GPS

Submitted: Thursday, Jul 17, 2003 at 17:55
ThreadID: 6027 Views:1796 Replies:10 FollowUps:19
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Hi All, Mrs Al here, just wondering what the best GPS system is to use on a laptop??

I have no idea, and have read heaps of stuff during the past few days, and thought I would ask my fellow EO's for HELP!!!

cheers

Lyn 1927 Oldsmobile Tourer

Corrugations...what are they?
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Reply By: Member - Wherethehellawi - Thursday, Jul 17, 2003 at 18:18

Thursday, Jul 17, 2003 at 18:18
I bet you get the answer....ozie explorer
dont know my self really but its my guess thats what everyone ....well almost everyone will sayWow! am I cute
Richard
AnswerID: 25211

Follow Up By: Member - Al (Vic) - Thursday, Jul 17, 2003 at 18:33

Thursday, Jul 17, 2003 at 18:33
Hello Cutie Pie :)

thanks...I probably will, but to be honest, I've no idea so any feed back would be welcome at this stage

cheers

Lyn1927 Oldsmobile Tourer

Corrugations...what are they?
0
FollowupID: 17060

Reply By: baza - Thursday, Jul 17, 2003 at 19:29

Thursday, Jul 17, 2003 at 19:29
If you have, or get, blue tooth (wireless protocol) on your machine, have a look at what EMTEC and similar have just released. It is a small stand alone GPS receiver (no screen) that can be left in the glove box (on the dash is better). It will transmit the gps info via bluetooth to your laptop or PDA, no cables. There are quite a few companies starting to release these, search on 'wireless gps' in google or similar. I haven't personally seen one, but they sound great.
AnswerID: 25214

Follow Up By: Member - Al (Vic) - Thursday, Jul 17, 2003 at 19:34

Thursday, Jul 17, 2003 at 19:34
Baza that sounds great..shall run that one by Al.

Shall definitely do some research on that..

cheers

Lyn1927 Oldsmobile Tourer

Corrugations...what are they?
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FollowupID: 17061

Follow Up By: baza - Thursday, Jul 17, 2003 at 19:40

Thursday, Jul 17, 2003 at 19:40
It's actually emtac not emtec. There are a few companies selling the same unit under different names. It is the most expensive by far, but apparently will come down in price 'soon' as other similar units are released. Emtac are expensive because they were the first out (I think).
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FollowupID: 17062

Follow Up By: Greg Harewood - Monday, Jul 21, 2003 at 13:32

Monday, Jul 21, 2003 at 13:32
This would be great - but keep in mind if you decide to go for a bushwalk - what do you do then? A GPS with no screen is not that handy...Carrying a PDA is fine - a laptop gets a bit cumbersome.
Cheers
Greg
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FollowupID: 17258

Follow Up By: baza - Monday, Jul 21, 2003 at 13:57

Monday, Jul 21, 2003 at 13:57
Granted the laptop option would be out, but the combined weight and size of a PDA and receiver is less than 'most' popular mapping gps's. These receivers apparently get good reception in your pocket or backpack. I think the main drawback at the moment is the battery life of the stand alone receivers, the best are about 6 hours. If you have a compatible PDA, or a need for one, then I think this is a viable option. Buying a PDA specifically for gps'ing may not be the best option at the moment.
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FollowupID: 17261

Follow Up By: Greg Harewood - Monday, Jul 21, 2003 at 14:53

Monday, Jul 21, 2003 at 14:53
Baza - Not sure which most popular GPS's you are referring to but my Meridian Platinum weighs in at 235g with 2 AAs and SD card. My Sportrack color comes in at 180g

My Ipaq 3660 weighs 185g with no receiver – the compact flash GPS I have weighs 80g with adapter – total = 235g (sound familiar). You need an expansion sleeve to run the GPS – I have a dual expansion sleeve so I can have GPS card and a 2gbHDD for maps (raster maps take up a lot of space – without extra memory you will not have much coverage).---Anyway total weight of setup is 515g. Despite saying all this I don’t think the weight difference is an issue – what’s 200 – 300g in the scheme of things?

PDA etc is not waterproof and is likely to smash into pieces if dropped – handheld GPS is much more robust. My PDA will operate in moving map mode with occasional use of backlight for probably 5 hours max on its own power (though I have a small plug in battery pack which would increase this). Meridian goes for ~14 hours (according to the book). PDA is at the end of the day more expensive to set up (even getting second hand stuff). There are however lots of advantages of a PDA – that’s why I’ve got one…..but……….. I agree with you - don’t get a PDA+GPS card/unit instead of a standard GPS unless you really need one. The map coverage and functions available on Magellan Meridians/DiscoverAus CD for example would be ideal for most people.
Cheers
Greg

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FollowupID: 17262

Follow Up By: Greg Harewood - Monday, Jul 21, 2003 at 15:01

Monday, Jul 21, 2003 at 15:01
Sorry Woops- just before I get a corrected on my maths (among other things)....185+80=265

Cheers
Greg
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FollowupID: 17263

Follow Up By: baza - Monday, Jul 21, 2003 at 16:38

Monday, Jul 21, 2003 at 16:38
Fair enough..... but they look heavier :-) (Don't need the sleeve with a wireless one, just need to be with in 10 - 30 feet of the receiver)
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FollowupID: 17271

Reply By: Member - Willem- Thursday, Jul 17, 2003 at 20:42

Thursday, Jul 17, 2003 at 20:42
Hi Mrs Al(Lyn),

I am but a novice with these things but have installed Oziexplorer software after purchasing it from Exploroz. I am still learning the ropes and do not use the software to its fullest capability but it is an excellent program. I have married it to my Magellan 330 GPS and they get on well together. If fact sometimes I look for co-ordinates on a map within Oziexplorer and then drive till I find the right co-ordinates on my GPS and find my position that way. The younger ones brain is the better equipped it is for these modern day toys:-)
Cheers, Willem
Never a dull moment
AnswerID: 25220

Follow Up By: Member - Al (Vic) - Thursday, Jul 17, 2003 at 20:47

Thursday, Jul 17, 2003 at 20:47
Hi Willem

Al was talking about the Magellan, and I was looking at the Oziexplorer software, so it's great they get on well together.

cheers

Lyn1927 Oldsmobile Tourer

Corrugations...what are they?
0
FollowupID: 17068

Reply By: BurnieM - Thursday, Jul 17, 2003 at 20:45

Thursday, Jul 17, 2003 at 20:45
How do you want to use it ?

If you are running a moving map software product like Oziexplorer or Fugawi (which both use scanned maps) on your PC then I would buy the cheapest, reliable, basic GPSr that has a data and power port.

You need to think about where you will mount the laptop and the GPSr, how you will power them and visibility of the displays underway.

Laptops are not always the easiet to mount and many people are running OziExplorerCE on a Pocket PC.

While Bluetooth GPSr sound great (no cables) they also usually have a battery life of less than 6 hours.

GPSozis a good source for power and data cables.
AnswerID: 25221

Follow Up By: Member - Al (Vic) - Thursday, Jul 17, 2003 at 20:51

Thursday, Jul 17, 2003 at 20:51
Thanks for all of that info Burnie, I"ve alot to think about. As far as mounting the Laptop, Al has ideas, he is the ideas man, which is great, coz half the time, I've no idea what he's talking about, but it all seems to work out :) For powering, again up to Al, he's talking about an inverter, he has a mate who's is off exploring at the moment, and has taken his laptop etc, and we shall no doubt get a full report when he gets back in about 9 weeks. We may have to reasses what we want to do...we may have to go for the handheld.

cheers

Lyn1927 Oldsmobile Tourer

Corrugations...what are they?
0
FollowupID: 17069

Reply By: Member - Glenn(VIC) - Thursday, Jul 17, 2003 at 22:16

Thursday, Jul 17, 2003 at 22:16
Hi Mrs Al,

I just use a Garmin Etrex Venture with OziExplorer for my laptop and OziExplorerCE on my recently received Pocket PC. I have all the power cables and data cables now and find the performance much better on the PDA as I had no issues in communicating between the PDA and the GPS. Performance is great, and if you want to go down that path, all you need is a basic and cheap GPS as you will then have all the required functionality with your pc or PDA. Using it with both the Hema Desert Tracks and Raster 250K maps I love it.

I am certainly still learning the OziExplorer functionality, but that is part of the fun. Just learnt how to set up routes, and now my PDA talks to me and tells me when to turn etc. It is great !Just Do It!

AnswerID: 25245

Follow Up By: Member - Al (Vic) - Friday, Jul 18, 2003 at 08:09

Friday, Jul 18, 2003 at 08:09
Hi Glenn,

Sounds Great, I love the that it tells you when to turn, that way if a mistake is made...Al can blame that and not me! :)

Shall be able to look at all this info now, and be informed, cheers for the help

Lyn [aka Mrs. Al]1927 Oldsmobile Tourer

Corrugations...what are they?
0
FollowupID: 17097

Reply By: Truckster (Vic) - Thursday, Jul 17, 2003 at 23:22

Thursday, Jul 17, 2003 at 23:22
Go with a benefon Esc they rock :D....
AnswerID: 25253

Follow Up By: Member - Al (Vic) - Friday, Jul 18, 2003 at 08:10

Friday, Jul 18, 2003 at 08:10
Shall look at that too..

cheers

Lyn :)1927 Oldsmobile Tourer

Corrugations...what are they?
0
FollowupID: 17099

Follow Up By: BurnieM - Friday, Jul 18, 2003 at 09:42

Friday, Jul 18, 2003 at 09:42
1. Decide how you want to use it
2. Decide how much you are prepared to pay

Then have a look at what is available then reassess 1. and 2.

It is literally impossible to look at everything and if you try to do this at the beginning then you will get very confused and end up following a friends advise on a solution that was suitable for him but not you.

A friend was on a stand at a camping show and somebody came up to him and said "Tell me everything you know about GPS". His answer was "Have you got 3 months ?"

You only really need the detail when you are costing it at the end. Look at the general issues and mounting and usability are 2 important ones.
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FollowupID: 17107

Reply By: Member - Bob - Friday, Jul 18, 2003 at 09:53

Friday, Jul 18, 2003 at 09:53
Lyn, if you don't already have a laptop there are some cheaper (and better) alternatives that have been discussed before (check archives). Can give details if interested.

Bob
AnswerID: 25274

Follow Up By: Member - Al & Mrs Al (Vic) - Friday, Jul 18, 2003 at 09:57

Friday, Jul 18, 2003 at 09:57
Cheers Bob,

we've got the laptop, I checked the archives, which added to my confusion..:) we figured as we had the laptop already, we'd see what we could use with it...it's a matter now of what is cost effective and I guess easy to use...coz you can bet it'll be me using it....

Lyn 1927 Oldsmobile Tourer

Corrugations...what are they?
0
FollowupID: 17108

Reply By: Hedonist - Friday, Jul 18, 2003 at 23:57

Friday, Jul 18, 2003 at 23:57
Hi Mrs Al,

I've just been through this process recently as well.

First I bought a Garmin eMap - This is an easy to use mapping GPS - Base map is fine for 95% of navigation needs but detail is scarce to non-existant off the beaten track... A Garmin mount with stick on Velcro to mount it on the dash mat and we're away :-) 8/10 for functionality and ease of use. Total cost about $650

Being a technology junkie, I couldn't resist the idea of moving maps on the laptop - Bought OziExplorer software for the laptop, Natmap 250k raster maps for the whole of OZ and a combined RS232/power cable for the Garmin. Great software, reasonable maps and no more hassels with batteries in the GPS. Trying to use the laptop for navigation while moving not worth the hassel though - the novelty wears off pretty quickly once the passanger refuses to sit it on their lap. Quickly gave up on the moving map idea with the laptop...

The next step was to go the whole hog and get OziexplorerCE running on an iPaq on the dashboard. finally got this up and running including a blutooth connection to the laptop as each map is 7-10MB once converted for CE so you don't fit very many on a 64 Mb RAM CARD. The extra detail on the maps
9over the GPS base map) is useful on odd occasions, but the display is harder to read at a glance and the controls are much fiddlier to use. 8.5/10 for functionality. iPaq, OziExplorer + OziCE + NATMAPS + Cables + Null Modem +64 MB SD RAM card cost about $1450 all up (on top of GPS)

My advice? Buy a mapping GPS and skip the whole OziExplorer moving map thing. It will give you 90% of the functionality at about 30% of the cost. You can put it in your pocket and take it hiking, canoeing skiing or whatever as well.

If you want to archive your trips, create new waypoints and routes etc by all means get OziExplorer and the Natmap maps, but the moving map features are overrated in my opinion...

Cheers,
Pete
AnswerID: 25333

Follow Up By: Member - Al & Mrs Al (Vic) - Saturday, Jul 19, 2003 at 09:08

Saturday, Jul 19, 2003 at 09:08
Thanks Pete,

I appreciate all that info, I am starting to think I might ditch the laptop idea and go with a handheld...:) shall study it all, and make a decision.

Lyn 1927 Oldsmobile Tourer

Corrugations...what are they?
0
FollowupID: 17164

Follow Up By: Member - Al & Mrs Al (Vic) - Saturday, Jul 19, 2003 at 09:09

Saturday, Jul 19, 2003 at 09:09
Thanks Pete,

I appreciate all that info, I am starting to think I might ditch the laptop idea and go with a handheld...:) shall study it all, and make a decision.

Lyn 1927 Oldsmobile Tourer

Corrugations...what are they?
0
FollowupID: 17165

Follow Up By: petprass - Saturday, Jul 19, 2003 at 09:15

Saturday, Jul 19, 2003 at 09:15
Pete, (and Mrs AL)

That is exactly the conclusion I think I am heading for. I started with the idea of getting the full moving map system because I already had a laptop. I then thought of buying the cheapest most basic gps I could find - even second hand, because after all as long as it had a communications port to send the co-ordinate data, why bother with mapping, trip meter, area calc, speed etc? It's on the laptop. Then I thought - wait, I am not going to connect the laptop to the gps on every trip I do. (eg short weekend trips) And then I know my passenger (wife) will not want to have a laptop on her lap for very long. (it gets hot as well) I also looked at the elaberate systems to set up the laptop in the vehicle and I thought there was no way it is going to remain stable when travelling along heavily corrugated tracks such as the one to say Chambers Pillar.

So I changed tactic and started to look for GSP's that had mapping functionality. Then I saw the price. So I decided to buy from USA.

Now I have a top of the range GPS loaded with maps of all of Australia that I can do just about all (I think) that the moving map systems do. One disadvantage I have is that it is not on a big colour laptop screen -but then again in bright sunlight in a car I understand it is difficult to read in any case unless you have a brightness function on the pc.

I can still take my pc along with me and at the end of the day if I want to l can load the track onto the map and see where I have been. I can also create new routes and load back upto the GPS for the next days travel without too much trouble.

So in the end I do not think I will go with the pc moving map system as I have a much more convenient and versatile system right now.

Peter

ps - It took a lot of research to get to this point.
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FollowupID: 17168

Reply By: Jack - Saturday, Jul 19, 2003 at 07:04

Saturday, Jul 19, 2003 at 07:04
Hi Mrs Al:
Just my .02 cents worth.
I have a *very* basic setup, using a Magellan 310 (cheap and nasty) which simply tells me where I am .. no base maps etc. I have it coupled to an old Toshiba lap top, and using OziExplore software can do most things.
I use it for 4WD touring, which means I am either on (or near) marked tracks and I can mark where I have been. But I agree with Pete, that moving map technology is "fun" but a bit over-rated. As I regularly travel alone, I can't sit there staring at a moving screen all the time, but it helps me check my location when I decide to stop. I still use paper maps, mainly because I have them already. I can scan them if I want to use them on the computer.
So ..
Magellan 310 - $200 off Ebay
Data Cable - $15 off Ebay
OziExplore Software - $130
Natmap Maps - $99
Safe travels
Jack
AnswerID: 25335

Follow Up By: Member - Al & Mrs Al (Vic) - Saturday, Jul 19, 2003 at 09:11

Saturday, Jul 19, 2003 at 09:11
Cheers Jack,

Might check out Ebay myself

Lyn1927 Oldsmobile Tourer

Corrugations...what are they?
0
FollowupID: 17166

Reply By: Member - Wombat (Vic) - Monday, Jul 21, 2003 at 14:10

Monday, Jul 21, 2003 at 14:10
G'Day FoN,

Might pay to hold off on any decisions until September. GPS enabled mobile phones are coming. See http://www.three.com.au/index.cfm?section=Explore&pid=451&pageid=486&sid=857
for details.

Maybe a late birthday present for Saturday, Al?"Live today as if there may be no tomorrow"

Wombat
AnswerID: 25485

Follow Up By: Member - Al & Mrs Al (Vic) - Monday, Jul 21, 2003 at 18:10

Monday, Jul 21, 2003 at 18:10
Hi Wombat, 1/2 of FoN here....

Sounds like a good idea, though Al would suggest it would be better being an early birthday present for him......oh well..I can but try....

Lyn1927 Oldsmobile Tourer

Corrugations...what are they?
0
FollowupID: 17280

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