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Thread: $2000 gps system on a $300 computer

  1. #1
    Constant Bitrate CA 3000GT's Avatar
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    $2000 gps system on a $300 computer

    Hey, gps is my main reason for getting a computer in the car, I see those expensive gps systems, and cant help but think that with a custom computer I can get something nearly as good for way less.

    Is there software as follows:
    (Basic stuff)
    - Has all usa maps
    - Shows my position on map as I move about.
    - Allows input of address for door to door guidence.
    - Has voice guide. (turn left in 90 seconds/feet whatever)
    - has automatic re-routing, so if I miss a turn, it reroutes my path and gives directions on how to get back on course
    - Has some degree of voice response (so I can ask it stuff, like "zoom picture out")
    -Can I enter addresses by voice (vs keyboard/keypad)

    What I am looking for is something as hands-free as possible, I got a stick shift, so when Im driving, using keyboard is out of the question, and I dont often have passengers so I got to be able to use this thing myself.

    Please, GPS masters, lend your advice
    1995 SL stock
    Working On: GMAT
    Given Up On: Custom motorized lcd

  2. #2
    Variable Bitrate felix99's Avatar
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    Hi,
    I'm not american ( I am from europe) but I read here of software that does kindly all of your requested features -

    take a look some posts down on this section and you 'll find your answers .

    Yeah and PC navigation is much more cheaper than buing a seperat GPS Unit - and you have more functions

    bye

    Felix
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  3. #3
    FLAC
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    I'm pretty sure Delorme Street Atlas does all that.. It's the only one i've used (both deluxe and 9.0 versions.. I like 9.0 better)
    aka Kumaneko
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  4. #4
    FLAC cproaudio's Avatar
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    A good GPS system of any kind works best with touch screen or a button next to the screen itself for menu. If you're looking for stand alone unit which I doubt you are, Kenwood is a good unit. It's very user friendly. I havent had the chance to play with Alpine unit since someone broke the Alpine screen and stole the map data DVD at the store I work at. Kenwood unit has touch screen for all the menus plus it speaks perfectly understandable English. The next best thing for a computer software based GPS nav is Copilot2003. It does about 90% to 95% of what you're asking for. Street Atlas is also good but requires at least a SVGA display. Copilot works best with SVGA also but it is very readable if VGA or composite RCA jack LCD monitor is all you have.

    - Has all usa maps
    Copilot and Street Atlas both have that.

    - Shows my position on map as I move about.
    Copilot is only good for step by step navigational use. It's not good for showing current position while you drive unless you enter a destination.
    SA is good for displaying your current position on the map with out entering a destination but step by step navigational use is questionable.

    - Allows input of address for door to door guidence.
    Both have that. Copilot searches faster and has onscreen keyboard which is perfect for touch screen users.
    SA searches slower but has more results. SA requires a keyboard.

    - Has voice guide. (turn left in 90 seconds/feet whatever)
    Both have that. Copilot's voice is the worst feature of the whole setup. It sounds like a rebot and male is unchangeable unless you delete it then Karen Watson (female speaker) takes over. But the information it tells you is really good.
    SA has a better voice but still sounds semi robotic. You can change the speech engine and the speaker, meaning you can download a speaker with a British accent.

    - has automatic re-routing, so if I miss a turn, it reroutes my path and gives directions on how to get back on course
    This feature is where Copilot shines. It reroutes automatically. You don't have to do anything for it to reroute.
    SA has semi-automatic re-route. You have to manually click on the "Back on Track" button everytime you missed a turn. Half of the time, it tells you to make a U turn. Not good for someone with an RV.

    - Has some degree of voice response (so I can ask it stuff, like "zoom picture out")
    I don't have a mic so I dont use this feature but both have that.

    -Can I enter addresses by voice (vs keyboard/keypad)
    I realize you have a stick but are you sure you want to enter an address while you're driving? Since I dont use the mic on my setup, I couldnt tell you if you can use voice to enter destination.

    I tried using Street Atlas 2003 Plus with Copilot GPS receiver and it didnt work. If you want to use both Copilot and Street Atlas (one at a time but have both installed) you need to get Rand McNally serial GPS receiver. Both software work with the Rand. Copilot is very picky on what GPS receiver it uses. The only other known GPS receiver that works with Copilot is the Rand McNally.

    I started my system thinking that I'm only gonna use it for MP3 player and Navigation. I never knew it turned into "I use my computer for EVERYTHING!!!."

    I know you're new so if you have any questions feel free to ask. Also check out other people's installs. It might give you some ideas. This is my install.
    97 Toyota Tacoma You gotta See This. NEW UPDATE with 100+ pics on 7-4-03

  5. #5
    Constant Bitrate CA 3000GT's Avatar
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    Thank you very much for the good information

    So, from what I hear Copilot is a good way to go,

    I do have some more questions though:

    I currently have an rca screen, but no touchscreen... I could use a and no idea of what keyboard Im going to use... gotta be something like 5"x3"... I mean, small enough to mount on the center console... something like a keyboard with calculator button sized keys any ideas?

    >[Copilot] is not good for showing current position while you
    >drive unless you enter a destination.

    Hmmm, its not good... like how?.. like its not always accurate (I can live with that), or it just wont do it at all?

    So, lets say Im driving w/o knowing exactly where Im going (I dont have gps now.. this is my norm or say I kind of know wher Im going, but dont want to take the time to enter the address in
    Say I take a wrong turn, and I want to see my current location on the screen, with perhaps a few "zoom outs" so I can find a cross street... Copilot wont give me that unless I pick a destination?

    It would be great to be able to just hit a key which brings up the gps screen at any point and get a "where am I now" screen and then a zoom out "whats the closest major street" screen

    Can I have both of these programs running at once?

    Your Tacoma setup is really a great, and thanks again for the info.
    1995 SL stock
    Working On: GMAT
    Given Up On: Custom motorized lcd

  6. #6
    FLAC cproaudio's Avatar
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    Originally posted by CA 3000GT
    I could use a and no idea of what keyboard Im going to use... gotta be something like 5"x3"... I mean, small enough to mount on the center console... something like a keyboard with calculator button sized keys any ideas?
    You dont wanna go with super small KB. It's more pain than its worth. Believe me. You could try laptop sized keyboard. Those arent as comfortable as a full size but you gotta give up something for small size. Ther are many mini sized KB. For wireless, you should go with RF keyboard. I made a mistake of selling my Gyration RF keyboard for Full size IR keyboard. Now, I have to point my KB to the center console for the KB to work.

    >[Copilot] is not good for showing current position while you
    >drive unless you enter a destination.

    Hmmm, its not good... like how?.. like its not always accurate (I can live with that), or it just wont do it at all?
    It displays "Please enter a destination" and block off the whole screen. If you set it to the passanger mode, the map and current position looks like crap. As soon as you enter a destination, It tells you what street you're on and what street is apporching. On the top of the screen it displays your next turn in a very big font. Very readable even with RCA jack type monitor. It's very easy to use. Not a alot of bottons on the screen. Once you set the destination, it does everything for you. The 2003 version tells you if your destination is on the left or the right side of the street.

    So, lets say Im driving w/o knowing exactly where Im going (I dont have gps now.. this is my norm or say I kind of know wher Im going, but dont want to take the time to enter the address in
    Say I take a wrong turn, and I want to see my current location on the screen, with perhaps a few "zoom outs" so I can find a cross street... Copilot wont give me that unless I pick a destination?
    I understand exactly what you're talking about. As I've said before Copilot is only good for step by step navigational use. If you want a GPS software that shows current position so that if you get lost or take a wrong turn, you can zoom out to see where the street is taking you, Street Atlas is perfect for that but requires At least a true VGA screen. SVGA screen works best with Street Atlas as it displays too much crap.
    It would be great to be able to just hit a key which brings up the gps screen at any point and get a "where am I now" screen and then a zoom out "whats the closest major street" screen
    Can I have both of these programs running at once?
    Yes. it would be great wouldn't it. But, GPS software takes time to load, even if you have a super fast CPU. Almost all mapping software that supports GPS function have zoom in, zoom out function. It's the interface that people don't prefer. If you know for sure that you're gonna be driving for at least 15 minutes, then run the GPS software. If not, don't bother. Turn on your computer and listen to the MP3s.
    Yes both programs can run at the same time but one has to stop tracking in order for the other one to work and vise versa. If you're like me and have enough com ports and funding, buy 2 GPS receivers and run both programs at once and have both software track you at once.
    Your Tacoma setup is really a great, and thanks again for the info.
    Thanks.

  7. #7
    Low Bitrate w|tch's Avatar
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    I'm a big fan of the Delorme Earthmate, and it comes with Street Atlas Deluxe - has almost all, if not all, of the features you mentioned above. The unit has no display, plug in Via USB, is powered by USB, and is really small / easy to mount.

    As for a keyboard idea, check this out



    Those things are slick. PM me if you want one.

    Hope this helps your quest.
    Scott Byers, President 5 Speed PC
    www.5speedpc.com

  8. #8
    Constant Bitrate CA 3000GT's Avatar
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    Hey Switch & cproaudio thanks for the info.
    Delorme Earthmate hmmm, would that work with the Rand McNally serial GPS receiver? I think my best be will to be to get that gps reciever and try both copilot & Delorme & Street Atlas

    Switch That keypad looks nice, but I got to get a something with hard case.. I mean, theres no place in my car to put the keyboard down to type on. I really need something like a calculator but with letters instead of numeric input keys. something thats really small, I could perhaps mount someplace, or toss in the glove compartment, but would be able to hold in one hand and use w/ my thumb
    1995 SL stock
    Working On: GMAT
    Given Up On: Custom motorized lcd

  9. #9
    Low Bitrate w|tch's Avatar
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    Ya, I hear ya on the keyboard thing... I've found a couple different types of Mini-Keyboard, but nothing as small as the PDA style. I don't use my keyboard much, so the rollup is nice for me, but for people who use their keyboard frequently it might pose a problem. I'll letcha know if I find any other kind of mini-style keyboards from our distributors, I've always got my eye open for that kinda stuff.

    Also, I'm not sure if Street Atlas Deluxe works with any GPS other than the earthmate, so I'm not much help there. Just wanted to add my 2cents about it, as I've been happy with mine.
    Scott Byers, President 5 Speed PC
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  10. #10
    Constant Bitrate
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    Cool. Thanks for the discussion CProAudio... this has helped answer a lot of Q's for me as well. I'm going to save this one
    No Carputer YET.
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