1. eNewsletter Sign Up

Tablets for GPS

Discussion in 'GPS 101 - Which GPS For Me' started by trganey, Feb 19, 2015.

  1. worwig

    worwig Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,951
    Location:
    Hog Mountain
    Yes and no.

    Yes, Bluetooth devices CAN run for a long time off of batteries.
    But, NO, not exactly in this case. If you are using the GPS, it is going to be streaming the NMEA data at a pretty continuous rate. That will take battery. The Bluetooth devices that have a really long battery life are not streaming constantly. They are in Rx mode most of the time and Tx mode is a short duty cycle.
    Trust me. I test these devices in a SAC (Semi-Anachoic Chamber) day after day. When I test such radios, I need to have a pile of fresh batteries to get through an evenings worth of radio testing. I seldom get 2 hours of battery (small button battery) with a radio transmitting continuously.
    #21
  2. worwig

    worwig Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,951
    Location:
    Hog Mountain
    On my device the radio is near the top of use if downloading maps, next is the display, if it is fighting the sun. The CPU (and GPU) of course is a heavy hitter too, when rendering a vector maps.
    If using offline maps, I can turn the display down and the CPU and GPS software can run for hours without using much battery at all. Just the GPS receiver (next to nothing) and the software routing.
    Turn on the display, so the display has to fight the sunlight, and the CPU and GPU have to render the graphics, and things get warm. Toss in data transfer for online map, and you better have a charger handy. :lol3
    #22
  3. sharkmotorcycle

    sharkmotorcycle Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2014
    Oddometer:
    204
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    Nokia is coming up with there first Android Tablet named N1. It would have an 7.9 inch screen size & costing something around $249.
    #23
  4. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    Oddometer:
    9,760
    Location:
    alabama

    1 .... in a lab, not moving any data, not actually doing -anything-
    2 name three widely sold/known that are missing a gps chip
    3 i haven't tried geocaching with a laptop yet, or zip tied one to my handlebars
    4 error correction is not needed to get +/- 9 feet, while flying down a gravel road. real world testing, not lab theoreticals.

    5 this is the most important one. You're saying you agree that pushing data over a bluetooth antenna, and powering TWO devices instead of ONE, is more efficient than using the onbaord gps antenna ? please tell me more. I'm really interested in seeing this one backed up with real world study instead of theory.

    6 again, real world usage.... unless you're Folding@Home while riding down the road, this is not an issue. i'm not playing WorldOfWarcraft while bombing down gravel roads. Or folding@home. Maybe you are, but I doubt it. This argument is bunk.

    7 i'm glad you said this. yes, sygic is a hog for cpu cycles. much more so than just using the screen or gps / wifi/ bluetooth antennas. lets compare the display usage vs the antennas though, since that's what was brought into question. the display uses MORE energy than the gps antenna. bluetooth (if it'sactuall moving data) uses MORE than gps antenna. fringe cellular service uses MORE than the gps antenna. that's what we're talking about.
    #24
  5. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    Oddometer:
    9,760
    Location:
    alabama
    ahhh, real world testing instead of theory. awesome stuff :clap:clap:clap
    #25
  6. Deckyon

    Deckyon The Raven

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2015
    Oddometer:
    1,294
    Location:
    Louisville, KY - USA
    Actually, unless you get the Cellular version of the iPad, it does not have a GPS chip. This is why I went with the cellular version - even though I tether off my phone and have not turned on the cellular radio. May not be 3 tablets, but it is a hugely popular one.
    #26
  7. worwig

    worwig Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,951
    Location:
    Hog Mountain
    That was true years ago. Is it still true?
    #27
  8. Deckyon

    Deckyon The Raven

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2015
    Oddometer:
    1,294
    Location:
    Louisville, KY - USA
    It is still true.
    #28
  9. JeffTX

    JeffTX Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2015
    Oddometer:
    10
    Location:
    Austin, Tx
    Back on topic, somewhat...

    I use my Android phone for GPS on the bike, have done for years. It's fully water proof (Sony Z1) and has an SD card so I can load up as much off-line (OpenStreetMap) mapping as I want. I use an app called Locus (I've also tried Maverick, View Ranger, Google Maps, etc). It's complicated, but very complete once you get the hang of it. I can create maps on Google Maps, or basecamp or whatever and import them very easily. OR, if I have internet connection, it can do routing itself. It can "follow" a previously recorded GPS track, but I usually just put the track on screen and don't use navigation / routing at all.

    I run a USB cable up to it, and leave it plugged in until is starts raining. Just pull the plug out and the phone it waterproof again. When I don't need it, I tap the power button to turn off the screen. With use like that (just turned on at turns or on new roads) I can get over a day on the battery without plugging it in. So, if needed, I can charge at night and leave it unplugged all day.

    The screen is visible in sunlight (though it's dim in noon-day sun), I don't do bluetooth anything on it. Touchscreen works with leather gloves, but not my thick winter gloves.

    Tablets are just too bulky for me on my bike. A big phone is the ideal solution (for me).

    The best part (again, for me) is when you pull into a new town. Stop at the edge of town, google a gas station (maybe without ethanol) a motel, and restaurant. Then, just use Google Maps to get you there. All on one device, never taken out of the RAM mount.

    To me, waterproof and SD card access are requirements. Not in cases (bulky, harder touch-screen access). Sony makes both phones and tablets that are waterproof, and I've tested the waterproofness on my phone many times (some were even intentional). If tablet-size is a requirement, I'd look at this one. (I'm not a Sony shill - just like waterproof devices).

    OK - that's my $0.02
    --Jeff
    #29
  10. DaMonk45

    DaMonk45 I B Da Monk

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2009
    Oddometer:
    3,161
    Location:
    Texas
    I have the Z3c phone and it is awesome!
    #30
  11. Cataract2

    Cataract2 Where to?

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Oddometer:
    8,303
    Location:
    NH
    Thank you for the post. I wanted to say something, but lacked the time this past week. It's fun watching some of the crap that comes out though.
    #31
  12. Vic5491

    Vic5491 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2009
    Oddometer:
    832
    I have the N7 as well and like it a lot. I have used it for over a year as my gps using Sygic and CoPilot as my gps software and love the big bright screen and the fact that it serves as a multi-purpose device for me when traveling. I preplan my trips using ITN Converter and have learned where to place the gps files on the device's file structure for each program. Each trip I take, I program both CoPilot and Sygic because I have run into routing snafus with both. Now when I do, I switch from one to the other and can usually proceed as planned.

    My questions to you regarding your experience with HERE are as follows:

    1. Can you easily preprogram HERE using something like ITN Converter?
    2. What file structure does here require ie gpx, kml, itn, itf, etc and where in the file structure of HERE do maps go?
    3. Is HERE built on OpenSource, NAVTEQ, TomTom or someone else's maps?
    4. How does HERE compare to CoPilot and Sygic if you have tried them as well?

    If someone else has a favorite, I'd like to hear from you as well.

    Oh, my use is only on public highways. Every once in awhile I'll wander down a fire road but generally I need the software to serve me on numbered roads from the smallest Farm to Market and county roads to the biggest Interstates.

    I have heard that Google is going to come out with a SAT only option with downloadable maps but until that is available and perfected, I am struggling to find the best and most reliable software out there. Any help you can give me would be greatly appreciated.
    #32
  13. Vic5491

    Vic5491 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2009
    Oddometer:
    832
    I have found that the charging cable makes all the difference. Most USB cables use 28ga wires. Some of the better cables use 28ga for data and 24ga for charging. I bought a ton of different chargers before I came across an article on this issue that discussed the importance of wire size. After reading that article I ordered two Hi-Mobiler brand cables with 24/28 ga wires and gold plated tips and now all of my 2.1 amp chargers keep my Nexus 7 at full power even when running gps software.
    #33
  14. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    Oddometer:
    9,760
    Location:
    alabama

    1 / 2) no, HereMaps doesn't have gpx functionality. it's a point-n-shoot app, much like what car's standalone gps devices did 5-10 years ago for street navigation.
    3) iirc HereMaps used navteq maps, but i'm wrong a lot.
    4) they're all ok for street use, but fail when off road (dirt roads is not offroad) activities are desired. good offline gps applications can geocache, record tracks with different profiles, plan routes offline (on and offroad), and share gpx files/maps/waypoints/data wirelessly, but these listed apps don't do that well either.

    my favorite is locus (free or pro), followed by oruxmaps (free or donate) or osmand (free or donate). these apps do it all offline, share gpx files effortlessly, import/export files, maps/whatever without much fuss at all. if you're only planning on riding streets, the apps you listed should be fine. if you plan to venture off the street, check out locus, orux, and or osmand. they're very good apps, very flexible, and feature packed.
    #34
  15. Vic5491

    Vic5491 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2009
    Oddometer:
    832
    How suitable and easy to use is osmand for just highway travel? I just want something easy to pre-program with spoken turns that is accurate and not quirky.
    Both CoPilot and Sygic are quirky enough that I find myself looking for a better alternative. I used to pre-program my routes in Garmins with no problem and want to find something that works as good within the Android world.
    #35
  16. worwig

    worwig Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,951
    Location:
    Hog Mountain
    I have had very good luck using CoPilot premium for Android for multi-day cross country trips. I do my route planning on a PC using any of a number of tools. Then use a program called FolderSync to automatically copy the TRP files to/from the cloud. This has worked well for me.

    For less complex rides, I use OSMand+. I like the map view in OSMand+. But the routing functions aren't the best for long complex routes. If you break a long multi-day route into smaller bits, OSMand is OK with that.

    As far as I have been able to find, HERE maps doesn't support importing routes or tracks.

    I other words, when I want to follow a voice, I rely on CoPilot. When I want to view a map, with minimal routing assistance, I use OSMand.
    #36
  17. Vic5491

    Vic5491 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2009
    Oddometer:
    832
    What planning tools have you used that produce routes that work well with CoPilot USA Premium (which is what I have also). I use ITN Convert but suspect that some of the quirkiness that I have run into is due to minor differences between the two. I'd be curious to know what you have used that has worked well.

    Vic
    #37
  18. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    Oddometer:
    9,760
    Location:
    alabama

    I use locus for everything. it has more options than most people need, but point to point navigation works fine. there are so many settings in the Android applications that one user may have trouble with what they expected to happen vs what the GPS did on route. I think this is a lot of problems with all GPS devices and software experiences: the user simply didn't understand what they requested of the device.

    for on road travels, I'll user turn by turn navigation inside of locus and get spoken directions 20% of the time just because I hate "redirecting" prompts when I veer of course.

    the next 50% I'll do TRACK FOLLOWING, where the track is displayed and I just look down occasionally to check when the next turn is.

    the last 30% is waypoint guidance, which is becoming more and more my preference for off road fun. it's really nice to find more trails while looking for a waterfall because I'm paying attention to the surrounding instead of watching the screen.
    #38
  19. worwig

    worwig Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,951
    Location:
    Hog Mountain
    In the end, I need ITNconverter to generate the TRP file.
    For long multi-day trips, I usually use Microsoft Street and Trips on my PC. It has been discontinued, but I still like the features and ease of use. Then use ITNconverter to convert that to a TRP, and Foldersync to get that to CoPilot. I also create a GPX and sync that to OSMand+ as a backup. OSMand+ struggles when there are too many points/miles. CoPilot works well, and allows to to tweak the trip in the device if needed.
    Have you tried Furkot. There is a thread on that and appears to be a lot of users. I always ran into issues when I tried it.
    #39
  20. Vic5491

    Vic5491 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2009
    Oddometer:
    832
    I have MS S&T for years and like it a lot as well. I use it to plan long trips and then break them down into logical days and convert the files to Garmin or CoPilot or Sygic. More recently I have just been using ITN Converter. It is very easy to use and saves a step although on very long trips, I'd probably revert to MS S&T.

    Have you not had any problem using CoPilot? If you have, what have they been and have you found any workarounds? I find that there are gaps in their maps and the s/w tries to route me odd ways around their gaps. It does not happen all the time but it does enough to be annoying and require a secondary GPS program loaded and readily available.
    #40