PDA's for moving map functionality

Submitted: Friday, May 09, 2003 at 10:06
ThreadID: 4802 Views:1972 Replies:8 FollowUps:21
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I am looking to purchase a PDA to mount on the dash and run oziexplorer moving map software on it. Would anyone know what is the best product for this yet not the most expensive?

Just Do It!

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Reply By: Member - Bob - Friday, May 09, 2003 at 10:21

Friday, May 09, 2003 at 10:21
Glen, PDA screen is very small. Other option is to have old PC running from inverter (or a laptop) and having a new 15" TFT display mounted on dash. Recently did this and it was brilliant in terms of visibilty etc. Total cost is less than new PDA: inverter400W $200, display $540, old computer $200. Some displays will run on 12v and others will need to plug into the inverter. The other advantage is that you can use the inverter for charging/running all your other gear. I can't see how a PDA display would show enough of the map to be useful.
AnswerID: 19485

Follow Up By: William - Friday, May 09, 2003 at 10:27

Friday, May 09, 2003 at 10:27
A PDA display is brilliant for use with maps and can be viewed with ease.
A PDA shows more than enough of the map and the map ahead. Looks like you need to investigate PDA displays and the software.

Mounting a 15" display on the dash is also highly illegal. There is no way you can view a TFT display properly in daylight conditions.
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Follow Up By: Member - Bob - Friday, May 09, 2003 at 10:43

Friday, May 09, 2003 at 10:43
William, what does 'highly illegal' mean. Is there a size limit and the police arrest you if your display is over a certain size? How can they install computer screens on the dash of new cars if it is 'highly illegal'? Personal experience over recent weeks in bright sunshine in the tropics with Samsung display is contrary to your last assertion. Even back seat passengers had clear view of map (recently released Auslig using Oziexplorer).
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Follow Up By: Member - Glenn(VIC) - Friday, May 09, 2003 at 11:11

Friday, May 09, 2003 at 11:11
Thanks Bob,

I currently have an inverter installed as well as a compaq presario 700 series laptop. The problem I have is that my computer keeps freezing and Compaq are unable to assist me. I am looking for an alternative option. I have already considered an display screen mounted on my dash, but the size of them concerns me due to driving vision imparement etc.Just Do It!

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Follow Up By: Phil G - Friday, May 09, 2003 at 12:44

Friday, May 09, 2003 at 12:44
Hi Bob,

I run a laptop and I have a friend who runs an IPAC PDA. I have to say the IPAC screen is superb. But, with the laptop, I can have all my maps on the harddrive, whereas, he has to shift the relevant maps to a memory card before each trip. Also, I can download digital pics to the HDD as well.

Both have advantages, but the IPAC is a lot easier to mount in the car and the screen is more readable in the car and you don't have to use a mouse or other pointing device.
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Follow Up By: Member - Bob - Saturday, May 10, 2003 at 14:38

Saturday, May 10, 2003 at 14:38
Phil, the 15" display is totally different to the laptops display and vastly better in terms of clarity, angle of view etc. I mounted the display on an aluminium bracket that rises up from the transmission tunnel. It is a single piece of 4mm thick by 30mm wide strip. It is anchored to the dash with strips of the same aluminium pop rivetted to the sides of the CD player slot. I took the plastic stand off the display and made a bracket the bolts direct to the alum. frame. The top of the screen rises about15cm above the level of the dash and doesn't encroach on my view of any part of the windscreen. The only negative is difficult access to the CD player, and slightly awkward access to climate control console. Next trip I will rip all CDs to the computer anyway so I won't bother with the CD changer. I found that I also needed to stabilise the corners of the screen with miniature octopus straps to the transmission tunnel below, and to the dash behind. Over some extremely rough tracks the display travelled perfectly. Can send photos if anyone is interested.
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Follow Up By: tony from Mobile Desk Solutions - Saturday, May 10, 2003 at 19:57

Saturday, May 10, 2003 at 19:57
to help clear up the issues about using laptops in moving vehicles, all states have their own laws or regulations. Most states allow the use of visual displays when used as a navgational aid. You will find that Police have discretion in the booking of offences and to a degree comon sense is the issue. Some 19 year old kid playing doom while driving is asking for a dangerous driving charge.
It is not Illegal to mount a laptop in a vehicle, we do it all the time for state, local and federal government depts including Vic Police. There is also no laws about the actual installation although strickly speaking if you screw/bolt anything into a car body then you have altered its origonal structural desish and it should be checked by an engineer, but that would mean all mobile phone hands free kits are illegal so this is a case of the law being an ass.

Finally Glen (VIC) I would look at the inverter you are using. If your laptop works on normal power or batteries then it will be causing the freezing problems. Bad power will do that.
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Follow Up By: Member - Glenn(VIC) - Saturday, May 10, 2003 at 22:34

Saturday, May 10, 2003 at 22:34
Hi Tony,

I wish that was the answer. Unfortunately it freezes under normal and battery power. Amazing too that it only started to happen after the warranty ran out. Such is Life.Just Do It!

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Follow Up By: tony from Mobile Desk Solutions - Saturday, May 10, 2003 at 22:50

Saturday, May 10, 2003 at 22:50
Hi Glen,
If you want to contact me direct I would be happy to see if I can help. We supply PC's and do rebuilds etc. Email me directly and let me know what OS you have on the system

tony@mobiledesksolutions.com
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Reply By: William - Friday, May 09, 2003 at 10:22

Friday, May 09, 2003 at 10:22
iPaq has all the accessories available and importantly has a compliant serial port and cable available. Screen can be viewed in bright sunlight or any lighting conditions. Harris Technology have the iPAQ H3950 Pocket PC on special with car charger and other bits and pieces for $899 www.ht.com.au
You will also need the Serial cable D9171 Manu Part No: 250178-B21 $45

Holder for your vehicle that clips on and needs no holes drilled or marks www.neovox.com
AnswerID: 19486

Follow Up By: Member - Glenn(VIC) - Saturday, May 10, 2003 at 12:52

Saturday, May 10, 2003 at 12:52
Hi William,

I just purchased an iPAQ 3970 on eBay. How did you know which braket to select for your PDA from the neovox site?Just Do It!

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Follow Up By: William - Sunday, May 11, 2003 at 16:40

Sunday, May 11, 2003 at 16:40
What is your e-mail address. I will send you the PDF file and the price list.
Do you have the CF Expansion Pack for the 3970. If you don't make sure you buy that first and get the bracket that takes the expansion pack. Can send you a digital photograph of the bracket with the CF Expansion Pack on the iPaq.
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Follow Up By: Member - Glenn(VIC) - Monday, May 12, 2003 at 09:39

Monday, May 12, 2003 at 09:39
Hi William,

My email address is glennamarshall@iprimus.com.au.

I won't have the CF Expansion pack when I receive the PDA so yes a photo of the bracket with the Expansion Pack would be very helpful. I am not sure what other accessories I will require until I receive the unit and have a good play with it - can't wait!

Just Do It!

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FollowupID: 12533

Follow Up By: Member -BJ (Sydney) - Wednesday, May 14, 2003 at 15:45

Wednesday, May 14, 2003 at 15:45
William can you please email me same info as just bought 3970 of ebay for same use rjbeatty@optusnet.com.au
Thanks in advanceWish i was still here / Gulf in July
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FollowupID: 12760

Follow Up By: Member -BJ (Sydney) - Wednesday, May 14, 2003 at 16:37

Wednesday, May 14, 2003 at 16:37
Also William do you upload maps to ipac or can it be run off laptop? Wish i was still here / Gulf in July
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Follow Up By: Member - Glenn(VIC) - Wednesday, May 14, 2003 at 16:58

Wednesday, May 14, 2003 at 16:58
Hi BJ,

If you don't mind me asking, what did you get yours for?Just Do It!

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Follow Up By: Member -BJ (Sydney) - Wednesday, May 14, 2003 at 18:08

Wednesday, May 14, 2003 at 18:08
$920 later saw one direct from HP @ $899 what about yoursWish i was still here / Gulf in July
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Follow Up By: Member - Glenn(VIC) - Thursday, May 15, 2003 at 09:55

Thursday, May 15, 2003 at 09:55
BJ,

You must have been in a tough auction. I got mine for $800 with Blue Tooth. Considering the 3970's with Blue Tooth are worth $1199 though, we both got a bargain.

Hopefully I will get mine this week as I can't wait to play!Just Do It!

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FollowupID: 12832

Follow Up By: Member -BJ (Sydney) - Thursday, May 15, 2003 at 17:29

Thursday, May 15, 2003 at 17:29
Thanks William got emailWish i was still here / Gulf in July
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Reply By: Member - Sam (NSW) - Friday, May 09, 2003 at 10:39

Friday, May 09, 2003 at 10:39
Dell also have a couple of PDA units now. Pricing is competitive. Don't think they are as feature rich as some of the other brands, but their price certainly isn't as rich either and they are a robust little unit.

www.dell.com.au
AnswerID: 19488

Reply By: Mikef_Patrol - Friday, May 09, 2003 at 10:58

Friday, May 09, 2003 at 10:58
Hi

I have a Dell Axim X5 400mhz (currently about $660 AUD) with Serial Sync cable (about $60.00) and am very pleased with it. Works a treat with my Garmin GPS 2+. Have to make a little smart DTR box for the serial connection to allow uploads/downloads from the GPS, but only cost $15 and a couple of hours with the soldering iron.

Good site for Axim GPS stuff is http://www.aximsite.com/boards/forumdisplay.php?s=4e01ce4b5d53377319e9ed0b1506610e&forumid=34

any questions, don't hestiate to ask.

MikeF
AnswerID: 19490

Follow Up By: Member -BJ (Sydney) - Saturday, May 10, 2003 at 16:08

Saturday, May 10, 2003 at 16:08
Mike
Whats a DTX boxWish i was still here / Gulf in July
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Follow Up By: Mikef_Patrol - Saturday, May 10, 2003 at 23:59

Saturday, May 10, 2003 at 23:59
Hi BJ

Basically you get a serial port on the Axim by using Dells Serial Sync Cable. This plugs into a serial port on your laptop. To plug a GPS into the end of the serial cable, you can use a gender changer, and a null modem to get the Axim to receive NMEA messages from the GPS. To do uploads and downloads to/from the GPS, you need something a bit smarter, as the serial cable requires pin 6 to have power on it to talk properly. The Smart DTR box does this. Not the best solution (as per the IPaq serial cable), but workable. There are plenty of Axim owners in the US doing GPS stuff. Have a look at the link I provided. Lots of reading. If you're interested in the particular thread about the smart DTR circuit, look for a thread called "Serial-GPS Cable Information"

MikeF
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Reply By: Member - Errol (WA) - Friday, May 09, 2003 at 14:07

Friday, May 09, 2003 at 14:07
Glad you bloks know what you,r all talking about , it all goes right over my head .Why go overseas when you can ExplorOz
ERROL
AnswerID: 19503

Follow Up By: Member - Peter (WA) - Friday, May 09, 2003 at 18:06

Friday, May 09, 2003 at 18:06
The older we get the harder it is to teach us new tricksBorn to drive a 4x4 , not a keyboard
Peter York 4x4
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Reply By: Member - Karl - Friday, May 09, 2003 at 15:43

Friday, May 09, 2003 at 15:43
What ever happened to good old paper toppographical maps. Don't need displays screens or hard drives or batterries etc. Simple and easy to use. Too much technology - tooooooo much can go wrong.
AnswerID: 19511

Follow Up By: Mad Max 7 - Friday, May 09, 2003 at 19:53

Friday, May 09, 2003 at 19:53
Karl paper maps are hopeless compared to digital maps. Trying to fold and unfold them and use them is a bloody nightmare. Give an old fart like me digital maps anyday. I am 72 and have my iPaq mounted on my dash with a Garmin MAP76. With digital maps you find far more interesting things as you can see them 'live' on the map as you are driving and can stop go for a walk and have a look. Nothing so far has gone wrong with any of my technology gear. I have 2 GPS units so if one packs up I have another. Technology keeps me young and my brain active.
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Reply By: Member - Glenn(VIC) - Saturday, May 10, 2003 at 12:55

Saturday, May 10, 2003 at 12:55
Thankyou all for your advice and feedback. I just purchased an iPAQ 3970 on eBay for a bargain price, so I am looking forward to playing with my new toy within the next couple of weeks.Just Do It!

AnswerID: 19581

Reply By: Niko - Saturday, May 24, 2003 at 06:38

Saturday, May 24, 2003 at 06:38
If you velcroe the paper maps to the roof lining you won't have to worry about folding and unfolding ever again, and they stay flat. And, if you ever need a windscreen shade thingy, what better than a paper map!!!!
AnswerID: 20912

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