Uses for onboard computers.

Navigation tools including maps, compass, GPS, computers, software, and other forms of navigation.
SteveS
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Uses for onboard computers.

#1

Post by SteveS » Fri May 02, 2008 9:31 am

Since many around here seem to have onboard computer, I like to see what tasks they fill.

Here is my list.

Mapping; Mine is set-up mainly for plotting track and location, using moving map software. This is 99% of may laptops use and why it was original installed.

Internet; It plays Internet connection and email when in ear-shoot of cell phone coverage. This is kinda sad, but has proven helpful with, helping locate medical service, weather forecasting, traffic conditions, and last minute motel finder. To increase range in the backcountry, I’ve been playing with a cellular Yagi, but the verdict is still out on the amount of help this offers.

OBD II scanning. May or may not be needed, but since the laptop can do it, it’s not that much more $$. I have downloaded and saved the all the codes.

Repairs; I have the full factory service manual on CD. This gives some useful info that could help on trail repairs. I find the book a much quicker reference, but the CD is a easy-to-carry format on the trail.

Photos: I find it a much better way to view pictures, than the little screen on our cameras. Plus I can back-up/ save pictures to clean-up camera memory cards.

What uses have any of you with your onboard computers found helpful?? With the limited space in my Tacoma I’m always looking for current gear to fill extra needs.

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DaveK
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Re: Uses for onboard computers.

#2

Post by DaveK » Fri May 02, 2008 9:06 pm

At the moment, the laptop is almost exclusively for trail navigation with either USGS Topos (nat.Geo.) or occasionally with nRoute. Since it will be with me for all wheelin' trips, I suppose that internet access might become necessary. I will confess however, one of the reasons that I try to get so far from civilization when I wheel, is to avoid things like the internet, TV and cell phones. I guess I can't hide forever!

While it is attractive to use the PC to down load pics from the digital camera, I would have to be away for weeks to use 8 gigs, even with 12 mp.

Now, the prospect of having the vehicle manual and some of the OBD capabilities, is an attractive thought. Actually, having the manual sounds like a great idea - I just have to find out how to get my hands on one. Where did you get yours?
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SteveS
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Re: Uses for onboard computers.

#3

Post by SteveS » Sun May 04, 2008 11:14 am

DaveK wrote:Actually, having the manual sounds like a great idea - I just have to find out how to get my hands on one. Where did you get yours?
In my case: Toyota

I think my owners manual or the dealer had info about ordering Factory Service manuals (FRS). They come in paper books or CD form.

IMO they are too much money. For people who work on there own vehicle, to either save money or know their vehicle in case of backcountry repairs/problem, the FSM will pay for it self.

On past vehicles I would carry the book, but this always seemed to damage these expensive books. Now I just store the CD in my map bag and use the book as reference around the garage.

I tried to post a picture, but couldn’t, so now I trying to post a link. No real need to watch it, just more of a test. :lol:
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid ... 4682&hl=en

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toms
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Re: Uses for onboard computers.

#4

Post by toms » Sun May 04, 2008 9:56 pm

It will not help you guys with Hummers and Toyota, but I found someone who was selling the complete Jeep Service manuals since 1981 to 2005 for all models. He had them on 2 CDs in PDF format (with hyperlinks) for about $50. I have load my vheicles on to the the hard drive of the laptop I carry with me on most trips. I could not find his name and address quickly, so if you need it let me know and I will put more effort into the search.

Tom
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taugust
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Re: Uses for onboard computers.

#5

Post by taugust » Sat May 10, 2008 11:34 am

Since I drive a Tacoma, the manuals have been available on line for some time. I also have downloaded manuals for all my amateur radios, GPS, Hi-Lift, camera, scanner etc. These come in handy for the same reason the FSM does. I keep them in a folder on the desktop, called "Manuals." I don't use them often, but they are there when needed.
Tim
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DaveK
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Re: Uses for onboard computers.

#6

Post by DaveK » Mon May 26, 2008 8:38 pm

taugust wrote:Since I drive a Tacoma, the manuals have been available on line for some time. I also have downloaded manuals for all my amateur radios, GPS, Hi-Lift, camera, scanner etc. These come in handy for the same reason the FSM does. I keep them in a folder on the desktop, called "Manuals." I don't use them often, but they are there when needed.

Hey Tim:

The idea of placing these manuals on a pc that goes with you off road is brilliant. I missed the camera and high lift but they will soon join the others! Great ideas!!!
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1leglance
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Re: Uses for onboard computers.

#7

Post by 1leglance » Tue May 27, 2008 6:39 am

since I have kids the laptop also gets used to store music and movies....it kills the highway time even though I prefer to look out the windows and talk I like to keep'em having fun....
I have the wilson cell booster and I am very happy with it..at least until I broke the direct connection cable, now they have a cradle that I will get and get back to a happy 3watt power level.
I also nav w/ Ozi & Iguidance, Service Manuals for FJC, Radios, Gear, Journal, Sort & Store Pics (a good idea is to match your gps clock to your camera clock before a trip so you know where picks were taken), borrow memory cards from other people for their pics, program my ham radio memories.....lots of things to do

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DaveK
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Re: Uses for onboard computers.

#8

Post by DaveK » Sat Jun 14, 2008 11:13 pm

1leglance wrote:a good idea is to match your gps clock to your camera clock before a trip so you know where picks were taken
Interesting. Very interesting. Also very clever!
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roger
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Re: Uses for onboard computers.

#9

Post by roger » Wed Jun 18, 2008 3:18 pm

DaveK wrote:
1leglance wrote:a good idea is to match your gps clock to your camera clock before a trip so you know where picks were taken
Interesting. Very interesting. Also very clever!
That's very smart. Even better, smartphones and higher-end dSLR cameras often include built in GPS or GPS interface. I can plug a portable GPS into my Nikon D300 and GPS coords are saved in the EXIF data. Upload the pics to Flickr.com, etc. and the pictures will contain the exact GPS geotag and appear on map views. I assume the new v2.0 iPhone with GPS will have that feature (but the camera will still suck).


Also, we use a similar clock-sync approach when doing survay filming under water. We tow a gps on a surface float with the underwater camera clock in sync.

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OLLIE
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Re: Uses for onboard computers.

#10

Post by OLLIE » Thu Jun 19, 2008 10:05 pm

roger wrote:That's very smart. Even better, smartphones and higher-end dSLR cameras often include built in GPS or GPS interface. I can plug a portable GPS into my Nikon D300 and GPS coords are saved in the EXIF data. Upload the pics to Flickr.com, etc. and the pictures will contain the exact GPS geotag and appear on map views. I assume the new v2.0 iPhone with GPS will have that feature (but the camera will still suck).


Also, we use a similar clock-sync approach when doing survay filming under water. We tow a gps on a surface float with the underwater camera clock in sync.
Now that there is awsome stuff. :shock:
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