Article by Dave Burrows
heard of Police Stop2, 3, 4, Cops II, III, IV, now we have Dave's In-car Photos
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!