Garmin Mobile PC

SpinDrift

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Over the weekend I installed the software version of Garmin Mobile PC on the Revo I will be using as a carputer. The installation went smoothly, however much to my surprise GMPC had problems connecting to the Garmin GPSV or GPSMap60, both of which I have used with nroute and MM in the past. It turns out that the problem is that they are Garmin devices - go figure. :roll:

In order to get them to work with GMPC you need to change the interface on the GPS from Garmin to NMEA. As far as GMPC is concerned, by using NMEA, the Garmin GPS's are treated as generic GPS's. It seems that the reason for this is that if GMPC identifies a GPS as Garmin, then it tries to authenticate the software to the device and the only devices that will authenticate with GMPC are the X10 and X20 GPS's.

The downside setting the GPS interface to NMEA is that the GPS will not be recognised by nroute. So ....... I have now gone a step further and installed GPSGate. Any Garmin device coming through GPSGate is treated as generic - thereby avoiding any GMPC authentication issues. You will however have to set up two devices in GPSGate to show as Garmin devices to get it to work with nroute (and possibly MM - but I suspect you can change the interface in MM itself). The big advantage is that you can then use GMPC, nroute and MM simultaneously. :cool:
 

SpinDrift

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Loading additional maps onto GMPC

You can use Mapsource to transfer non-locked maps to GMPC. I tried transferring both Olaf's Morocco maps and Garmin's (no lock) World Map. Both transferred without issue. However, once across you have to go into:

Tools>Manage My Data>Map Sets

and click the MapSouce button at the bottom of the screen. The select which map you want to display asnd which you don't. If you don't do this GMPC tries to display all the mapos simultaneously and the display gets into a muddle.

Once you have done this the additional maps appear to work fine.

It seems that with the software only version of GMPC you can only transfer non-locked Garmin maps. If you think that you will need to load locked maps (eg North America or whatever), then you need to get the version that includes the X10 or X20 GPS. The reason for this is that map lock has to be tied to the X10 or X20 device that is not present in the software only verion .....
 

SpinDrift

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Hi Jon: not sure about expert :) As it happened I was in the process of pulling a carputer with touch screen together to replace the bulky 'laptop on a stand' and GMPC seemed like worthy application for such a set up.

The carputer is still work in progress - well the build is about done, but I still need to sort out the in car wiring. It was however about time to go for a trail run. So I stuck ciggie lighter plug on the computer's psu, connected everything up in a plastic bin and plugged the computer, screen and gps into the sockets I have on the dash. Everything fired up and I went for a spin to trial GMPC.

GMPC works exactly like my Garmin Nuvi - even the options are identical. Easy and non technical to use. However when calculating routes it can take 2 to 3 minutes to calcuate a single route. If you are preparing the route before departure this may not be an issue, but when you are rolling, a 3 minute recalculation when you have missed a turning is way too long. I suppose the fact that you are rolling makes the number crunching more complex. I don't know whether this is an issue with my set up - I would not think the Revo is particularly fast number cruncher - or whether this is a GMPC issue.

One problem I came across was when I came to enter a destination address. I did not have my keyboard with me - so could not do enter one. So back at base I found a free virtual keyboard on the net. This worked fine with GMPC.

I'll be travelling cross country on the weekend and will see how it fares then.

cheers
 
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Jon Wildsmith

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Routing time doesn't seem slow on mine, I'd guess about the same as my TomTom. What spec is your PC? Mine is nothing special. I use the Windows 7 virtual keyboard which hides itself just at the edge of the screen till you click there :thumbup:
 

SpinDrift

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Hi Jon,

the PC is an Acer Revo with an Intel Atom 230 1.6GHz processor and 2GB memory running XP. The performance is OK now. I think the performance problem was related to some windows updating running in the background.

Garmin Mobile PC worked fine over a longish trip. The large buttons are easy to use on the touchscreen - certainly easier than anything in nroute and MM. The only 'problem' I had was that the software does not come with some basic POI's. I have now downloaded a set off the internet. Personally I think I will be using this in future rather than nroute on the basis that the controls are easier to use with a touch screen as opposed to a fiddly touch pad.

regards
 
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