Phone or GPS Unit?

Discussion in 'GPS 101 - Which GPS For Me' started by kderacing, Mar 2, 2019.

  1. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

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    1 ohhhh, okkk.... the whole point of phone apps is kind of to not need a pc anymore...
    2 full sized monitor, oh ok, i get it... you just wanna plan/plot on the big screen and export to the device. i get it. i use an emulator (it emulates the android phone operating system) on my computer, and then open locus pro on the desktop... generally it's just to show off it's possible, or to see the tracks up on the big screen when we're planning a weekend trip with the family. you aren't limited to using locus to plan routes, or osmand, or xe, you can use anything you want to create the GPX file. online, offline, web services, even the horribly poor basecamp... use whichever you like and get the gpx done. some of the newer apps are focussing on social media and they have online planners/plotters, online sharing, online 'communities' of riders that share tracks n stuff. personally i don't like the syncing or required integration/sharing of those apps, so i don't use em.
    3 surprise ! locus again. of course any android app like maverick, xe, dualsportmaps, osmand, locus, backcountrynavigator, even google maps can display your gpx file. it's what you want to do with it besides just display it that determines which one fits best for you.
    #61
  2. Poison Canyon

    Poison Canyon n00b Supporter

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    Hi. I’m somewhat slow with the technical jargon, but I wonder if anyone can tell me if there’s a simple way to get Baja maps on my older Garmin Nuvi 550? Thanks
    #62
  3. Tripped1

    Tripped1 Smoove, Smoove like velvet.

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    With the track editor on Locus? Its a matter of playing connect the dots, you can even change the track color individually and display them all real time, so if you get "off piste" a bit you can see where you were going to go and see what is ahead of you if its a better option.

    Hell with the maptweek addon you can even use the fire service map display


    There are multiple size phones y'know. This one is a 6" display, its larger than the bike's dash (for reference that is running OsmAnd in that photo.

    20170814_173131.jpg

    Though I have no problem with my samsung S6




    With what Ohgood said, Locus Pro

    I have about 3.5 years of tracks and maps on three continents saved, all where I can find them, because I cam make a folder by location, event, date whatever, you are only limited by the size of your phone's memory, and I have a pair of 256Gb cards that can hold a truly massive number of tracks, points and maps.


    Try this one on, www.furkot.com. Its a little frigidity to set up, but once you get the hang of it I made an 20 day 8,000 mile set of tracks that covered damn near every state west of the Mississippi......and I only spent about 3 beers on it.

    If I wanted to go deep, I could have added gas stops, attractions, booked lodging IN APP etc etc.




    Furkot + Locus has been my go to for about 4 years now.
    #63
  4. 250senuf

    250senuf Long timer

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    "......and I only spent about 3 beers on it"
    An interesting measure of time.
    Chug-a-lug, chug-a-lug. ;)
    #64
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  5. Am.E

    Am.E Been here awhile

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    Question for the collective on charging a cell phone as GPS while riding: (apologies if this is the wrong thread, or has been covered, I did search. I have about 20 tabs open trying to figure out how to improve my cell phone as GPS set up. This thread is active recently, so...please point me to the relevant info.)

    Are there hardware device + mount options that are better than just a generic phone mount plus standard USB cord? To explain, when first messing around with using a cell phone as GPS a couple of years ago, I had trouble keeping the phone charged. The USB cable does not consistently maintain connection, and even then, the charge rate sometimes seemed too slow to keep up with demand (although I'm not sure about that part). I ride a lot more dual sport now, so its a problem. My riding partner has a Garmin Montana with a powered RAM mount, which works great for secure mounting in all conditions, and staying charged, even in the rain. The unit snaps in more securely, and maintains contact with the charge pins. However, we both have a lot of complaints about garmin devices, so I'm trying to see if I can avoid buying another very expensive device. For many reasons, I'm potentially on team cell phone as superior to a dedicated GPS unit. However, my plan right now is to use a rubber band to try and keep the usb cable retained in the charge port, and carefully route the cord to not have any tension. Are there mounts for cell phones designed to keep the phone charged while riding?

    Software - My desired use case if you care: on road navigating with data with traffic layer, on road navigating offline (no data connection), ability to follow .gpx tracks off road. Multi-day/week on and off road mixed use. This time around, apps I'm looking into are CoPilot GPS for on road, and Locus Map free for off road. Both are new to me, so I still have the learning curve, especially with LocusMaps, as I have zero experience with that one.

    Hardware - My hardware device is currently is an old Samsung Galaxy s4 active i bought used some time ago (no sim card, no cell phone plan, just the device). Its still has android 4.2.2, and I can't figure out (yet, anyway) how to make it upgrade, so its not compatible with the latest LocusMaps. I had to download an older version. I'm open to buying a different device, although I'll probably try to sort out my software choices first, since I already have something.
    #65
  6. flamingm0e

    flamingm0e Long timer

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    The Kyocera Duraforce Pro has "pogo" pins on the back that you can make a charger for. It also has wireless charging.

    Perfect Squeeze with the wireless charger? Personally, I use a RAM mount quickgrip on my Kyocera Duraforce Pro and a 90 degree micro USB cable. I haven't had any issues with that setup, aside from it not being totally waterproof (during downpours I disconnect the USB, light rain doesn't do anything when it's behind my windscreen).

    Without a version of Android that isn't over 6 years old, your choices are increasingly becoming extremely limited. Apps are developed with a minimum Android API version and 4.2.2 is so old, you will be lucky to find many decent apps that support it any longer. I would recommend looking at something newer, no matter what app you use.
    #66
  7. scootertrog

    scootertrog Jedi Fart Master

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    I’ve never had an issue keeping my DFP charged while running nav apps, music and the screen at full brightness. I used to use an Anker micro USB cable, but sometime last summer switched over to the Wasken Round magnetic version. Several folks on the board have run it while raining and have reported zero issues. It would take one hell of a downpour to have water work it’s way past that magnetic adapter and go UP into the port, lol.

    There are several phone mounting options that work great, my current favorite is the SlipGrip cradle with RAM ball.
    #67
  8. worwig

    worwig Long timer

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    Not a big help but maybe useful.......
    I found that my Samsung units had an interesting charging setup. If at any time while charging, the phone believes it is overloading the charger, the phone current draw drops. In my case, if I plugged in the phone charger, then started the bike, the phone would see a small drop in power and it would reduce the charge rate. The phone assumed that it had cause the drop. So I found that I needed to plug in the phone AFTER I started the bike. I then put in a relay, so that when I pushed the starter button it turned OFF the charger, then turned it back on after the bike started. That fixed the issue. Before doing that, the phone would often charge so slowly, that it wouldn't keep up with the bright screen.
    With the right cables and charge adapter, I get a pretty fast charge while using the phone as a GPS now.
    I now have a Samsung with a USB C charging port. It never shows that issue, and the USB connector it a bit more rugged IMHO.

    I usually use a RAM universal finger grip mount. I tried an X-grip, but my phone would slip out of it. Garbage.
    #68
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  9. Am.E

    Am.E Been here awhile

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    Perfect Squeeze is new info to me, thanks. Definitely considering. Re: waterproof - As long as the device is waterproof, I'm ok with unplugging charging while riding in the rain. Neither of my current bikes has a windscreen, so it remains to be seen if light rain is a problem.

    You are right about the old android version, I'm just loathe to buy new hardware for no reason. The Galaxy S4 hardware is fine, and compatible with newer android versions. I posted in part because I'm debating whether to spend time figuring out how to put a higher version of android on my existing device so I can play with software, or just stop being cheap and buy another device, that also has better mounting options. I was hoping I could play with software for awhile before buying something else, but the old OS is a problem.

    There are Kyocera Duraforce Pros (not the Pro 2) on swappa for <$100.
    #69
  10. Am.E

    Am.E Been here awhile

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    This is so helpful, I did not know this. I bet this is exactly what happened sometimes, and would explain some of the inconsistent charging behavior. Thank you.
    #70
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  11. flamingm0e

    flamingm0e Long timer

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    I paid between 55-65 on eBay.
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  12. Davidprej

    Davidprej Davidprej Supporter

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    Ohgood is the guru, so I hesitate to comment on anything he posts, but...(you knew there'd be a 'but'). I can't stand to do planning on my phone and even get annoyed when I have to type a text as it's SOOO awkward compared to a computer keyboard.

    So one of my requirements for an app is to be able to plan my route on my PC. Plus, when I'm planning, I have Google Maps open on my second screen with my "starred Places" to view. And I can use my second screen to Google stuff in general while planning.

    And regarding syncing, required integration, etc. This is why I use RidewithGPS. I plan the route on my PC, save it and am done. It automatically appears on my phone (wifi) so all I have to do is select the route and "Navigate".

    Everyone has their favorite method, but this is what works for me, for what it's worth.
    #72
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  13. flamingm0e

    flamingm0e Long timer

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    I agree with wanting to use the PC to plan.

    I also have everything sync up automatically...using furkot and Google drive...I then have a GPX file I can use with any app I wish.
    #73
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  14. PineLaneRider

    PineLaneRider Long timer

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    @Am.E

    +1 on the Duraforce Pro. Spend the $75, it's worth it. I use Google online A->B navigation. Guru and Osmand for offline. Charging on the bike is accomplished with a SAE to USB QC (quick charge) adapter and a Wsken round magnetic cable. My mount is a Ram Quick Grip.
    https://www.amazon.com/RAM-MOUNTS-R...ocphy=9006588&hvtargid=pla-439630311286&psc=1
    https://www.amazon.com/WSKEN-Magnetic-360°Round-Charging-Compatible/dp/B07MF6TVCL/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=wsken+round&qid=1580149310&s=automotive&sr=1-1-catcorr
    https://www.amazon.com/SAE-USB-Adap...sae+usb+qc&qid=1580149348&s=automotive&sr=1-5
    #74
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  15. Am.E

    Am.E Been here awhile

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    that round magnetic cable is new info to me, thanks. I had trouble with Osmand the first time I tried it, but I may give it another shot (newer version on a newer OS is probably better).

    If I'm going to buy a new device, I'm considering something with a larger screen than the Kyocera Duraforce Pro, but I'm still shopping. Rugged, waterproof android phones are a new product for me, so its taking some research. Its seems the easy option is just to buy the Duraforce Pro. The unlocked ones are more expensive, but I'll probably pay for that if I buy the Kyocera, which seems like a good choice. I want to stay under about $250 for a device, but I'm not sure what is available and worth buying in early 2020. Maybe this isn't the thread for that:)
    #75
  16. flamingm0e

    flamingm0e Long timer

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    I wouldn't bother with an unlocked Kyocera. The best part of the Kyocera is that it's super cheap.

    I have been looking into Ulefone Armor, Blackview, and Doogee phones lately with their 6+ inch screens and cheap price for better, newer hardware than the Kyocera.

    If you're not going to use the Kyocera as a phone, don't concern yourself with locked/unlocked.
    #76
  17. Tripped1

    Tripped1 Smoove, Smoove like velvet.

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    Frankly I would upgrade the hardware, the big issue with the S4 being that its charging ports are NOT tolerant to getting wet (guess how I killed mine). This is in addition to be old, and suffering from bloat. You could try to root it and upgrade the version of Andriod, but you would likely run into other issues on hardware that far (7 generations to be exact) out of date.

    That being said I am a fan of the andriods......I have a fleet of S5s, S6s and S7 that I use for the following reasons.

    1) The Galaxy series every single one after the was a flagship generational front runner, this means that capacity, processing and and display are all going to be top-end (for their period)
    2) Every Galaxy since the S5 is capable of wireless charging.
    3) Most have expandable memory (except the S6)
    4 Most are also IP67 or better rated (again except the S6, but I think that was a matter of they just didn't pay to get it rated I have put mine through some stuff)

    The older Sony Z3 and Z Ultra have external charging pins, but I am moving away from them because the mounts are expensive and meant for use in a car so I have to harden them, and the devices are older now and lack processing horsepower.

    I'll also note that you have some un-realistic expectations, its impossible to do a traffic layer without a data connection, be it a tether from your day to day cell or a sim card

    For mounting both RAM and Hondo garage offer wireless charging mounts.....though I am still not convinced that the added heat from inductive charging won't be an issue.
    Likewise the RAM GDS system looks like a pretty good alternative to not going wireless.

    .....you don't really want to rely on a mini-USB with just a cable, the ports don't really hold up to the abuse on the bar.


    P.S. Your device is NOT going to automatically upgrade without a SIM and a plan as the updates are pushed by the providers (maybe) the only option is to root the device (easier said than done on a Version device...particularly the S4) and load a ROM with the new android or update the device.
    #77
  18. flamingm0e

    flamingm0e Long timer

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    I've never had Verizon service on any phone and my Kyocera Duraforce Pro updated just after I got it connected to my WiFi after unboxing it.
    #78
  19. Tripped1

    Tripped1 Smoove, Smoove like velvet.

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    Unless you bought a specifically unlocked/international verzion that device has either Verizon, Sprint, or AT&T's ROM on it.

    I mentioned Verizon because they lock down the bootROM heavily so the only way to root it is to get them to unlock it....and that is always a trick because they want to buy their plan.
    #79
  20. flamingm0e

    flamingm0e Long timer

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    I have a Verizon model.
    #80