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View Full Version : Having a crack at setting up Laptop/GPS



weeds
11th January 2006, 08:34 AM
Hey Guys

I'm am going to have a go at setting up an old laptop (short term) for use in my 4wd. If it works out I'm considering building a new setup.

I have the following
Garmin eTrex
Laptop

Have just ordered
Re-radiating antenna

Need to buy
Oziexplorer
PC interface cable
Hopefully not much else????

Before i start and purchase the extra bits and pieces i need to know if my old laptop will keep upto speed with the GPS so that i have a moving map. My laptop (gee they don't make them like they used to) specs are

Operating System - Windows 98
Processor - 167 megaherts Intel Pentiom w/MMX
Drives - 5GB
Memory - 48 Megabytes

What do you reckon guys, A GOER or NOT.

I have limited pc skills however a young guys in the office has source the following to build a setup for the car , i would firstly like to play with my old laptop with little outlay before a go to a dedicated system to see if it really what i want.

1. Processor - VIA EPIA5000 - Mini ITX M/B with ESP5000 Fan less processor
2. Anti-shock case - http://cgi.ebay.com/USB-2-0-Anti-Shock-2-5-Hard-Drive-HD-Enclosure-Case_W0QQitemZ8741140647QQcategoryZ41911QQcmdZView Item
3. Hard Drive - Fujitsu 40G notebook HDD 5400RPM 8M
4. LCD Touch Screen - http://cgi.ebay.com.au/Lilliput-7-Touch-Screen-XGA-VGA-TFT-Car-Monitor-2005_W0QQitemZ5831996036QQcategoryZ14946QQrdZ1QQcm dZViewItem

Anybody in brizzy have a setup that i could look at.

Fuse
11th January 2006, 09:57 AM
Hi Kelvin,

The laptop "should" be adequate, if only just. A lot will depend on the maps you use. e.g. Don't try to use some of the large satellite images.

When you buy the interconnecting cable you're best off getting the power/data combo type. This site stocks that kind of gear at what I believe to be pretty reasonable prices, although I got mine a bit cheaper from eBay.

Fuse

Pluto
11th January 2006, 10:56 AM
...
Need to buy
Oziexplorer
PC interface cable
Hopefully not much else????...

You've overlooked the little issue of digital maps. Ozi doesn't include maps except for a few instructional/demo maps. You have, of course come to the right forum to find the maps you want, but you might still need to get some commercial maps such as Natmap Raster 250K (http://www.ga.gov.au/nmd/products/maps/raster250k/) Topos.

Fuse
11th January 2006, 10:59 AM
Maps can of course be scanned for use with OziExplorer. I scan all my paper maps. A job that is admittedly made easier by having access to an A3 scanner.

Fuse

Dooghan
11th January 2006, 11:57 AM
Not long ago I loaned a laptop that had similar specs to one you've got. I also had at the time a etrex to. I ran Ozi with the Raster 250k maps and some scanned on it in moving map mode without any problems. But like fuse says just don't try to run large maps as it will take a long time to load and you will get a slow screen refresh.

Dooghan

weeds
11th January 2006, 02:08 PM
ok learning all the time, thanks for the responses

firstly, dooghan, i'm from rockhampton, well was, am now in brisbane, my parents still live up there at parkhurst, i loosely say rocky as nobody ever knows where gracemere is, actually 1/2 of rockhamption doesn't even know where gracemere is!!!

well i assumed ozi-explorer included maps how wrong was i

i see rastar maps are $100 to purchase, i see that Auslig 1:250K maps are available for free download, are these similar to rastar maps, which would be best????? i have read that the auslig free maps are not as good as quality as the cd/dvd set, differant jpeg compression, what ever that means, i found this info on www.aulro.com would the auslig be good enough for me to play with???

i do have a pIII laptop at home which i'm now considering using

i will look into a power/data combo cable, i guessing if i don't have the combo i will be replacing batteries all the time

ok looks like all i have to do is wait on advice of the maps i need, no other major suprises that i need to know about, than present the costs to the accountant

i have had a bit of a look at the pda option but thought this way i could download the pictures from my camera, load music, the kids can watch dvd etc

Pluto
11th January 2006, 03:52 PM
Not long ago I loaned a laptop that had similar specs to one you've got. I also had at the time a etrex to. I ran Ozi with the Raster 250k maps and some scanned on it in moving map mode without any problems. But like fuse says just don't try to run large maps as it will take a long time to load and you will get a slow screen refresh.

DooghanYou can still run large map sheets as long as you are aware of the image format. Some formats demand that the entire image is poaded in memory. These formats will make the laptop chug in moving map mode.

Other formats such as ecw and ozf allow a portion of the image to be loaded into memory. Then the image size is largely irelevent to the performance of moving map mode.

If you have a lot of jpeg or tiff map images, I suggest you convert them using img2ozf, which is available from the OziExplorer (http://www.oziexplorer.com) Utilities page.

Pluto
11th January 2006, 03:57 PM
...i see rastar maps are $100 to purchase, i see that Auslig 1:250K maps are available for free download, are these similar to rastar maps, which would be best????? i have read that the auslig free maps are not as good as quality as the cd/dvd set, differant jpeg compression, what ever that means, i found this info on www.aulro.com would the auslig be good enough for me to play with???...Probably.

They are an older version, with the typical limitations of age (missing current version corrections ie. new/modified roads etc). The image quality isn't as good (especially compared to the Natmap Raster 250K Deluxe edition).

arthurking83
11th January 2006, 04:35 PM
The free map images you can download from Geoscience are the current series maps, the DVD premium package has better image resolution(lower compression).

The ECW images are current! they are the images you get with the $99 standard CD set, but of course there is no software viewer!

With the laptop you're considering using, you would definitely want to convert any image files(jpg, bmp, tif, etc) into ozf2 format.
This format uses less memory, and CPU, and the image loads in an instant!
(Well...maybe a bit more on an old system!)

cheers.

Jackaroo
11th January 2006, 04:39 PM
FYI

The Natrap Raster series of maps are available for download from the Geoscience if you have the Bandwidth to spare

shane_vor
11th January 2006, 05:20 PM
good on ya weeds! I'm in th esame boat...only without the laptop! thanks for asking the question.

familytruck
11th January 2006, 10:13 PM
I've an IBM thinkpad PIII, don't know what speed it is, 256Meg Ram. 18Gig Hard disk.

I've installed on the hard disk ALL 1050 or so Topographic Maps of NSW (older and newer) which consist of 1:25000 & 1:50000 1:100000. And the entire NatMap Premium pack. With Ozi Explorer it takes up 12.4 Gig of drive space.

It takes about 5 minutes to load (import) ALL the various Topomaps into Ozi Explorer.

Once imported they do open pretty quick.

As I took delivery of my Legend tonight I pluged it in and enabled theNMEA protocol and the Moving Map function, I had a map out Dubbo way loaded up, the minute OziExplorer got data from the GPS it dumped the current map and loaded the Sydney map and zoomed into my home.

Did not have to adjust any coms settings on the Laptop or GPS

Paul

Dooghan
12th January 2006, 08:22 AM
firstly, dooghan, i'm from rockhampton, well was, am now in brisbane, my parents still live up there at parkhurst, i loosely say rocky as nobody ever knows where gracemere is, actually 1/2 of rockhamption doesn't even know where gracemere is!!!Gracemere.........isn't it that place near Mount Morgan :D ;)


You can still run large map sheets as long as you are aware of the image format. Some formats demand that the entire image is poaded in memory. These formats will make the laptop chug in moving map mode.

Other formats such as ecw and ozf allow a portion of the image to be loaded into memory. Then the image size is largely irelevent to the performance of moving map mode.

If you have a lot of jpeg or tiff map images, I suggest you convert them using img2ozf, which is available from the OziExplorer Utilities page.I found it didn't matter what format the files where in. The 2mb ECW files would chug along the same as the 2mb JPG files. But the way around that was to change "Keep Map Centered on Position" to "Center when Near Window Edge" under moving map control. That helped a lot as it would only recenter the map when the position pointer near the edge of the window. I did try to run a 7mb JPG file on it once which was quickly changed to a 1.5mb ECW file.

Dooghan

weeds
12th January 2006, 10:24 AM
Gracemere.........isn't it that place near Mount Morgan

never heard of mt morgan

graeme
13th January 2006, 05:50 AM
Hello, I have just built my first Car PC - it is as per a desk top but only in Minit ITX format. You can get all the parts in Aust or have a look at "BitDistribution" they sell bare bones or compmlete units. Have mounted mine under the seat and use a touch screen on the dash. Etrex GPS unit via serial port and Oziexplorer moving maps.

By using mini ITX format easy to upgrade and replace parts if required. RAM is cheap (DDR 512mb - $75.00).

Total cost for unit 1gb processer/512mb RAM and DVD reader/CD burner 40mb HDD and 8" screen was $1200.

Graeme

Fuse
13th January 2006, 05:55 AM
Graeme,

How much was the screen and where did you get it? I'm interested in a small screen but would actually prefer one which is not a touch screen (should be a lot cheaper too).

jrs
13th January 2006, 05:06 PM
With the laptop you're considering using, you would definitely want to convert any image files(jpg, bmp, tif, etc) into ozf2 format.
This format uses less memory, and CPU, and the image loads in an instant!
(Well...maybe a bit more on an old system!)

cheers.

Hi
I agree that converting to ozf2 or ozf3 is an excellent idea particularly for older hardware. I've been doing that. Has anyone succeeded in converting the landsat7 image file? I get file-to-big related errors as the temp file is over 4G.