Home made GPS with mapping and tracking
I’m a big fan of Oruxmaps as well…very good and also very battery friendly.
Get yourself an early version of MobAC (Mobile Atlas Creator) – version 1.8 or earlier…it allows you to use Multimap 1:25k maps of the UK and download them and stick them on the device…hey presto, all your usual ride haunts can now be done in 1:25k scale. You then stick them in your maps folder in Oruxmaps and it then reads it as an offline map.Posted 4 years ago
I’ve been after a GPS device which shows colour maps, overlays a trail, and logs to a file which I can upload to Endomondo… But the only options are either £150+ for a basic device with little in the way of reviews, or £300+ for a garmin.
So I went for option 3… Which is a mobile phone running an app bolted to my bars!
There were not many options on the phone front. I was either forced to get a phone with a large case that had a bike adaptor, however most case+bike adaptor options were littered with bad reviews and as such not really suitable. Also, they rarely offered anything in the way of waterproofing.
So, I went for a phone which had some in-built waterproof/resistance, which then just required a mount to work. I decided that the Motorola Defy Mini was the best option, small enough but with a decent screen. I’m able to get around 6-7 hours of battery life while riding (screen on, map displayed and logging my ride using GPS). Accuracy is good enough, always within a few meters of where I’m riding.
Again, few options, however CRC had a deal on hope light mounts, so I only had to spend £7 on it. Add in a computer fan screw and a small washer (plus a hole in the phone back panel) and everything bolted up nice and tight. I’ve ran some glue purely to ensure no water ingress through the bolt hole.
Quite happy with it. Only been out on a couple of rides but it served me well around a route I’ve never done before. I can stockpile rides as they’re saved at the end of each use, then I can upload several rather than having to do them each day. The only issue is that I have to use some strange maps and not my entire UK 1:25k OS collection. There’s probably an app that will let me do this, but I haven’t investigated it that hard yet (Currently using OruxMaps).
Full cost: £57 (£50 phone, £7 mount)
Anyway, some pics:
Blue is uploaded route (I create my own on Memory Map), Red is the logged route which will have an arrow at the front to display rider position. Other icons are start and end of route.
I can display top/average speed, distance ridden/to go, time ridden/to go plus lots of other options.Posted 4 years ago
I use MOBAC for creating maps at the moment, but haven’t found a way to integrate OS Maps into it…
All my OS maps are in qct format and that doesn’t work nicely with MOBAC, I’d have to create the positioning data on the map or something and it’s just a bit more effort than I want to spend. (Will check out an early version).
I don’t have a sim in the phone, no. I’ve no plans to use data/phone. I carry my phone anyway in case of emergencies. However I believe that any phone, even without a sim, will phone 999/112.
Brightness in full light isn’t great, unreadable at times. However I have not experienced any issues relating to this as I’ve always been able to shadow the screen for a few seconds if I need to check my position.Posted 4 years ago
Get an earlier version of MobAC (one that allows you to use Multimap 1:25k maps), then select your area and get it created…they are OS 1:25k maps…AFAIK, the licencing changed somewhere along the line and after version 1.8 (I think) of MobAC, Multimap was no longer offered – but I don’t know where the issue was created…suspect it wasn’t playing by the rules!Posted 4 years ago
Have you tried using OruxMaps itself to create the maps? or is MobAC easier/better?
Pretty easy with OruxMaps with WiFi connection;
-Select “switch map” from the menu (tap on the map icon)
-Now select Ordnance SM(UK) from the on-line list
-Tap again on the map icon and select “Map Creator” from the list
Now you can select the area you are interested and how many layers you want. The map will be saved and you can select it from the off-line list.Posted 4 years ago
Nope, not tried using Oruxmaps…to be honest, the app does so much but I only use it for tracking (and sometimes bluetooth HRM)…I sometime check the map to see how the route looks but then I upload the route to a couple of websites…I’ll give it a bash later I think.Posted 4 years ago
That seems to work fine, but what I haven’t tried is using it to cache maps before disconnecting from the wifi and driving an hour to where I’m going to ride… I’ve a ride in a new area on Wednesday so might give that a shot.
Can’t find the files on my phone however…Posted 4 years ago
They should be in the oruxmaps/mapfiles/ folder, in the sd card. At least, they appear there in my phone…
Do you have a file manager app installed in the phone? I think this is essential to ensure maps and other files are stored in the right folder when using OruxMaps. I use OI File Manager.Posted 4 years ago
How do you find the performance out of interest – the reviews suggest that given the low-end processor, it struggles to do some tasks. Also that the included software takes up a large part of the space available. I’d been thinking that if I got one, I’d need to root it so that I could take all the unnecessary (google, facebook, etc) apps off to free it up.Posted 4 years agojairajSubscriber
my old phone was a Motorola Defy and I was thinking off doing something similar.
As phone I found it was a bit rubbish. The low end processor couldn’t handle lots of things going on in the background. I had to regularly go into the task manager and close everything or reset the phone to get a stable / consistent use from it otherwise it would just hang while it was thinking lots. Also weirdly found the phone struggled with WiFi turned on. But I guess thats not too much of an issue if you’re going to use it as a GPS computer.
But from a reset with nothing running in the background it was fine. Apps would work fine and response to commands were quick.
Has anyone got some useful links on rooting a phone a removing the bit you don’t want or need? I’m a massive noob when it comes to these things so a beginners guide to teach the basics would be nice.Posted 4 years ago
All I have installed on the phone, from stock, is Oruxmaps, memory map and a GPS Compass.
Speed isn’t amazing, but I’ve not noticed any issues with it. More than capable for this requirement.
There doesn’t appear to be any modded roms for the device, so no chance of upgrading to a newer version of Android. I haven’t rooted it as there really isn’t much bloatware.
Wifi works sufficiently to browse the play store and download apps.
My only real issue is that OruxMaps doesn’t work when the device is connected by USB. Very strange, but even the OM button dissappears.Posted 4 years ago
Have you moved the OM app to the SD card? If so, connecting a USB might mean that the SD card is no longer accessible by the phone so the app can’t be run.
I am now very tempted, particularly as there are a few Motorola Defy Minis on ebay for £33 posted with faults but faults that wouldn’t be an issue – eg mic not working, SIM not working, etc.Posted 4 years ago
I just thought I’d add the solution that I had been thinking of:
– waterproof phone (eg Defy Mini)
– thin, flat plate (Carbon fibre maybe 🙂 ) zip tied to stem
– velcro to hold the phone to the plate
This has the advantage that you’re not modifying the phone at all except for sticking velcro to the back of it.
Actually, I wasn’t planning on velcro – I was looking for the stuff that’s like velcro but is made up of small balls on stalks (for want of a better word) that when pressed against the same material interlocks and provides a really firm grip. I’ve no idea what it’s called though!
EDIT – this might be the stuffPosted 4 years ago
On some bumpier descents, I’m not convinced velcro would hold steady enough to be honest… That other stuff may well provide what you need, if so it probably makes a better option than mine.
Good deal if you can find a “not-working, but working enough” model. I bought from an Amazon store at a price I was happy with, which is the important thing at the end of the day!
Don’t think I’ve moved OM to the sim card, it doesn’t really bother me that much to be honest, just something I have to work around.
Riding south of Hope, round to the west, up mam-tor, down from hollins-cross and around the north west back to Hope – Tomorrow. That will be another good test of its capabilities, especially since it might be a little damp!Posted 4 years agorepomanMember
Rooting this phone is easy: http://www.droidevelopers.com/f412/14403-defy-mini-root-success-alin-razvan.html. Did mine a few months ago, installed link2sd on it and can now pretty much install what I want. Makes it a brilliant device when you can now pick them up for £50-60.Posted 4 years agokenkyujoMember
Has anyone found an android app that will show bike computer type things – e.g. speed, distance, time and an offline map – basically like you can do on a Garmin?
Have a look at IPBike on Google Play. It’s a very powerful and flexible app that you can configure to suit your needs and have a live update on a downloadable map. The interface takes a bit of getting use to but it’s worth it. Free trial period if you want to try before you buy and the support from the developer is excellent.Posted 4 years ago
Clubber, OruxMaps does all that and gives you the option for which bits of info you’d like displayed.
Worked great on todays ride, very very happy!
Out of interest for anyone thinking of doing the same. The only reason for choosing the Defy Mini was because of its waterproofing. I wouldn’t go for a phone that didn’t have this feature.Posted 4 years ago
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