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Advice for cheap GPS solution for HP2210

 
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dogcatgoat
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Joined: 04/07/2003 19:14:30
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2003 8:04 am    Post subject: Advice for cheap GPS solution for HP2210 Reply with quote

Hi,

I wanted to buy a GPS receiver and software to use in conjunction with an IPAQ 2210 running PocketPC2003. The device has bluetooth and CompactFlash.



I would like to use it on a trip to the Netherlands (in many cities), and London. I live in the US and would also like to use it here too and, if possible, as something to bring along for hiking every now and then. Yes, I am asking for a lot! Smile.



I am really new to this and have been pouring over this site and found it to be very helpful. Nevertheless, I still have a few questions I hope that you can answer related to both hardware and software.



Hardware: I found the Bluetooth GPS receivers to be expensive (>$300 US) and thought of just going the CompactFlash route a la Ambicom (its only $140 US). Having it via CompactFlash will share a single battery source, which may be preferable since I can get extra battery packs for the iPAQ for this. Is this a good card?



Software: this is where it gets very confusing. The Ambicom's software expires after a short trial period, and I wanted to ask what is needed to get streetmaps and landmark info (for touring on bike, foot, and possibly car)? I saw Mapopolis-- its pricing structure is a little confusing and also I'm not clear about how useful it is for landmarks, or for hiking. It also sounds like I need another piece of software for reading and displaying the maps. Can anyone advice me for a cheap solution that can manage Netherlands, London, and US maps? Perhaps there is another hardware package that bundles this software?



Ok, thanks for any advice on this!!!

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DavidW
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Joined: 17/05/2003 02:26:21
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2003 8:04 am    Post subject: Advice for cheap GPS solution for HP2210 Reply with quote

I'll leave software to others - as I'm not familiar with the options for the US. The only thing I will say is that if you want US, UK and Netherlands maps, you may have to pay quite handsomely for all the map data!



Hardware - it's important to know that some software packages are tied to certain receivers. That aside, I think CompactFlash is a great solution, apart from it being more difficult to ruggedise than Bluetooth (with Bluetooth you can put the GPS in a separate waterproof box, whereas a Pocket PC sporting a CompactFlash GPS will probably fit in an Aquapac, but not something like an Otter Armor product).



I'm using CompactFlash with my 3970 (a Haicom HI-303MMF). I can't find much about the Ambicom - except that it's SiRF based. I can't find out which SiRF chipset it uses.



You could take a look at the iTrek CF GPS at semsons.com here. I'm pretty sure this is a rebadge of the highly regarded Holux GM-270, which is a CF GPS based around the latest SiRFstar IIe/LP chipset. It's US$10 cheaper than the product you're talking about too!







David
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dogcatgoat
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Joined: 04/07/2003 19:14:30
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2003 8:04 am    Post subject: Advice for cheap GPS solution for HP2210 Reply with quote

Thanks for your help and pointer to a cheaper and probably better CF card DavidW!



After doing a little more research, I'm still suprised that Bluetooth costs so much. There are handheld GPS systems with serial interfaces for <$150US, and it's too bad that manufacturers can't fit BT in for cheaper.



In any case, I'll probably go the CF route!
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Dave
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2003 8:04 am    Post subject: Advice for cheap GPS solution for HP2210 Reply with quote

From a hardware perspective the Holux, Haicom and Pretec CF Cards are good GPS Receivers. We currently have a review of the Pretec Compact here.



From a software perspective, you're going to need several types of applications. For walking in the UK I would suggest one of the applications from our Topographical Reviews. Memory Map and Harvey/Anquet and also Fugawi UK provide OS based topographical maps which are great for walking/hiking. You can use Fugawi or OziExplorer with scanned paper maps or downloaded digital maps which you calibrate and you can use this for locations all around the world.



From a street routing point of view, you need to look at buying a European map version and a US map version. We have reviews of TomTom Navigator 2, TomTom Navigator 2 Euro MapsCoPilot and Destinator. It will be expensive purchasing both European and US based maps. Mapopolis is okay in the US, but for Europe there are large wholes in the maps which makes routing difficult at best. This should be addressed in the next version of maps when they are released.
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dogcatgoat
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Joined: 04/07/2003 19:14:30
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2003 8:04 am    Post subject: Advice for cheap GPS solution for HP2210 Reply with quote

Dear Dave,



Thanks a lot for both the hardware and software tips. I'll check out the review sections more carefully for the mapping software.



For the hardware, I found on this site a review for the GlobalSat BT308, which is much cheaper than any other BT receiver out there (<$200US!).



Are there any advantages (in quality) for having a dedicated receiver vs. a CF card? The long battery on the BT308 sounds good, but I can just get (relatively inexpensitve) spare batteries for my handheld and unify my power requirements. Then again, it can keep a slot free for memory, or work with compact PDA's such as the iPAQ 1945.



regards,



[email protected]

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MikeB
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Joined: 20/08/2002 11:51:57
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2003 8:04 am    Post subject: Advice for cheap GPS solution for HP2210 Reply with quote

The really big advantage for dedicated (Bluetooth) solutions is the conservation of battery life on the PDA.



If as you say you are interested in hiking then you should really forget the CF card solution as your battery life wont be good enough for anything more than a couple of hours. The 2210 has a 900mAh battery, which is somewhat less powerful than other PDA power sources. I havent actually tried on in the field yet to determine how long they will last, but with a 5450 you can get about 6 hours with judicious use of the backlight and the WiFi turned off.



Depending on what you are doing in Holland and the UK you may find that TomTom citymaps combined with RoutePlanner may be a better option for road/town use.



As far as hiking is concerned you should consider looking at either Fugawi, OziExplorer, or MapTech Navigator all of which can use topographical maps. You can either buy these or download them from the Internet for most states in the USA.
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