After months of pondering and researching on the net, I’ve decided to take a plunge into the gps world by getting a gps receiver. Well my plan was to use the least amount of money to get maximum amount of fun. total cost, rm 2++ for the GPS receiver, the PDA was bought 2nd hand long time ago and the software and maps are freely available from the good old internet
Here’s the picture of the receiver, Holux M-1000 bluetooth gps receiver. It has one single ON/OFF button on it, to use is very simple, just turn the receiver on and place it under a open sky area and let it search for the gps signal. It’ll automatically lock on to the available orbiting satellite normally under a minute or so. The GPS receiver can then be paired with the Windows Mobile (WM) PDA. My PDA, IPAQ 4150 is running on WM2003 and using a broadcomm bluetooth. some info on the holux m-1000 :
“Holux M1000 Bluetooth GPS with MTK 32 GPS engine. The advantages of the Holux M-1000 include best tracking and most importantly affordable.
With the advanced technology, the HOlux M-1000 tracks up to 32 satellites at a time, re-acquires satellite signals in 100 ns and updates position data every second. Trickle-Power allows the unit operates a fraction of the time and Push-to-Fix permits user to have a quick position fix even though the receiver usually stays off.
The Holux M-1000 comes with integrated rechargeable Li-Ion battery with 850mAh capacity that lasts up to 17 hours.
After the pairing it, launch the GPS program. The software i’m running is called Garmin Que which was originally meant to be run with Garmin gps receivers. This garmin gps receivers are more expensive than those generic gps receivers like Holux, Q-star and etc.. Generic gps receivers also output their signal in the universal NMEA format while garmin’s output is using their propietary protocol.
But thanks to some smart and helpful people on the internet that developed a workaround by converting the NMEA format into garmin protocol. there are currently two software that can do the convertion, one is the free GPSproxy and the other commercial s/w is called GPSGate. both gets the job done but gpsgate has more function.
The real software that displays the GPS information and routing function is the Garmin Que. this is a rather old software but still very useful and has comes with a lot of function that newer s/w like Garmin MXT doesn’t provide. See here for a more thorough explaination
Next comes the map, currently in malaysia there’s a very active forum called malsingmaps.com which continuously update the malaysia and singapore road maps. these maps are freely available, the current open map is dated jue 2007. The latest maps can be unlocked by contributing to the map either by adding new POI (points of interests like building, banks, parks etc) or doing tracking (providing logs of roads, uncharted area).
special thanks to the helpful people from www.malsingmaps.com