Meet Bertl - DIY E-reader based GPS

Discussion in 'Mapping & Navigation' started by vincetherookie, Jun 28, 2015.

  1. vincetherookie

    vincetherookie n00b

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    Hi folks,
    Now since the Earl outdoor E-ink tablet seems to be delayed forever I decided to build an alternative.

    Meet Bertl GPS :clap

    The DIY E-ink GPS project is based on the Onyx T68 7" E-reader (running Android) and uses a Bluetooth GPS receiver.
    Using just standard Android apps which are not optimized for E-ink but it is still working quite nice, look for yourself below.

    [​IMG]


    https://youtu.be/GYYqWSB-Sk8


    Cheers, Vince
    #1
  2. EastRoad

    EastRoad Road Viking

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    aside from the epileptic seizure you're prone to experience when he moves the map... the idea is quite neat.
    #2
  3. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

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    way cool man !

    do you have any plans to do this with a regular android or ipad ?

    do you have any plans to build cases for... anything else ?

    how long is the battery life, is there a gps onboard, all the regular things people ask about tablets.

    tell us more :)
    #3
  4. vincetherookie

    vincetherookie n00b

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    Thanks.
    In a couple of days I will post the DWG's on http://www.bertl.bike
    so other people can use it as inspiration for their DIY project.
    Personally I do not have any plans to do this for other (regular) tablets as I find the glare of normal touchscreens not suitable for usage on the bike.

    About the battery life; I could net yet drain it as I did not make a full-day tour. But after a relaxed tour of >250km the battery was still more then 50%. The Nokia LD-3W external GPS should also last a day easily. So no need for a charging plug on my bike :evil
    #4
  5. vincetherookie

    vincetherookie n00b

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    Yes could be, maybe I should put a warning on it:rofl
    This is unfortunately while all navigation apps are build for normal screens. With E-ink it would be better if the map would not pan with these little moves but instead with e.g. 25% of the screenwidth/height at a time. Also more energy efficient I guess.
    #5
  6. EastRoad

    EastRoad Road Viking

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    I'd say with a directions-type display (a list of route-changes... like 100m Turn right, 3km take exit 5A, 10km turn around...) it would take more advantage of the E-Inks features...

    Or imagine a road-book... (the rallye type things).

    I think mapping is only really perfect on e-Ink if either you display an entire map (or large crop) and don't move / pan too much or if you have more text-based info,...
    #6
  7. 9Dave

    9Dave Bazinga!

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    As long as you are not charging for the information you are providing, this thread can live in the GPS forum.

    If there are any charges, this will be moved to Vendors.
    #7
  8. vincetherookie

    vincetherookie n00b

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    Hello 9Dave,

    No, don't want to charge anything for this. The goal is that more people get enthusiastic about E-ink GPS and start building it as DIY project. And hopefully then some App developer stands up and creates some mapping software optimized for E-ink displays:clap

    How can this tread be moved to the suggested Forum?

    Cheers, Vince
    #8
  9. 9Dave

    9Dave Bazinga!

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    It is fine here.
    #9
  10. vincetherookie

    vincetherookie n00b

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    Howdy (or Grüß Gott as the say here),

    Today I went for a ride and made some video's with my new helmetcam.

    This one shows the booting of the system but it also shows how the Bertl GPS fits on my R1200GS

    https://youtu.be/XqHQeLMisP4

    Cheers, Vince
    #10
  11. atarijedi

    atarijedi Been here awhile

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    Have you tried fiddling with settings to see if you can get rid of that redraw issue? Although, it might not be as bad as what we see on camera.

    I was thinking of doing something similar, after reading about the XCsoar project. But I couldn't find the appropriate ereader. The T68 Lynx looks like it just might be the device, I just wish that their newest models, the inkBook or AfterGlow 2, had bluetooth support.
    #11
  12. vincetherookie

    vincetherookie n00b

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    Hi atarijedi,
    Sorry for the late reply.
    I tried a couple of mapping apps and finally stayed with OsmAnd. I tweaked the map theming (renderfile) a bit to get better contrast since the maps are all designed for color screens. When driving I mostly zoom out the map (+track) quite far and set the map to centred so that it automatically pans. Whenever I need to get more detail, I just hit the hardware zoombutton a couple of times.
    The T68 is still one of the only suitable devices for such a project. For me the hardware buttons were an absolute must for use on my bike. This worked out great with the T68. Check www.bertl.bike for the wiring details.

    Cheers, Vince
    #12
  13. fibra

    fibra n00b

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    What is happening with this project? All links seams to be dead.
    #13
  14. advhound

    advhound Adventurer

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    Just stopping in to see if this project is alive, if it was forked into a different project or if it has been put out to pasture? Very interested in running with a motorcycle oriented GPS e-ink screen.
    #14
  15. DaMonk45

    DaMonk45 I B Da Monk

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    lol @advhound you are a year or more to late
    this is dead.
    #15
  16. advhound

    advhound Adventurer

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    @DaMonk45 Bummer, think there is a lot of interest in the ADV and motorcycle community in general to build something like this? I think it would be amazing to be able to use any map source instead of being stuck with the official BMW [or insert manufacturer here] maps.
    #16
  17. DaMonk45

    DaMonk45 I B Da Monk

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    #17
  18. lkraus

    lkraus Been here awhile

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    OSM maps work fine with my zumo 590. Install with Garmin MapInstall, select the appropriate map in settings.

    I found one Youtube video showing boot up for the Bertl GPS. Looked like well-made hardware, but very slow. Still booting at the two minute mark when I gave up.
    #18
  19. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

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    surely someone can figure out how to slap a tfd onto an old smartphone... all the speed and a bright trans flective display
    #19
  20. advhound

    advhound Adventurer

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    @DaMonk45 @ohgood Yes, OSM Maps works well except for a couple downfalls:
    1.) The screen is hard to read in direct sun - that's why an e-ink screen would be fantastic.
    2.) By using your smartphone as navigation, it will not be able to be charged and waterproof at the same time. You could jerry rig a waterproof charging solution, but not ideal
    3.) The styling, color and font size are not ideal for a motorcyclists needs. I can't glance down and see the information I need without leaving my eyes off the road for too long. Do you all have adjustments or settings in OSM Maps that has helped with this?

    @lkraus Oh, so the Zumo 590 can run OSM Maps? That is fantastic, I had never heard of that. Can it run any Android application, or does it come with OSM Maps? What types of maps can you install? Just Open Street maps, or can you get more detailed trail and fire road maps?
    #20