[aprssig] [OT] Re: 14 day APRS posit archive download?

Dave B dave at g8kbv.demon.co.uk
Tue Jul 3 09:55:06 EDT 2012

On 2 Jul 2012 at 14:24, Dave Haynes wrote:

> If your in-car nav device is Windows or WinCE based, have a look at
> Mapfactor Navigator Free. Both Win and WinCE versions are free, and
> use mapping sourced from the OSM database and updated regularly.

Hi Dave...

Not wishing to moan or put a damper on this, but a relaity check I think.

The equipment we had, bearing in mind that the driver/owner is retired, 
and I had a limited budget, what with food fuel and fee's etc, each of us 
spent some £600 or so to do this "charity" event.  According to my credit 
card account at least.   Our team (of two) managed to raise some £900 for 
H4H however.  Our out of pocket costs do not get re-imbursed.

Anyway...  What we had onboard.

A Yellow eTrex (for the TH-D7+PA APRS, and to use as a trip meter.)

A Navman for mapping, and indipendant trip meter. (one set for km, one in 
miles, the roadbook used both at times, just to keep us on our toes!)

A Garmin Nuvi, as it could navigate to a Lat/Long when needed.   
Visually, the Nuvi maps are poor, compared to the Navman.

Plus a "SkyTag" device, the "official" event tracker (GPRS based, no 

Both the Navman and Nuvi, had recently been updated, but few on the event 
had digital maps newer than 2 years old, except the organisers, who used 
top of the range brand new TomTom based kit.  

Bearing in mind, we were traveling in an ex army 110, often over rough 
tracks, anything "complicated" usually suffers from excessive vibration 
and dust.  All the kit we had survived however.  Unlike 	at least one PC 
based solution, and also an iPad that failed so I heard from other 
entrants.  (They don't like getting wet!)

The organisers were in new loan cars, nice comfy fast quiet air-con'd 
D4's.  (Lucky so-n-so's!)

As for updating on the fly.  Have you ever tried that over a mobile data 
link?  Even one you don't have to pay roaming data rates for?  Sorry, not 
practical (let alone affordable!)

I was making Ui-View maps from OSM last night, for anything with a decent 
level of detail, the data needed to download is huge.

> It's not flawless, but it's easily as good as any I've trid for
> on-road navigation. Of course if you do spot problems in the data, you
> can go to OSM and amend it when you get home :-)

Only if you have the accurately acquired data, and an account, plus lots 
of other hoops to jump through.   I did check yesterday, plus I don't 
have that detailed data saved, not having any data logging, other than 
APRS, and even with a 25W tracker, not that was not entirely reliably 
"getting out" it seems.  (It would have run 45W out, but for volt drop 
issues, not my vehicle suffering with ex REME electrics etc.)

In the Eindhoven case, it appears that the entire Autoroute has been 
rebuilt and re-modeled in extreme, and about 100m east of where the maps 
say it is!   Plus entries and exit's have changed too.  (Less of both, 
and not in the same places.)  Also lots of other minor surounding roads 
have been closed off and/or altered.   

There are lots of other similar major road works going on in Holland, 
that will render many sat-nav data sets obsolete soon.  

> Didn't comment yesterday, but converting a CSV log into a format you
> can import should be trivial using something like Python or AutoIT
> automate the task? Both are free, powerful, but easy to get started
> with.

*Sigh* 	Whenever *anyone* mentions "Free, powerful, but easy to get 
started with" (or similar.)  I just groan.  

Sadly, that is only generaly true if you already know the language and 
especially the underlying environment.  Python is about as counter 
intuitive and convoluted as they get, for anyone NOT having used it much, 
and doesn't play well on Windows platforms in any case.  

AutoIT has issues I found the last time I tried it. (On XP/SP3)  Multiple 
and repeatable BSOD's, something to do with Div/0 issues.  Not exactly 
encoraging, when you have little time to "get a job done."  

In all honesty, much as I hate it, Excel as it's installed and I know my 
way arround it (mostly) will probably eventualy be used, along with it's 
VBA macro language.  When I get the time.  Yes, it's bloatware, and also 
convoluted and "funny".  But I've got it, and have used it to great 
effect before to manipulate text based numerical data files.  But it does 
take time to plan what to do, irrespective of what tool is used, and any 
coding/testing needed to do the job.

Else Delphi will get used again.

For now, and for other "joe public" types, I've pulled the KMZ version of 
the data, and that works well in Google Earth.  

As always, mileage (some 3000 of them in two weeks) varies...


Dave G0WBX.

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