New Toy!

Just bought a Garmin mapping GPS unit, and am still trying to get the hang of it...wondered if anyone out there is using these sorts of things. This one's a little bigger than a candy bar phone, and waterproof.
I'll be heading out for a week in the bush before the snow falls for the mining project and will be using it to document positions for later integration into my GIS model, so it's crucial that I get good with this thing fast.
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MichaelB
www.michaelbulatovich.ca
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Been wanting to get a Bluetooth dongle for my phone that lets it do GPS. That stuff is really cool. You need to have a view to the sky for it to track you, and they usually have a limit of how many points you can add (depending on the memory of the unit) but it is usually something in the thousands to tens of thousands. They usually take 30 to 45 seconds to acquire a signal on cold boot and possibly faster on warm boot. Does it take extra memory cards or are the maps built in?
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Edgar



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A phone can give you GPS?

This one comes with an antena projecting from the top a bit
https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?cID 5&pID10
so it claims to be able to fix under forest canopy. I've had a fix right here in my subterranean HQ, with one small window facing into a mutual driveway 7 feet wide.

I get 1,000 in 50 "routes" max. on board, but I think I can dump them onto the chip, and then store more on board. Haven't figured that out yet...I'm hoping theres a CSV export or something.

Warm is much faster...maybe 10 seconds?
It's got a 64 Mb SD memory, but you can buy bigger if you need it. Topo maps for Canada I purchased separately ($170) and uploaded everything between Thunder Bay and the claims (I'm driving from there), and Windsor to Peterborough and up to Parry Sound and it took about 45 Mb.
With WAAS ability, it claims to have accuracy down to 4-5 meters, depending on the triangulation, I think. It seems to vary as you walk around. Gives lat/long or UTM, which is what all my drawings have. Also does altitude. I just have to get good with it.

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Sounds like your all set then...what was the question :-).
My phone is a XV6700 which runs Windows Mobile 5/6. It basically like a mini laptop, in which I can install programs and do all sorts of cool stuff. A friend of mine bought a Bluetooth GPS transmitter and some Tom Tom software and it works on his treo just like any other GPS unit. Worked very well, and they usually have a "pedestrian" mode that you use while walking or hiking as opposed to driving.
Basically you buy one of these:
http://www.buygpsnow.com/bluetooth-gps_9.aspx
(preferably a sirf III version as it has better accuracy than older chipsets)
Then install one of these on your phone:
http://www.buygpsnow.com/gps-software_12.aspx
and your all set. Those usually come with maps built into an SD card also. Just need to set up the gps unit by bluetooth (its works like a serial connection). Some of the standard free stuff also works with the GPS units such as Live Search or Google Maps Mobile (but those need internet access to grab the maps), and you can hook up the GPS unit to almost anything that has bluetooth, such as a laptop. It will only work with phones that support the connection, which is basically any windows mobile phone.
--
Edgar



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When is a phone not a phone? When it has an operating system.

Those are CHEAP!

Add that in to the above and you're getting close to the cost of a separate GPS unit...of course you need another pocket on your vest for it....mind you...you've got the separate reciever thingey.
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Yes, but if you lose/break one component you still have the other. Spreading out the risk.
I think I missed something about this mining project, MB. Is work that tough that now you're designing HOLES in the ground in the hinterlands? ;) What's the deal?
R
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True, but without GPS ability. You can still call for a cab-you just can't tell them where you are ; )

In the immediate, short term, I'm 'fault tracing', which will include removing some overburden, and tooling around by boat and on foot for a few days... Half giant connect-the-dots game, only the dot's aren't numbered (that's where the GPS comes in), and half eyes-on-the-ground running around. I'm putting together a 3D picture of the structural deformation to inform later work, leading eventually to more drilling. I'm trying to jack up our drilling odds. Drilling costs $50/ft.
This area's had 2.7 *billion* years for the structures to have fractured many different ways. Even the fractures are fractured. Nothing except the largest structures have clean signatures. The good news is that the smaller ones carry gold.
Several *major* ice sheets have left their mark, obscuring the original tectonic fracturing with later fractures from their massive weight, but you're in MN, right? *I'm* telling *you* about glaciation...
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Ummm, Long Island, NY. So this is a prospecting thing you're doing? Is this speculative or do you have a sucke...errr...client paying for your work?
R
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A little of both. (Sorry bud. Got you mixed up with 3D.) If Long Island is as rocky as Manhattan, it's seen the same ice sheets. If memory serves, the Hudson runs down a significant fault....
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Michael Bulatovich wrote:

I'm in MN, but grew up out west... But, did take geology classes.
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I got you mixed up with the other bifurcated pseudonym...
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Yeah plus the cost of the phone which is around 200 bucks or so right now for my phone which is a pretty old model. Newer ones go for 300 to 400, depending on what you want. Of course there are candy bar type windows mobile smartphones (no touchscreen etc.) that go for much cheaper that will also work with this stuff, but are also not as functional as a full pda/phone. Also, there is free software that does the same thing as these pay for ones, but not as nicely (you get what you pay for), and then of course there is always the friend I have who would be able to easily give me a copy of his Tom Tom, but of course I would NEVER do that (wink, wink, nudge nudge).
--
Edgar



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All software on the phone works like it would on a computer, well except for the limited ram available. Basically the phone works through anything and depending on what you are doing will even pause other programs while your on the line (such as say listening to music on the MP3 player). When a call comes in while your in GPS mode it will switch to the phone screen and work normally. When you are done the GPS program will either come back on, or you just open it and it will be where you left it (the program itself never got shut off). You can even open other programs, though it will eventually start to close other programs when you are running short on memory, though this has never happened to me. You can even use other Bluetooth devices (up to a total of 7 I think) at the same time.
The downsides I can think of are that you do have to carry your phone and the little receiver when walking around though those things are tiny. They even have one that has a solar panel on it so it can get some juice from the sun through the windshield. Latest one I saw was no bigger than a USB thumb drive, and I am even hearing about ones that use the MiniSD slot so it is more like an antenna than a separate item. Only other thing I can think of is they usually take a little bit longer to acquire a signal, but not much and are getting better.
Of course the phone itself is the biggest + or - depending on the person. I've hacked this phone like crazy and it works great. It is a windows mobile 5 phone but hackers have found a way to get windows mobile 6 running on it, which is what I have right now. If you run this exact phone with its default software without any changes it's kind of hit and miss, but again this phone is very old and came out at least 4 or 5 years ago. Newer ones run much better. Just out of curiosity, who do you use for cellular out where you are?
Eventually I will be buying this one:
http://www.seidioonline.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID#7
it is the one to beat for accuracy and battery life (it's battery is stronger than the one in my phone).
--
Edgar



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Basically yes, you can put the little receiver anywhere you want as long as it is within the Bluetooth range of the device. And hooking it up to those solar backpacks would be great too. You might want to take a look at some of the solar powered GPS units. I haven't heard much about them except for that it could add another 10 hours to a 20 hour device (give or take)
http://pocketnow.com/index.php?a=portal_detail&t=reviews&id 9
These things seem like they would be perfect for your application, and even better on your dash in the hot sun.
I am pretty sure just about any phone on this page will work with these GPS devices:
http://www.wireless.att.com/cell-phone-service/cell-phones/pda-phones-smartphones.jsp
except the blackberrys (not sure on those, never used one myself) though I'm not so sure how well they work on the first smartphone on that page. My friend was using a Palm Treo (not a windows mobile Treo) and it worked great. My GF has something similar to the Treo 750 only an older device, and she loves it. The phone I have is similar to the 8525, and that sucker will do just about anything. I play lots of different games on it, do all my scheduling on it, text messaging is great with a full qwerty keyboard. Plus there are thousands of programs available for it, many of them free:
http://www.freewareppc.com /
but the best stuff you pay for. I wanted to buy a construction calculator which is available but its a bit expensive for me at the moment. All my pennies are being saved for my property taxes.
http://www.advantagecalculators.com/main.aspx?PID=JobProduct
How's that for an all in one device :). The iPhone may have the bells and whistles, but it can't touch Windows Mobile on functionality.
--
Edgar



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Michael Bulatovich wrote:

Not using one presently. Which GIS are you using?
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ArcView
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