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Tablet for GPS Use

Phillyrube

Senior Member
#1
Any recommendations? Looking for something using sat signals and not cell triangulation. I have a couple map programs I can install but this will be used on a bike on fire roads and trails.
What say u?
 
#4
Have you heard of a cell phone?

I have a dock for my Galaxy S8 on my bike along with a charging cable. Works great, and I have all of the other cell phone functions too.
 
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Phillyrube

Phillyrube

Senior Member
#5
Have you heard of a cell phone?

I have a dock for my Galaxy S8 on my bike along with a charging cable. Works great, and I have all of the other cell phone functions too.
Cellphone is not GPS, it's tower triangulation. Need something for where cell service is sketchy. So far Samsung seems to be the winner. Couple it with avenza or osmand. Load maps for the region you are in, saves memory. Go to the local MickeyDs for wifi and update maps. Power hungry but wire charger into the bike.
 
#6
I'm not huge into technology, but I think you're wrong. I'm pretty sure phones use GPS to locate the device, then data to draw the maps. Because even when I haven't had service for a good hour or so, I still have perfect device location.

And with Google maps you can also download map sections ahead of time if you know you're going somewhere that doesn't have data.
 
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Phillyrube

Phillyrube

Senior Member
#7
Correct about google maps. I have to admit being a tech idiot, but doing more reading, some phones have a passive GPS receiver, that takes positioning data, and then 'talks' to the phone, which is using local wifi, and the cell network. This is battery intensive. If you know you are going somewheres you can download maps ahead of time (memory intensive). My intent is the larger screen.
 
#8
You're right about the battery/memory being heavy.

I run a 5v adapter from the battery and then a charging cable to my phone mount, and it doesn't even break a sweat charging the phone to 100% while I'm running nav and music. But without that I'd have issues for sure.

As for memory, on top of my phone's large capacity I also have a 64gb SD card in it, so I've got plenty of storage.

I use a Galaxy S8, mounted on a RAM ball to my triple, and that puts it in a perfect position for good visibility but not distracting.
 
#9
From what I've seen, most modern phones either use wifi triangulation or GPS for location. They use towers as well, but it's much less precise than using wifi. Wifi triangulation has been around since 2007 or so, my brother worked for Skyhook Wireless, the company that really kicked that off. If you go into your phone settings (at least for Android), there is usually a setting to select how your phone gets it location. Using wifi and towers is often labeled "battery saving" as the GPS does use more power.

Any somewhat recent Android tablet should do well. But, the Amazon Fire tablets do not have a GPS chip... a real shame since they're cheap. I have a decent 10" tablet (ZTE K92, sold as the "AT&T Primetime") in my Jeep for offroad navigation and watching shows when babysitting a major MVC scene for hours. If you don't need topo or satellite maps, Google Maps offline maps is a nice option. For topo and/or satellite maps, I like using Backcountry Navigator, it can operate using data or you can download sections for offline use, too. It works great on phones, too... used it hiking last year in Utah.
 

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