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Old 12-23-2013, 09:24 AM   #1
BRUTSQD OP
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Tablet GPS Navigation How To..

Guten Tag,
I recently took on the project of mounting a tablet to my handlebars for navigation purposes. I did a fair amount of agonizing over which tablet, which mount and why.. Thought I would pass along what I found out as I suspect this will be making garmin style gps units more and more obsolete in terms of functionality and especially price point.

WIFI, LTE, 4G, GPS and Cell phone tethering????
Most tablets, even if they are only wifi, still have a true GPS receiver. This means, even if you don't have a data plan with which to download your maps while you're out and about, the GPS still tells you where you are even if your map hasn't bee downloaded.. If you download your maps when your home on your WIFI, then your WIFI tab will provide you useable GPS on your offline maps even in the middle of Egypt or beyond. The tablet I went with is a wifi model with no data connectivity whatsoever to any networks and it works like a charm. So long as the tab you're going to use has a GPS receiver(almost all do) then you're golden. Btw, should you want to have data connectivity without paying the etra price for a tab on verizon or att, you can always tether from your mobile phone with mobile hotspot if your phone is so equipped. Might help you out if you need to download maps on the fly, I just wouldn't be watching youtube videos off of it. Note::: The F-tards at Bestbuy will swear up and down there is no GPS functionality at all on a wifi tab unless you get a mobile hotspot/router. This is erroneous and of course told to you to sell you something else.

WHICH TABLET:
I was originally looking at the Nexus 7 for it's performance but was cranky about the memory(lack of micro card drive), plus it was a touch bulkier in terms of unneeded width. Found a brand new Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 for 169$. I liked that it had both a narrower profile to fit the space between the handlebars, the price, the fact that Otterbox already makes a defender case for it and again the micro drive so I can use it as my bluetooth music player and GPS for my jeep.

MOUNT:
I find RAM products to be a little goofy and higher profile then what I usually like, but you simply can't beat the toughness and versatility, even when making multiple mounts between various vehicles. I used a simple handlbar RAM mount and tweaked it in a way to keep the tab low profile for visibility, gauge cluster visibility and crash protection purposes... SEE PICTURE..


APPS:
Almost any GPS available on the market has a free trial or free version to try out before you drop any money. The key here is OFFLINE navigation! This is how you can get away with using a WIFI tab with no data connectivity and have it still work. I recommend you take a look at the following APPS that work awesome offline with maps you download...

Sygic: Has a trial 7 day version, good 3d mapping when in town. Doesn't look so great for rural roads and trails. Visually well polished, probably best choice for road, not so good for offroad. Also, depending on the internal memory of your tab, this APP and it's map downloads can chew up a ton of internal memory very quickley.. Great but app but I didn't go with it for this reason..

OsmAnd: 2d mapping, different maps to choose from, offline turn by turn, slightly less polished visually but more basic, good downloads without having to pay, easy to figure out and operate on the fly and (and this is a biggy) you can designate your map downloads to your micro SD(on the galaxy tab 3) so you don't chew up your internal memory. I went with this app and have been impressed sofar..

Trimble: Seems like a great offroad GPS APP. Public land, national park and forest service MAP overlays for OFFLINE use, completely downloadable content. They make a free trial, try it out when you're off road. Sucks for on-road as it's not meant to be a street view turn by turn app.

Let me know if anyone has any questions.

Hope this helps.. Happy trails to you.
-T
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BRUTSQD screwed with this post 12-23-2013 at 10:48 AM
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Old 12-23-2013, 09:52 AM   #2
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Nice explanation. What Ram part did you use to actually captivate/hold the tablet?
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Old 12-23-2013, 09:54 AM   #3
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Old 12-23-2013, 09:55 AM   #4
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Hard wired or internal battery ?

I'm thinking of attaching mine to the top of a tankbag, giving it some degree of vibration isolation and the ability to transfer between several bikes.
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Old 12-23-2013, 10:16 AM   #5
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OutwardBound

Hmm, must be a Midwesterner thing - I was thinking along the same lines on the the tankbag and isolation reduction idea.

I'd also want the flexibility to mount it as shown but if it uses a mini USB connection (as you have likely seen already) I'd not run it there often.

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Old 12-23-2013, 10:28 AM   #6
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I used just a universal RAM tablet mount for a 7" tab. It came with 3 different sized clamps so you can figure out which one has the best fit. I've bounced it around quite a bit and the tablet hasn't popped out. Haven't crashed yet, I'll update it when I do.


For power I'm running a cigarette plug/USB in to the battery. Keeps it charged even with full blast on screen brightness(daylight).

Tankbag would be a good idea as well, I'm just not a tank bag guy plus I light lining up the tab to be just below the gauge cluster in my field of vision. Plus the angle works well either sitting or standing.

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Old 12-23-2013, 11:12 AM   #7
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Can you operate it with gloves?
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Old 12-23-2013, 01:12 PM   #8
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Excellent!

I downloaded OSM onto my Sero 7 but I can't get the GPS to locate me without being connected to a network.

Is there some sort of trick to turning the GPS receiver on on these things? I'm a tablet n00b, not a GPS n00b.

My other question would be, how long do you think this thing is going to last? My tablet looks like the first time I park it sideways it's will shatter to bits.
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Old 12-23-2013, 01:52 PM   #9
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Very timely! I'm working on doing the same thing, with the same tablet. Happy to hear that bike power will keep it charged fine. I'm thinking of using my GL Fandango tankbag since it fits perfect in the map holder. A little worried about it overheating though. Thoughts on that?

For apps, I feel like its taken me a long time to figure out what I want to do, but I think I'm there.

CoPilot is great for offline maps and building a route on the app is relatively painless. OSMAnd is great for tracks but it will only figure between two points, not route along road if you transfer. If you want turn by turn, it needs to be converted to a track first.

Finally, a week or so I learned the missing link for making routes/tracks from laptop. It works as described I've been making a route in basecamp, converting to a track, exporting the track to dropbox, then it gives turn by turn. For Co-Pilot, you do the exact same thing described in that link, except you need to convert the GPX to a trp file. I've been using route converter.
If you don't have basecamp, I used the harley ride planner today to export to OSMand as well as Co-Pilot. That worked great!

If all goes well, my Montana will be for sale soon and a tablet will be mounted to my bike(s). My Montana has been fine, but this just does everything it does plus sooooooo much more.
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Old 12-23-2013, 02:03 PM   #10
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It looks like the Sero 7 does not have a built in GPS. Here are the specs I found. So it will not work offline.
http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817....asp?tab=Specs

Quote:
Originally Posted by cyberdos View Post
Excellent!

I downloaded OSM onto my Sero 7 but I can't get the GPS to locate me without being connected to a network.

Is there some sort of trick to turning the GPS receiver on on these things? I'm a tablet n00b, not a GPS n00b.

My other question would be, how long do you think this thing is going to last? My tablet looks like the first time I park it sideways it's will shatter to bits.
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Old 12-24-2013, 09:45 AM   #11
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Slightly of topic: Did you find android software which can "talk" to garmin receivers? I wouldnt use tablet as a "gps"(it will get trashed in 5 seconds offroad), but rather like a "laptop", so I when I on on the road I can plan route, manage gps tracks etc and then damp them on my zumo or 78s. I've been looking , but so far dint find anything.
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Old 12-25-2013, 09:28 AM   #12
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Quote:
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Excellent!

I downloaded OSM onto my Sero 7 but I can't get the GPS to locate me without being connected to a network.
.
Julio, is it the LT or the Pro? LT = no GPS, bit the Pro has the GPS chipset. Several people at my work purchased the Sero Pro. Fantastic tablet with a SD card that can read up to 64GB cards, plus HDMI out for XBMC.

I use GPS status for viewing the, well, status of the GPS. Free on Google play store.

There are several tracking apps that are free on play store as well. I have used maverick in the past because of some of the other benefits such as loading track files.

I have not tested OSM yet but plan too.



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Old 12-25-2013, 09:39 AM   #13
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Theory is great, but my iPad mini and iPhone easily overheat in direct sunlight. Possible that other tablets are less prone to it, but I'd make it a factor in the decision making process.
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Old 12-25-2013, 09:42 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tail Gunner View Post
It looks like the Sero 7 does not have a built in GPS. Here are the specs I found. So it will not work offline.
http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817....asp?tab=Specs
Hisense Sero 7 Pro, is the one to get, not the regular 7. There is a huge difference. It also trumps the nexus 7 in specs for less, and yes the GPS works completely offline. I've used it for routing and rerouting on track, very nice with Osmand, sygic, or oruxmaps.

Also, Osmand will redirect along route, and you can select waypoints to visit on the route, bit its not intuitive.

Sygic is great for navigation, but lacks severly in the lack of tracking, route planning, and other normal outdoors applications were used to having in a device.

Try Locus Pro too, it will swamp you at first, but it covers EVERYTHING from geocaching to route plans and navigation.
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Old 12-25-2013, 09:46 AM   #15
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Guys, while you're toying around with these, check out gpsies, it has a route planner that works great, and locus / oruxmaps can Upload/ share your tracks directly to it.

For free
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