Designated GPS unit vs. Smart Phone

Discussion in 'GPS 101 - Which GPS For Me' started by NJDirtRiders, Nov 24, 2013.

  1. Oldcase

    Oldcase Navigates by watersheds...

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2016
    Oddometer:
    15
    Location:
    Tennessee
    ohgood, webmonstro (and others)

    Just a brief note of thanks for your extensive efforts debunking the myths about standalone GPS units and information about using smartphones without cell service. Used Galileo on my iPhone with downloaded maps on very rural roads without cell service for the first time yesterday. Results spectacular. I live east of the Mississippi and largely know the major boundaries of where I'm going to ride using waterways and interstates, but every once in a while I need to find some gas... pulled cellphone out and pegged my location instantly. Just so damn convenient, as I hate worrying about the charge on a bunch of different devices. I just like to ride. Besides, the user interface on the apps is so much superior to any standalone devices I have used.

    Thanks, thanks. I owe you a beer. :beer

    IMG_0007.JPG
    jjustj and ohgood like this.
  2. fateddy

    fateddy \m/

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2010
    Oddometer:
    236
    Location:
    Front Range, CO
    Are there any GPS apps that will still reliably work on an old iPhone 5? I'm not even sure what OS it's capable of upgrading to, or what's on it. Just got an old one collecting dust in a drawer. I've got Phil Endicott's Topo Maps on it, which works great when you're on foot, but is no good for quick navigation on the road.
  3. scootertrog

    scootertrog Jedi Fart Master

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2011
    Oddometer:
    875
    Location:
    Missouri USA
    There are many that do, I have GalileoPro, Scenic and CoPilot Premium currently on my iPhone 5s.
  4. jjustj

    jjustj Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2005
    Oddometer:
    6,968
    Location:
    Olympia WA 95 feet
    May we please call this argument closed. if i call myself an expert in Modesty. and I am....... does that make me one?? no.....

    funny-Police-Academy-agent-louder1.jpg
  5. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    Oddometer:
    9,376
    Location:
    alabama


    I think the crickets ate the experts.

    All I hear are crickets.
  6. Addapost

    Addapost Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2016
    Oddometer:
    350
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    Brand new account? Only posted on this thread? Coming in with the "I'm an expert..." post designed to start a fight? Looks like a fine example of a troll to me. lol
    EmmEff and worwig like this.
  7. chasbmw

    chasbmw Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,570
    Location:
    Bath Uk
    Possibly....but ended up with a really good post on why GPS works on phones.

    You need to remember that with a phone, you will need to recharge it on the go as gps uses a lot of power. The touchscreen doesn’t work as well with gloves as a dedicated glove enabled touchscreen and it feels to be that if you use screen defenders it’s worse.

    I use a waterproof mount for my phone and in very high temps there will be times when the phone turns the screen off (but you can still hear audio instructions).

    These are the downsides.....but I don’t have to deal with Garmin legacy software and I’ve saved £500 on a device I don need
    Cro59 likes this.
  8. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    Oddometer:
    9,376
    Location:
    alabama

    Actually...

    GPS uses very little power. Normally i can record a track and use about 1-2% per hour of recording.

    The biggest battery usage is from the screen being on full brightness, or the cellular radio on and trying to connect to towers on the edge of service. I'm not sure which one uses more, since I don't use cellular those conditions, but it's probably very close.

    I do carry an extra battery or two to change out on longer rides, as I don't like dealing with cords.

    I've had really good use with both mxm and leather gloves on the duraforce phones.
  9. AdvNener

    AdvNener Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 29, 2013
    Oddometer:
    978
    Location:
    Marseille, France
    Actually gps uses low power. It's just a receiver with a very precise clock and not so complex calculation that don't need to be done super frequently after all. Rendering the maps and simply keeping the display on uses a lot of power. Locus with gps recording on will draw like 1-2% battery per hour on my gps phone if screen is kept off.
    That's part of the reason why I like a quick and accessible screen on/off option. Much less battery drain > no need to charge on the go >> much less heating.

    edit: damnit @ohgood ! ;)
    ohgood likes this.
  10. worwig

    worwig Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,891
    Location:
    Hog Mountain
    Just to echo what was mentioned. I have found that the GPS receiver does not use much power.
    Data logging with the display off barely touches the battery life. Using offline map data also helps.
    But turn up the display for sunlight use. Download online maps over a weak connection. Render a lot of map data. Then the battery life goes to pot. Something like Waze, that needs a lot of online data, really sucks the battery life.
  11. fateddy

    fateddy \m/

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2010
    Oddometer:
    236
    Location:
    Front Range, CO
    Which do you prefer for 1.) just puttering around on county/Forest Service/BLM roads and 2.) following pre-loaded routes?
  12. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    Oddometer:
    9,376
    Location:
    alabama


    glad you are enjoying the ride.

    are those blast furnaces? where?
  13. Oldcase

    Oldcase Navigates by watersheds...

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2016
    Oddometer:
    15
    Location:
    Tennessee
    The picture of my bike is in front of the double-chamber Cedar Grove Iron Furnace near Linden, TN. There are many along the Western rim of the Cumberland Plateau, but this is the only double one. This one was built in 1834 of local materials and abandoned in 1865, when it was shelled by Union gunboats from the Tennessee River(2 miles away). The furnace was charged with iron ore and charcoal from the top. The lava-like iron flowed out the arches you see; bellows blew into additional arches on the sides. The iron was cast into "pigs" and taken to the river for transportation to refineries. Here's a link to the "Iron Furnace Trail" in Tennessee with more information about Cedar Grove and other sites: http://www.tnironfurnacetrail.org/Introduction.html
    flexiflyer and ohgood like this.
  14. scootertrog

    scootertrog Jedi Fart Master

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2011
    Oddometer:
    875
    Location:
    Missouri USA
    When wanting a pre-planned Road route that I don’t want “re-calculated”, I plan the route out in Mappite.org and upload into Galileo Pro. That app is pretty much like taking a sharpie and highlighting a road on a map. No matter what I actually do, the route is set in stone. This is my most common trip method and works flawlessly. I created a “Quick Start” tutorial in this sub-forum:

    http://advrider.com/index.php?threads/galileo-pro-quick-start-guide.1166708/

    For just “get me from A to B”, CoPilot Premium operates pretty much like a typical Garmin Nuvi. Scenic is in the middle of these two options, it’s fairly easy to create a route within the app on the fly. I don’t go off-road, but out of these 3 options, Galileo Pro would be the only one of use. There’s many other apps available that’ll work on your iPhone 5 as well, you will most likely try several to find the best one for your tastes.
  15. chasbmw

    chasbmw Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,570
    Location:
    Bath Uk
    But when you do USE your phone as a GPS so screen on and brightness turned up, it will burn through the phones battery in well under a days riding.
    I have an apple power cord connected to a waterproofed USB connected to my touring bikes, usually under the tank somewhere.

    Where I live, roads and cities are quite complicated so a GPS is really useful
  16. Tripped1

    Tripped1 Smoove, Smoove like velvet.

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2009
    Oddometer:
    28,517
    Location:
    Nippon
    More like a matter of hours, I think I get 4 maybe 5.

    There are ways to mitigate it, but I haven't quite found "perfect" for my uses quite yet.
  17. HLK

    HLK aka Hielke

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2008
    Oddometer:
    165
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    Guys, I want to show off the next evolution of my setup. I started off with a Sony Xperia Z Ultra phablet in 2016 and strapped it to a piece of cutting board. I've explained it in this post here .

    Now, thanks to the powers of free CAD/CAM software, youtube tutorials and a mate with a 3D printer, I'm proud to present you...

    ....the Rally Nav Mk3.

    IMG_6841.jpg

    IMG_6842.jpg

    These buttons operate the power button and the volume buttons. You can configure Locus to use the volume buttons to zoom. I also use a handlebar mounted remote, detailed in this post .

    IMG_6843.jpg

    Power is actually hard-wired. Sony's proprietary magnetic charging connector worked well enough for a while in the old setup...but then it too started crapping out intermittently. I figured there's just nothing that holds up to the vibrations on a motorcycle and I was fed up with having to check connections while riding...so I opened up the Xperia and soldered a lead directly to the dock connector inside. Works like a charm. Ignore the tape, that's just temporary until I redo the cable.

    I modelled in a standard AMP 30x38mm hole pattern to accommodate a RAM mount. There's no drilling or post processing involved, you just tell the computer to put some countersunk M5 holes in there and...magic! Right now it's printed in PLA material which is supposed to hold up up to 50 degrees Celsius. Maybe I'll have it printed in something more durable like ABS later on.

    So, I'm one step closer to my personal holy grail: a rugged, dual sport proof Android device with a big screen. Suck it Garmin! If you won't make it we will!
    LVCJT and TA52477 like this.
  18. HLK

    HLK aka Hielke

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2008
    Oddometer:
    165
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    Here's a picture of the inside. I figured the screen wouldn't line up perfectly with the housing anyway and my 3d printing buddy recommend a 1mm tolerance all around the phone. I ended up shimming it into place with pieces of rubber from a bicycle inner tire. That's OK for me, the phone is staying in there permanently.

    IMG_6844.jpg

    Here's where the power cable goes into the phone. If anyone is interested in doing this to their old Xperia (the new ones don't have the dock connector), I'll yank it open and show you.


    IMG_6845.jpg

    These are the power and volume buttons. They're not water proof....but the phone itself is. I'm still thinking of a better design for them.

    IMG_6846.jpg
    JSL, scootertrog and AdvNener like this.
  19. Oh2RideMore

    Oh2RideMore Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,636
    Location:
    St Louis MO
    I think the only thing I will miss about the garmin is the transflective lcd display that was sunlight visible without a backlight. That feature alone kept me from switching. Killed my garmin 60 csx last year during a deer incident and not wanting to pick up another. Just bought a kyocera duraforce xd for $61 and an extra battery. Planning to up my gps game and will learn the ways of gpx trax on this device. Good discussion.
    ohgood likes this.
  20. webmonstro

    webmonstro A Aventura Continua....

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,113
    Location:
    Portugal
    Why not just glue the ram mount to the backside of the phone ??