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Posts posted by tiiiim

  1. From a personal point of view, it was a PITA to have to convert from DD MM.mmmm when trying to complete multis with my netbook.

    You might want to take a look at FizzyCalc. It might help to make those conversions go more smoothly.




    Thanks for that - looks interesting. I eventually wrote some code of my own to do the conversions within my scripts, but it's not pretty!! Also, the netbook runs Linux so FizzyCalc wouldn't really work (don't start on Wine...), but it looks like a simple option for those that do run Windows.

  2. I doubt this device has ever seen a creek. It's probably more likely to be dropped on a sidewalk or Wally world parking lot. By the way, what's so funny about about the decimal minute format?


    I'll let that dig pass by (check my found caches to see you couldn't be more wrong).


    As far as what's 'funny' about the decimal minute format: it just seemed weird that with two different types of coordinate formats available (main types, anyway: decimal degrees and degrees-minutes-seconds), the site is using one which is a mixture of both. Hell, even GPX files use the decimal degrees format. Now I know it's due to (most) GPS units using the format by default on the user side. From a personal point of view, it was a PITA to have to convert from DD MM.mmmm when trying to complete multis with my netbook.

  3. A netbook to geocache? Sounds like an expensive accident looking for a creek to happen in.


    I don't hold it out in front of me when geocaching - well, not anymore anyway!! It's in my rucksack, and I've written a script which speaks the bearing and distance to the destination coordinate through my headphones. That way, the only thing visible is a compass and if I were to drop that in a creek, that's £5 to fix!!


    The DD MM.mmm format gives you 1/1000th of a minute - much more precise than the DD MM SS format, which is only 1/60th of a minute. The DD.ddddd is not commonly used.


    The DD.dddd format IS commonly used - how does anything digital compute bearing, distance etc etc? Certainly not in minutes and seconds - it'll convert to DD.dddd first, calculate, then convert back if required for the user. All the apps on my netbook require coordinates in DD.dddd.


    Even though I understand the reason we don't, I really wish we used the DD.ddddd format instead.


    Me too, hence the question! It's a pain in the backside trying to convert from DD MM.mmmm to DD.dddd whilst out hunting for a multi! But it seems that the answer to my question is because that's what GPS units are set to by default.

  4. Should hopefully be a simple one to answer: why oh why does Groundspeak use the degrees and decimal minutes format for coordinates? It doesn't seem to make any sense: either use full decimal degrees, or the entire degrees-minutes-seconds....


    (My only guess is that it has something to do with legacy GPS units - I use a netbook to geocache, so wouldn't really know....)

  5. On my linux desktop i plugged it in, and a few seconds later i got a small buetooth icon on my panel.


    Bluetooth is definitely one area which 'Just Works ' on Linux - I've had countless problems with bluetooth in Windows: none in Ubuntu.


    Anyway, back on track, I finally got down to writing the script which I talked about earlier. It takes in a coordinate (or a file of coordinates) and after the user enters an update time (i.e. 5 seconds), it speaks to me using flite every five seconds. It tells me the distance from the coordinate (as the crow flies, of course) and the bearing. This means that I can leave the laptop in my bag and plug in my headphones and go off searching (with the aid of a compass). I found my first audio-guided cache today, and it worked a treat!!


    Another feature I wrote into the script is that of Ground Zero detection. Once you enter Ground Zero (I think I set it at 20 metres around the destination waypoint), a software flag is set. If you leave Ground Zero, the script assumes you've either found the cache or have given up, and moves onto the next waypoint in the file, or quits if there are no more waypoints.


    The script is written entirely in PHP, as that's what I'm most comfortable in right now! I know many people in the Linux community don't trust random scripts (me included), and that's why I'm not posting it here. If you want it, just PM me your details and I'll email it over with some instructions on its use - I'm a Linux newbie myself, so I probably won't be able to answer support questions all that well, suffice to say that you need the gpsd, php5-cli and flite packages along with all their dependencies (and probably others which I already had but don't realise are critical).

  6. That'll be it then. Can this function be disabled by software? You mention that you've never used SiRFIII with Linux - how did you do it on Windows/Mac? Time to start hunting, methinks...


    Scrap that, I've found it already: gpsd comes with a program called gpsmon with which you can set (provide the command M1) or clear (M0) the static navigation. I'll give it a go and see what happens: thanks for the info diber!


    edit: For those using gpsd from the package manager in Ubuntu, the current gpsd (2.38) comes with sirfmon, not gpsmon. The idea is the same, but the commands are now c1 and c0...

  7. I haven't compiled Navit yet for the Darwin notebook; have you tried the "T&H" display in conjunction with turning off the "lock to road" rule?


    Ahh, I noticed your questions over on the Navit wiki... Yup, I tried the T@H layout, but I think it's pretty crap as it misses out a lot of the stuff which Navit is capable of displaying - I've created my own layout to look more like an OSM render, but the thing is so customizable that you can do what you want!! I usually have the 'lock to road' rule turned off (it is by default on mine) as the position reports I receive tend to be accurate enough to place me on the correct road - I ony tend to get problems when the map (from OSM) is actually wrong, which happens a bit...)


    If I am not wrong, this could be due to an option (I believe it is called "Static navigation") which is enabled in the SIRF III. It's purpose is mainly for automotive use and basically disables position updates when the speed is lower than a certain value (which I seem to remember being around 4.5 km/hr). You should disable this function (I do not know which linux software allows you to do it... I have never used a sirf III with linux).


    That'll be it then. Can this function be disabled by software? You mention that you've never used SiRFIII with Linux - how did you do it on Windows/Mac? Time to start hunting, methinks...

  8. Cool beans! I've experimented with a setup very much like this: a GTop mouse (MTK chip, Silicon Labs 210X USB to UART bridge) on a laptop running GPSDrive.


    Sounds very similar: my GPS mouse is a Navisys GR-300 with a SiRF III chip and a USB to Serial bridge (very easy for gpsd!).


    But I'll bet I looked geekier than you, especially with the Rx taped to the top of my hat.... :-b


    Ha, you have no idea how many times I've thought of doing that to improve the signal - haven't quite got there yet. Here in Canada I get WAAS/DGPS signal too, so it's not been too much of a problem, but when I go back to the UK (dense area) I may struggle - we'll see


    The build of GPSDrive I used on OpenSuse 10.3 had speech support compiled in. Not sure if it was Festival, Flite, or something else. Every few seconds it gave me one of a rotating series of updates: "Destination is ahead and to your left," "Destination is 30 meters ahead," "The time is now 20 hours and 11 minutes," etc. I know I've compiled Navit with speech support, too, but haven't field-tested it. Haven't done much with Tango yet, though your comment tells me I should. Although they're not designed for this purpose, maybe Tango or Navit will say something helpful for cacheseeking?


    GPSDrive!! That's the only one I haven't tried yet - looks like it uses festival for speech output, which I've used before so no problems there. I've switched off speech support in Navit as it was driving me mental - note also that the speech support in Navit is for routing (directions), so tells you to go into this street, then that street, then the third exit etc, etc. It doesn't provide useful directions 'off-map' to a single waypoint (i.e. ahead and left a bit, 100 metres), which by the sounds of it GPSDrive can do. I'll have to give it a go when I get home (and can bash my wi-fi into life).


    As far as I know TangoGPS doesn't have speech support, and the only real reason I use it is that Navit is primarily designed as a sat-nav program, to route from A to B, whilst TangoGPS is a pure GPS program like the handheld GPSr's.


    One question though (open to anyone) - I mentioned in my previous post that I used TangoGPS because it seemed more responsive. That's rubbish, because both TangoGPS and Navit take data from gpsd. I've noticed that I need to walk about 4.5km/h before gpsd starts registering my movement, after which I can slow down a little (but not much), before it thinks I've stopped again. This is not helpful when scaling steep, crumbly cliffs etc, where horizontal speed is not very high. Is this gpsd's problem, or a problem with the receiver (USB GPS mouse)? Do the handheld's suffer from this too? I'd be very interested to know!!





  9. Perhaps I'll get this back on track....


    Not done too many caches yet, but I'm finding them exclusively using Ubuntu - USB GPS dongle running through gpsd, navit (into which I pre-load cache points) uses the OpenStreetMap project maps to find me a way to the cache, and then tangogps is used for the last few metres (I find it's a little more responsive than navit when walking).


    So, no problems with GPSr compatibility.


    However, I do look like a bit of a dick walking round with a netbook (Acer One running Ubuntu, if interested) - luckily the only caches we've found so far are in remote, out of the way places in Canada.


    So I'm currently thinking of making a very simple script into which a coordinate is placed (or a set of coordinates), and this scripts beeps and makes other noises to tell you which direction to go in and how far away the cache is. This way I can have the netbook in my rucksack and use earphones to get to the cache. We'll see how it goes....!!!

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