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  #1  
Old 14 Mar 2007
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GPS Total Solution - Not there yet!

Hi there - I know there are a myriad of threads on GPS, but none seem to specifically answer the questions I have.

I am trying to build the complete GPS solution for our trip by land rover to Australia (and for all the fun before it too!). I startred off with an inherited Garmin GPS V, which although OK, seemed to be very basic. KNowing that I was always going to be taking a laptop on the trip, it seemed to make sense to incorporate a GPS system in with this.

I have bought from eBay a GPS mouse, the Holux GR-213U. I aim to hook this up with my nice Toshiba Tecra M5 and any appropriate software. I have Garmin worldmap, the European city select, V4 and have purchased smellybikers Wanderlust maps. I can see the GPS mouse works, at least at my house, as it shows the correct longitude and latitude.

What I want to be able to do is hook up all this kit and see a nice straightforward image of where I am on a map. I don't want to over complicate things, and I don't want to become the ubergeek of GPS, but I don't mind investing some time in figuring stuff out.

I have also downloaded the shareware version of Oziexplorer, but haven't really tried putting that piece of the puzzle in yet.

So, where I am now is with all these bits and pieces, but I don't know what software I should be running and how to configure it.

Any advice would be gratefully received.

Many thanks
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  #2  
Old 14 Mar 2007
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Now can see me on MapSource

Better add that after reinstalling the driver for the USB GPS mouse I can now see my position on Mapsource.

So I suppose from here I have the bare minimum to work with. And if I want to add my own maps I should get down to learning Oziexplorer.
Any other tips or advice?
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  #3  
Old 14 Mar 2007
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My advice would be stick with the Garmin V and forget all of the rest. Your laptop you want sealed away from dust, water and view, not paraded on your dash attracting dust etc.

Everytime you want to get out and wonder around for a while you will have to pack the laptop away somewhere. Things like that you will have to do hundreds of times during the course of your trip and slows you down and puts you off from stopping etc

Spend as much money on the mechanics of your vehicle, on making yourselves comfortable and healthy, on extending your trip, doing cool things when out there and experiencing the local culture, not on gadgets and whizzbangs that will further alienate yourself from them (though I realise how tempting this is when your waiting patiantly to actually leave - spend this on learning mechanics and driving practise etc).

(I've plodded all over the place with a GPS 3 and waypoints from the internet combined with a good map)

Just my view anyway....
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Old 14 Mar 2007
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Ha!

Money spent now! No going back .......

We are having our first shakedown trip down to Portugal this summer, so will test out both there.

In the mean time I still will explore the the laptop route ....

Thanks for your opinion Darren anyhow ......
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  #5  
Old 14 Mar 2007
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Less is best.

Consumption and materialism are rampant diseases in the west. Hopefully you will find a cure by the end of your trip ;-)
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  #6  
Old 14 Mar 2007
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Too goddam true

You've hit a nail on the head there.

Half the reason we are going on this is because we found ourselves too excited with our new fridge (it does serve crushed ice mind you).

We have now replaced these consumerables with land rover/trip based goodies. It is a hard habbit to break. We are trying though ....

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  #7  
Old 15 Mar 2007
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laptop

I cant begin to tell you how invaluable the laptops proved to us. You ever try driving in Madrid with no directions. Or Rome for that matter. We used it non stop from London To Cape Town.

We had a rig built for the laptop in front of the passenger who navigated. It was then simple as pie to get around.

As for storage i agree with darrin. It was extra 5 minutes everytime we stopped to pack it and store it in the back. It gets irritating! You cant nip out. Cant wander off.

If it is somehow possible to build a bin behind the drivers seat or the likes that can lock, then you will be able to easily disconnect and bin it in seconds.

Hope it helps.
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Old 15 Mar 2007
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Hi Ollie,

I have thinking along the same lines concerning knowing just exactly where one is...I decided against a cab mounted laptop for all the reasons outlined above, especially dust and theft. I took one on a previous trip and it was a real nuisance, constantly having to feed it and hide it etc. Have now decided to keep it simple and have a Garmin 152 already mounted on the dash and will use a redundant PDA with Pathaway software (TTQV) as backup and to show a moving map for those confusing moments ! The PDA mounts on the 110 dash with no drilling and I will use an external aerial as the signals inside through the screen are very poor compared to the 152 on its external aerial.

The PDA can double up for other tasks no doubt and the whole thing is small enough to chuck a t shirt over in dodgy areas. It may be possible to bin the 152 if the PDA setup performs suitably, and use a handheld gps for backup.

Hope this helps,

Andrew.


(PS I 'm reminded I owe you the tubes-they WILL come !!.)

Can you email me your address please, lost the original.
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Old 15 Mar 2007
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Hello all,

I have a Panasonic Toughbook PDA (CF-P1) running Pathaway and Walkabout HH3 tablet PC (built to military spec) running TTQV4 under Win2000Pro.

The Panasonic is fine for following a route pre-programmed on a big screen but fairly useless for reading maps - you can't expect both high resolution and speed from a personal organiser, can you?

The tablet computer did very well during four weeks in the Sahara last February. It easily withstood impacts, dust, water and vibrations. I had more problems with TTQV4 which, being used in route tracking mode, had a tendency to hang up quite often, especially when the cursor reached an edge of a the map.

In Tunisia and Libya, I did not feel it necessary to remove the toys from the dashboard while leaving the car for a few hours, but I would not dare doing it in Europe (!)

Both computers were purchased on ebay for a fraction of the original price and I would not hesitate to recommend this setup for most in-car navigation tasks.
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  #10  
Old 15 Mar 2007
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Software/Mpas

Right well i have recently bought a Toshiba Tecra M5 laptop and have the GPS mouse. So what I really need to know is what software and maps would people recommend.

I've got plenty of time to learn, but would rather a nice simple method. I have read on Oziexplorer website they recommend photocopying the maps in. Is that really an effective way to get them onto electronic format? I can't imagine with my clumsy hands it working very well?
If it is a good idea, what scale maps are appropriate to be used?

Is TTQV4 another sort of Oziexplorer? Is that the one you recommended Andrew?

Thanks for all your ansersso far.

PS Andrew have PM'd you with my address - thanks
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  #11  
Old 15 Mar 2007
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Ollie,

You could put all your maps on to the laptop to use for backup and route planning. (Get maps in various formats (CD/DVD/download(?) from Daerr, Woick, TTQV - do a google search or email me if you wish). Did I give you the Woick catalogue? They sell maps of absolutely everywhere.

Simple solution - use a handheld (small) or chartplotter (bigger) type gps (Garmin 152 for example) for day to day navigating or get a PDA if you prefer colour maps. I don't know what ozzieplorer is, only TTQV - see their website TTQV.com. Use the latest TTQV 4 standard version for the laptop or TTQV Pathaway for a PDA.

Depending on your prerefence I personally would take a book full of paper A4 maps printed off the screen too.

You could keep the laptop packed away until you had to change a route. A laptop of any size in the cab is going to get in the way in addition to security and unless you have a toughbook you'll have dust problems, especially in a LR.

That's my suggestions ...let me know if you want any help.

Andrew.

Last edited by Andrew Baker; 15 Mar 2007 at 13:27. Reason: Additions..
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  #12  
Old 15 Mar 2007
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Exclamation Don't do it !!

Ollie,
leave the laptop packed in the back. Upfront in a cramped Defender on rough roads it will get in the way, and it will break. Guarranteed. Plus when it gets sunny you won't be able to see the screen anyway.

Like Darren says - Keep it simple. I've tried all the gadgets and am happiest with custom-printed maps - batteries last for ever, dust-proof, shatter-proof and bend-proof etc. etc. try finding tech like that! Get yourself a cheapie Etrex and you are away.

If you really, really, really want a screen-based gadget get a PDA and mount it on the dash like someone has already suggested. You can run TOMTOM for Europe and Ozieexplorer for everywhere else on it. Your GPS mouse should work with it too.
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Old 16 Mar 2007
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You can use your Garmin map on a notebook (as navigation tool not just displaying them like in Mapsource) using the free nRoute (I think it is called), which you can download from the Garmin website.

The only drawback is that it would only work with a Garmin GPS connected to the PC.
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Old 16 Mar 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard K View Post
I've tried all the gadgets and am happiest with custom-printed maps -
Hello Richard,

Being a bit technophobic, aren't we?

Out of interest, how many 1:500 000 paper maps do you reckon are needed to cover the route from Europe to Oz?
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  #15  
Old 16 Mar 2007
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GPS logger/transmitter

I agree with those who suggest that using laptop while driving is way overkill. It is too much hassle to continiously manage it, hide it etc.

My favorite is PDA with built-in GPS running software like PathAway (using Soviet 500K military maps as basemap). The problem with PDA is that it is not rugged enough for outdoor use, for example on motorcycle, plus battery does not last too long for outdoor use. If anyone knows a rugged weatherproof PDA with GPS, let me know (I know there are weaterproof boxes available).

I also like to continiously log my entire route. For this I have hidden GPS logger/transmitter (Royaltek RBT-3000) in my car that uses external antenna and that is wired to car electrical system. So it is always on and you don't need to mount any GPS/PDA to log your route, it works all the time. Then in the evening or once a week you can download your route from the logger to your PDA or computer (via Bluetooth). And the logger also doubles as wireless Bluetooth mouse GPS, so you have wireless GPS in your car and 5 m around all the time! That is great and I really suggest to spend this little extra money and go for (Bluetooth) logger over usual mouse type of GPS for car use.

Globalsat DG-100 is a new and cheap GPS logger, however it has no Bluetooth support (only direct USB connection).
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