PDA/GPS question (getting almost as bad as fridges! :)

Submitted: Sunday, Jun 03, 2007 at 18:12
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Having had reliability issues with two notebook computers in 4WD environments over the past few years I have decided to go for another solution for (mainly) moving map but also a bit of PDA work. I would like to stay with Ozi Explorer (having spent a considerable time moving waypoints across to it!) and am intending to purchase a used Ipaq from E-bay (probably a 2210) to run Ozi CE on. NB. 90% of my requirement is for GPS work with a USB GPS mouse (which I already own) - does this sound like a sensible solution or is there a better way to go?

Thanks in advance,

Mike Harding
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Reply By: Emo - Sunday, Jun 03, 2007 at 18:24

Sunday, Jun 03, 2007 at 18:24
Sounds good. Have a look at a HX4700 Ipaq. Big screen and very easy to read (for a PDA). I don't think you can get a PDA to run off a USB GPS mouse. If you get hx4700 you can either get a CF or SD GPS receiver (the Ipaq has both sd and cf card slots so you can use one for a GPS receiver and the other for memory cards). The other option is to just get a bluetooth GPS receiver.
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Follow Up By: The Explorer - Sunday, Jun 03, 2007 at 22:47

Sunday, Jun 03, 2007 at 22:47
..or get a PDA with an in built GPS - much better than CF/SD/Bluetooth Option IMHO.

Cheers
Greg
I sent one final shout after him to stick to the track, to which he replied “All right,” That was the last ever seen of Gibson - E Giles 23 April 1874

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Reply By: Bonz (Vic) - Sunday, Jun 03, 2007 at 18:29

Sunday, Jun 03, 2007 at 18:29
Mike get a bluetooth GPS and leave the GPS mouse for the laptop mate. A HX4700 is good but has a few problems, the 2210 would be a good option in my books (I have a HX4700). The PDA is a great solution, just a word of advice get a good mount for it, like a RAM mount, dont fart around with the cheapies.
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Follow Up By: Member - JohnR (Vic)&Moses - Sunday, Jun 03, 2007 at 22:31

Sunday, Jun 03, 2007 at 22:31
I prefer your solution Bonz. Bluetooth is the easy way and a solid mount. I have a Dell, but the upper end are much of a muchness. Mine takes CF and SD cards too, for extra flexibility.
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Reply By: SA_Patrol - Sunday, Jun 03, 2007 at 18:37

Sunday, Jun 03, 2007 at 18:37
The USB GPS mouse might not work with any PDA's.
You could look at buying a hp rx5765, it has a BT GPS, you can run Tom Tom and OziCe These start at $500
Otherwise get a 12V CarPc and run a 7 or 8" screen
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Reply By: mike w (WA) - Sunday, Jun 03, 2007 at 18:41

Sunday, Jun 03, 2007 at 18:41
Mike, a sensible option and one that I have just explored and done.

I have just set up a Ipaq rz1710 with tom tom and ozi CE. I am using a Haicom SIRF 3 GPS mouse with a 'y' cable that provides power to PDA, power to GPS and links the PDA to the GPS. As far as the USB compatibility, if you search the HP website for your models specs, it should tell you the formats that it will support (i.e. serial, USB, PS2, etc) this will then guide you were you need to go from here regarding cables etc. You may need a USB to serial adapter if your PDA does not support USB.

Also, check out this site

www.gpsaustralia.net/

Join the forum, as there is substantial info and downloads available. Also if you have any queries post a message to 'Nicko' or contact him through the online shop function (top left menu in red) He is very helpful and can more than likely organise the appropriate cables etc for you. You can either order direct through him or get Jackie to order it as he is the shops supplier.

Its a good, cheap and reliable way of setting up a gps system. So far mine has cost me a smidge over $200 which included a ebay PDA, new GPS and cable, spare stylus, screen protector and a window mount (slight modification required to make sturdy) If you look hard enough you can find all the programs that you need on the world wide web.

Good luck, I hope it all goes well
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Reply By: Tony MD - Sunday, Jun 03, 2007 at 18:42

Sunday, Jun 03, 2007 at 18:42
Hi Mike.
I use an Ipaq (bought on Ebay) with Oziexplorer CE & it is great. I found that it was cheaper for me to buy a Haicom 4 in 1 PDA holder than buy all the cables etc to connect the GPS to the PDA, Power to the PDA and a dedicated car mount. The Haicom came with a compact flash connection & a compact flash sirf3 GPS.

I do most of my trip work using Oziexplorer on the PC and simply transfer the files across to the PDA

The only issue with it was that I didn't like the windscreen suction arm but found a better designed Garmin one for $50.00 that was a perfect fit.

Issues with my type of PDA - Ipaq 5550 is that the contents of the SD card can be wiped if the card is left in the machine & the battery runs flat. It says to avoid this in the book.

It may be out of your price range but the Asus Mypal A636 provides everything except Ozie CE in one package - including co-pilot soft ware.
Cheers, Tony.
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Follow Up By: Mike Harding - Sunday, Jun 03, 2007 at 19:00

Sunday, Jun 03, 2007 at 19:00
>Asus Mypal A636

Site Link

Touch under $500 - this is the problem!!! :) Every time I look at all these options I get to thinking... "Oh... that would be worth an extra couple of hundred...." but, really, I'm not sure if it would. I have a USB GPS mouse, a Garmin RS232 GPS and a couple of notebooks and more maps and software than you could point a compass at! So I probably should try and stick to the minimal solution especially, as in a year or two, the market will be quite different....

A confused... (Story of my life really :)

Mike Harding
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Follow Up By: Tony MD - Sunday, Jun 03, 2007 at 19:11

Sunday, Jun 03, 2007 at 19:11
Mike, yes, where does it end. The thing about the Asus unit was that apart from Oziexplorer CE, there is nothing else to buy.
As I said, for me buying the Haicom 4 in one mount was the cheapest option to set it up in the car. It also meant that I only had one cable, the power cable to worry about. The power cable plugs into a lighter socket that is powered off the auxillary battery so that the GPS will run when the ignition is off.
You can contact me on 2m if you want. 146.675??
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Follow Up By: Gramps (NSW) - Sunday, Jun 03, 2007 at 22:45

Sunday, Jun 03, 2007 at 22:45
Tony,

Why do you want the GPS to run when the ignition is off and you are ??? stationary ????
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Follow Up By: Tony MD - Monday, Jun 04, 2007 at 11:22

Monday, Jun 04, 2007 at 11:22
Al, a couple of reasons.
Firstly, leaving both the GPS and PDA on means that I won't forget to turn them back on if I have turned them off. (Hope that makes sense)
This means that there are no breaks when recording tracks & you can actually know how long you were stationary for.
Many times have I been driving down the track to realise that I haven;t turned the thing on. Only an issue if you are into track recording.
Secondly, I have found that with the 12 volt car supply turned off (supplies the PDA mount & GPS) but the PDA remaining on via the internal battery that when I restart the car& thus provide 12 volts to the PDA & GPS, I can get weird things happening. The GPS may not communicate with the PDA or the moving map pointer is way out.
The most simple solution is to leave the power on.
Cheers, Tony
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Follow Up By: Gramps (NSW) - Monday, Jun 04, 2007 at 16:35

Monday, Jun 04, 2007 at 16:35
Tony,

Makes sense to me, thanks.
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Follow Up By: Bonz (Vic) - Tuesday, Jun 05, 2007 at 23:01

Tuesday, Jun 05, 2007 at 23:01
Mike I think u are overcomplicating it, just get a stick and throw it in the air, travel in the direction the stick points until you reach the next stick. Then repeat the process. This works in the desert or the high country. One just has more stops for stick orientation.

I have a Garmin STICK60CS which is very effective in locating the FIRST stick.

Maps are for pussies, (and goats)
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Reply By: Blaze - Sunday, Jun 03, 2007 at 20:41

Sunday, Jun 03, 2007 at 20:41
Mike I believe the 2210 is virtually the same as my 2215, if it is then you have the advantage of duel memory slots, it has SD and CF. The main advantage is you can go either way and use either a Bluetooth GPS or a CF GPS.

I run Ozi CE and also TomTom software.

I use a bluetooth but have just ordered one of the CF ones.

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Follow Up By: Member - JohnR (Vic)&Moses - Sunday, Jun 03, 2007 at 22:26

Sunday, Jun 03, 2007 at 22:26
Another Glenn had his CF card GPS break off with the vibration mate. The Bluetooth really does give a good system with no wires. A SD card one would be even smaller point of connect for the GPS top.
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Follow Up By: Blaze - Sunday, Jun 03, 2007 at 22:39

Sunday, Jun 03, 2007 at 22:39
Well hope mine will last a bit better than that, of course if the other was in a Yota I can understand the vibration stapping it off :-)
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Follow Up By: Member - JohnR (Vic)&Moses - Sunday, Jun 03, 2007 at 23:12

Sunday, Jun 03, 2007 at 23:12
Geez, howdya guess?
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Reply By: warfer69 - Sunday, Jun 03, 2007 at 22:28

Sunday, Jun 03, 2007 at 22:28
Do yourself a favour Mike and steer clear of HP stuff...Wait till it hits the skids and you want it to be repaired,They will not replace it even after 4 returns !

Assholes ....
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Reply By: The Explorer - Sunday, Jun 03, 2007 at 23:04

Sunday, Jun 03, 2007 at 23:04
Hello Mike - as I alluded to before may I suggest you look at geting a PDA with and inbuilt GPS. There are few on the market now. I have a Mio Digiwalker P550 that works fine with OziCE. It has an SD card slot which I use for story data and maps. It came with a very good window sucton mount and car power cable. There is a cheaper model (P350) that is identical except no wifi or bluetooth (I think). Ipaq have a few models available as well. The advantage of inbuilt GPS is obvious ie no additional wires or gadgets plug in or worry about/break and it fits in your pocket.

Cheers
Greg
I sent one final shout after him to stick to the track, to which he replied “All right,” That was the last ever seen of Gibson - E Giles 23 April 1874

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Reply By: smort - Monday, Jun 04, 2007 at 07:14

Monday, Jun 04, 2007 at 07:14
Hi Mike & others

have a hp 2200 with a bluetooth gps off ebay - put 4 gig sd card in for maps - if you buy a card on ebay watch out for dummy cards on ebay most of what comes out of china are copies - if you go the bluetooth gps way I suggest you get one with an extension antenna - it dramatically improves reception in the urban canyons IMO - most come with a 2 metre cable suggest you will need one with a 5 metre cable to get outside though the firewall. Using tom tom around town at present & works ok. Will explore ozi ce in due course.

Use ozi on a laptop out of town in my truck and very happy with the combination - used to use an etrex to drive ozi but blutooth with ext antenna a vast improvement in signal - used to get multiple dropouts & many straight line track plots previously.

Have to admit I have been waiting for the laptop to fail - there is a fair bit of bang and crash in a forward control isuzu truck - wheels right under cab - sony seems to be keeping on keeping on though - fingers crossed.

I must be getting old or maybe my arms are getting shorter but I do like the size of the image on the laptop particularly on toppos. Maybe you will be a bit shocked at the reduced size of the image on the pda.

Hope this helps

smort
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Reply By: Robin Miller - Monday, Jun 04, 2007 at 08:10

Monday, Jun 04, 2007 at 08:10
Hi MIke

None of the PDA's yet have screen brightness of more than about 400 nits and
still major reason why I don't use for constant viewing , so this means its essential to be able to position any such device for optimum viewing which usually means below the dash level, this in turns drives need for gps receiver to be remote from PDA/navigator, hence USB GPS or other means to get signal can assist in making best out of whats available.

Robin Miller
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Follow Up By: The Explorer - Monday, Jun 04, 2007 at 13:25

Monday, Jun 04, 2007 at 13:25
Hello Robin - Sceen on my Mio P550 if fine 90% of the time on windscreen mount ie no issue with screen visibility. You may also be surprise by the sensitivity of the inbuilt sirf chipset GPS - it will work fine anywhere in the car...though maybe some issues in dense forest.

Cheers
Greg
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Reply By: Member - Matt M (ACT) - Monday, Jun 04, 2007 at 08:34

Monday, Jun 04, 2007 at 08:34
Mike,

My thoughts for what they are worth. I have used an iPaq 2210 for the last three years running OziExplorer with a CF GPS. I have recently upgraded to a rx5765 with TomTom and have swapped OziExplorer across.

The 2210 setup has worked beautifully and I have had no issues with the CF GPS, it came with an external antenna which plugs into the side of the GPS and sits very neatly on the roof (magnetic base and about the size of a matchbox). I have not had experience with a Bluetooth GPS, but I don't understand why some would say it reduces the number of cables, surely it has to be powered and presumably need an external antenna? The CF GPS just slots into the top of the unit and _Affordable_Storage_Drawers.aspx its power from the PDA. Haven't had mine snap off either (and in a Toyota). Either GPS seems like a good option though.

Screen brightness can be an issue as Robin pointed out, but I would disagree that this applies to all PDAs. The new 5765 is brilliant and can easily be read in full sun. The 2210 does suffer in direct light though.

For what you want, your plan sounds like a good way to go (once you resolve the GPS issue). I don't know what second hand 2210s are worth, but imagine that it is a relatively cheap way to go, particularly if you can pick one up with all the extras (screen mount, GPS, etc).

Cheers,

Matt.
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Reply By: Kumunara (NT) - Monday, Jun 04, 2007 at 13:15

Monday, Jun 04, 2007 at 13:15
Mike

I have an Ipaq 5765 and I am very happy with it. It does power off the usb port. I would say that most PDAs would do this and as there is only one USB port you would have a power issue.

Suggest you find one that has more than one usb port or does not power off the usb port.

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Follow Up By: The Explorer - Monday, Jun 04, 2007 at 13:27

Monday, Jun 04, 2007 at 13:27
or get a combined power/data cord - if such a thing exists.

Cheers
Greg
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Follow Up By: Member - Matt M (ACT) - Monday, Jun 04, 2007 at 13:37

Monday, Jun 04, 2007 at 13:37
Yes, the 2210 comes with a combined USB/power cable (not at the same time though).

I don't get why it is such an issue though? Options for GPS in this case is a bluetooth or a CF GPS. Either one doesn't interfere with the USB port which is used to power the unit from your ciggy outlet.

Matt.
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Follow Up By: The Explorer - Thursday, Jun 07, 2007 at 14:52

Thursday, Jun 07, 2007 at 14:52
Hello - some people connect handhelp GPS units to PDA via usb and a dual power/data cable would be the way to go in this circumstance - initail post suggested a desire to use an usb mouse gps which prompted posts regarding power issues (though dont know if usb mouse gps would be compatible with a PDA..if it is, it may draw power from unit anyway??).

Quiet obviously if you use CF or Bluetooth GPS power to PDA will not an issue (though if you use a bluetooth gps you have to power that as well.) IMHO best to get PDA with inbuilt gps - gps power/extra cords-battery/connection issues disappear.

Cheers
Greg
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Reply By: Member -Signman - Tuesday, Jun 05, 2007 at 15:35

Tuesday, Jun 05, 2007 at 15:35
Hi Mike
Just some info on my PDA setup.
HP iPAQ 2110 (off eBay about $200)- Holux CF GPS Receiver (eBay less than $50)- 1gb SD Card (about $30) Cig lighter cable (about $10). So all up the hardware cost me about $300.
I run Destinator (a turn-by-turn) around town application.
Also, OziExplorer CE- I have the 1:250k All of Australia Mosaic map. Also, the set of Hema Desert maps, and a few 1:50 & 1:25 maps of frequently used areas.
I will be getting a 2gb card soon, so's to fit a few more maps on.
I have fitted an extra cig. lighter socket with permanent power to drive the PDA (so it doesn't flatten when the ignition is off). I also use this power for the UHF, so it stays on with the ignition off.
The 2110 is probably the bottom of the barrel- but it works for me. Has done the Beadell rds, Gunbarrel, Simpson, and quite a few weekenders with no probs. I just received the Hema (digital) Cape York so will be loading it up, and planning a trip for July.
In summary- I don't think you've gotta spend a squillion $$ for something that works and does the job more than adequately.
AnswerID: 244906

Reply By: Shaker - Tuesday, Jun 05, 2007 at 16:03

Tuesday, Jun 05, 2007 at 16:03
Mike, I have a MIO P350 PDA with inbuilt GPS which I have with me all the time, so if you are in the vicinity of the marina I will there over the long weekend.
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Reply By: Mike Harding - Tuesday, Jun 05, 2007 at 17:04

Tuesday, Jun 05, 2007 at 17:04
Thanks, very much, everyone for your responses.

For someone who is, normally, a "decision taker!" I'm vacillating all over the place with this one :)

Should I go the e-bay route?
Should I spend the $550 and buy the Ipaq 5765 with Tomtom et al?
Should I stick with my notebook?
Should I simply hang fire and see what technology does over the next 12 months?
If I buy the PDA will I be able to _see_ it without reading glasses?

Damn! Think I'm going to go bush for a while and meditate over this one... hang on a mo... without mapping software how am I going to get there...?

!!!!!!!!

Mike Harding :)
AnswerID: 244942

Follow Up By: Bonz (Vic) - Tuesday, Jun 05, 2007 at 23:08

Tuesday, Jun 05, 2007 at 23:08
Go the ebay route, and spend about 300ish on the pda and get a Bluetooth GPS, that will also work with your laptop (if its BT enabled)

If you hang fire you will find that technology gallops on, if you hang fire again it will gallop again, u have to jump in and then at least u have something that you can play with while it gets superceded. The PDA is easy to read for an old fart without reading glasseds ( I Know I am and Old Fart)

I think PDA's are stable at the moment, they dont seem to be either receding onto the past or racing forwards. Thats said I am sur technology will prove me wrong, but I have had a HP HX4700 for 2 years and its still SOTA (ish)

I case my rest
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