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anybody uses a USB GPS device?

Old 04-30-09, 10:58 PM
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duke_of_hazard
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anybody uses a USB GPS device?

you can buy a $30 GPS that plugs into your laptop USB port. I was thinking to buy a netbook and attach the GPS to it. This would be light weight to carry around. I have never used GPS before so not sure if I'm overlooking some obvious faults with the system.
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Old 05-01-09, 12:21 AM
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well the notbook needs to be running for the system to work. the batteries will die fast. you can't see it while riding unless your really strange. it may trash the netbook using it on a moving bike.
not too many reasons not too.
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Old 05-01-09, 01:42 PM
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^ what he said.

i used to have one of those tiny bluetooth GPS receivers for my pocketPC navigation. these units only communicate w/ positioning satellites so they still need a computing front running (PDA, PC, etc.). there are a few units out there that record the data for uploading onto a PC after a ride. but if you want this device and a real-time display w/ a netbook, that would be pretty difficult and more cumbersome than it's worth, IMO. you'll need to tackle the power issue and mounting the netbook for a display. i sure as hell wouldn't want to crash w/ my netbook on my handlebars.
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Old 05-01-09, 02:45 PM
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I was thinking more along the lines of just being able to tell me where I am when I am lost. I like to ride in the general direction of where I want to go. But often I get lost. So then I would stop and consult the netbook. Would that work?
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Old 05-01-09, 03:11 PM
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barney stinson
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yes. it'll probably take a few minutes, though. the netbook would probably boot up in 1-2 munutes but then you'll have to run the map software, too. the GPS receiver will take anywhere from 5 seconds to a minute to triangulate your location. it sound like a hassle and an unnecessary weight as well.

why not get a cheap ($30-$100) previous generation GPS on craigslist? now that i have a garmin in my car, i don't see why i ever wanted another device to do something it wasn't natively made to do. if you're just looking for a quick way to find your way when you're lost, just get a much faster, made for the job, dedicated GPS.
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Old 05-01-09, 03:38 PM
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does a USB cell phone with build in GPS count?
if so yes.
got a few great software for windows mobiles cell phones
- GPSmeter
- Cycle Computer
- TomTom maps

they all work perfectly when i put them into the handlebar holder

the only problem is rainy days

there's another topic about the GPS holder for bike here
http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=535460

Last edited by GTALuigi; 05-01-09 at 03:43 PM.
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Old 05-01-09, 08:58 PM
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Smaller netbooks have ssd's which won't be affected by the bouncing around, though if a laptop hdd can survive a 4x4 truck on a PA highway it can survive anything you can do on a bike.
Battery life isn't that bad, my asus will run close to 5 hours and resumes in about 2 seconds and biking is actually in one of their ads http://eeepc.asus.com/global/video.html?n=1
I bought a handheld garmin, etrex legend hcx. Its not biking specific and doesn't have a couple of the fancy bike specific ones but works for hiking, in the car, etc. They also have a program that lets it act as a simple USB gps where the navigation is done on a laptop so I can still use the netbook.
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Old 05-18-09, 02:13 PM
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I still use paper maps when possible. I have an Adapt 850 data logger which I use to keep track of where I have been after I return. I like it, but the path is +- 200 ft so I have to interpret where I have been sometimes. You should make sure the batteries are easy to get. Either standard AAA or Nokia cell phone for example.

If you want to use the GPS to find your location, I would suggest a handheld outdoor GPS. I doubt you will have any problem with a USB or even bluetooth system and your netbook, but the weight and set up time to get a reading might be a problem on a bike.
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Old 05-18-09, 03:27 PM
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I would not even attempt to mount a netbook on my bike, seems like too much of a liability. There are lots of GPS solutions out there from bike specific Garmins to cell phone programs, all of which are cheaper and smaller than rigging up a laptop.

I've been impressed with Nokia Sports Tracker. Someone posted a link about it in the commuting forum last week and it's a neat program. Not only does it give you the bike computer data, it will also show you a map of the surrounding roads, log your ride data for future reference, and concerned parties at home can track your progress in real time on the website.

The only thing I've not been able to do with it is construct a route then upload it to my phone as a guide, but the program is still in beta so it could happen.
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