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Old 09-19-2007, 08:31 AM   #1
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GPS Question

I've got a question, or two, on GPS. I have had a Magellan Meridian for years and like it very much. A little large for hiking, but I like the larger screen size. The topo maps are also great. My problem is that the screen is pretty small for use while driving even though I have it mounted on the dash. I've seen the newer rigs that come with a complete navagation system, but don't really want to go that route as I need topo maps and don't really want turn by turn directions for traveling on roads.

What I was wondering is there a hand held GPS unit that has an input for an external antenna and an output that could go to a seperate screen such as a DVD player or one of those in-dash radios that has a screen that comes out with the push of a button? Are the formats compatable? I guess you can feed a laptop computer from a GPS, but it would be nice to not have the keyboard covering up the doghouse. What I'd like to do is set things up where everything is pretty much out of sight when not in use and wher it doesn't take a lot of effort to use it.

Do I even know what I'm talking about?? As you can see, I'm not really up to date on this stuff. Is there a site where I can for info - one that uses words with less then three syllables?

Any help would be appreciated.

Scatter
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Old 09-19-2007, 10:32 AM   #2
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I use a Gpsmap76C from Garmin. It has external antenna, but nothing for viewing larger screen...



I agree it's hard to see, and it's really hard to see in most light for some reason. It has worked out well enough but I understand what you're saying.
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Old 09-20-2007, 01:54 AM   #3
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Ever see what the Badgers have rigged up for GPS?

http://s94153639.onlinehome.us/sportsmo ... ivity.html
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Old 09-20-2007, 08:06 AM   #4
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Thanks for the input guys.
Jage - I'm doing pretty much what you are. My Magellan doesn't have an external antenna, but that hasn't been a problem. Just the small screen.
Charlie56 - What the Badgers are doing will give me the screen I need, but I'm trying to do it without the laptop and everything else filling up the doghouse.
I'm just looking for a way (if it's possible) to use a handheld GPS and send the screen info to a 7 or 8 inch DVD player.
If I come up with anything I'll post it. Till then, I guess I'll just have to keep hunched over the steering wheel while I try and see my little handheld.

Scatter
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Old 09-20-2007, 09:22 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scatter
Thanks for the input guys.
Jage - I'm doing pretty much what you are. My Magellan doesn't have an external antenna, but that hasn't been a problem. Just the small screen.
Charlie56 - What the Badgers are doing will give me the screen I need, but I'm trying to do it without the laptop and everything else filling up the doghouse.
I'm just looking for a way (if it's possible) to use a handheld GPS and send the screen info to a 7 or 8 inch DVD player.
If I come up with anything I'll post it. Till then, I guess I'll just have to keep hunched over the steering wheel while I try and see my little handheld.

Scatter
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Old 09-20-2007, 05:29 PM   #6
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If you like Magellan, have you looked at the Explorist XL North America? I inherited one this year. It’s got a HUGE (3.5â€
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Old 09-20-2007, 05:55 PM   #7
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A friend of ours just picked up a TomTom for $200. It has a nice big screen. I don't think anyone makes anything with video out (that's not a laptop), so you're looking at building something. Without sacrificing a GPS (crack it open see if you can match the ribbon to a monitor ribbon?!?)
I only see two options:

1. Camera/Screen... basically a home built video magnifier
2. Manual Magnifier ... you can get a flat plastic magnifier in many sizes.

There are a few mini-laptops floating around, and come to think of it, you could video out from a laptop, so you could have the laptop somewhere else and video out to a medium screen... of course controls would be hard...

If you're not going to geek out and build something, I'd start by looking for the proper sized device w/ screen, then figure out if you can run GPS software on it.
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Old 09-21-2007, 09:29 AM   #8
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Well, so much for the "maybe someone else has done it" theory.
I have looked at the Explorist XL and maybe it's the way to go. I'm also looking into a really small laptop. Jage is right, you need to have the controls handy. Also with a laptop you can use different maping programs. Well, other projects right now. But soon....

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Old 09-25-2007, 12:57 AM   #9
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mini laptop with GPS

I'm sure many of you have seen this, but this is what I rigged up with a tiny touch-screen notebook computer (Fujitsu P1120 running Windows) and a GPS:



Sportsmobile Dash Computer

I wasn't happy with any of the standalone GPS units with their small screen size and maps which lack in detail. The Fujitsu doesn't block anything important on the dash, except one of the A/C vents (which helps cool the computer).

Of course, messing with a computer and software is a finicky pain if you're not into fiddling with these things.
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Old 09-27-2007, 10:43 AM   #10
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Geoffff - I think your setup is the way to go. I was thinking of getting a smaller laptop for traveling anyway.
Garmin has the 7200 which is a nice 7" screen, but as far as I can tell, it won't accept their Topo maps and (in my humble opinion) the Garmin Topo's aren't really that great anyway.

I'll do some digging and see what I can come up with in the way of a little laptop and go from there.

Thanks for the input!

Scatter
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