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Dave's In-car Photos 2

18th September 2002

 Article by Dave Burrows

 

You've heard of Police Stop2, 3, 4, Cops II, III, IV, now we have Dave's In-car Photos 2.

 

This is an update from my previous article Dave's In-car Photos which was published a month ago.

 

A lot has happened over the past month, and to be able to test some of the new hardware and bring it to the website as quick as we're currently doing, I've expanded my current setup.  On the average day I am now running 2 Pocket GPS systems in-car.  On a good day if I have enough time to set them all up, I run 3 pocket GPS systems in car!

 

Why, oh the humanity why ? I hear you all chant! ;)

 

Partially because I can, but not only does it allow me to fully test new hardware, and create comparison tests side by side, but have you ever had that problem where you're receiving satellite signals but you can't get that ultimate fix ?  Ever wondered what it was causing the problem ?  I've had my fair share of these, and received most of these lately, and with 2 or 3 GPS units in-car goes to prove the point that in 95% of the cases where I will either have an acquisition failure, or a delayed acquisition, it's usually down to the GPS unit either perhaps receiving interference, or something happening on the Pocket PC.  Every time I've had this happening in-car with 2 or more GPS receivers, one has worked fine where the other one has had a problem.  It's not always the same GPS Receiver, sometimes they do role reversal too!

 

You're probably thinking, he's mad and you're probably right!  Anyone who knows me knew that from when they first set eyes on me! ;)

 

It really does give you a warm feeling inside you knowing that if one GPS unit fails to acquire a fix or loses a fix, that you've always got one on backup.

 

One of the first questions I'm asked about this setup, is how do you power all 3 devices ?

Quite simple really, Maplin Electronics in the UK supply a 4-way Car Accessory Power socket that plugs straight into the Car Accessory socket and gives you 4 sockets to play with instead of one.  You can also buy similar models from other Car/Auto Stores, but this one also has a built in battery checker to indicate if your battery is running low.  This allows me to connect all 3 of the Pocket PC's and the Arkon CM656 Multimedia mount.  The only problem is, I am now at full capacity.  I have an older 2-way splitter, and as I'm no where near the ampage to blow the car fuse, I should be able to successfully run another 2-4 sockets, so I will soon be expanding this to a 8-way power extension lead :)

 

Casio E125 and Pretec Compact GPS CF Card (left)

Compaq iPAQ 3850, TomTom Navigator (middle)

Compaq iPAQ 3630, Navman GPS 3000 (right)

 

 

Reduced Visibility through the car windscreen

4-way Power Extension Lead

The only real downside with a setup like this is the cables.  Roll on the next generation of GPS Receivers, spouting BlueTooth and Wireless technology.  These will be the ultimate in-car systems to use on a daily basis without having a spaghetti junction in the car!

 

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