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Hi guys,

I'm sure this has probably being asked on many occasions. I can't find the answers I am looking for and I don't know of anyone with the setup.

If the responses are good maybe a mod can use this thread as a FAQ..

I have a GQ patrol and as the heading suggests I am very keen on setting up laptop for GPS/Navigation. I have a tomtom so I am not overly concerned for use in the city, just in the bush and like as many of you, I’d prefer to look a PC while driving rather than stopping and pulling out the rooftop or hema etc.

I will be probably looking at mounting the PC on the dash between the instrument cluster and the passenger brace bar as a 10" will fit nice and snug with some abrasive strips. Alternatively I will buy a PC cradle from Ebay. A larger screen (like my 17” asus) will be nice but I don’t want to compromise driver/front passenger cabin space and have something to hit with knee caps and elbows.

I’m considering the Asus eepc 1000 series or a Samsung n10. Are there any fundamental problems with either of these? Would you suggest different and why?

On Ebay I saw (12v car charges) and USB GPS receivers for relatively cheap, any receiver better or worse than others?

What software do you use?

Can you pre-plan routes with waypoints and the like? Or does it only show current location?

Can/does the software log the trip for post trip upload to Google Earth?

Any points or tricks I should know about?

What do you find handy or in turn annoys the hell out of you about it? etc etc

I’d just like to hear the experienced opinions of people who are currently running the setup.
Many Thanks in advance,
Julian
 

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Ozi explorer seems to be the software most be people use. Quite a few members of the 4WD club im in have it running of laptops/netbooks. There is a forum which they frequent http://www.gpsaustralia.net/. I also want to do something like this at some point. My plan is to build a roof console to store a laptop/netbook, HF Radio, and some other stuff and run a 7" Touchscreen single din on a dash console that folds out. This will likely be a while off and I have not done up any designs as yet for how I see it working.
 

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if you looked in the forum before posting, you would have seen my thread:
http://patrol4x4.com/forum/showthread.php?t=37874

which was at the top....


I'm in the middle of doing exactly what you're asking about, using a netbook for satnav. I'll be using OziExplorer which does everything you want.

I'm using a 5hz MTK based GPS i made bluetooth, however you could really use any. You wont be able to use any uBLOX as they output UBX data, not NMEA. MTK's are more accurate and update 5 times a second - SiRF are very popular however, but only update once a second and are not as accurate as MTK/UBX. UBX are made in europe, MTK in taiwan, and SiRF in the USA. EBay should have all of them in usb and blue tooth. You can of course also get the garmin/navman/tomtom/whatever brand name ones, but they all just run SiRF modules anyway.


As explained in my thread, i went with a Fujitsu laptop because it's screen is far superior to *anything* else outdoors. I looked at the Asus, and while they have an excellent reputation i found them to look fairly bulky.
 

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My set up is a Mac Mini located under the passenger seat and a screen mounted on the dash.
Mapping software i have programs of mac and windows as im running dual platforms. Mac 10.5 and windows XP. on the mac i have GPSnavX its not bad but when i want to use Ozi i swich over to Windows and on that i have:

A iGPS-M Mouse. Ozi Explorer with Natmap 2008, Memory Map Tour

Memory Map Topo which Covers Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, Tasmania, New Zealand in 1:25000 or 1:50000
Memory Map Tour is used to cover all states in 1:250000 as well as all Hema's Digital Maps
Memory Map Rooftop is used to cover Victoria and New South Wales as an alternative to the other maps (Very Useful Off Road)

Ozi Explorer is used as well due to many other people using it,
Maps here are as Follows
NATMAP Raster Premium 2003 1:250000
NATMAP Raster Premium 2005 1:250000
NATMAP Raster Premium 2008 1:250000

Flinders Rangers is covered from Nth to South by 1:50000
Eyre Penisular is also covered from Est to Wst by 1:50000

It may seem like a lot but they are maps that dad has accumulated over the years.

As for a front end, i do use the apple front row which works very well for music and movies dvd photos on the run ect.



 

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Net or notebooks with oziexplorer or memorymap software with a USB gps work well. Yes, you can set up waypoints and routes and the vehicle track is recorded as well.

See post

http://www.patrol4x4.com/forum/showthread.php?p=270654#post270654

about using a Ram mount and Asus EeePC. This set up is quite stable even on corrugations and rough going.

You can download 250k national maps at no cost from national mapping, but higher resolution maps you have to buy. Importing the 250k maps is possible into memorymap, but they have to be calibrated - slightly tedious but not difficult. I don't know if this can be done in ozimap, but I imagine that it would be possible. Someone who has that program might help.

Cheers

Scibot
 

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Click on the link in my signature to see detail of my carputer setup.

ALso mp3car.com is a great website for everything concerning PCs in cars.
 

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I have a set up I am pretty happy with.

I have an 8inch touch screen mounted centre dash but hung under slightly. It just blocks a little of the air vents.
Under the rear seat I have a mini pc with an ATX power supply - it is designed to run on 12v power, and is easily set up to hibernate 10seconds after the ignition is turned off. It also has a laptop 2.5inch hard drive, so no damage from bumps etc.
In the glovebox I have a powered 7port USB hub which is powered by a 12v - 5v converter at max of 5A i think - available from Jaycar or Altronics I think. Connected to this is a SirfIII GPS reciever which sits on dash mat with a bit of velcro, a USB Tire Pressure Monitor, a silicone roll up keyboard, the USB for the touch screen control, a 500gb laptop HDD, Ipod cable, a reversing camera, an internet stick and a webcam/microphone.
I run Oziexplorer for mapping and use Centrafuse as my front end. Centrafuse enables me to use the Tire pressure monitor plugin, as well as Street Nav through Destinator. Also plays all my music as stored on the pc's hard drive, and even the odd movie when we are sleeping in the back.
Using OziExplorer, we have found our way for 40000kms of exploring around the bottom half of Oz so far, and have recorded all our tracks, which we export to GoogleEarth so our family can see exactly where we have been wandering.

It is a reasonably easy set up, with all the parts sourced cheaply off Ebay (except the USB TMPS which was more pricey than a standalone setup, but I think more trick :) )

PM if you want any advice etc.
I'll post up some pics soon for you.
Ben.
 

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Hi there

Sounds like a really interesting setup there. I look forward to seeing pictures. A parts list or a general "How to" would also be great.

Watching this space
 

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Yeah, no worries. Have been meaning to share what i've learned setting it up for a while now. I am working at moment (yes, getting paid to read the forum - sorry mods but I CAN get paid for play patrol sometimes). Will take some detailed pics tomorrow and do a write-up with links etc etc.
 

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BenDPatrol how did you get it to hibernate automaticly after you kill the ignition?
 

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Yeah, same problem for me - the double din units are no good for the gq. Also, an all in one unit limits you a bit expand what you use with it.

Nethergate, The ATX PSU has the specific function of detecting ignition on / off power surge. It is a power supply unit that is specifically designed for use in cars. If you are using a laptop, your options may be a bit limited but if using a pc, then you can easily replace the power supply unit with an ATX, which also means you don't need an inverter to run it.
http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/pow...x-125-watt-smart-automotive-power-supply.html
They have several different settings u can set up yourself by moving jumpers on the circuit board - the online pdf manual gives great step by instructions.
http://resources.mini-box.com/online/PWR-M3-ATX/PWR-M3-ATX-manual.pdf
 

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yeh ok, ive already looked at m4 atx psu, i thought u were talking about a laptop. was going to use a pc due to it being cheaper and ive already got one laying around, thanks anyway dude
 

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OK, so a few pics of my setup. I still have some work to do to tidy up the wires etc and will be upgrading the pc itself for better components.

Parts:
1. 8 inch touch screen. I took the stand apart and managed to use the two bolts from the knuckle to attach it to the centre dash. It moves a bit, especially off road, but it doesn't seem to affect it and no signs of it coming off.
http://cgi.ebay.com.au/8-inch-Touch...ccessories?hash=item3ca8674ecb#ht_3378wt_1165

2. 12v Car PC complete installed with XP. This uses an M2-ATX power supply that runs from 12v, is protected from crank surges and uses a third wire connected to aux power, that senses when the car is turned off and hibernates the PC - saves on booting time among other things. It has enough space for all my music and maps etc.
http://cgi.ebay.com.au/Intel-1-2Ghz...tDomain_15?hash=item439d2e1e47#ht_6643wt_1188

3. USB SirfIII GPS Dongle.
http://cgi.ebay.com.au/GlobalSat-BU...ronics_GPS?hash=item20af4d2ec2#ht_3186wt_1165

4. 7 Port USB hub. Powered. Heaps available from ebay of different brands. I went with one from Dick Smitch coz I needed it right away. It runs a whole heap of USB stuff including the TPMS, GPS, Keyboard, touch screen, internet, Ipod, external HDD, printer, cameras - anything we would put through a normal home pc. This is then powered with a DC-DC converter from Jaycar. I am yet to wire in the cigarette plug so it remains plugged in to the socket. http://www.jaycar.com.au/productView.asp?ID=MP3038&CATID=27&form=CAT&SUBCATID=665

5. USB TPMS and Silicone keyboard. The TPMS is a whole thread on its own. It will not work without RideRunner or Centrafuse front end software. Have a look here for starters:
http://www.portalmediapc.com/store/12-tpms.html

6. Webcam / mic combo - for those important video conference calls with my stock trader and members of the board :) Also, so I can spin it around and take my family back home on a drive of the beautiful places we go - via Skype.

I also have wired inline the 2 switches you see in the dash. One for the ignition wire and one for the power. This way, I can simulate ignition off and can turn the pc hard-off if I need.
 

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Thought I should add some software info.

I run Centrafuse as a shell over XP.
www.centrafuse.com
This also has street nav built in

I also Xport the com port for the GPS and run OziExplorer for mapping. I have the HEMA 4wd maps and raster and a few maps I have scanned in myself. This runs all the time, and it tracks most places I go... Handy to check up on where the missus has been going to spend my money ;)

There are some cool phidgets you can set up if u r so inclined, which allow for things like an over-ride for starting the car - prevents firing the starter until a code has been entered. Other cool stuff like this too.
I run all usual windows based software too like skype, google earth (can track in real time with sat pictures instead of maps) and email.
 

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I'm running a Toshiba Satellite 1800 laptop strapped to the cargo barrier, with OziExplorer and Destinator 9 for PC (recently acquired). GPSGate connects both applications to my TM-GPM008 USB GPS mounted on top of the snorkel. 8" touchscreen mounted on top of dash. (Section of aluminium sticking above screen has since been removed)

Would like to mount screen in front of the existing head unit so it doesn't block the air vents but haven't looked into that yet. Bought a regluated power kitfrom DSE for the screen and mounted it up under the dash near the passenger footwell.

All cables except power run down passenger side of vehicle with a remote power switchs mounted in the dash (Can just see it under the aerial switch). Power to laptop is provided via a generic 12V to multi-volt laptop adaptor kit bought through a previous employer.

GU42gold
 

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