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How do you use yours?

 
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mitch67
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Joined: Dec 18, 2007
Posts: 11
Location: Fleetwood, Lancs

PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2008 10:02 pm    Post subject: How do you use yours? Reply with quote

Im just curious as to how current owners use there A10 and what they really want from it (battery life and Satsync all ready accepted)?
For example Im a walker / mountaineer / climber who is reasonably ok navigating the old fashioned way and I'm a bit of a Ludite so I know I wont get the best out of it.
I find a OS map that cant blow away or rip a fantastic idea and the fact you get a "you are here" dot truely amazing (then I still find pc's rather clever) but it is only a naigation tool that allows me to get out and about in remote areas a little safer. I still like to read a map, digital or paper and decide where im going, I dont really want a turn by turn route and I still like to walk on bearing while pace counting (its easier on the nerves with the A10 close by tho) when the weather is bad.
As such now the initial playtime has passed and ive finished showing off to my mates it tends to spend a lot of time switched off, perhaps i'm one of the lucky ones as sat lock time is really quick, and turn it on as I need it so battery life for me is not really a problem. It has got me out of a confusing situation.
When Satsync is sorted this will hopefully change as I intend to download my track to allow me to geotag my photos but cant find a piece software that will talk happily with the beta.
So after all that what Im trying to say Im pretty happy with it so far and hope it can only get better.
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PloddinPedro
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Joined: Mar 25, 2007
Posts: 229

PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2008 8:38 am    Post subject: Re: How do you use yours? Reply with quote

mitch67 wrote:
I'm just curious as to how current owners use their A10 and what they really want from it.
I'm a cyclist first and walker second. I came to Satmap from a Garmin GPSMap60CSx because the Mapsource mapping used in the Garmin was so poor, compared to an OS map, for navigating "on the fly". The Garmin works very well if I have a pre-loaded Track to follow - I don't need to make decisions as I go, I just follow the dotted line; the fact that the on-screen map is not easy to interpret doesn't matter. All this changes when I don't go out with a premeditated plan but make up my mind where to go when I'm out. For this, an OS map is unbeatable, and the Active 10 really scores when you factor in its ability to combine 1:1,000,00, 1:250,000 and 1:50,0000 maps by simply zooming in and out. I can decide on a destination 40 miles away, ascertain an outline route at 1:250,000 and then plot a detailed back roads route as I go in 1:50,000. If I forget which route I'm using I simply zoom out and remind myself. Navigating the "old fashioned" way, with paper maps, is a pain when on a bike because, having a poor memory, I have to keep stopping to pull out the map. Mounting the thing on the handlebars doesn't work very well because you can't have enough map area showing to last very long - you cover ground very quickly compared to walking and there's more of a road safety issue, so a GPS / mapping gizmo is ideal. Where the Satmap falls down is on battery life. Ideally, I'd have the screen illuminated constantly but I find that on the bike, where you cannot fine tune the angle of the unit to avoid reflections, you need it on 80% or more brightness in order to see it easily. In this state, battery life is very short, so I have to use it with auto screen off after 30 seconds. A nuisance when approaching a junction, since it means taking a hand off the 'bars and tapping a button to bring on the screen again, but at least I get a usable battery life this way.
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mikealder
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Joined: Jan 14, 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2008 9:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Walking is the main reason I got my active10 and what I like is the seamless transition between different map scales as you zoom in and out, for a days walking the battery life is fine when using the correct type of cells and using the auto screen off feature to further conserve power.

It will be fitted to the bike later this year, for that though I will want the screen on all the time, what I am thinking of is a water bottle with 3 or 4 D cell rechargeable industrial grade batteries in it. (similar to what is used to power some of the high power lights for cycles). With around 11,000mAHr in reserve the device will remain powered for days, all I need is a spare back cover to fit a connector to (unless SatMap start making such a device as an accessory) - Mike
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PloddinPedro
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Posts: 229

PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2008 9:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mikealder wrote:
.... for a days walking the battery life is fine when using the correct type of cells and using the auto screen off feature to further conserve power.
I use mine on 100% brightness and auto screen off after 30 seconds and find with 2800 mAh Ni-Mh rechargeables I get about 4/5 hours before it shuts down - not really sufficient, in my view, for "a full day"
mikealder wrote:
It will be fitted to the bike later this year, for that though I will want the screen on all the time, what I am thinking of is a water bottle with 3 or 4 D cell rechargeable industrial grade batteries in it. (similar to what is used to power some of the high power lights for cycles). With around 11,000mAHr in reserve the device will remain powered for days, all I need is a spare back cover to fit a connector to (unless SatMap start making such a device as an accessory) - Mike
You get a spare back cover, with a cleat bolted to it, when you buy the bike mount - the mount is an Abus bike lock Rixon & Kaul type and is very robust, if a bit "industrial". Presumably, you would contemplate making some kind of connection passing through the back cover and plugging in where the AA battery cradle/Li-Pol cell wires plug in? BUT - I'm puzzled - I have the impression that the Li-Pol pack is charged from car/mains whilst still in the A10, via the USB socket. If true, wouldn't this open the way for charging from an external battery pack? If so, one might be able to use a PowerMonkey or similar rather than have wires all over the bike and clog up a bottle cage; and save weight too, possibly - ?
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mikealder
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2008 9:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It might be possible to charge the LiPol unit this way but I am not too sure having not tried one, I have used the water bottle / battery combination before and it works very well, my iPAQ in its Otter box worked this way for quite a while. Then I put the batteries in the Otter Box GPS Pod so it was a self contained device - worked a treat until I used the wrong charger and blew the batteries all over the kitchen!
If you do decide to try charging the LiPol cell using an external supply via the mini USB you better make sure the output of your power source is regulated - this is why I want to use the power in socket direct to the device, it avoids the regulation needs (and wasted energy in the form of heat). - Mike
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PloddinPedro
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Joined: Mar 25, 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2008 9:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mikealder wrote:
If you do decide to try charging the LiPol cell using an external supply via the mini USB you better make sure the output of your power source is regulated - this is why I want to use the power in socket direct to the device, it avoids the regulation needs (and wasted energy in the form of heat).
You are technically way ahead of me. I don't understand the difference between putting power in through the mini-USB socket and the internal socket that takes the wires from the battery cradle/Li-Pol pack. Presumably they route through different circuitry? In practice, if I ever got into this, I would check it all out with Satmap first!
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mikealder
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2008 10:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A USB power supply is regulated to 5V so if the device uses this for charging you would need to provide 5V, a battery pack might start out fully charged above this voltage, as the charge is consumed through use the voltage will decay.
The direct connection to the active 10 where the battery actually plugs into the active10 is regulated/ protected as this power socket is intended to accept a battery voltage that will alter over time - I hope this explains the difference - Mike
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lucevans
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Joined: Mar 21, 2007
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Location: Cambridgeshire, UK

PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2008 8:34 pm    Post subject: Another walker here Reply with quote

My initial intention was to use it the same way I've got used to using my Garmin units; download routes to the GPS from route-planning software beforehand, then follow them throughout the day on-screen. (Like Mitch67, I'm reasonably good with map and compass from days of old, but I found that as I trusted GPS more and more, the occasions when I resort to traditional navigation got fewer and fewer). However, perhaps because of the lack of usable software for the A10, I've found that I'm only using it as a "you-are-here" device, which I then transcribe to the paper map that I always carry. It's a nice luxury to have, albeit an expensive one! If interfacing with Memory Map were to suddenly appear, I think I'd revert to the way I'd got used to using my Garmins, but until then the A10 is simply an adjunct to my traditional navigation (and there's an old-fashioned part of me that finds that appealing...)
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ocam
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Joined: Nov 08, 2007
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 1:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mikealder wrote:

It will be fitted to the bike later this year, for that though I will want the screen on all the time, what I am thinking of is a water bottle with 3 or 4 D cell rechargeable industrial grade batteries in it. (similar to what is used to power some of the high power lights for cycles). With around 11,000mAHr in reserve the device will remain powered for days, all I need is a spare back cover to fit a connector to (unless SatMap start making such a device as an accessory) - Mike

Sounds good if you're off for a few days with no means of re-charging, but for a single full day's cycling, the LiPol's surely the way to go. You don't want the extra weight when the LiPol will keep you going for 12 hours, 100% brightness and on all the time.

Regards
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PloddinPedro
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Joined: Mar 25, 2007
Posts: 229

PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 9:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ocam wrote:
... the LiPol will keep you going for 12 hours, 100% brightness and on all the time.
But will it though? I'll be amazed (and overjoyed) if this proves to be the case.

(Edited 4.43 p.m. Sunday 24 Feb, to correct the quote mis-attribution)


Last edited by PloddinPedro on Sun Feb 24, 2008 5:26 pm; edited 2 times in total
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mikealder
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 11:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just for the record the above is a miss quote - I never actually posted that comment, if you get chance to edit the post please do so, otherwise I will sort it out when I get home later (a post edit in the car on the M25 is not viable) - Mike
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PloddinPedro
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 5:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mikealder wrote:
Just for the record the above is a miss quote - I never actually posted that comment, if you get chance to edit the post please do so, ..... - Mike
Done, with 'umble apologies, Mike. I managed to leave too many "[quote="]s in the leader the first time!
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mikealder
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 6:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't worry about it I would have edited the post myself but doing this on a mobile phone at 70MPH (as a passenger) is not easy!

As an aside, last night I showed my active10 to a few of the other site Admin and mods at a meeting, it displayed the worst possible case of screen flicker I have ever seen!! - this was with Lithiums fitted that had already powered the device for a good few hours, it was warm so this might have increased the voltage output from the batteries and explain the issue, all the same this was not a good time for it to exhibit this problem though! - Mike
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