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Thread: Looking for cheap GPS solution

  1. #1
    FLAC PURDooM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Anoka County, MN

    Looking for cheap GPS solution

    A friends dad drives a truck cross country nearly every month. Lately he has shown interest in having GPS navigation in his truck. The problem is, he wants it reliable and easy - reliable throws out tomtom based units (North America tomtom maps suck) and easy throws out a whole gettorigged car computer.

    Plus it has to be cheap. I have iguidance already, and I can get iguidance to run on just about any OS I have laying around the house (running it on linux is free). The real issue is, what do I do for hardware that is also cheap?

    The farthest I have got in creative thinking is dissassemble the display off of an older 500mhz or so laptop computer and attach the screen to the back of the computer. Then, I can build an enclosure for the whole thing and buy a trackball or touchpad mouse, and a small usb keyboard for input and mount that somewhere. But that is still breaking my ghetto rigging rule.

    So how about it? If you had to build a GPS solution for your technically illiterate dad for cheap, how would you assemble it?
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  2. #2
    FLAC Marvin Hlavac's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    .... . .-. .
    One concern would also be the software. What's good for truckers? CoPilot is the only one which advertises ability to do truck routing. But just like you commented about the TomTom map quality, the CoPilot may not be satisfactory either (non-Navteq maps, proprietary CoPilot data). Some truckers have said CoPilot isn't really good at the truck-specific routing anyway (so why bother).

    A trucker will not want to just enter a destination, hit a button, and drive. He will want to check the route if it's okay for a large vehicle. Some software may not be that easy to use to pan map, zoom out, etc. And you are designing this for a person who may not be so passionate about technology. What's left? A printed road atlas for truckers only, perhaps?

    Many truckers use Microsoft Streets & Trips on their laptops, but I'm not sure how comfortable with a laptop would you friend’s dad be.

  3. #3
    Constant Bitrate
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    some old fujitsu tablet (10" screen) on ebay go for few hundred dollars. may be that would work and they already have touch screen.

  4. #4
    Fusion Brain Creator 2k1Toaster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Colorado, but Canadian!
    The cheapest way I can think of is a Used Palm or PocketPC with a bright colour screen.

    Streets and Trips wil do the routing functions, and there is a palm/PocketPC version included so software is good. Then the GPS reciever that comes with the S&T bundle can be adapted (by it from M$ for like $50 or so) to be bluetooth, plug directly into the Palm/PocketPC, or use the usb cable if the spiffy pocket pc you have has a host port.

    Then you can mold the little pocketPC into something and make it look good, or get one of those window suction things. FM modulator or aux in to the radio.

    That would be the cheapest. And as far as I can see it is the best way for a nontechnical person because it will load instantaneously, and usually those touch friendly apps are easy to use. Also no big software crashes that often, and if it does, just plug it in to a computer and restore.

    That's what I would do!
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