Meet Earl's russian cousin - Dmitriy

Discussion in 'Mapping & Navigation' started by moto_dmitriy, Sep 10, 2013.

  1. moto_dmitriy

    moto_dmitriy que?

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    The gist of this post is how I hacked a Nook Simple Touch for motorcycle GPS needs. Just keep in mind this is no garmin (yet).

    So like everyone else waiting for MeetEarl to finally ship, I was looking around for an interim solution. As they say necessity is the mother of invention & I needed an E-Ink sunlight readable trip computer. I searched for terms e-ink & GPS combing through a ton of possibilities until I came upon guys from:
    Apparently glider pilots also require a sunlight readable (E-Ink works great) navigator. Long story short they already figured out how to root B&N Nook Simple Touch and a USB otg cable to connect to an external GPS. So I acquired a nook simple touch of CL as I already had an external bluetooth GPS (Qstarz 818x, Holux GPSlim236 etc...). After following directions from Top Hat Soaring on creating a bootable microSD card and rooting the nook I had android 2.1 running in under an hour. My OTG cable is not of the 'Y' type so I had to connect the GPS via the regular OTG cable to a USB hub to the GPS. I opened Top Hat app and selected /dev/ttyUSB0 from the GPS list and it showed the GPS had a fix :clap

    Unfortunately as much as I'd love to run Top Hat soaring for my moto rides their maps aren't quite detailed enough. So I tried google maps - no go :cry. Top Hat Soaring (based off XSoar) works directly with the serial stream coming from the GPS without using the default Android Location Provider so NO other apps would work without something else feeding the Serial NMEA data to Android Location Provider. So if I wanted to use the plethora of android map apps I would have to figure out a way to feed the NMEA serial stream to the android location provider. Enter USBGPS4Droid app from XDA developers forum.
    I installed the app via microSD card (download here UsbGPS4Droid_alpha5.apk is the one you want) and it wouldn't turn the GPS on without the 'mock location' android setting set to allowed. Since the Nook doesn't have a traditional android settings this has to be done via terminal app command line (again thx to XDA), typing the following very carefully from terminal (usb keyboard can be plugged in via OTG cable for easier typing):
    Code:
    #su
    #cd /data/data/com.android.providers.settings/databases
    #sqlite3 settings.db
    sqlite> update secure set value=1 where name='mock_location';
    sqlite> .q
    #reboot
    Mock location enabled USBGPS4Droid working I set the USB device to /dev/ttyUSB0 with a speed auto and enable GPS and much to my excitement GPS started working in EVERYTHING from Google maps to OsmAnd to GPS Test!!! Success I now had a Nook Simple touch running OsmAnd with a working GPS :D:1drink

    But I wasn't quite done YET! As I didn't have the said USB OTG 'Y' power cable and could only run my GPS via a powered hub (direct otg cable to GPS resulted in too much power draw from the nook and kernel rejecting the usb device) I wanted a better solution. My search turned up this post on XDA about Nook having an internal UART port and this post by MikeM about the HoluxGPS having one as well. I found the Holux GPS pinout here So after opening up the Nook and the GPS and soldering everything up I had this:

    [​IMG]

    Success again! At this point I think I had a few beers :lol3
    I still had to figure out how to mount the whole think to the bike and figured since the nook is so light and cheap I will just bolt a ram mount ball to the back cover with some 3m DualLock tape for damping and be done with it. Here is how that came out:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    MeetEarl's russian cousin "Dmitriy" was born :evil:lol3:wink:
    To test the whole setup I went on a BARF rally to Hawthorne, NV where we rode a bunch offroad & washboard gravel roads including Bodie, luckyboy pass etc... & all the paved stuff to get there and back from SFBay area. This is all on a paint-shaker KTM 640 Adv. & with the exception of the IR (glove compatible BTW) touchscreen sensors getting covered in a caking of DUST and behaving crazy until cleared everything worked perfectly!!!! Here are some pics from that:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Hopefully some of you will enjoy this post if only for personal entertainment.
    #1
  2. webmonstro

    webmonstro A Aventura Continua....

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    Very cool !!!

    I have been thinking of this myself

    I Have a Bluethoote GPS that i don't use just laying around do the Nook have Bluethoot ?would the software have problems connecting to the external bluethooth GPS ?

    I jnow Osmand has support for external GPS sensor

    thanks

    Edit:
    if the guys from amazon just put a GPS chip in it and offer a protective case i think they could sel a bunch for ADV riding
    #2
  3. StuInFH

    StuInFH Been here awhile

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    Very cool. Excellent write-up and explanation. I especially liked how you gave credits mulitiple times to developers that assisted your efforts.
    thanks!
    #3
  4. moto_dmitriy

    moto_dmitriy que?

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    The Nook Simple Touch doesn't have bluetooth, the only reason I used a bluetooth GPS was because it had its own power and I had that available at my house at the time. The bluetooth function wasn't actually used.

    I just ordered this GPS off spark fun, hopefully I can fit EVERYTHING inside the NOOK case!

    Here is a picture of the current setup torn down, there was a bit of dust inside I may look on sealing the whole thing with 3M Neverwet stuff:

    [​IMG]
    #4
  5. webmonstro

    webmonstro A Aventura Continua....

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    Just an crazy idea
    If you remove the nook battery and put it on the outerside you could get space
    for a internal GPS
    and this would allow for you to carry a 2'nd battery as backup

    Or you could just replace the current battery for a smaller one and use the bike power
    #5
  6. HogWild

    HogWild Scott Whitney

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    The GPS antenna needs a clear view of the sky. If you put it where the battery is, the antenna will be blocked by the circuit board.
    #6
  7. genka

    genka SUV hater

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    Excellent project! I should try something like this.
    Which mapping software did you end up using?
    #7
  8. moto_dmitriy

    moto_dmitriy que?

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    New smaller, "internal" GPS lives! :1drink With a little bit of plastic case molding/cutting I think I can 'fit' it in there. Currently the thing that sucks is the nooks internal battery is 3.7 - 4 volts which is a bit higher then the 3.5 max used by the backup-power pin. So whenever the nook goes into standyby/off mode the hot start ability is lost. Never the less progress is made. :clap

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    #8
  9. Lion BR

    Lion BR I'd rather be riding

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    Excellent work Dimitry. The soon to be released Earl and your Nook/GPS work show we have reached a new threshold on motorcycle navigation systems. It needs some work, but it is possible to visualize what a new series of navigation tools will look like and probably be available for purchase in the next couple of years.
    #9
  10. webmonstro

    webmonstro A Aventura Continua....

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    Can't you just lower the volts from the nook batt down to the 3.5v ?

    internaly with a diod? (0,7v drop)
    #10
  11. moto_dmitriy

    moto_dmitriy que?

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    Ahh very good idea, I didn't have any handy but will sure try it out. Just double checking with the current being only around 25µA wouldn't the voltage drop be smaller then 0.7v?
    #11
  12. genka

    genka SUV hater

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    Maybe you can rip a clock battery from an old laptop or motherboard. It should last for years.
    #12
  13. webmonstro

    webmonstro A Aventura Continua....

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    25ua is realy low didn't see that

    off couse you shoud check first, 0,7 is from memory, but beeing that the backup voltage in the speck sheet is 1,5-3.5 you could just put two in series(1.4v drop) and make it drop down more to say about 2v. this should give you a bit more safety and you can always test it in operation and check voltage and work your way up from there,
    #13
  14. moto_dmitriy

    moto_dmitriy que?

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    I think I figured out how to drop the voltage Thank you everyone for the help!

    Here is what the almost final (unless I decided to play with plastic molding the back case) version looks like. The switch is the put the GPS to sleep.

    [​IMG]
    #14
  15. webmonstro

    webmonstro A Aventura Continua....

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    that is a linear regulator so it will dissipate extra power trought heat
    to my understanding you should use the one with highest output voltage possible to make sure the thermal dissipation is minimum

    But then again this drives so little power it problema is not a issue

    looks good, i'd love a 5" version


    p.s remaind-me . why garmin tom tom etc can't build this ?
    #15
  16. genka

    genka SUV hater

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    The datasheet says that this regulator will remain stable at no load, so it should work at 25uA. I'd try a diode or two first anyway.
    I also bought Nook. They go for $40 on ebay... couldn't resist!
    #16
  17. genka

    genka SUV hater

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    I can't get the USB host mode to work and OSMAND doesn't want to show map- maybe because no GPS is attached. Google Maps work, but the image quality is pretty bad. E-ink redraw takes about a second, a moving map may be unreadable. What was your experience?
    #17
  18. moto_dmitriy

    moto_dmitriy que?

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    lets see:
    OSMAND when it starts go to settings > general > Safe mode 'checked on' you'll have to do this every time (I haven't figured out how to make it default)

    Google maps is pretty light, I had to play with 'extra contrast' settings in osmand to make it look decent (osmAND from map menu > configure screen > Map Style

    Redraw, get the no refresh APK here and set it up to work with OSMAND.

    RE: USBHost, do you have USB mode switcher (should be default in app from TopHat)? if you do when you plug the OTG cable with say a usb keyboard and then switch from peripheral to OTG to HOST to OTG again (may take a few times/seconds) does the bottom charge LED light up? Does it say Qwerty(1) under keyboard? If so the host mode works and we can go from there.
    #18
  19. genka

    genka SUV hater

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    Thanks for the help.
    I got Osmand working by trying different options for underlay/overlay maps. I haven't figured out the best way to display the maps, but setting both overlay and underlay to Mapnik gives me map display.
    I changed USB mode with the app, but even if "Request" says "Host" or "OTG","State" still says " b_peripheral" and the LED never turns on. Maybe it happenes because of my experiments with overclocked kernel. I have "Fast Mode" apk for no refresh display. It works with a considerable quality penalty. Probably the apk you recommend is no better.
    If Osmand could be made to refresh the map screen once in 2 seconds, it would still be useable for navigation without the need to modify the display.
    I think I might need to reflash TopHat ROM to have a better chance with OTG.
    #19
  20. genka

    genka SUV hater

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    OK, I got the host mode working after reflash.Tried to connect my old Garmin, after few tries remembered that it streams data in a proprietary format, I'll need to fins a different GPS. To get Osmand to work have to chose between safe mode or using online maps.
    #20