GPS Unit Selection

GPS Unit Selection

Post by Terry Treangen » Thu, 23 May 2002 01:49:55



Hello All,
  I am starting up a project to use GPS with a PDA.  I have been
researching different solutions and can't decide on which will best
support my needs.
What I need is a GPS unit to simply relay coordinates to the PDA and
then a program that I will write will handle those coordinates.  The
strain on the battery is a definite issue as is cost (when isn't it?).
I am open to any suggestions you might have.

Terry T.

 
 
 

GPS Unit Selection

Post by Beverly Howar » Thu, 23 May 2002 05:02:31


Sounds like you are either running a tracking log (i.e. where has the
car been?) or you are going to collect locations such as street signs
for a city database when the user taps "log location"

In the former, you might consider a stand alone gps that keeps a
location log and then download it.

In the latter, suggest using an external serial receiver with it's own
power supply and power the PPC down between postions but keep the GPS
receiver alive so that it continues to track since the GPS will need
time to position if it has been powered down and the PPC batteries will
probably not last a workday.

Beverly Howard

 
 
 

GPS Unit Selection

Post by Sven » Thu, 23 May 2002 10:11:19


That's what they all do. They all just provide a stream of text to the
serial port, either the sync port or a card based serial port, and the
software reads and operates on the stream.

You didn't mention the degree of portability required. Does it have to be
pretty much one piece, a PPC with a card GPS? Can it be a PC and a GPS
receiver with separate power cabled together? Can it be a little bigger with
an external battery?

CF card Goss abound.
Look at a Gamin Terex (~$120 + $30 to $50 in cable) and you're off. And you
have a standalone GPS if your PPC crumps.
Check out the LeadTek devices at www.newegg.com. search for Smart Antenna
and you'll find the items for every popular PDA. They are designed to run
off 12 volts (car power), but you can find battery packs that supply 'car
power'.



Quote:> What I need is a GPS unit to simply relay coordinates to the PDA and
> then a program that I will write will handle those coordinates.

 
 
 

GPS Unit Selection

Post by Sven » Thu, 23 May 2002 10:16:48


I hate it when my spell check finger is faster than my brain.
The lines that make no sense, though the words are spelled right darn it,
are

CF card GPSs abound.
Look at a Gamin Etrex ......



Quote:> Hello All,
>   I am starting up a project to use GPS with a PDA.  I have been
> researching different solutions and can't decide on which will best
> support my needs.
> What I need is a GPS unit to simply relay coordinates to the PDA and
> then a program that I will write will handle those coordinates.  The
> strain on the battery is a definite issue as is cost (when isn't it?).
> I am open to any suggestions you might have.

> Terry T.

 
 
 

GPS Unit Selection

Post by Terry Treangen » Fri, 24 May 2002 01:03:52


Hello Again,
     I'll explain a little more what the GPS unit and program are
supposed to do so you can get a better idea of my needs.  I am
starting a program on the ipaq to collect data about moth traps.  When
the traps are collected and new ones are placed the user will enter
several fields of information and then the GPS coordinates will be
tied to the certain entry. Portability is an issue, but the inspectors
will have to suffer if a less portable solution is better.  Oh, and
the thing about battery life, how long can the ipaq can run fully
charged with no backlight?  And I know thats what they all do, I was
just saying thats all i need, no bells or whistles.

Thanks,

Terry T.

 
 
 

GPS Unit Selection

Post by Beverly Howar » Fri, 24 May 2002 03:54:50


IMHO, the best solutions that I have seen are with a serial receiver
mounted to the top of a backpack, shoulder or even a hat.

These units are around the size of a computer mouse, some smaller, some
larger, the etrek being a good standalone size with a serial interface
option... some of the smaller standalone units do not have a serial
interface.

Building a custom serial/GPS power cable can make a major difference in
portability and the user can either keep the serial cord attached to the
PPC or plug it in when they power the PPC up... your program would be
active and have them tap a screen button to record the location and then
either enter the necessary data with the stylus or voice recorder.

In addition, you can save a significant amount of power by powering down
the PPC's screen but allowing your software to continue to track between
points.

The "plug in" pcmcia/CF units will be more portable, but, as you noted,
they will demand more of the PPC's power, plus it has been my experience
that a powered up GPS unit will take several minutes to get a "fix" and
that fix will not be as accurate as the fix from a unit that has been
powered up and tracking for a while.

Hope this helps...
Beverly Howard

 
 
 

GPS Unit Selection

Post by Sven » Fri, 24 May 2002 12:15:56


With that, I'd recommend the LeadTek item I mentioned. The receiver is
fairly small and you could easily coble together a small power source that
would power the PDA and GPS for a long time without really adding much
weight. The cabling supplied really lends itself to sticking the receiver on
the hat with Velcro, putting a battery pack in the day pack and slipping the
PPC in a shirt pocket between readings. Maybe you should get a Scott eVest
to outfit your researchers stylishly.



Quote:> Hello Again,
>      I'll explain a little more what the GPS unit and program are
> supposed to do so you can get a better idea of my needs.  I am
> starting a program on the ipaq to collect data about moth traps.  When
> the traps are collected and new ones are placed the user will enter
> several fields of information and then the GPS coordinates will be
> tied to the certain entry. Portability is an issue, but the inspectors
> will have to suffer if a less portable solution is better.  Oh, and
> the thing about battery life, how long can the ipaq can run fully
> charged with no backlight?  And I know thats what they all do, I was
> just saying thats all i need, no bells or whistles.

> Thanks,

> Terry T.

 
 
 

GPS Unit Selection

Post by A nice guy.. » Sat, 25 May 2002 03:31:07


How much is a LeadTek GPS?  Is it available in USA?  How does it work with
an Ipaq running GPS programs like MS Streets and other?

Thanks for information,


> With that, I'd recommend the LeadTek item I mentioned. The receiver is
> fairly small and you could easily coble together a small power source that
> would power the PDA and GPS for a long time without really adding much
> weight. The cabling supplied really lends itself to sticking the receiver
on
> the hat with Velcro, putting a battery pack in the day pack and slipping
the
> PPC in a shirt pocket between readings. Maybe you should get a Scott eVest
> to outfit your researchers stylishly.



> > Hello Again,
> >      I'll explain a little more what the GPS unit and program are
> > supposed to do so you can get a better idea of my needs.  I am
> > starting a program on the ipaq to collect data about moth traps.  When
> > the traps are collected and new ones are placed the user will enter
> > several fields of information and then the GPS coordinates will be
> > tied to the certain entry. Portability is an issue, but the inspectors
> > will have to suffer if a less portable solution is better.  Oh, and
> > the thing about battery life, how long can the ipaq can run fully
> > charged with no backlight?  And I know thats what they all do, I was
> > just saying thats all i need, no bells or whistles.

> > Thanks,

> > Terry T.

 
 
 

GPS Unit Selection

Post by A nice guy.. » Sat, 25 May 2002 03:32:40


How much is a LeadTek GPS?  Is it available in USA?  How does it work with
an Ipaq running GPS programs like MS Streets and other?

Thanks for information,


> With that, I'd recommend the LeadTek item I mentioned. The receiver is
> fairly small and you could easily coble together a small power source that
> would power the PDA and GPS for a long time without really adding much
> weight. The cabling supplied really lends itself to sticking the receiver
on
> the hat with Velcro, putting a battery pack in the day pack and slipping
the
> PPC in a shirt pocket between readings. Maybe you should get a Scott eVest
> to outfit your researchers stylishly.



> > Hello Again,
> >      I'll explain a little more what the GPS unit and program are
> > supposed to do so you can get a better idea of my needs.  I am
> > starting a program on the ipaq to collect data about moth traps.  When
> > the traps are collected and new ones are placed the user will enter
> > several fields of information and then the GPS coordinates will be
> > tied to the certain entry. Portability is an issue, but the inspectors
> > will have to suffer if a less portable solution is better.  Oh, and
> > the thing about battery life, how long can the ipaq can run fully
> > charged with no backlight?  And I know thats what they all do, I was
> > just saying thats all i need, no bells or whistles.

> > Thanks,

> > Terry T.

 
 
 

GPS Unit Selection

Post by Sven » Sat, 25 May 2002 11:33:10


My earlier post in this thread read
LeadTek devices at www.newegg.com. search for Smart Antenna
and you'll find the items for every popular PDA. They are designed to run
off 12 volts (car power).
They hook to the PDA via serial and produce NMEA text. Most al the mapping
software supports that.



> How much is a LeadTek GPS?  Is it available in USA?  How does it work with
> an Ipaq running GPS programs like MS Streets and other?

> Thanks for information,



> > With that, I'd recommend the LeadTek item I mentioned. The receiver is
> > fairly small and you could easily coble together a small power source
that
> > would power the PDA and GPS for a long time without really adding much
> > weight. The cabling supplied really lends itself to sticking the
receiver
> on
> > the hat with Velcro, putting a battery pack in the day pack and slipping
> the
> > PPC in a shirt pocket between readings. Maybe you should get a Scott
eVest
> > to outfit your researchers stylishly.



> > > Hello Again,
> > >      I'll explain a little more what the GPS unit and program are
> > > supposed to do so you can get a better idea of my needs.  I am
> > > starting a program on the ipaq to collect data about moth traps.  When
> > > the traps are collected and new ones are placed the user will enter
> > > several fields of information and then the GPS coordinates will be
> > > tied to the certain entry. Portability is an issue, but the inspectors
> > > will have to suffer if a less portable solution is better.  Oh, and
> > > the thing about battery life, how long can the ipaq can run fully
> > > charged with no backlight?  And I know thats what they all do, I was
> > > just saying thats all i need, no bells or whistles.

> > > Thanks,

> > > Terry T.

 
 
 

GPS Unit Selection

Post by Harr » Mon, 27 May 2002 08:00:30


There is also a small battery pack that is available for the IPAQ, that
takes 4 1.2(1.5) volt AA batteries, for the IPAQ 3600 series, that would
extend the life of the IPAQ.

Harry


> My earlier post in this thread read
> LeadTek devices at www.newegg.com. search for Smart Antenna
> and you'll find the items for every popular PDA. They are designed to run
> off 12 volts (car power).
> They hook to the PDA via serial and produce NMEA text. Most al the mapping
> software supports that.



> > How much is a LeadTek GPS?  Is it available in USA?  How does it work
with
> > an Ipaq running GPS programs like MS Streets and other?

> > Thanks for information,



> > > With that, I'd recommend the LeadTek item I mentioned. The receiver is
> > > fairly small and you could easily coble together a small power source
> that
> > > would power the PDA and GPS for a long time without really adding much
> > > weight. The cabling supplied really lends itself to sticking the
> receiver
> > on
> > > the hat with Velcro, putting a battery pack in the day pack and
slipping
> > the
> > > PPC in a shirt pocket between readings. Maybe you should get a Scott
> eVest
> > > to outfit your researchers stylishly.



> > > > Hello Again,
> > > >      I'll explain a little more what the GPS unit and program are
> > > > supposed to do so you can get a better idea of my needs.  I am
> > > > starting a program on the ipaq to collect data about moth traps.
When
> > > > the traps are collected and new ones are placed the user will enter
> > > > several fields of information and then the GPS coordinates will be
> > > > tied to the certain entry. Portability is an issue, but the
inspectors
> > > > will have to suffer if a less portable solution is better.  Oh, and
> > > > the thing about battery life, how long can the ipaq can run fully
> > > > charged with no backlight?  And I know thats what they all do, I was
> > > > just saying thats all i need, no bells or whistles.

> > > > Thanks,

> > > > Terry T.