Retro technology and mooving maps

Submitted: Wednesday, May 25, 2005 at 12:19
ThreadID: 23290 Views:1853 Replies:11 FollowUps:6
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I just wanted to see what all the fuss was about, so I put a copy of oziexplorer on my Thinkpad 760 lappy. 32 meg of ram, wow. Tried importing exporting etc but my trip to the shop with the lappy on wifes knee wasn't great. It said I was roughly in China. We chased that pointer all over the place "Can you see the arrow?"..."Not even a little bit of it ?"
Problem solved thanks to a kind member of this forum, and tips from other members here. Map files freely availiable for Desert tracks and Natmap etc.
Anyway result is a system that works well. All retro technology, Thinkpad 760 and a Magellan 310, some leads. No expensive bits, all sits there moving along nicely. A bit of fiddling (familiarizatoin) and I've mastered waypoints and routes etc.
Now those with the latest and greatest can laugh at me, but I set it up and derive a great deal of satisfaction knowing that it didn't cost an arm and a leg.
I'm now a convert and my next setup will be an in dash unit...when I win Lotto.
Moving maps is fantastic. You don't need the national debt to set it up, almost anyone can do it.
And in the end, its usefulness far outweighs the hair you lose by doing it yourself.
So even if you don't know a co ordinate from a cup of tea, have a go. You'll be glad you did.
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Reply By: Member - Davoe (Widgiemooltha) - Wednesday, May 25, 2005 at 12:26

Wednesday, May 25, 2005 at 12:26
hmm makes my etrex, scale ruler and pile of 250k maps sound a bit redundant all I need is the laptop and they are coming down in price all the time
AnswerID: 112775

Follow Up By: Footloose - Wednesday, May 25, 2005 at 12:30

Wednesday, May 25, 2005 at 12:30
For me, the hardest bit is finding a place for the laptop so that I can glance at it occasionally. Using proximity alarms means that I can know where I am without looking too often.
Of course electronics can fail, so I also take along paper maps just in case.
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FollowupID: 368940

Follow Up By: Grinner - Thursday, May 26, 2005 at 10:05

Thursday, May 26, 2005 at 10:05
I was looking through the junk mail the other day, Big W have Acer laptops for $997. This is the cheapest laptop I've seen advertised.

Grinner
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FollowupID: 369130

Reply By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Wednesday, May 25, 2005 at 12:35

Wednesday, May 25, 2005 at 12:35
Yeah on road trips I use the Work NEC P4 laptop, nice and fast and pretty cool to be able to move around the maps fast etc. When going hard I take to ol' Pentium II 233mhz laptop with bits falling off it and it does just fine also!! ;-) Just a little slower to scroll around the maps etc, but perfectly fine for moving maps and it doesn't matter when it hits the roof of the car on those rough patchs! LOL
AnswerID: 112778

Reply By: Member - Gary W (VIC) - Wednesday, May 25, 2005 at 12:40

Wednesday, May 25, 2005 at 12:40
Footloose,

What a great post - good onya for sticking with it.

Gaz
AnswerID: 112779

Reply By: GUPatrol - Wednesday, May 25, 2005 at 12:48

Wednesday, May 25, 2005 at 12:48
Guys,
It can even be run with less than that (albeith slow), in 99 I took Oziexplorer running on an IBM 486, in moving map mode... no problem!! Only 16 megs of RAM...

In 2000 I took an NEC pentium to Cape York running Oziexplorer moving maps, no problem, this laptop was soo bad and so knocked around that the battery was not working, the bios settings (info about hard disk, date etc) was lost everytime it was shutdown, yet did the job and recorded all of my trip!!

I still use my oldest worse laptop for moving map

Will
AnswerID: 112781

Reply By: NedKelly - Wednesday, May 25, 2005 at 14:11

Wednesday, May 25, 2005 at 14:11
I usually have enough trouble with plain paper maps ;)
AnswerID: 112803

Follow Up By: Member - JohnR (Vic) - Wednesday, May 25, 2005 at 15:10

Wednesday, May 25, 2005 at 15:10
hehhe Ned, calling yourself that you should know where you are going like following the veins in the back of your hand anyway.......... I need maps. LOL
Cheers,
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John

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Follow Up By: Footloose - Wednesday, May 25, 2005 at 17:36

Wednesday, May 25, 2005 at 17:36
John, moving maps are no trouble at all. Imagine coming to a 4 way intersection in the bush, no signposts. 3 tracks are dead ends 100k out in the desert. Now paper maps won't do it, a basic GPS might do it with a bit of luck. But the moving maps will tell you almost instantly if you've turned onto the wrong track. Thats a very basic scenario, but indicative of mm's usefulness for me. Plus I can see quite a bit of the country around my track. Yes the hand held gizmos will do it easy, but they're too small for my eyes.
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FollowupID: 368998

Follow Up By: Member - JohnR (Vic) - Wednesday, May 25, 2005 at 18:40

Wednesday, May 25, 2005 at 18:40
'loosie, have already found it has been vewy uesful but in some NSW forests didn't know if we were on the wight track anyway. Needed the chainsaw once but didn't have it. Did find it vewy useful last year in the Simpson but the twack markers tell you where you are anyway vere.

I like the laptop going anytime and almost feel naked anywhere without it. Love a 30cm screen for it, though could handle the 7" or 8" ones I reckon
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John

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Follow Up By: Footloose - Wednesday, May 25, 2005 at 19:43

Wednesday, May 25, 2005 at 19:43
Johnny boy, the last time I was in the Simpson was in the 80's. No signs and shot lines everywhere as they were still putting them in. I sure could of used any sort of accurate maps there, the 1/250000 were well out of date.
Likewise on the Cape. I was pretty sure I was on the right track but until I finally made the main track I was slightly unsettled.
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FollowupID: 369020

Reply By: Niko - Wednesday, May 25, 2005 at 18:00

Wednesday, May 25, 2005 at 18:00
BIGW are selling the perfect laptop (Notebook) at $997. It has 3 USB ports but doesn't mention if it has a serial port. If you are looking for a new kit including GPS at a cheap price then this might be a goer. You will need a USB mouse GPS like the GlobalSat BU-303 that is on this web site or the Holux GM-210U.

Tricky Dicky is selling them as well, of course as both are owned by woolies!!

Specs:
Intel Celeron M360 processor (speed not mentioned)
256MB RAM
40GB Hard Drive
DVD/CD-RW Combo
14.1" XGS screen
Internal Fax/Modem
3x USB ports
windows XP home
AnswerID: 112836

Reply By: pt_nomad - Wednesday, May 25, 2005 at 22:34

Wednesday, May 25, 2005 at 22:34
I had also been using a retro laptop for moving map when required and playing DVD's for the billy lids. I managed to scam a pocketPC from work and have cabled that to my garmin GPSII+ and run OziExplorerCE on it.
Whilst you dont see a big an image on htepocket PC, you don't have a large laptop / projectile, to contend with. The PocketPC is on all the time and can easily scan between differnt maps for the smae location e.g. Scans of the HEMA book, 250K 25K etc, like the full version can.
Liked moving map on a PC - especially when NSW state forests decinde its time to move tracks, but LOVE it on pocket PC.
Still like to take me paper tho, just in case.
Paul.
AnswerID: 112920

Reply By: joc45 - Wednesday, May 25, 2005 at 23:45

Wednesday, May 25, 2005 at 23:45
yeh, I also used an old 760 Thinkpad, with 20mb RAM and an 80MHz 486dx processor, Windows95, and it worked fine. Bit slow loading the maps, tho - sometimes took up to 2 mins, but once loaded, worked a treat. Was a great workhorse for about 3 years. The power consumption was nice and low as well, so had no trouble sourcing a DC-DC converter.
Now use an almost-as-old HP with a 266MHz PII, and it runs perfectly. Needs a bit more power tho.
The way I see it, if some low-life knocks it off from the vehicle, it's no big bikkies lost.
When purchasing a laptop, one needs to check the DC power consumption; a mate's laptop uses about 7A at 15V (choke!!). Not easy to get a DC-DC converter for this sort of power consumption, so he has to rely on a 240v inverter.
Gerry
AnswerID: 112927

Reply By: BenSpoon - Thursday, May 26, 2005 at 12:41

Thursday, May 26, 2005 at 12:41
Problems mounting it?
I went the way a number of others here have gone and grabbed a lilliput LCD. I picked up a 7" touchscreen LCD from HK, and it happily sits on its stand velcroed to my dash mat whilst driving. It also has RCA-in (stadard TV/Video) plugs, so you can fire up pictures of your digital camera, play playstaion etc on it. After bank fees, transport etc I think it was $370 odd.
I was reluctant to go sticking my laptop under my seat on water crossings etc, but if you say it can work on a lappy that old, a $90 ebay special may be the way to go! Grab a 2Gb flash disk and you have no moving parts in the thing- nothing fragile to break when bashing over rocks. Just gotta invest in the GPS to serial and power cable for my map 330 so I can stop buying packs of AA batteries for it when its doing moving maps.

AnswerID: 112992

Reply By: desert - Thursday, May 26, 2005 at 21:15

Thursday, May 26, 2005 at 21:15
I read all this stuff about lappys etc, why hasn't anybody set up with a single DIN, 7" in-dash screen and a remote HDD mounted under the seat or whatever. Surely this would solve the agony of the cumbersome laptop and where to stick it????
AnswerID: 113081

Reply By: 98Jack - Monday, May 30, 2005 at 16:53

Monday, May 30, 2005 at 16:53
Hi Desert,

I've looked into something along the lines you've suggested but found it way too expensive. In-Dash LCD with DVD/CD/radio $700+, Car Computer (Same configuration as a normal computer just squashed into an Aluminium case slightly larger than a computer CD player) around $1200, plus operating system (MS Windows retail about $400), keyboard and mouse to operate it about $40. Not easily removed so you can do trip planning.

So I gave up on the idea and sourcing an old laptop from work and plan to get a 7" display from dicky or BCS.

cheers
98jack
AnswerID: 113581

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