Do many of our users persist with Windows for their planning, or have they mostly gone to a tablet (iPad or Android)?

Oh! Just saw your edit - thanks again Frank.

Yes, the Bad Elf looks handy indeed with it's display making it additionally useful to be in front of a driver to see the heading, altitude, etc at a glance. But at $300-400 it seems better to put $$ towards a tablet with a good GPS built in and mounted on the sturdy arm that I already have in place. Would have done so but all the tablets seem to have very shiny reflective displays at the moment, not much good in a bright cab with no easy way to turn the device (being mounted firmly). Yes - I know that I'd have to buy the program again . .

Good to know that you have had success with an old BT mouse, I had hoped to not have to use a USB cable if I go ahead and buy a GPS to solve this issue.

Would be handy if David would adjust Traveller so that it was useful for planning when it has to do without a GPS. I have tried to ask through the support portal but never get a confirmation of receipt, I presume a bug or typo somewhere . . .

Jim
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Reply By: Member - Warren H - Monday, Apr 12, 2021 at 09:19

Monday, Apr 12, 2021 at 09:19
If you turn off the apps location permission in the window's settings you will only get a single request to turn on location settings at start up but no persistent nagging see screen shot:
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Follow Up By: ExplorOz Team - Michelle - Monday, Apr 12, 2021 at 13:47

Monday, Apr 12, 2021 at 13:47
Further to this, if you want to use the Traveller app on Windows for planning (not active tracking) or have no GPS you can simply disable Location Services altogether from your device in the Windows setting - go the Windows start menu - press Settings - then select Privacy - then select Location. You can turnoff location to the device altogether. Because - if you don't turn this off, and the Traveller app cannot find a location (because it is a GPS nav program it expects to find your location) Traveller will assign a default location for you - ALICE SPRING.

But - you can override this default position in your Windows settings (privacy - location) and assign a default location of say, your home.

This is how I use Windows on the desktop in my office to do demos, screen shots etc. But I change my default location all the time so that I can show different parts of the map - eg. I put myself in Darwin, or Mt Isa, or Tasmania. It's very easy. This is all part of Windows Settings. Not the Traveller app.
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Reply By: Stephen L (Clare) SA - Monday, Apr 12, 2021 at 09:51

Monday, Apr 12, 2021 at 09:51
Jim

Windows 10 is no different to older Windows platforms.

You use USB input stand alone GPS device and Bluetooth.

As for Bluetooth, there are Garmin , Bad Elf and others that work well.

For USB, you can connect a hand held GPS and then there is the good BU 353.

I know it may be an overkill, but the Bad Elf will support sending GPS data to 5 desperate computers at once, while a USB GPS will only work on the computer that it is connected to.
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Follow Up By: Member - Jim and Trudy - Monday, Apr 12, 2021 at 10:23

Monday, Apr 12, 2021 at 10:23
Hi Stepen (I love your four-wheeler setup on your profile btw!),

Thanks for the Bad Elf report firstly, and for joining in here today.

If I remember correctly, your method does not require the "free GPS complete" app.
That would please me if so :-).

I would certainly go for BT as you suggest, now that I have heard of such success.
Bad Elf
or one of these https://www.ja-gps.com.au/GPS-Units/OEM-GPS after more careful scrutiny of features.

Another advantage (over a built-in a tablet GPS) is that the GPS can be placed with a clear view of the sky too, making it more accurate and quicker to update, all other things being equal.

Thanks again,

What a great forum :-))

Jim
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Follow Up By: Stephen L (Clare) SA - Monday, Apr 12, 2021 at 13:38

Monday, Apr 12, 2021 at 13:38
Hi Jim

There are a number of options available, but one thing with the Bad Elf.

Extremely high quality, almost instant satellite lock on when you turn it on and extremely accurate at very high plane speeds.

It is designed for plane use, so that alone shows how good and accurate these units are.
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Follow Up By: Michael H9 - Tuesday, Apr 13, 2021 at 19:54

Tuesday, Apr 13, 2021 at 19:54
My Win 7 laptop used to work faultlessly with my no name bluetooth gps, but when I upgraded the same laptop to Win 10 it will work for about 10 minutes then just stop, requiring the laptop to be rebooted to get the gps working again.
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Reply By: Member - Jim and Trudy - Monday, Apr 12, 2021 at 09:59

Monday, Apr 12, 2021 at 09:59
That worked!
Thanks for the tip Warren H - very much appreciated.

A prompt to that effect really should be added to the dialog rather than the never ending persistent message being represented . . . I hope David or Michelle sees this too :-).

Jim
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Follow Up By: Member - Warren H - Monday, Apr 12, 2021 at 10:22

Monday, Apr 12, 2021 at 10:22
Thanks to Michelle really, she has done the same thing when running the app on a desktop. It also prevents the save button being greyed out when creating a new trek on a machine with no gps,
(the issue I had).
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Reply By: ExplorOz Team - Michelle - Monday, Apr 12, 2021 at 13:48

Monday, Apr 12, 2021 at 13:48
If you want to use the Traveller app on Windows for planning (not active tracking) or have no GPS you can simply disable Location Services altogether from your device in the Windows setting - go the Windows start menu - press Settings - then select Privacy - then select Location. You can turnoff location to the device altogether. Because - if you don't turn this off, and the Traveller app cannot find a location (because it is a GPS nav program it expects to find your location) Traveller will assign a default location for you - ALICE SPRINGS. But - you can override this default position in your Windows settings (privacy - location) and assign a default location of say, your home.

This is how I use Windows on the desktop in my office to do demos, screen shots etc. But I change my default location all the time so that I can show the GPS lock on my location being in different parts of the map - eg. I put myself in Darwin, or Mt Isa, or Tasmania. It's very easy. This is all part of Windows Settings. Not the Traveller app. But of course, for planning for yourself you don't need to change your position - I just do this to avoid showing my office location in the screen shots - it doesn't affect my ability to pan the map of course.
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Reply By: Mikee5 - Tuesday, Apr 13, 2021 at 06:58

Tuesday, Apr 13, 2021 at 06:58
What I have used for years is a Windows tablet (Asus) on a RAM mount for the passenger to view. OziExplorer for Windows, various digital maps including Natmaps 1:250000. A USB GPS puck on the dash provides the data. I have moving map, any waypoints can be done either before the trip or on the road using a mini trackball keypad (Lenovo)
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Reply By: Frank P (NSW) - Tuesday, Apr 13, 2021 at 07:45

Tuesday, Apr 13, 2021 at 07:45
I was talking with Michelle on another matter yesterday and mentioned this thread.

She and David explained that within Windows there's a difference between APPS and PROGRAMS.

Windows already had support for GPS in the programs framework.

When Microsoft went down the track of APPS for Win10, they didn't build in support for GPS. It is illogical, but it is a fact. There is nothing EO can do to simplify Traveller's interface with a GPS in Win10 until Microsoft does something about it within the bowels of Windows.
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Follow Up By: Member - Jim and Trudy - Tuesday, Apr 13, 2021 at 10:00

Tuesday, Apr 13, 2021 at 10:00
Well Microsoft have just lost another loyal customer (long time advocate in fact), because we are due for a new notebook class device and will not be putting up with anymore of their abuse. Not sure if I want to go down the Android/Gogle route after their clear political interference in recent times, but maybe a Samsung tablet will have to do.
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Reply By: Idler Chris - Wednesday, Apr 14, 2021 at 12:18

Wednesday, Apr 14, 2021 at 12:18
I have used a Duel Bluetooth GPS since the start of Win10. I have never had a problem with it. Here is a link to the unit.https://www.dualgpssolutions.com/explore-by-product/xgps150a
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Follow Up By: Member - Jim and Trudy - Thursday, Apr 15, 2021 at 06:36

Thursday, Apr 15, 2021 at 06:36
Thanks Chris,

Should we pressume that you needed a utility as David and Michelle have mentioned?

The links beyond the page that you linked to talk only of Apple and Android products. My computer bauked at the link to supported applications . . . wouldn't it be super if ExplorOz Traveller on w10 was listed there!

Same with the expensive Bad Elf products . .

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Reply By: Member - Jim and Trudy - Thursday, Apr 15, 2021 at 06:56

Thursday, Apr 15, 2021 at 06:56
I have continued looking at Samsung Galaxy Tab Android tablets.
Since people seem happy with the S7 I have focussed on that, actually the S7+ as I have room and prefer a 12.4" size.

They seem pretty expensive but JB-HiFi is full of phones up to $2,500 so what would I know about inflation?
There are hits regarding remarketed models of the S7+ at more reasonable prices, but . . .

Anyhow, one source alluded to the point that whilst you get to choose a WiFi model; or a 5G model (that happens to have WiFi too ffs), and that only the 5G model has a true GPS!!!

Do you think that I can find verification of this anywhere?? Nup!!
I do not need another monthly SIM charge when we are happy to hot-spot off our phones for Internet, so the extra $300 to get a "5G" equivalent S7+ tablet would be wasted if the story is not true (as I would get the cheaper "WiFi" model - if it too has a true GPS).

Curiously, a bit of research showed up that the Galileo GPS system based in Europe is new and offers a much greater accuracy than the (old) American GPS system and the Russian Glonass, so that would be a really good thing to include in any device specification as it would also prove that the technology is new and might have a better chance of supporting Microsoft Windows v10. Sort of.

Back to searching for that specific GPS information about the Samsung Tab S7+ . . .
Model T976B is the "5G" (and WiFi) - there are several configurations of RAM (6 or 8GB) and Storage
Model T970N is the "WiFi" - there are several configurations of RAM (6 or 8GB) and Storage
These models also support adding up to 1,000GB mSD card for storage!

Apparently an app called GPStest is free and will declare much information about an installed GPS, and useful info including sunrise and sunset times. Not sure if it says if Galileo is supported or not though.

I hope that this info helps anyone else following along with this discussion.

Jim

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Follow Up By: Michael H9 - Thursday, Apr 15, 2021 at 07:22

Thursday, Apr 15, 2021 at 07:22
Android tablets do not need a sim for the gps to work. I have a 12" Samsung tablet that is wifi only and it's a great gps.
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Follow Up By: RMD - Thursday, Apr 15, 2021 at 13:06

Thursday, Apr 15, 2021 at 13:06
I see sunrise and sunset times is provided or talked about as features. Is it an advantage to know? If in a valley it is much later or earlier than the official time. I have always found it didn't change much from yesterday or the day before which I am aware of. Just puzzled as to why people place importance on that.
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Follow Up By: Michael H9 - Thursday, Apr 15, 2021 at 14:12

Thursday, Apr 15, 2021 at 14:12
A qualifier on any wifi only tablet that confuses people. If the gps application is looking to the cloud for its maps then a non sim tablet can't contact the cloud so can't display the maps even though the gps is working fine. Typically you'll just see a dot on a blank screen. If the tablet has a sim then the maps will download over the mobile data connection. WIFI tablets have to have the maps already downloaded onto the device before leaving any internet connection. Alternatively you can hotspot the tablet to a phone via wifi so the tablet has an internet connection to receive the maps. On any device, the maps and the gps signal are separate, and arrive into the device by different methods. The gps application just joins them together so you can use it.
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Reply By: Member - Jim and Trudy - Thursday, Apr 15, 2021 at 16:40

Thursday, Apr 15, 2021 at 16:40
LOL! But these are some reasons that come to mind regarding sunrise times:
* You might be a fisherman and consider it important to know. And have driven many hundreds of km east or west from a mountainous region to a flat area.
* As a photographer I like to be sure so that I can get the pre-sunrise shots!
* To defer the "we gotta have a freecamp sorted by 4pm", by saying "two hours before sunset is what is most important"!
* Double checking before heading off for a long walk . . .

It does get confusing when driving east to west, as I had to drive from Perth to Victoria in a hurry for a funeral once, found it quite confusing with the weirdness of time-zones as well, doing about 900km/day.

Cheers,

Jim
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Reply By: Member - Jim and Trudy - Thursday, Apr 15, 2021 at 16:56

Thursday, Apr 15, 2021 at 16:56
Managed to snag a T976 for $1,399 from https://www.mobileciti.com.au/pre-owned/l/manufacturer:samsung. It was cheaper to buy that (with a SIM slot) than to buy a new "WiFi" model.
It is "white box - refurbished - as new".
I just checked and they have nil stock now so I may have got an only one.
Worth keeping an eye on the link to see if they get more.
I'll report back if I have problems. Won't be for a week though as I have used a shipping address well ahead of my travels.

Thanks all, for your help on this - much appreciated.

Jim
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