Electronic Navigation

Submitted: Thursday, May 03, 2007 at 16:44
ThreadID: 45059 Views:1871 Replies:8 FollowUps:10
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Okay guys, I am sure this has been asked before but I want very simple and basic answers.

I am heading to Cape York in July.

I am not too bad on the navigation front with a paper map and a compass, learnt all about it in the army where we used grid rferences and mils instead of degrees.

I have purchased a Magellan Explorist XL with Discover Aus Streets and Tracks Topo.

I also have a laptop which I can use for navigation as well as a PDA.

Should I setup the laptop or just the PDA.
Should I get Oziexplorer for both.
Should I just use the Magellan.

I have no idea about GPS navigation as yet but would like to know a fair bit about it and be well set up before we leave in mid July.
I will be out and about on the cape for the next 18 months.

Cheers, Jack
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Reply By: Member - Troll 81 (QLD) - Thursday, May 03, 2007 at 16:59

Thursday, May 03, 2007 at 16:59
If I was you I would use your PDA with OziCE but if you find the screen is hard to read use your laptop with a touch screen on the dash

my 2 cents
AnswerID: 237683

Reply By: CapeYorkTroopy - Thursday, May 03, 2007 at 17:06

Thursday, May 03, 2007 at 17:06
I have no issues mounting the laptop in the car as it is a spare.
Although it is pretty old, it is a Dell which we purchased about 6 years ago, I am not sure of its specs but if I were to use it for navigation it would be set up purely for navigation.

Would I need to purchase two programmes to run on laptop and PDA or does the one version of Oziexplorer cover both.
AnswerID: 237686

Reply By: Member - Bruce and Anne - Thursday, May 03, 2007 at 17:21

Thursday, May 03, 2007 at 17:21
Just use DiscoverAus on your lap top with your Magellan, so you have a bigger screen to look at and easier to plan ahead with and passenger and drive have a screen to look at as well. We have an old Mederian Gold and it all works great on the with the laptop. I have Oziexplorer, NatMap Raster and find DiscoverAus the best to use so far anyway.
Cheers Bruce.
Cheers Bruce
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AnswerID: 237693

Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Thursday, May 03, 2007 at 19:02

Thursday, May 03, 2007 at 19:02
If you want the BEST option, then go the laptop. Fits the best maps - Raster Mosaic, and UBD City Streets are hard/impossible to use on anything but a laptop. Has the biggest screen etc etc. Its also the hardest to mount. The UBD maps need Windows XP. Ozi works great on Windows98 or greater.

The PDA's are harder to use - you need both Ozi and Ozi CE; You need to convert maps to OZF2 format, if not already done so, and you are severely restricted in putting the big maps on. Some people find the screen is too small, and others seem to frequently have problems managing track files etc. Its Ok if you're quite computer literate, but a nuisance if you're not. But they are dead easy to mount, and can easily be linked to a bluetooth GPS.

I don't know about your Magellan, but it seems that you can't use the Raster and Hema maps on the vast majority of these things. It is nice to have a full GPS, so you have something that works, should the laptop or inverter stuff up.

If you want the VERY BEST option, buy a Tablet PC.
AnswerID: 237716

Follow Up By: Gramps (NSW) - Thursday, May 03, 2007 at 19:47

Thursday, May 03, 2007 at 19:47
Phil,

"You need to convert maps to OZF2 format, if not already done so, and you are severely restricted in putting the big maps on"

OziCE, like Oziexplorer, reads ECW format (as per Natmap Raster Standard) perfectly OK without having to convert to OZF2 or 3.

What is the problem with big maps? I have'nt run into any yet that fail to fit on a storage card.
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FollowupID: 498798

Follow Up By: LCRUZA (VIC) - Thursday, May 03, 2007 at 20:31

Thursday, May 03, 2007 at 20:31
Not all PDA's will read ECW format. Check the Ozi website.

Ron
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FollowupID: 498804

Follow Up By: Big Mike - Thursday, May 03, 2007 at 22:32

Thursday, May 03, 2007 at 22:32
Phil,
Whats a tablet laptop??/?
Is there such a beast as a dust proof, bullet proof laptop to throw around while out on trips.
Ta
Mike
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FollowupID: 498869

Follow Up By: Gramps (NSW) - Thursday, May 03, 2007 at 22:34

Thursday, May 03, 2007 at 22:34
Well picked Ron. ARM cpus only. Glad I'm using an 'old' PDA.
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FollowupID: 498872

Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Friday, May 04, 2007 at 01:28

Friday, May 04, 2007 at 01:28
Mike,
A "tablet PC" is a notebook sized computer, which has a touch screen, so you use a pen to work it - bit like a Big PDA. They come in a few variations, but most use a version of Windows XP, called tablet edition, which has handwriting recognition and can turn the screen around etc. They usually have a harddrive, but other drives are often external.

The indestructable one is called a Panasonic Toughbook:


Its worth Googling some others:
Toshiba M200,
Fujitsu Stylistic
Samsung Q1

I had an NEC T400 until I busted the screen. It was otherwise brilliant for mapping, and had a CF card reader, so I could easily backup photos. In general, they don't come cheap, but theres some good deals on the second hand market.
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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Friday, May 04, 2007 at 01:36

Friday, May 04, 2007 at 01:36
Gramps,
I gave up on PDAs, and went to a tabletpc, but friends who are running PDAs have had to cut down the 700Mb 250K Raster Mosaic to make it work on their PDAs. And I have one mate who spent 12 hours converting the Mosaic .ecw file into a ozf2 file, which was a bit of a pain.
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FollowupID: 498905

Follow Up By: Member - Craig D (SA) - Friday, May 04, 2007 at 11:52

Friday, May 04, 2007 at 11:52
Phil, have you had a look at the Samsung Q1? Thought it might be a good option (for me) for moving map, digi photo storage, etc, but it's a pity it doesn't have an input for a rear view camera (might be wrong though).

Craig,
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FollowupID: 498961

Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Friday, May 04, 2007 at 15:48

Friday, May 04, 2007 at 15:48
Hi Craig,
My only reservation about the Q1 is whether the screen is a touch too small. But its certainly a nice bit of gear, and is small enough to be velcroed to a holder on my dash. I've decided to resurrect the old Tosh laptop for the next trip - it will get me by until the next financial year - might get another tablet then.
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FollowupID: 498993

Reply By: Peter 2 - Thursday, May 03, 2007 at 19:18

Thursday, May 03, 2007 at 19:18
We've got both a laptop and pda and these days just use the pda as it is easy to mount and hide (when parked), touch screen and although the eyesight isn't what it used to be it is clear enough to read while driving.
As Phil said though it is handy to be able to use the laptop to get a bigger picture and plan stuff.
I usually organise all the maps for a trip and put them onto a memory card at home from the desktop, take a copy of the raster and Hema maps with you in case.
To use Oziexplorer you need both Oziexplorer installed on the desktop/laptop and Oziexplorer CE on the pda.
When downloading maps to the memory card put the card in the pda and use the pda's usb cable as I've found you get less errors than with a dock station.
Before downloading maps they need to be converted to OZF format on the desktop then downloaded. Some maps like the Hema GDT come in the correct format already.
Peter
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AnswerID: 237724

Reply By: CapeYorkTroopy - Thursday, May 03, 2007 at 19:54

Thursday, May 03, 2007 at 19:54
Thanks for the replies.
It seems about 50/50 for laptop versus pda.
I think given that we will be in cape york for 18 months I will go the laptop option.
I don't really need to hide it up there, I will either be in the middle of nowhere, hopefully not lost, or the troopy will be parked up and I will take the laptop home to Thursday Island with me.
I will load Tom Tom or something similar on the pda and use that when we venture back in to civilisation.

So as far as Cape York is concerned, all I would need would be Oziexplorer CE and the electronic version of Hemas Cape York map?

Cheers, Jack

AnswerID: 237737

Reply By: Robin - Thursday, May 03, 2007 at 20:11

Thursday, May 03, 2007 at 20:11
Hi Jack

Sell the PDA

Sell the laptop

Buy some paper maps.

Use the GPS

The overwhelming mode of travel is likely to be driving around on the relatively few roads and using you GPS to confirm a position against the maps.

If you get lost for some reason , the best action is to turn around and follow your GPS trace back to somewhere you know , hence you will need to be familar with this process as part of your GPS learning curve.

Robin Miller

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AnswerID: 237741

Follow Up By: warfer69 - Friday, May 04, 2007 at 01:22

Friday, May 04, 2007 at 01:22
I agree totally !
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Follow Up By: Member - Michael O (NSW) - Friday, May 04, 2007 at 12:48

Friday, May 04, 2007 at 12:48
I'm with you too Robin.

I've been on trips with blokes who spend too much time looking at laptops and PDA's and not enough looking out the window at the view (which I assume is why they went there in the first place...)

I'd rather follow the paper map with the GPS on and only use the GPS to confirm position, or to backtrack when I've stuffed up.......
Monday I have Friday on my mind...
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Reply By: CapeYorkTroopy - Thursday, May 03, 2007 at 20:19

Thursday, May 03, 2007 at 20:19
Robin,

That is probably the most sensible option.

But I just love having toys and gadgets.

I have done the cape before and as I remember the route was pretty simple.

As far as getting there is concerned we only have about 7 days to do the trip, including a night in Cairns. We plan on making it to the start of the OTL without too much mucking around and the having fun from there up.
We will then catch the ferry to TI and into our new house.
We then have 18 months to explore the tip and surrounds on weekends etc.
After 18 months on TI we plan on living in Cairns for about a year so we can explore the southern parts of the cape then.

Cheers, Jack
AnswerID: 237743

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