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Old 24 October 2011, 07:09   #1
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NMEA on smartphone USB?

Anyone found an app that can use an external GPS antenna on a 'droid phone?

Very high level Q at the moment. I am aware it will suck the battery dry faster than an iPhone4 on full screen brightness , but it strikes me that there are apps out there mean I could use an external waterproof antenna velcro'ed to my shoulder, and keep the far from IP rated phone in my inside pocket. One mountian bike trail recording app later & I have a backup breadcrumb trail should my trusty garmin come to greif.

if not an app, does the 'droid OS have the capability of reading an NMEA position via the USB rather than using the internal antenna?
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Old 24 October 2011, 07:49   #2
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R,

You I'd have thought you could read in from a Bluetooth GPS - as that technology was around about 5 yrs ago before most phones had an internal GPS.

EDIT: e.g. http://sourceforge.net/p/bluegps4droid/home/Home/ need tested to see if other apps pick up the signal correctly.

Not sure what you are trying to achieve though. I've never had a problem getting adequate GPS signal for "breadcrumbs" on an inside pocket.

As for "hosting" a device via the USB port it is very unlikely as most (or possibly all but I don't know for sure) smartphones are USB peripherals designed to be "mounted" by an external device rather than to take control of the communication as the "host".
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Old 25 October 2011, 04:21   #3
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As a recent convert myself I am quite interested in what sort of marine apps you use. Always had Navionics on the iPhone but haven't bought it yet on android and probably won't for a while. Summer hasn't arrived yet either so no tides apps or anything yet.

I have rooted and installed a custom operating system (ROM) (which I urge you all to do) and this allowed me to download "fasterfix" from the market which is exclusively for rooted phones and allows you to select a location server (europe for us) which it then uses to narrow down your position much more quickly, it has certainly sped up my internal GPS. I believe its the same sort of thing that our chartplotters use - ie. having a rough idea where we were before and therefore where we are now.
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Old 25 October 2011, 04:53   #4
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pol,

It was a high level thought, as I have a USB GPS reciever lying around in a box.

Problem I can see with Bluetooth ones based on what I'm reading is that the app has to have the capability to get the signal via bluetooth, (unless Andrioid 2.3.new has now got that built into the OS?, in which case my phone choice next week is as good as made )

I've also been reading from hiking forums that a high proportion of the built in ones are pretty useless in trees, which based on my trusty Garmin 12's performance means they'll be navigating round chocolate teapot territory in my inside pocket.


As for marine apps, I'm waiting patiently for MemoryMap to bring out their 'droid app as I have the entire UK charts courtesy of a fantastic deal last Christmas. Just a shame I never noticed the OS 1:50k deal that was on the week before..... I have a few waiting on the PC for a "working trial", mostly weather & tide related.
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Old 25 October 2011, 11:17   #5
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Originally Posted by 9D280 View Post
I've also been reading from hiking forums that a high proportion of the built in ones are pretty useless in trees, which based on my trusty Garmin 12's performance means they'll be navigating round chocolate teapot territory in my inside pocket.
I've tried to get a fix on my Lowrance unit with the boat on the trailer while in a tree-covered area. Doesn't work well. Nor does my old Garmin GPSMap76.

That said, tree branches have a bit more moisture in them than your coat does; I haven't had too much trouble with my Garmin handheld losing lock from being in a pocket (though I also can't say that situation is a regular occurence...)

I am fairly impressed with how well my Garmin Nuvi holds its location in the car and truck, with just a sliver of windshield to peek through. Not sure what the difference is there.

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