Author Topic: Track recording device  (Read 2090 times)

vghikers

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Track recording device
« on: 14:25:30, 21/05/18 »
I haven't looked at this type of technology for over ten years, it's just possible that a device exists now that meets my requirements (but it's unlikely). I'll probably end up forgetting the whole thing but here goes:-

I would like a device that does two things:

1. Shows me my current position as an OS grid reference (easy).
2. Records and stores a track of where I've walked (easy).

Functionally, that's it.

However...
3. Does the above in an extremely power-efficient manner so that the battery lasts several days (probably very difficult).

I'm going to fail on point 3, aren't I?.

On the plus side, I don't need digital maps on it, therefore I don't need a fancy screen that gobbles power. A very small monochrome screen the size of a wrist-watch would suffice for point 1, and even that would normally be off and only switched on very briefly.

Speaking of watches, I began to look at advanced technical ones the other day to see recent developments and my heart sank. They all seem to have 500 functions I don't need or want and cost more than a dedicated navigator (but the miniaturization would be worth paying for if it met the requirements). Trouble is, tiny devices have tiny batteries. Many have a good battery life but in 'Time Only' mode, I guess the frequent use of the GPS soon eats into that.

Edit: minor typo only.

« Last Edit: 16:52:26, 21/05/18 by vghikers »

Glyno

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Re: Track recording device
« Reply #1 on: 15:43:47, 21/05/18 »
Would an old, very basic Garmin GPS (the yellow one?) fit the bill?

sussamb

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Re: Track recording device
« Reply #2 on: 16:17:09, 21/05/18 »
Even the Garmin handhelds only last around 16 hours on a couple of AA batteries, but if you're happy to carry a few spare ones it's probably your best bet.
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Owen

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Re: Track recording device
« Reply #3 on: 16:21:21, 21/05/18 »
Do you have a smart phone? If you do you could download the viewranger app which is free. Comes with osm type Micky mouse maps this will do all you want no need to buy os maps. In aeroplane mode the battery should last 3-4 days.

vghikers

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Re: Track recording device
« Reply #4 on: 17:54:48, 21/05/18 »
Would an old, very basic Garmin GPS (the yellow one?) fit the bill?

Even the Garmin handhelds only last around 16 hours on a couple of AA batteries, but if you're happy to carry a few spare ones it's probably your best bet.

Logically yes, I guess I could get one or maybe two days usage and put new batteries in. Since battery life is never as good as claimed in real world conditions, they might run out in the middle of a day.

Hi sussamb, I thought you might chip in, I remember you from the old pocketGPSworld days when the site was more active.

Do you have a smart phone? If you do you could download the viewranger app which is free. Comes with osm type Micky mouse maps this will do all you want no need to buy os maps. In aeroplane mode the battery should last 3-4 days.

No, I don't.
The battery lasts days in aeroplane mode?. I thought smartphones were notorious for gobbling battery even in minimal mode with almost everything uninstalled or switched off. In this case it would be accessing GPS very frequently if nothing else.

This GPS logger is a dedicated device with no screen at all and it would therefore fail on point 1, but even this quotes battery life at just 42H.

sussamb

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Re: Track recording device
« Reply #5 on: 18:26:38, 21/05/18 »
I've never yet met a smartphone that would last long with GPS enabled and tracking. 


@vghikers PGPSW is still very much alive, although mainly concerned with speed cameras these days  :)
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Percy

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Re: Track recording device
« Reply #6 on: 18:35:59, 21/05/18 »
Iíve got an iPhone 6 which I use with ViewRanger.


Put it in airplane mode and turn the screen brightness down and it will do a full day walk (8-9 hours) with tracking turned on. This is with the default settings - you could alter these and get better performance. The screen brightness is key.


Thereís a powersave mode which Iíve never used - Iíll try it next time Iím out and report back. Not sure itíll get it up to the desired multiday walk but will be interesting to see how it fares.
« Last Edit: 18:39:19, 21/05/18 by Percy »

April

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Re: Track recording device
« Reply #7 on: 19:54:36, 21/05/18 »
I use viewranger on a tablet to record the routes we do. It is a cheap Lenovo tablet (£60) I have at the moment. If I switch off the Wifi, I use about 15% of the battery to record a walk that lasts about 6 to 7 hours. I switch it off overnight and only use it to record the routes or to have a quick look to see where we are if needed. I prefer to use a paper map to navigate to be honest so I also take a paper map and use that most of the time. I will be using my tablet this weekend for 3 days and won't be taking a battery bank, the battery in the new tablet will last for the 3 days. My old tablet the Tesco Hudl has a few OS maps on that I used in Moffat, the battery in that is old and doesn't last long so I had to take the battery bank to charge it.
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alan de enfield

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Re: Track recording device
« Reply #8 on: 20:42:18, 21/05/18 »



1. Shows me my current position as an OS grid reference (easy).
2. Records and stores a track of where I've walked (easy).
3. Does the above in an extremely power-efficient manner so that the battery lasts several days (probably very difficult).



You dont mention cost / price.


The SatMap Active 10 is colour and works with OS maps, you can choose  map ref, Lat/Long or postcode.
You can choose imperial or metric heights / distances.
Gives a 'snail trail' showing where you have walked and gives a 'reverse tral' option
You can save the 'trail' and make it a 'track'


In standard 'full power mode' the my battery lasts 16 hours continuous use.
There are various 'power save options' that will give you up to 100 hours use.


From the manual :


 Various power modes for extended battery life
Hibernate mode (100 Ė 120 hrs)
Advanced Power mode (16 Ė 24 hrs)
Normal Power mode (8-12 hrs)
Custom Microsoft CE operating system
8.7cm / 3.5 in LCD TFT colour screen (320 x 240 pixels) with variable backlight control
Day/night visible screen with red backlight option for night use
Accuracy down to 2 meters.
Integrated 18mm patch antenna
Price about £70 (secondhand) + various map options from 1:50,000, to 1:25,000, to 1:10,000 for either 'parts' of GB up to 'Whole of GB'
 
« Last Edit: 20:50:20, 21/05/18 by alan de enfield »

sussamb

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Re: Track recording device
« Reply #9 on: 21:02:05, 21/05/18 »
Similar to all handhelds hence Glyno's suggestion.
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vghikers

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Re: Track recording device
« Reply #10 on: 21:17:48, 21/05/18 »
Quote
I use viewranger on a tablet to record the routes we do.

A tablet, crikey, well at that size and weight it should hold a beefy battery!.

Quote
You dont mention cost / price.

The main question is whether a small device exists that does that job really well at any price!.

Quote
In standard 'full power mode' the my battery lasts 16 hours continuous use.
There are various 'power save options' that will give you up to 100 hours use.

Interesting option, it seems like a sledgehammer to crack a nut but I downloaded the Active 10 manual to check and it says (emphasis mine):-

"...You can now use the side buttons to choose the length of time the Active10 remains in hibernate mode between 1 and 4 hours.
The hibernate mode allows the device to enter a low power mode whilst still maintaining a satellite lock...; however the trip log is suspended and the screen is turned off..."

For this job it would need to be in ultra-low power mode all day whilst recording the log. As I suspected I think I'm asking for something nobody else wants!.

 


vghikers

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Re: Track recording device
« Reply #11 on: 21:38:57, 21/05/18 »
Thinking about that GPS logger I linked in my earlier post, perhaps I didn't see the obvious: that logger has a single purpose, to record track points, and nothing else. Not even a screen for a UI. Even that is only rated at 42 hours, so that puts an upper limit on things. The only way to improve on it would be a bigger one with a bigger battery.
It wouldn't satisfy point 1 either.

April

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Re: Track recording device
« Reply #12 on: 21:59:43, 21/05/18 »
A tablet, crikey, well at that size and weight it should hold a beefy battery!.

 ;D

It is just a 7 inch tablet and is 248g. My eyesight isn't great and I would struggle using anything smaller.

It is this one, it isn't that much bigger than some Iphones.

http://www.argos.co.uk/product/8242523
"Who would've thought...... you are light and darkness coming through" words by Tim Armstrong

madame cholet

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Re: Track recording device
« Reply #13 on: 22:49:27, 21/05/18 »
I have a 7" samsung 2 £30 ebay with free viewranger for tracking and gr app to give me location on map. Could last 2 days on a charge.
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sussamb

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Re: Track recording device
« Reply #14 on: 06:53:57, 22/05/18 »
I have a tablet.  While it may last more than a day it doesn't if GPS is continually on and tracking, which is what is wanted.  I use it on SAR searches with ViewRanger and am lucky if it lasts longer than around 8 hours.


Either spare batteries or a power pack are going to be needed to meet the initial requirement.
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