GPS via PDA or phone

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Friday 20 May 2005 3.55pm
Does anyone out there have any experience of using a pda or a mobile phone with the appropriate software to get journey advice/planning/etc please?

We're planning a long trip on scooter (there's a 42ft mobile home needs delivering to Cornwall, Julie, and they tell me I'm the only man for the job ;0)), and I've just realised that this would be a great opportunity to get a toy that I would use.

I'd need it to connect wirelessly with an earpiece, as I'd be planning to take voice instructions rather than look at the screen (I'd plan to have the phone/pda in my pocket when I was riding).

It's only today that I realised you could get this sort of thing on a phone (I'm telling you all this so you hopefully pitch any answers at sub-Luddite level), and I think it sounds amazing but I'm totally out of my depth when it comes to knowing what to look for.

Any advice (on software, pro's/con's of pda vs phone, good places to go to see some of these things working in the flesh, etc) would be greatly appreciated. If there are other essential features that I shouldn't miss out on (like one sort of mapping software has all the cider makers in the UK whereas the others don't), then that would also be good to know.



...if you press it, they will come.
Friday 20 May 2005 5.23pm
If you were a true sub-Luddite you would take a binliner with a map in it.
Saturday 21 May 2005 10.33am
Lots and lots (of experience) - I travel with (variously) a smartphone, a 3G phone, a PDA with wireless ability, a Blackberry and a GPS system depending on where I'm going. Recently I used the PDA with a GPS add-on to navigate Polish motorways in a clapped out rental car (ah...the glamour). It came in very handy for explaining to AVIS where I was when the car mysteriously stopped working outside of Plock...

Will send you a PM but it's really a get together and have a chat over cider and pie thing...
Saturday 21 May 2005 11.40am
Thanks Siduhe.

I thought you might be a candidate for ubertechnoguru. I'll buy the ciders if you have a free half hour. Actually, if you can tell me how to get instructions to Lands End through a headset when I'm on my scooter, you can have whatever you like to drink!

[Translated as: I'd be very grateful for any help you can give. If you have a free moment, with nothing better to do than to help out a technosimpleton, please give us a call]

...if you press it, they will come.
Saturday 21 May 2005 1.07pm
You might have to fill in the gaps in my scooter knowledge !

You've probably done the searches, but this looks pretty nifty - http://www.expansys.com/product.asp?code=TOMTOM_RIDER_GB - just a shame it's not released yet.

Going back to the PDA / phone thing, I assume that you need / would prefer a wireless headset rather than wired, or doesn't it make that much difference ? Look to be lots of wireless products coming to market but nothing really simple (or cheap) at the moment....
http://cardowireless.com/scala_rider/

Wired would be pretty straightforwards.

The only other thing is that GPS receivers / maps can be pretty dear for just a one off trip. I know you can hire GPS systems for your car - wonder if you could find anyone to hire you one for your bike ?




Saturday 21 May 2005 1.34pm
Really, it's a toy I've thought about. I fancied the idea of getting a smart phone (time for a new phone anyway) and just buying something like tomtom mobile to load onto it (and use via wireless headphone, as you say). That would "only" mean buying the software (and a headpiece thingy, I suppose, but let's not split hairs)

But the tomtom software seems to be between versions (new version, 5, doesn't seem to be out yet, but works with lots of phones. Old version, 3, can be bought now but only claims to go with 3 phones. None of said phones has a radio, and if I'm going to get all this gizmisation then I'm blooming well going to be able to listen to The Archers with it).

I wondered if you'd ever used your phone to get navigation (if so, how, what software, was it any good, etc?), or if you had any top tips in general on wireless headthingies (are they all the same?).

I feel I'm coming on leaps and bounds in my theoretical acceptance that a phone can do more than make calls, but it's quite a big step for me.

I should probably be asking for help from someone's teenager.

...if you press it, they will come.
Sunday 22 May 2005 11.37am
Ivanhoe, I use a Garmin 2620 GPS in the car which is good and you can get a bike mount for it. The advantage of this system is that all maps are pre-loaded so don't require you to download stuff onto memory sticks and then tranfer to the GPS (or via USB cable). You will need a power supply because on a long ride the system will not get enough juice from batteries. I have not used my PDA for nav purposes but the Compaq iPAQ that i've got will use Tom Tom, Navman or Magellan type soft ware which you load from the PC but will probably require extended memory. Don't know much about the phone side of things but the Sony Ericsson p900i and p910i are the best IMO. Again with all these things it is important to have an external supply of power as internal batteries won't store enough juice for a long trip. Also, the receiver needs to be mounted so it can pick up the sats, not in ones pocket.
Good luck
Monday 23 May 2005 8.17am
Thanks all.

I think I've got the theory sorted now (as well as finding someone who's going to "help" me with some software). I'm off to acquire all the bits and bobs now, and will let you know how I get on after we get back from Cornwall if anyone's interested.

...if you press it, they will come.
Monday 23 May 2005 8.30am
Why can't Mrs I sit in the 42ft moile home with a map and just shout the directions to you.

Really, Ivanhoe, it could be that simple.

Besides, Cornwall is easy to get to, face south, take a right and keep going until you get sand between your tyre treads.
Monday 23 May 2005 9.59am
Hahahahaha. Oh, I almost PML.
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