Netbook for touring

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
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al_yrpal
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Re: Netbook for touring

Postby al_yrpal » 21 Oct 2013, 2:13pm

Sweep, providing you get the right usb cable and program to transfer data from the Etrex 20. This might work... https://play.google.com/store/apps/deta ... nExchanger

Al
Touring on a bicycle is a great way to explore and appreciate the countryside and towns you pass through. What do you do to make a difference?

cjs
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Re: Netbook for touring

Postby cjs » 21 Oct 2013, 2:40pm

Sweep wrote:Have yet to take the tablet plunge but will do soon.

........ My main reason for my inteerest in connectivity will be getting stuff from the tablet to my Etrex 20..........


What do you need to get across?

Garmin's Mapsource & Basecamp are not available for Android..

There is no other real Android / Etrex compatible software that I am aware of.. except as mention above by Al.... I will have a look and come back..

Several Apps - OSMand and Oruxmaps are OK on the Nexus Android with GPS on or off - OSMand has free downloadable maps and work very well offline - Oruxmaps can read OpenFietsmap IMG files offline but in my view not too well.... and they are not routeable - Google maps can be used offline with a little caching thought ....

Perhaps some apps may have GPX compatible waypoints that can be transferred to the Etrex but I have not found it yet... If you want true input / output with a Garmin a notebook is IMO the only viable option at the moment.... but I would love to proved wrong :) Addition - OsmAnd and Garmin do not use the same GPX format so there will have to be a separate conversion to share the files although 'Garmin Exchanger' indicate a OsmAnd plugin to be available later? ..

With a Nexus there is no card slot but you can connect direct to a memory card with an appropriate OTG cable and USB card reader and transfer either way with an App 'Nexus Media Importer'. Without the App you have to tinker or 'Root' the Android system. A mini / USB cable is of course supplied to connect and transfer to and from a operating system such as Windows.... it just memory cards you need a little work around. Nexus Media Importer works well - I use it all the time with the camera...
Kind Regards
Chris...

andymiller
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Re: Netbook for touring

Postby andymiller » 21 Oct 2013, 6:23pm

I was just looking at the Tesco hudl in Tesco (believe it or not) and I was quite impressed.

I know absolutely diddly about Android, but a quick Google says that the hudl's Android Jelly Baby operating system* puts it in the same bracket as the Nexus 7.

The neat thing is that it has a micro-SD slot.

As far as using with a gps - presumably you could download gpx tracks from the web. Also in theory, you could use sites like bike route toaster (although yes it would probably be easier with a mouse).

You could download files to the micro-SD card and then put the card into the gps - the pictures of the hudl seem to show slots for the card so I'm assuming that this would be fairly straightforward..



* Note for techno pedants: joke.

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Cunobelin
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Re: Netbook for touring

Postby Cunobelin » 21 Oct 2013, 6:46pm

I alter where I travel and which device to take as I feel best

I use the Ipad Mini or Iphone with Garmin Connect and an Edge 810, or if I am on a photo heavy tour I take the Macbook Air

sjs
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Re: Netbook for touring

Postby sjs » 21 Oct 2013, 10:21pm

cjs wrote:
Sweep wrote:Have yet to take the tablet plunge but will do soon.

........ My main reason for my inteerest in connectivity will be getting stuff from the tablet to my Etrex 20..........


What do you need to get across?

Garmin's Mapsource & Basecamp are not available for Android..

There is no other real Android / Etrex compatible software that I am aware of.. except as mention above by Al.... I will have a look and come back..

Several Apps - OSMand and Oruxmaps are OK on the Nexus Android with GPS on or off - OSMand has free downloadable maps and work very well offline - Oruxmaps can read OpenFietsmap IMG files offline but in my view not too well.... and they are not routeable - Google maps can be used offline with a little caching thought ....

Perhaps some apps may have GPX compatible waypoints that can be transferred to the Etrex but I have not found it yet... If you want true input / output with a Garmin a notebook is IMO the only viable option at the moment.... but I would love to proved wrong :) Addition - OsmAnd and Garmin do not use the same GPX format so there will have to be a separate conversion to share the files although 'Garmin Exchanger' indicate a OsmAnd plugin to be available later? ..

With a Nexus there is no card slot but you can connect direct to a memory card with an appropriate OTG cable and USB card reader and transfer either way with an App 'Nexus Media Importer'. Without the App you have to tinker or 'Root' the Android system. A mini / USB cable is of course supplied to connect and transfer to and from a operating system such as Windows.... it just memory cards you need a little work around. Nexus Media Importer works well - I use it all the time with the camera...


I wanted an android device for the same reason as Sweep; to use instead of a laptop in creating and then transfering gpx files to and from my Oregon 450. I made the mistake of getting a Nexus 4 smartphone, which has neither a card slot nor the ability to support USB OTG (unlike the Nexus 7, which does do USB OTG, and which I thought would be the same, only bigger). There is a workaround for this; there are a few card readers which create their own wifi network, and have android apps to allow transfer of data in both directions. One example is Maxell's Airstash, but there are cheaper ones.

As for android apps with the ability to create gpx files, Oruxmaps is one example. It's possible to create tracks and export them as standard gpx tracks, as understood by Bikehike and my Oregon (I just checked). It also has a wide variety of online maps, but not OS, these days. It can also make use of offline maps created elsewhere, for instance on a laptop by Mobile Atlas Creator, which in some earlier versions (nothing ever really disappears from the web) did provide access to OS 1:50 and 1:25k maps.

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Sweep
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Re: Netbook for touring

Postby Sweep » 22 Oct 2013, 9:38am

Thanks for the advice and debate folks - keep it coming - I'm sure I'll learn a lot.

As for creating the route gpx on the tablet, couldn't you use cyclestreets, at least for the UK?

I use this at the moment, though admitedly I then edit it using Basecamp on the PC before transferring it to the Etrex.

Like Andy I'm leaning towards the Hudl as long as the technical complications can be sorted - It seemed rather tough to me and I like the "belt and braces" of the card slot
Sweep

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al_yrpal
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Re: Netbook for touring

Postby al_yrpal » 22 Oct 2013, 12:20pm

I must say, looking at the comparitive reviews with the Nexus 7 the Hudl looks pretty good. If you have £60 in Tesco Clubcard points its virtually free! One of the things stopping me taking things like tablets netbooks or laptops would be the need to lug them into every pub, loo or place you are visiting, thats why I prefer a very portable phone. I can read small writing and with a stylus I have absolutely no problem typing pretty fast. However, the Hudl is a very inexpensive option and its loss wouldnt hurt too much.
As for using a memory card to transfer data, then you have to have a memory card reader - why not just use the cable supplied?

Al
Touring on a bicycle is a great way to explore and appreciate the countryside and towns you pass through. What do you do to make a difference?

Barrenfluffit
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Re: Netbook for touring

Postby Barrenfluffit » 22 Oct 2013, 12:31pm

Just been looking at Copilot website (standalone gps software) for android. Map coverage in the balkans is mostly cities and main roads.

cjs
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Re: Netbook for touring

Postby cjs » 22 Oct 2013, 3:10pm

Sweep wrote:Thanks for the advice and debate folks - keep it coming - I'm sure I'll learn a lot.......Like Andy I'm leaning towards the Hudl as long as the technical complications can be sorted - It seemed rather tough to me and I like the "belt and braces" of the card slot


AS I said 'Everyone has views but all personal circumstances are different' - For me, in my touring circumstances, a tablet is good but then I generally do not use it for Etrex communication nor route planning. A PC / Mac OS is best for that. The Nexus is good for keeping in contact, reading, music, web etc... I would not use it extensively for internet because battery life for me, would become an issue. I would normally charge it about once a week on the road along with the phone and camera.

Alternatively I had a couple stay with me in Ireland after cycling from Japan. On this trip, they had a netbook and smartphone. The netbook was used for internet, blogging and photography with the phone mainly for googlemaps for quick navigational assistance. The netbook worked out great for the 12 months they were touring..

On the netbook and tablet front I only have experience of ASUS devices - to me they seem pretty robust. YMMV...

I use mainly Velomaps http://www.velomap.org/ & OpenFietsmap http://www.openfietsmap.nl/downloads/europe for maps on the Etrex and any planning via Basecamp on the PC. I only tend to use tracks for navigating cities - and waypoints for the rest. I would only have the etrex on minimally. A couple of batteries will last weeks.

With the Nexus 7 I use the OsmAnd app with mapping OFFLINE. Sometimes I pull it out and use the onboard GPS and large screen to clarify where I'm am or trying to get to - especially in Holland 'cause its all flat with a massive road and cyclist infrastructure that at times is confusing without a reference point..... It will be good if Garmin Exchanger bring out a conversion for OsmAnd GPX data to Garmin format - then some additional route planning, mainly waypoint, could be done on the Nexus rather than direct on the Etrex but this is just for convenience.

al_yrpal wrote:.... why not just use the cable supplied?l

Some Tablet OS's may or may not allow direct connection to the etrex. If this is important to you, you need to check if you do not wish to exchange memory card.
Kind Regards
Chris...

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al_yrpal
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Re: Netbook for touring

Postby al_yrpal » 22 Oct 2013, 5:29pm

I was meaning the cable between the tablet/phone and the PC, not a cable to the Etrex. I dont know if such a cable exists

Al
Touring on a bicycle is a great way to explore and appreciate the countryside and towns you pass through. What do you do to make a difference?

andymiller
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Re: Netbook for touring

Postby andymiller » 22 Oct 2013, 7:51pm

Not wanting to start an iOS vs Android controversy, but Apple have just updated their iPd product line with an iPad Air which is significantly lighter than the iPad and an IPad mini with retina display. Both with whizzier A7 processors and claimed longer battery life..

No Basecamp and no straightforward way to get a gpx track onto a memory card of an eTrex 20.

Barrenfluffit wrote:Just been looking at Copilot website (standalone gps software) for android. Map coverage in the balkans is mostly cities and main roads.


That's a pretty tough test. Detailed maps of the Balkans are going to be fairly hard to find whatever device you are using.

Mattie wrote:I took my MacBook Air on my trip to Greece. The only problem with it was that it did not like the summer heat and I remember the fan blowing hard and even shutting the machine down altogether when it got hot. I figured it worked best in the evenings or in the cool of an air-conditioned room ! It did not like working in a tent in Italy in August.


You had me worried there. A bit of googling came up with some tips - the key thing seems to be to find a way to help the air circulate to the bottom. And on really hot days it's best to find a shady corner to work in rather than stay in your tent.

sjs
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Re: Netbook for touring

Postby sjs » 22 Oct 2013, 8:34pm

al_yrpal wrote:I was meaning the cable between the tablet/phone and the PC, not a cable to the Etrex. I dont know if such a cable exists

Al


It would be possible to connect the Etrex to the tablet using a couple of cables, but I don't know if an Android device would mount a Garmin in mass storage mode (certainly my Nexus 4 wouldn't). The way to go is to deal with the memory card separately from the Garmin. That way could get a track into it. I can't think of a way to get the active log out of it.

Mattie
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Re: Netbook for touring

Postby Mattie » 22 Oct 2013, 10:24pm

Always taking pictures !

A change of plan in Switzerland and decide to head south because of the constant rain - so here loading the eTrex with Italian maps and campsite data - no trouble as the whole of europe is on the MacBook Air.

Date: 06 August 2011
GPS: N 47 29.442, E 9 33.931
Campsite, Lake Bodensee, Switzerland

Andy - the whole overheating thing was a bit of a surprise as it had never happened in the cooler temperatures. There were ways around it but I guess this could be an issue with other devices in hot temperatures when asking them to perform duties other than a bit of web-surfing.

Anyway all this was 2011, and I realise that tablets have moved on, and a MacBook is an expensive option. But no regrets with taking the MacBook, plenty of people advised against netbooks and GPS. But 2 years on I have my whole route still recorded - the whole route from day one, excellent pictures and a log - it will probably be even more valuable to me in 10 years ! :)

I promise no more MacBook Pictures to bore you with !

Image

andymiller
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Re: Netbook for touring

Postby andymiller » 23 Oct 2013, 7:58am

Mattie wrote:Andy - the whole overheating thing was a bit of a surprise as it had never happened in the cooler temperatures. There were ways around it but I guess this could be an issue with other devices in hot temperatures when asking them to perform duties other than a bit of web-surfing. Anyway all this was 2011, and I realise that tablets have moved on, and a MacBook is an expensive option.


I'm about to buy a MacBook Air for use in Italy - so I was a bit worried.

Mattie
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Re: Netbook for touring

Postby Mattie » 23 Oct 2013, 8:42am

I am not sure what part of Italy you will be visiting, or what time of year. But to give you an idea, when I was in Venice the temperature reached a new record at 38'C on Monday 22 August 2011.

And that is northern Italy, by the coast ! it must get much hotter further south. On the rest of the trip down to Greece I saw temperatures of over 40'C.

As an example our computers servers at work are kept cool, with air-conditioning, at a constant room temperature of 16'C .

Hot temperatures must have an adverse effect on all computers, when asking them to perform tasks, not just the MacBook Air. It is just that coming from cool Britania I had never encountered it as an issue before. I am sure you will be fine. :)