PCs as navigation tools ?

Discussion in 'Continental Touring' started by beachcaster, Nov 23, 2011.

  1. beachcaster

    beachcaster Read Only Funster

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    Anyone use a laptop as a navigation aid as opposed to ..or in conjuction with a tomtom for instance.

    if so what software and what are the advantages.......etc.

    Do you plug it into the dash while you travel...........or use a small inverter ?

    What do you think ?

    thanks barry
     
  2. welsh winger

    welsh winger Read Only Funster

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    Not used one myself but a friend of mine used auto route 2006, you just need a GPS antenna and yes a inverter.

    Hell of a job balancing the lap top on the dash. :Doh:

    Nick
     
  3. Snowbird

    Snowbird Funster Life Member

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    Have never used one myself but have thought about it as a mate used his laptop for the same job. He had his satnav as well but used the laptop to scan through were he was going in more detail. He had a small square antenna on the dash and plugged the laptop into the cigy lighter with a 12 volt power lead. It was some time ago and he had a pile of disks that he loaded into the laptop. I suppose things have moved on a bit since then.
     
  4. bryandh

    bryandh Funster

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    Autoroute 2011

    Have a look here, thinking of investing for next season but need to know more about it. Free trial period available. Other MH owners on another forum speak highly of this product, but I cannot figure how to stabilise laptop although we do have a very large/wide dashboard.
    Any members using already ?


    http://www.microsoft.com/uk/autoroute/home.aspx


    Regards, Bryan
     
  5. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Yes.

    I've used my netbook with Autroute 2007 via a bluetooth GPS dongle. Not used it route planning but we were literally stuck in Gstaad going round and round in circles due to roadworks. Used it as a moving map to work our way out of the damned place.

    I believe it will work as a conventional GPS navigator with voice prompts.

    With the big display it's very impressive. Powered off a 12V laptop supply.

    Gstaad is also might impressive, I wish we could afford the big hotel there.
     
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  6. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    Also used Autoroute 2007 on a 12" Sony laptop mounted on the dash of the RV

    downsides...

    Autoroute does not re route if you are diverted or go the wrong way ..unless they have changed it in the latest release, that is a major problem..

    Hard to see screen in bright sunlight.

    The Sony hard drive failed.. possible due to dashboard vibration .. repaired under warranty but I never used it for that again and bought a TT ...

    It would be fine if used by the navigator on a dedicated table .. bonus is you can see the whole route and where you are exactly .. but for driving instructions the dedicated Sat Nav is far better ..
     
  7. beachcaster

    beachcaster Read Only Funster

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    Jane often sits with a large map book and double checks on tomtom
    though we dont tell tomtom cos we dont want to hurt his feelings.

    But it was an idea to use a small laptop instead of a physical map
    so she can use it as we go along in conjunction with tomtom

    barry
     
  8. wivvy's dad

    wivvy's dad Read Only Funster

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    RAM mounts would be the way to go......

    http://www.ram-mount.co.uk/laptop-tablet-mounts-c-491.html

    RAM mounts are much used by motorcyclists for mounting satnags/cup holders/surface-mounted yoghourt makers etc etc.

    I'm interested in knowing more about GPS dongles, because the one I bought earlier this year refused to work, and my money was refunded.

    I have Autoroute on the netbook, but haven't been able to use it in anger because of the dongle problem.
     
  9. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    Did you download a USB to serial driver for the dongle ?

    I used 'prolific' , but I guess if you Google there are more

    http://usbserialdrivers.com/
     
  10. wivvy's dad

    wivvy's dad Read Only Funster

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    Yes I did Jim, but still it refused to work.
     
  11. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    My netbook has no bluetooth, so I bought a tiny USB bluetooth dongle for under £2, a bluetooth GPS dongle for under a tenner and to my surprise they worked perfectly first time.

    You don't have to go bluetooth. RS232 is the old connection for GPS receivers.

    My set up is something like......

    Ebay 320794151026

    Ebay 320728125700
     
  12. beachcaster

    beachcaster Read Only Funster

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    I was under the impression that all you needed was a laptop
    and the usb GPS plugin that comes with the programme......do you also need internet connection?

    I thought that it would work without it ?


    barry
     
  13. Bailey58

    Bailey58 Funster Life Member

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    I got Autoroute 2011 as a birthday gift and although I haven't used it en-route yet it certainly looks the part with it's planning options and its spoken street names and directions. This version does include automatic re-routing and no, an internet connection is not necessary with the GPS USB stick. Agreed the laptop could be a problem in the cab, gets a bit warm on your knees after ten minutes or so.
     
  14. Heyupluv

    Heyupluv Read Only Funster

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  15. lesleyjean

    lesleyjean Funster

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    Hi,
    we use Autoroute 2010 in conjunction with Tom Tom.
    2010 version does reroute if you take wrong turn and no you do not need to be on the internet to use it.
    Also yes you only need the GPS plugin that comes with it.
    It works very well and there are lots of points of interest on the "Do Your Dream", website from the Funsters I think Mel and Ryan.
    We use an inverter for power.
    Really good software.

    Lesley

     
  16. Jim

    Jim Ringleader

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    In areas I'm not familiar with I tend to plot waypoints into Tom Tom so I know exactly where its taking me. But on route its nice to have the big picture using Autoroute, especially so in France when you don't want to be online due to data charges so the laptop with Autoroute is always on.

    That red circle always showing us where we are is so helpful. Its easy to see at a glance whether a road leads to that beach or lake without having to wait for the map to be unfolded by my good lady, then those "where are we again" questions followed by loads of map shuffling, a full blown argument, and a "give the bloody map here" So by the time we know the answer we're 30 clicks past it, "yes that road would have lead to that lovely resouviour:Doh:

    Yes, TomTom and Autoroute Express rocks:thumb:
     
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