Author Topic: Using a phone instead of a GPS device  (Read 4068 times)

Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
« Reply #50 on: June 04, 2020, 10:54:55 pm »
Any suggestions for an Android app that will record a plain basic GPX track?
Strava is misbehaving on my phone - zigs & zags to odd points miles away from actual location at 200mph, and I want to check it with a different app.
I don't need maps, I don't need routing, I don't need fancy features, but it would be nice if I could easily transfer recorded tracks to a Windows desktop.

fuaran

  • rothair gasta
Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
« Reply #51 on: June 04, 2020, 11:07:55 pm »
Any suggestions for an Android app that will record a plain basic GPX track?
Strava is misbehaving on my phone - zigs & zags to odd points miles away from actual location at 200mph, and I want to check it with a different app.
I don't need maps, I don't need routing, I don't need fancy features, but it would be nice if I could easily transfer recorded tracks to a Windows desktop.
GPS Logger for Android, does just that. https://gpslogger.app/
Plenty of options to adjust the recording frequency etc. Worth turning off the option to use network locations, that can be inaccurate.
Can set it to automatically upload to Dropbox or Google Drive etc, I think that's the easiest way of transferring to desktop.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
« Reply #52 on: June 04, 2020, 11:42:48 pm »
Worth turning off the option to use network locations, that can be inaccurate.

That certainly sounds like a likely cause of 200mph zigzags.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
« Reply #53 on: June 05, 2020, 01:08:27 pm »
Any suggestions for an Android app that will record a plain basic GPX track?
Strava is misbehaving on my phone - zigs & zags to odd points miles away from actual location at 200mph, and I want to check it with a different app.
I don't need maps, I don't need routing, I don't need fancy features, but it would be nice if I could easily transfer recorded tracks to a Windows desktop.

Lots of apps will do that, including the free versions of cyclemeter, bikecomputer, ridewithgps and osmand.
All of those 4 are pretty user friendly, maybe rwgps or cyclemeter is the simplest


Tim Hall

  • I want to eat the fleeting shade of your lashes
Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
« Reply #54 on: June 08, 2020, 08:38:01 pm »
Any suggestions for an Android app that will record a plain basic GPX track?
Strava is misbehaving on my phone - zigs & zags to odd points miles away from actual location at 200mph, and I want to check it with a different app.
I don't need maps, I don't need routing, I don't need fancy features, but it would be nice if I could easily transfer recorded tracks to a Windows desktop.

Lots of apps will do that, including the free versions of cyclemeter, bikecomputer, ridewithgps and osmand.
All of those 4 are pretty user friendly, maybe rwgps or cyclemeter is the simplest
I didn't know osmand could do logging. I do now. Having tweaked the battery optimisation on my phone, I've got it to work. Thanks for the pointer Frank.
There are two ways you can get exercise out of a bicycle: you can
"overhaul" it, or you can ride it.  (Jerome K Jerome)

Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
« Reply #55 on: June 08, 2020, 10:14:59 pm »
Worth turning off the option to use network locations, that can be inaccurate.

That certainly sounds like a likely cause of 200mph zigzags.

Indeed, but in Android 9 the option to decide which location services (network / gps / both) are used, has been amputated.
It's now just Location "on" or Location "off"

Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
« Reply #56 on: June 08, 2020, 11:59:27 pm »
The trick for saving power with OLED displays is to have as much black (and dark colours generally) on the screen as possible, as only the pixels that are actually lit up consume power.  So it might make sense to use a 'night' or 'high contrast' theme, with the brightness turned up high.
Thanks Kim, that's a top tip! I tried it out yesterday using Oruxmaps set to night mode on my OLED display phone with the screen brightness set to 50% and auto adjust set to off. With the map display permanently on, battery consumption was around 8% per hour without any power saving adjustments.  This is as good as using the 7" lcd tablet in "dim wake lock" and aeroplane mode with the added benefit of a much easier to read display :thumbsup:
Most of the stuff I say is true because I saw it in a dream and I don't have the presence of mind to make up lies when I'm asleep.   Bryan Andreas

Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
« Reply #57 on: June 16, 2020, 12:03:36 am »
The trick for saving power with OLED displays is to have as much black (and dark colours generally) on the screen as possible, as only the pixels that are actually lit up consume power.  So it might make sense to use a 'night' or 'high contrast' theme, with the brightness turned up high.
Thanks Kim, that's a top tip! I tried it out yesterday using Oruxmaps set to night mode on my OLED display phone with the screen brightness set to 50% and auto adjust set to off. With the map display permanently on, battery consumption was around 8% per hour without any power saving adjustments.  This is as good as using the 7" lcd tablet in "dim wake lock" and aeroplane mode with the added benefit of a much easier to read display :thumbsup:
So taking this a step further, I took an old Samsung A3 smartphone and carried out a factory reset followed by an install of "Oruxmaps" with offline UK mapping, together with Brouter and "GPS Status" apps.  Using the phone in flight mode and location set to "GPS only" the battery usage with the map display permanently on and high resolution tracking enabled was a consistent 5% per hour measured over a 300km 20 hour ride. 
Most of the stuff I say is true because I saw it in a dream and I don't have the presence of mind to make up lies when I'm asleep.   Bryan Andreas

Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
« Reply #58 on: June 16, 2020, 01:27:01 pm »
That's really good battery life.  FWIW I'm getting about 6 hours from my setup.  That is using about 70% brightness (I vary it manually according to conditions).  But on a sunny day, I am needing to bump it up to 100%.  Duller day 50% is more than enough - so 6 hours seems a good average.

It is borderline as to whether it is good enough.  I'll need to do more testing on longer rides to see how long I get from different sized battery packs. 

Upgrading to an OLED phone is not an option as there are no waterproof 4" models.

mdp

Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
« Reply #59 on: June 19, 2020, 11:43:03 pm »
Not sure whether you have seen Blackview's BVXXXX series rugged phones - https://www.blackview.hk/smartphone/. I have the BV6000 which I use when bikepacking/hiking. It's pretty much bomb proof and the battery lasts for days as opposed to hours. It's a decent spec (Octa-core 2.0 GHz, 3GB Memory, 4.7" screen) but not amazing. The screen isn't fantastic and the camera is nowhere near as good as they like to make out, but it does the job for navigation. There's also a newer BV6800 with a bigger screen, bigger battery and a bit more memory. Only thing is they seem to have gone up in price lately. When I got mine 2 years ago it was around £140 on Amazon and it seems to be now selling for over £190 and the BV6800 is just over £200, which is still not bad I suppose compared to a lot of phones. They also have a much higher spec BV9900 which is more than double the price but then it does apparently have a thermal imaging camera :o

Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
« Reply #60 on: June 22, 2020, 01:37:24 pm »
Not sure whether you have seen Blackview's BVXXXX series rugged phones - https://www.blackview.hk/smartphone/. I have the BV6000 which I use when bikepacking/hiking. It's pretty much bomb proof and the battery lasts for days as opposed to hours. It's a decent spec (Octa-core 2.0 GHz, 3GB Memory, 4.7" screen) but not amazing. The screen isn't fantastic and the camera is nowhere near as good as they like to make out, but it does the job for navigation. There's also a newer BV6800 with a bigger screen, bigger battery and a bit more memory. Only thing is they seem to have gone up in price lately. When I got mine 2 years ago it was around £140 on Amazon and it seems to be now selling for over £190 and the BV6800 is just over £200, which is still not bad I suppose compared to a lot of phones. They also have a much higher spec BV9900 which is more than double the price but then it does apparently have a thermal imaging camera :o

Thanks - interesting.  I had come across Blackview but ruled them out as I only saw large screen models.  I had been considering risking a second-hand Samsung A3, having discovered the 2017 models are waterproof (Thanks Bolt ^^), but this looks like another good option.  A few quick searches show the BV6000 available for <£100.

In case anyone is interested in this, or contemplating switiching to a phone setup, now that I have had good bit of experience with the phone, I'm weighing up how best to configure my setup.  As it is, it is great for anything up to, say 600km / 2 days, but I can see that the battery burn rate could be an issue above that - and it is the longest ride that defines the requirement.

There are two main alternative approaches I am considering, and which will dictate what I might buy next:
1) to carry on down the route of looking for the best smaller phone to use as an upgrade to my Cubot and then carry a main phone as well, for back-up navigation and everything else - this is the vision that I started out with.
2) to use my main phone for navigation and use another device as backup.  This could be my Cubot or one of my old Garmins, or anything really.  When I'm using my phone to do other stuff (find music to listen to, book hotels, etc) I would turn the backup device on purely to show me the route, but this would only be for short periods, so little power requirement.  This model has two benefits: I would only have one phone to keep charged, so it might work out more economical (esp if I upgrade to an OLED screen) and I would have a bigger screen for navigation.

I'm realising that one challenge of taking the phone app approach is that there is a constant temptation to upgrade and fine-tune! And that is not necessarily what I want to spend my time doing.

Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
« Reply #61 on: June 22, 2020, 04:27:42 pm »
Using the Samsung A3 as previously described the battery consumption is actually less than my main phone (S7) carried in my back pocket with the screen off, even though the S7 has a bigger battery.
Most of the stuff I say is true because I saw it in a dream and I don't have the presence of mind to make up lies when I'm asleep.   Bryan Andreas

Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
« Reply #62 on: June 22, 2020, 05:28:27 pm »
The battery life you are getting with your oled screens is fantastic. I think when my GPS die at some future point I’ll seriously consider a modern phone for the purpose.

Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
« Reply #63 on: July 02, 2020, 05:22:49 pm »
Well this has been an interesting project and has given me a pretty good device, but I have decided to abandon it and go back to Garmin - I've just bought a 1030.

The reason is that I have discovered that it can display more than two data fields on the map screen, which was the reason I had ruled it out.  But, by downloading a third party app called MapDashboard, I can get either 4 or 6 data fields. 

My phone / GPS is pretty good, but it has three areas where it wasn't up to the same standard as a Garmin - all to do with the screen: battery life, visibility in bright sun and usability in the wet.  I'll keep it as my back-up device, maybe keep it on my commuting bike.