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GPS without caning the battery

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As I'm sure you know pretty much all smartphones now have a GPS in but the problem if you want to use them to record a track is that it canes your battery. So you end up either piggy backing it with a battery pack or, if you're in the car, keeping it plugged into the charger.

Navman B10 GPSAnyway I've been tidying my study1 and I re-discovered my little Navman B10 "black box" Bluetooth GPS which I've I used to use with my Sony Ericsson K800i and I've written about before and I wondered if I could use it with my Defy HD.

A quick look in the Play Store uncovered Bluetooth GPS Provider. You pair the B10 with your phone, enable a Development mode called "Allow mock locations" and then it can read locations over bluetooth and offer them to apps that want them. Most apps seem to accept it, although not all do.

For my purposes ViewRanger, which Beth already uses to share her location with me when she's driving to and from the Lakes and sometimes when she's driving around the Lakes, was ideal and it is quite happy talking to Bluetooth GPS Provider and to prove it here's a track I recorded while walking Jack this afternoon.

ViewRanger does display the track on its own mapping (OpenStreetMap by default but you can buy tiles for OS) but you can export the track in GPX format so that's what I've done here and I'm display it using our openmap.the-hug.net server's static maps engine.

The only problem is that I popped open the back of the B10 only to discover that the LiOn battery is bulging. This is Not Good™. But you can get replacement on the Web for £6.99 and they're higher capacity too allegedly (1Ah v 850mAh) so that's easily sorted.

So it seems I did get some reward for tidying my desk then!

  1. Turns out that my desk top is brown. Who knew?!

Tags: maps, toys, walks Written 09/09/13

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