Using a netbook/laptop as a SatNav

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by steveclecy, Dec 19, 2009.

  1. steveclecy

    steveclecy Read Only Funster

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    Does any member use their netbook or laptop as the primary SatNav device? It strikes me that route planning is so much easier on a larger display than on a standard TomTom or Garmin type device. You do lose the touchscreen capability of course.

    Have you bought a GPS USB receiver? They seem to vary between £25 and £75 on eBay. Any thoughts or comments?

    Steve
     
  2. ehuplad

    ehuplad Read Only Funster

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    I am looking to get Autoroute 2010 when available and i was looking to run on Laptop but route through Reversing camera if possible.
     
  3. MicknPat

    MicknPat Funster

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    When touring the USA & Canada 2007 to 2009 I used a 910 TomTom that had USA / Canada maps as well Europe maps, I also bought Microsoft's Streets & Tips 2007 which is the USA version of AutoRoute together with a USB GPS ariel.

    The only problem with the 2007 Streets & Tips was if you went off route it could not re calculate a new route :Sad: just before our return to the UK I upgraded to the 2008 version which does re-calculate your route but never used it.

    Mick
     
  4. TeeMyob

    TeeMyob Funster

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    Laptop

    I tried Autoroute and Navigator 4.4 on laptop, far too awkward.

    I use Blaupunkt or Mercedes Comand.

    TM
     
  5. Brisey

    Brisey Funster Life Member

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    Like Ehuplad I to am looking at Autoroute 2010, appears to be a cheaper option than upgrading my TomTom maps. Available in the new year from Amazon it comes with a GPS locator.

    [ame]http://www.amazon.co.uk/Microsoft-Autoroute-Europe-GPS-2010/dp/B002SPLI5Q/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=software&qid=1261212869&sr=1-2[/ame]
     
  6. Diabalo

    Diabalo Funster

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    I use it as a secondary, running the evaluation copy of Autoroute 2010 at the moment with a GlobalSat BU-353 GPS reciever from HERE And first impressions are very good:thumb:
     
  7. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    I have tried using a 12 inch Sony laptop with Autoroute as a primary navigation aid ..

    Problems i had

    1. How and where do you secure a laptop securely.

    2. Sunlight made the screen difficult to see

    3. Autoroute 2007 had no auto redirect, the voice guidance was poor and lappy volume was too low.
    Maybe that has changed with 2010 ?

    4. Vista was prone to crashing just when you needed it most, ie when you took a wrong turning and were trying to re direct.

    5. You can't drive AND use a laptop so you have to depend on a co pilot.
    This can work if the co pilot is sitting at a table and willing to do it..

    My advice, use Autoroute to plan a journey then up load to the GPS unit. The co pilot, if so inclined, can follow the route on the lappy and advise.

    Another option which I have now adopted is to plan on Google maps and upload to TT using Tyre



    jim
     
  8. Diabalo

    Diabalo Funster

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    Jim

    Not used 2007, but 2010 does auto redirect and voice directions and volume are good.
     
  9. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    Hi

    that's an improvement but it still leaves the main problem of where/how do you mount a laptop securely and still be viewable ..?
    I tried on the dash of the RV using velcro but it was too far away .. plus it vibrated quite badly .. I still think it's better to use a dedicated GPS unit and use the laptop for planning and as co pilot aid ..

    jim
     
  10. dellwood33

    dellwood33 Read Only Funster

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  11. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Now that's interesting. A HD when spinning is at risk, is this where all your problems originate ????
     
  12. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    Good point Brian, I hadn't thought on that, and now you mention it more than likely.

    I only tried it for one journey, going to Parc Verger Jan 2008, the HD failed in October same year and replaced under warranty by Sony.

    This is the Sony Z series that is designed for business travelers, carbon fibre case with the HD protection system, so it should be more robust but clearly not robust enough to sit on a dash and vibrate all day :Doh:

    With hindsight, a better option for in car/van use would have been a solid state drive such as the Mac Book Air

    jim
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2009
  13. Wildman

    Wildman Read Only Funster

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    There are two main differances in using a laptop or a dedicated satnav.
    1) no automatic redirect
    2) using a laptop the car can be seen moving not the map.

    I have used a lappy with mappoint and a gps locator. I find it useful for pinpointing our location an a decent resizeable map. When driving an following my nose and deciding to go to a specific place the map is much better. so actually I use both but the satnav gets used more often. My navman is not that upto date and I don't have the software to download POI's but no problem with mappoint.
     
  14. Braunston

    Braunston Read Only Funster

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    Hi,

    We have been using Autoroute on our 13.1 inch laptop since 2006 I think that was the first version that could be purchased with a GPS sensor in the box.

    We have a small shelf mounted on the dash on the passenger side and my copilot uses it for all of our journeys, we have upgraded to 2007 and then to Mappoint 2009 and more recently the evaluation copy of 2010, I found Mappoint 2009 a bit over the top and have reverted back to 2007 with updated maps.

    Mappoint and Autoroute 2010 both have automatic re-route but having used both we found that it can be a pain as quiet often the re-route gets into a loop especially if they have built a new road alongside of the existing, so we turned it off and used the old 2007 way of pressing F9 which leaves you in control, as quiet often due to the size of the screen you can see roads ahead that you may wish to take rather than being re-route back.

    We have found over the years that its the best Sat Nav system we could find as we have a Tom-Tom and Garmin XT Mobile in our phone plus Nokia's own Sat Nav system and while they all perform well, Autoroute on the Laptop does it ALL perfectly for us.

    And its so easy to add POI's
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2009
  15. Braunston

    Braunston Read Only Funster

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    Hi, Just to add we do have a separate pair of speakers that are powered from the USB as Jim is correct the sound level can be a problem.

    We also tried using a ASUS mini laptop thingy 18 months ago and had lots of problems, with changing the operating system to accept Autoroute, and when we resolved that it used to hang when on GPS quiet a lot, this laptop has 4GB ram and a Intel Core 2 Duo Penryn T9300 2.5GHz processor, windows 7 ultimate and it runs fine.
     
  16. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    My introduction to sat nav was in 2004 using an iBook with Route 66, I had it sitting on the passenger foot well. No guidance but it it plotted the route and you could see when to turn and if you were off route.. I still have and use it, unfortunately it's the only mapping available for the G4 Mac and it is now discontinued and unsupported, but I digress.

    Lots of opinions and good advice from users of both systems.. I'd sum it up like this ..

    FOR Dedicated Sat Nav .

    Can be heard easily
    Re routes automatically
    No need to look at it but when approaching junctions, roundabouts it zooms in for a clear view of the junction layout.

    Against

    More difficult to plan a route and small screen


    FOR laptop

    Large screen
    Better mapping
    Easy to plan route

    Against Laptop

    Size, requires a secure mount or held by co pilot which makes it less useful to the driver
    Damage to HD possible..
    Screen hard to see in bright sunlight
    Volume too low but can be overcome by usb speaker
    Difficult and hazardous for driver to use.

    I don't think it's a case or either or but rather using both , for me a lappy can't replace a dedicated sat nav unit but it's great for planning and storing routes ..



    jim
     
  17. Ant&Debs

    Ant&Debs Read Only Funster

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    I used my laptop and autoroute with GPS sensor from when they first came out, whilst i was driving Sleeper Coaches for Bands. The laptop sat on a small table thank was made for the dash, similar as made for trucks. It was a god send as it gave you a better overall view. A lot of the time our double deck coaches also had a trailer on the back so more info stopped me getting into problems with smaller roads.

    I also had a back up tomtom but prefered the laptop system. I would imagine that its not that legal, but we did most of our driving at night and just used to turn down the brightness.
     

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  18. JumboBeef

    JumboBeef Read Only Funster

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    I'm pretty sure the boys in blue would want a word if they found the driver using/could see a laptop whilst driving.
     
  19. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Maybe, but every top car TG show these days has a laptop sitting in front of the driver and they are expected to use it.

    On the other hand, that driver on the M6 appeared to be using a laptop when he killed a load of people.

    And of course it was established in court that Lord ???? texting on the move had absolutely nothing to do with the smash he had on the motorway.
     
  20. Braunston

    Braunston Read Only Funster

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    Hi,

    I don't have the laptop facing me, i must admit i can see it if i really want to but that is normally only when we have a problem perhaps in a small town or the route indicated doesn't look wide enough etc.

    As for legality I believe i heard a traffic officer comment that sat-nav systems where the screen is in a position for the driver to actually look at are questionable in law, as some of them are the size of some of the portable DVD players, and would just like a laptop distract you from actually driving, albeit so do a lot of other items.

    As Brian has said/suggested the test of the legality would probably depend on your social status and financial position:Rofl1:/:cry:
     
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