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

Dave Haynes dave at ep90.com
Tue Jul 3 13:06:32 EDT 2012

OK, I feel I need to respond to some of your comments, but since we 
probably aren't going to agree about some things, I'll respond just this 
once then I'll drop the subject.

I wasn't suggesting you buy more kit, just pointing out some possible 
alternatives for future ideas.

> 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.

I understand entirely what the out-of-pockets can run to. I ran with one 
convoy down to Bosnia after the war, plus I've run Land Rovers as far as 
the southern tip of Bulgaria (in winter), the Arctic Circle (Norway, 
winter), and the Algeria border (late summer).

> 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!)

As it happens, some models of Navman are Windows CE based, as are a lot 
of cheap, low end navigators, and some that are decidedly not cheap or 
low end.

> 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 last full-on nav system I built was for a LR based swamp racer, with 
500BHP and 44" tyres, for racing in Russia. I know a bit about 
vibration, mud and water. My daily driver for the past 200k miles is a 
Land Rover. Before that, another Land Rover.

> 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 didn't mention, or intend to imply, downloading on the fly. Navigator 
uses map packages download to your home PC when you want to, the same as 
updating most other road nav units. The difference is that the data used 
to generate the updates is sourced from OSM, is generated regularly and 
is free.

When the map and the real world diverge, the difference is that while 
you still get angry, swear and beat the steering wheel - when you get 
home you could actually do something about it.

> 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.

Last time I looked, the entire planet is 21GB, once you have that the 
weekly update is 450MB. Yes that's a lot of data - it's a fair sized 
planet I guess.

The complete OSM based Navigator mapset for Europe fits on an 8G SD 
card, along with the software to run it, and 10k raster mapping of most 
of Southern England.

> 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.)

OSM is kind of a best efforts thing, no one would expect you to update 
the mapping for Eindhoven. But if you looked over your own local data 
and offered improvements, maybe other people in other places might be 
motivated to do the same?

> 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.

Yes there's a lot of roadworks in Eindhoven, maybe I drove the similar 
roads to you when I was there a few weeks previously, maybe not.
I didn't notice any problems with the OSM data, I didn't try any other 
mapping software.

The world moves on, roads get moved, data goes out of date. Live with it.

> *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.

Python plays perfectly well in any flavour of Windows I've tried it in. 
Try to use it as a scripting language, without trying add a flash gui or 
listening too much to any of the stuff about classes and objects, and I 
find it stable and useful.

> 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."

Again, I use AutoIT a lot to automate Windows tasks that don't need a 
complex gui. Even on occasion send the compiled scripts out to 
customers, and don't get many complaints. I've used them for 'firmware 
update' scripts for customer use (for hardware that I've designed), so 
there must be several hundred copies of some of them in the wild.

> 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

Now you have the idea - you already have it, you already use it, you 
already know it. Thats three big points that will be hard to beat.

> Else Delphi will get used again.

Always was a big Delphi fan. Once it got past Delphi 3, I got tired of 
paying out to upgrade because customers wanted code to be in 'the latest 
version' for no reason, especially since coding is not my main job.

When I found myself wanting to use Delphi for a job recently, I tried 
out Lazarus just for a change. Suprisingly good. No reason to change 
unless theres a reason of course.

Anyway, we won't agree about any of the above I'm sure, so I'll shut up now.

Dave G1TVL

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