computer setup in car for ozi explorer

Submitted: Monday, Feb 20, 2006 at 07:36
ThreadID: 30945 Views:3421 Replies:11 FollowUps:7
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I want to set up ozi explore/gps mapping but trying to sort out my computer setup first

Not sure which one of the following to use:
- laptop with 12v charger cable
- laptop hooked up to an inverter
- micro desktop computer with an LCD screen charged by inverter
- PDA/palm pilot

has anyone had much experience with the above? Any help would be greatly appreciated.


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Reply By: Dunedigger - Monday, Feb 20, 2006 at 07:50

Monday, Feb 20, 2006 at 07:50

If you search previous posts you will come to the conclusion that the simplest is to us a voltage adapter like the 'Kerio'. Does not take up space and can be used with lots of laptops with differntt voltages.

I would prefer to have the laptop under the seat and use a touch screen but . . $ $ $

AnswerID: 155917

Reply By: Alan H (Narangba QLD) - Monday, Feb 20, 2006 at 08:03

Monday, Feb 20, 2006 at 08:03
I use a PDA while travelling. I also have a laptop and use it when I have to really study the map (bigger view) which is currently run off an inverter.

I have used a 12V setup and it worked fine until one day it when it burnt (smoldered). I use a pure sine wave inverter and run other gadgets off it as well as the laptop.

Often pug in the laptop while travelling to charge it and then can play with maps, photos etc at camp withoutt being attached.

As said before, all the set ups work, it depends on your personal preferences and the arrangements you have in the cab. Using the laptop direct is great but where you put while travelling becomes a problem.

To overcome this some put the laptop under the seat and use an extension screen like a Lilliput and those with this setup find it works well also.
AnswerID: 155920

Reply By: Member - Oldplodder (QLD) - Monday, Feb 20, 2006 at 08:37

Monday, Feb 20, 2006 at 08:37
Looked at this problem last year, thinking of doing the same thing.

Do search for other threads, there is a lot here.

Ended up with a PDA. Pajero front too small for a laptop and the wife. Decided the wife a little (:-)) more important.
I do take a laptop to use for planning and photos etc, run off 12 volt charger from Jaycar. Laptop needs 19v.
Also, my experience of carrying laptops for work is that they don't like a lot of vibration. When off, the heads on the hard disk are parked, but running, with corrugations, I don't know. And not sure how they would handle the dust.

Just some thoughts. - Also, PDAs have their problems too!
AnswerID: 155926

Reply By: Member - Troll 81 (QLD) - Monday, Feb 20, 2006 at 08:57

Monday, Feb 20, 2006 at 08:57
So many options indeed. I am going to run the lappy under the seat and buy one of those single din touch screens running in my spare din...will have windows running so I can do everything, MP3's movies, maps, GPS on a big screen and maybe even wireless at hot spots to get emails and access the site :)

Have fun with it
AnswerID: 155932

Reply By: Member - JohnR (Vic)&Moses - Monday, Feb 20, 2006 at 09:06

Monday, Feb 20, 2006 at 09:06
JB I have a laptop and have used it for thousands of kilometres but last November started using a PDA. Though a restricted screen it has the same information and the same maps as the laptop has. The laptop can be behind the seat. I have an arm that holds the laptop but is too space restricting for the passenger and could thrash around in an accident.!MPG:10!
AnswerID: 155935

Reply By: Member - Matt L (NSW) - Monday, Feb 20, 2006 at 09:13

Monday, Feb 20, 2006 at 09:13
Is the following quote correct, can you run a laptop off your car battery or are you better to use its battery and charge off a generator at the end of the days travel.

“An auto DC adapter has a cigarette lighter input plug on one end that is plugged into the cigarette lighter receptacle and on the other a special output connector that is plugged into the laptop's power receptacle. Although recent P4 laptops have higher and higher power requirements, auto batteries have the capacity to supply the necessary output for the PC.”

Thanks for your help

AnswerID: 155937

Follow Up By: Member - Coyote (SA) - Monday, Feb 20, 2006 at 09:18

Monday, Feb 20, 2006 at 09:18
Hey Matt, nice photo of your rig...but looking at the flag are you driving backwards... ??? ;)
FollowupID: 409908

Follow Up By: Sand Man (SA) - Monday, Feb 20, 2006 at 11:01

Monday, Feb 20, 2006 at 11:01

Providing you have the correct adaptor, you can successfully run the Laptop off the Car battery and change the Laptop battery at the same time.

There are two methods of doing this.
You can connect an inverter to the vehicle's 12 volt supply and then the Laptop to the inverter via the standard Laptop's power adaptor. The only concern here is that some Laptop require a pure sine wave inverter which are more expensive than the cheaper modified sine wave inverters. The Inverter provides 240 volt AC output from 12 volt DC input.

Or, you can connect the Laptop to the vehicles 12 volt supply via a 12 volt adaptor that provides a higher DC voltage output to suit the particular Laptops requirement. The Kerio brand is an excellent compact adaptor that does away with the need for a "cumbersome" inverter and separate adaptor. The "negative" here is that the Kerio adaptor must be suitable for the particular Laptop you are using and the Kerio output voltage can be adjusted by means of a fuse like linkage device.

Some Laptops, like my Dell Inspiron 6000, will run OK off the Kerio (with the right 12 volt adaptor plug, but will not charge the Laptop's internal battery due to a unique "Dell design". Dell do however provide an accessory adaptor that replaces the original one and can be plugged into 240 volt AC, 12 volt DC vehicle supply, or even an Aeroplane socket, simply by changing the input lead.

Any of the above options will provide suitable power to your Laptop and at the same time , ensure that the internal battery is fully charged when you choose to run it away from the vehicle.

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FollowupID: 409923

Follow Up By: Member - Matt L (NSW) - Monday, Feb 20, 2006 at 12:45

Monday, Feb 20, 2006 at 12:45
Thanks Sand Man, I think Iwill just get the correct 12v adaptor to suite my laptop.

I Just wasn’t sure how hard it was on the vehicle batteries considering all the other draws, GPS, fridge etc.


FollowupID: 409947

Reply By: Member - Matt L (NSW) - Monday, Feb 20, 2006 at 09:25

Monday, Feb 20, 2006 at 09:25
Now that’s a person with an eye for detail
AnswerID: 155940

Reply By: Groove - Monday, Feb 20, 2006 at 16:19

Monday, Feb 20, 2006 at 16:19
Hi Jayse

I put a laptop under the seat and mounted a touch screen in the dash.
Its great. I have also added a USB on the dash now so digital camera plugs straight into the dash.

check it out here

AnswerID: 156021

Follow Up By: jayse76 - Monday, Feb 20, 2006 at 16:38

Monday, Feb 20, 2006 at 16:38
very very impressive.

do you power it all up via 12v or inverters?


stage 1 for me will be to set the laptop up with stage 2 ending up with the touch screen. How do you find the touch screen with Ozi - explorer?
FollowupID: 410017

Follow Up By: Willykj - Monday, Feb 20, 2006 at 16:51

Monday, Feb 20, 2006 at 16:51
Hi Grooove,

I presently use a laptop with my GPS with Ozi-Explorer but my wife severely objects to having the laptop on her lap.

I have been considering buying a Lilliput 7" screen (I won't go to the indash installation) & have priced through EBay. Noticed they come from HongKong & I am a little reluctant to go that way. Where did you buy yours and have you had any problems with it? Does the touch screen work OK?

Any advice would be appreciated.

FollowupID: 410022

Follow Up By: Alan H (Narangba QLD) - Monday, Feb 20, 2006 at 18:25

Monday, Feb 20, 2006 at 18:25

Nice setup you have there!!

I notice your GPS is down on the transmission tunnel. I take it you get satellite coverage ok from there without having to put in up on the dash etc or run a mouse gps into the laptop?????

I also run a Magellan 315 and find it works great but I mounted mine on the dash for caoverage.
FollowupID: 410059

Follow Up By: Groove - Tuesday, Feb 21, 2006 at 10:43

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2006 at 10:43
I use a Targus adaptor no inverter, never had a problem with it.

I did this install beacuase of the same objections from my lady. I purchased my Lilliput off ebay from Hong Kong nearly 2 years ago now, it always worked fine for me and its had a tough life. The touch screen works no problem at all. Your welcome to come have a look if your local.
You can get them is OZ now from a company called WES components in Sydney, dont know what the cost is. If you have an ABN you get wholesale pricing and it usually cheaper.

If you look closely next to the GPS is a reradiating antenna this is connected to an antenna on the roof. However since the photo was taken I have purchased a USB mouse type GPS off ebay for $80. This unit plugs into a USB port and is powered by the computer so comes on whenever the computer is switched on. I am pretty impressed with this unit for the money. It gets a lock very quickly (usually before the computer has finished booting)

FollowupID: 410267

Reply By: Member - Toolman (VIC) - Monday, Feb 20, 2006 at 18:53

Monday, Feb 20, 2006 at 18:53
I've just finished the same exercise myself and this is what I have ended up with.

PDA - HP IPAQ HX4700 - (purchased on E-bay)
GPS - Haicom 305III (SIRF3) foldable CF card GPS with SD card slot - (purchased from Johnny Appleseed)
Software - OziExplorer (for Laptop and for PDA) - purchased from ExplorOz

I chose this because I did not fancy the Laptop setup with Lilliput screen etc. It just seems there is not enough room on the dash of the LC 80 Series.
I also have a laptop which I do not plan to have set up in my truck but will use when stopped for the night etc.

So far I've encountered some problems going through the exercise but the setup seems to work. My latest troubles are trying to create my own maps. I'm trying to resolve the problem where maps that I scanned and then calibrated using my scanner, laptop & Ozi, do not want to open up on the PDA????

I hope this helps somewwhat and I'd be hppy to try and answer any questions you may think of
AnswerID: 156072

Reply By: Assegai - Monday, Feb 20, 2006 at 19:04

Monday, Feb 20, 2006 at 19:04

I use a Toshiba PDA running Ozieplorer and a GPS which plugs into the Compact Flash card slot. It also has a 1 gig SD card which fits all of Australia at 250K (and all of Adelaide and SA towns street directory). This all sits in a cradle on the dash.

The GPS can also plug into my Laptop ($400 off eBay) (with or with out the PDA pluggrd in) and I also have an external antenna for it, its never been necessary. The laptop uses a Kerio power adapter.

I tend to use the PDA fo on the move navigation and in the quite of a bush evening download the tracks and waypoints from the PDA to the laptop using infrared or wireless.

I also have a Garmin 72 which was a bit of a dog to set up (camparitively speaking) so this sits in the back as a backup.

This setup works brilliantly for my needs and budget.

AnswerID: 156076

Reply By: Richard - Monday, Feb 20, 2006 at 20:11

Monday, Feb 20, 2006 at 20:11
Grooves setup looks impressive.
I run a Dell Axim X50V PDA and Globalsat BT338 GPS reciever using the bluetooth conection. Software is Smart ST as a talking street directory and Oziexplorer when out and about.
Also have a Nokia 6255 CDMA phone and use this as a modem for the PDA to get emails and browse the web if there is a CDMA signal and its nessasary.
AnswerID: 156098

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