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#21
paulee2

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Thanks Rico, I'll follow your advice.

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#22
paulee2

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I now have some more information to bring this thread up to date.

I found a good range of phone cases and mounts from a company called Ultimate Mobiles and ordered a waterproof soft case with zipped sides and an adjustable handlebar mount. This came the next day but there was a fault with one of the zips and I emailed UM's to point it out and to enquire about more durable cases. They came straight back to me and asked if I wanted to exchange it or have a refund. It turned out that they are only 30 mins drive from where I live so I popped over and checked out several of their cases. I came away with a hard plastic tough case for use in any weather and a universal holder for use in fine weather. This will allow me to have full use of my phone whilst attached to the mount, which isn't possible with the hard case because it isn't a dedicated Huawei case. The service from this company was excellent and they have several very exciting developments in the pipeline, such as a universal waterproof hard case that will work with Huawei phones.

After spending several hours experimenting with my mapping system I tried downloading a different app that uses the "Route You" mapping system. This is from a Spanish company called Ulugh (youlook) and is pretty good because it offers a few different mapping layers, including OpenStreetsMap, they are also happy to reply to queries and have offered me advice on a couple of occasions. I found that OSM work reasonably well in offline mode and they recommend using this system. They also suggest a "workaround" for the offline mapping. This is, setting the cache expiration to cover the length of the trip, open the map screen and set to OSM and zoom in to the mapping level to be used for the route. Then simply navigate through the route steadily to allow all of the map tiles to be downloaded into cache. As they pointed out this is not the most elegant solution, but one that should work well enough.

Of course, using the phone for mapping requires me to set it to maximum brightness and this, together with the anti-glare screen protector I've fitted, is generally acceptable. I also set the "screen time out" to the maximum available of 30 minutes. All of this really does use up the battery life very quickly so I've invested in a 12000mAh external power pack. This ebay Chinese product had good reviews and it does seem to very impressive - time will tell! BTW, does anyone know how I can set my phone up so that the screen in permanently on, rather than the maximum 30 mins available via the display settings menu please?

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#23
foobert

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Assuming that you have it plugged into that external battery pack continuously while on a ride, there is a toggle in the Developer Options to keep the phone awake whilst charging. I think that should do what you're asking for.

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#24
rob4x4

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I also did the same check as Rico_89 today and had the same results! I've emailed the Route You help team for further information but I do seem to remember reading somewhere that Google Maps are not able to be used offline.

Rob4x4, where did you eventually find the M-M Tracker link that worked please?


I did a google search and found the .apk file for download on a gps forum site. I didn't keep the link but it wasn't hard to find.

Which external battery pack did you get?

Edited by rob4x4, 17 October 2012 - 07:51 AM.

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#25
paulee2

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Hi foobert, thanks for this info, it will do the trick. I've now realised that the "backlight" option apparently allows you to do the same thing and prevents the display turning off. Checking this does look like it will work.

Hi Rob, the battery pack is here -
http://cgi.ebay.co.u...E:X:RTQ:GB:1123
The unit appears to be solidly constructed and if looks are anything to go by it should be very useful. Backup from the seller was good and very helpful even though, like the instruction booklet, the English is not quite there yet! I charged the unit yesterday and it took almost 10 hours using my phone charger. I've tried it briefly on the two phones that I have and it works fine. Like the mapping system, I'll know more in a couple of weeks time and I'm happy to report back again then. Thanks for the MM Tracker info.

Edited by paulee2, 17 October 2012 - 01:45 PM.

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#26
kyan31

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Thanks for this good news re. Google maps offline Rico. Sorry if I'm being really dim, but what is the "menu capacitive button" and where will I find it please?


:blink:

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#27
Rico_89

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If you have the time could you show us some pics of the mounts and water proof case?

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#28
paulee2

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Hi Rico, here are the links to the bits I've bought for my bike.
tough case - http://www.ultimate-...xys3___2458.htm
holder for dry weather - http://www.ultimate-...lack___1671.htm
mount - http://www.ultimate-...ment___1093.htm

I had a very frustrating time with the mapping system for the ride in France - leaving tomorrow. This could be down to my general inexperience with the phone and GPS systems, but I don't think so. Despite me getting helpful advice from the app developers about being able to store OpenStreetsMap routes into cache (for up to 60 days) when I have tried this using a local route to me it has always failed! I do get a red line showing the route and an arrow that follows this route, but the map detail tends to disappear, which is a big nuisance. Yesterday I also had problems with the map rotating by itself, screen saving cutting in, when I'd tried to prevent it and the programme freezing up!

I wasn't quite sure what to do to try and improve things, but I've switched auto rotate, emptied the cache and tried to improve the screen timeout problems. Walking around my garden this morning I've loaded up a local and a French route to the scale we'll be riding from, worked through the route to get the tiles into cache, switched into airplane mode and then slowly worked my way through the routes. Every time I've tried this it has worked perfectly! I'm not sure what I have done to make such improvements and I worried that it appears to be just "luck" and that the system may work differently on a different day. I've even been wondering whether my wireless cycle computer may be interfering with the phone GPS system and I have also looked at other mapping systems, but it's all a bit late!

Screen Timeout is still a problem as it would be nice not have the screen cut out, or dim down, but I'll keep experimenting with this. Just hoping that the mapping does work while we're away. We do have my friends iPhone with a Navigon system installed as a backup and some printouts from the Route You routes I've done, so we'll never be too lost.

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#29
rob4x4

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@paulee2
Might be a bit late if you are leaving tomorrow but BikeComputerPro (the paid version -about £3.50) lets you save openstreetmap or Androidmaps offline, and you can upload gpx routes to it to follow. I've not tried it as I've only used the free version (which doesnt support uploading gpx routes, just tracking) but it works well. I seem to to remember that you can disable screen timeouts and map rotations with it.
http://bikecomputer.roproducts.de/

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#30
paulee2

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Thanks Rob, something to try if necessary when we get back I think. Went for a ride this afternoon and everything worked really well. Fingers crossed that the problems are mainly due to me!

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#31
Rico_89

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WOW that first case looks awesome.. robophone :) Thx.

Sometimes when I go running my RunKeeper app won't locate my position and this use to leave me really pissed off because I'd have run the route, then edit it later. However I found that when this happens I just open the Google Map app and it always locates my position, then I exit Google Maps, open RK and my GPS signal shows as strong/good. might be worth a try.

Also I'm pretty sure GPS radio signals work off of a different frequency so I doubt it could get messed up by your bike computer.

Lets us know how it goes. I'm sure there is a solution to data free navigation but I guess it's just a matter of trying different things and finding out what works and what doesn't.

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#32
diddydavro

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WOW that first case looks awesome.. robophone :) Thx.

Sometimes when I go running my RunKeeper app won't locate my position and this use to leave me really pissed off because I'd have run the route, then edit it later. However I found that when this happens I just open the Google Map app and it always locates my position, then I exit Google Maps, open RK and my GPS signal shows as strong/good. might be worth a try.

Also I'm pretty sure GPS radio signals work off of a different frequency so I doubt it could get messed up by your bike computer.

Lets us know how it goes. I'm sure there is a solution to data free navigation but I guess it's just a matter of trying different things and finding out what works and what doesn't.


I fitted my Garmin eTrex to my bike to help navigate on a charity ride from St Bees to Robin Hoods Bay and it did interfere with my cycle computer.

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#33
Rico_89

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I fitted my Garmin eTrex to my bike to help navigate on a charity ride from St Bees to Robin Hoods Bay and it did interfere with my cycle computer.


Anything is possible but in that situation you'd have to know a bit more about the location of each device. Wireless bike computers work on 2.4 GHz and your Garmin system doesn't emit anything, so it's strange that it interfered with your bike computer because your mobile phone is more likely to mess that up. I mean the lack of insulation around the wiring may cause a problem but the manual should warn you of that, stating to keep it a minimum distance away from certain electronic items.

Edited by Rico_89, 21 October 2012 - 07:45 AM.

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#34
diddydavro

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Anything is possible but in that situation you'd have to know a bit more about the location of each device. Wireless bike computers work on 2.4 GHz and your Garmin system doesn't emit anything, so it's strange that it interfered with your bike computer because your mobile phone is more likely to mess that up. I mean the lack of insulation around the wiring may cause a problem but the manual should warn you of that, stating to keep it a minimum distance away from certain electronic items.


Thanks for the info. I checked the Garmin handbook and it said nothing specific about interference. I use the G300 now so it isn't a problem any more.

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#35
paulee2

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Got back from France last night. Very pleased to report that the mapping system worked really well most of the time, but it did continue to loose some of the background map data on occasions, despite me saving my mapped routes for the maximum of 60 days and loading each route every day. This was intermittent but even though the map background would be lost the actual route was still visible complete with the direction arrow to follow, so could never really get lost.
I had not problems at all from interference between my wireless cycling computer and the phone. The battery pack worked very well and I was able to run the phone with mapping and music all day with no problems. In fact, the phone alone was generally sufficient each day if it was only used for the guiding.

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#36
fr0do

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Thanks for the update Paul ;)

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#37
Rico_89

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......... and who knows maybe ICS will be released by then :P .


... can you believe it, I was right lol :D


Excellent, good to hear it worked out ok, and there's some good info in this thread too.. As you do more treks your system will most likely evolve and only get better with time and experience.

Ok my next prediction. ".. who knows maybe I'll win the lottery by the weekend :P ".

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#38
paulee2

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Thanks Rico, just noticed your good news! Going to try thy upgrades this afternoon. Cheers, Paul.

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#39
unaszplodrmann

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Got back from France last night. Very pleased to report that the mapping system worked really well most of the time, but it did continue to loose some of the background map data on occasions, despite me saving my mapped routes for the maximum of 60 days and loading each route every day. This was intermittent but even though the map background would be lost the actual route was still visible complete with the direction arrow to follow, so could never really get lost.
I had not problems at all from interference between my wireless cycling computer and the phone. The battery pack worked very well and I was able to run the phone with mapping and music all day with no problems. In fact, the phone alone was generally sufficient each day if it was only used for the guiding.


Check out MOBAC. It's great for making custom atlases for use with various mapping apps. Some maps sources have been removed recently, but it is possible to drop some files from previously releases into the current release to make them available again. For example, I created a 4 layer atlas of my local area for use in Oruxmaps. It consists of Google Earth, Ordnance Survey 1:25k, Ordnance Survey 1:50k and Google road map images... It is so much more useful than plain Google Maps, especially offroad.

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#40
paulee2

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Hi unaszplodrmann, thanks very much for your recommendation. I've had a quick look at the Mobac site and although it does look very comprehensive, it also looks complicated (for me) and the RouteYou/Ulugh site works well for me. It does look as though there are lots of very good mapping sites available for free that are reliable and accurate. I guess it's down to the one you find first that suits your requirements and that you become familiar with. Incidentally, Ulugh are introducing improvements to their offline mapping early next year and they've asked me to do some testing for them prior to the launch. I'm happy to do this because if it works for me, then anyone can get it to work - i.e. "mapping for dummies"!!!

Rico - it took me longer to upgrade to ICS than I thought, mainly because I couldn't find Wi-Fi near me that was capable of allowing this size of download - my house was all hard wired. I have now upgraded my Virgin internet to Wi-Fi and it's much faster. The download went well but I lost all of the apps that I'd previously downloaded, even though I did backup everything as recommended. I found out today that the upgrade has also removed GiffGaff and left me without a data connection. After a lot of messing around I reset the APN and deleted the Tesco settings it had installed. It now works fine and I'm running android 4.0.3 B936 - not sure if it is the B936"F" that I have read about on this site though. Is it normal to loose apps and go back to an old network, originally Vodafone when you upgrade?

The phone now has all of the Vodafone rubbish that came with the upgrade. Is there a way safely remove this from the phone? Being new to smartphones and enthusiastic, but inexperienced, should I leave the standard upgrade or is there something better - CM9/10?

Thanks for any help.

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