Navigating on a REALLY BIG screen

hooter

Member
Here on the south island, Backroad Map Books are the gold standard for accuracy and detail so that's what a lot of us use to navigate. Recently BRMB brought out digital versions of their maps, so I bought some of them and loaded them on my iPhone. The app (PDF Maps from Avenza) puts a big blue dot on the map at your current location so it's pretty hard to get lost as long as the phone keeps working. In addition, you can record tracks so you can see where you've been, and you can scroll and zoom around.

It's pretty nice, but the iPhone screen is really too small. So I hunted around and found a mount that will attach an ipad to my dirt bike. Here it is:

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ipad.jpg


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Now THAT'S a nice big screen!

Here are the bits and pieces:


I've been running this setup for only a couple of weeks now, but so far it's working pretty well. Here are some of the problems:
  • The mount is not really weather-proof enough for my liking. I'm going to pick up a case from Lifeproof that is supposed to be basically 100% waterproof (IP67)
  • The ipad battery lasts for about 5 hours, which isn't long enough for me. I'm investigating some options to supply power from the bike's electrical system.
  • The mount comes with a safety strap which I've attached to one of the mirrors, but it's made of fabric. When I go to the Lifeproof case, I'll make one out of real safety wire

I'll update this post as I make more progress with the ipad.
 
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cactusreid

Active member
i'm almost thinking "to big", but i as well am watching to see where this goes? thks Hooter for doing the leg work on this one.
 

hooter

Member
i'm almost thinking "to big", but i as well am watching to see where this goes? thks Hooter for doing the leg work on this one.

When I first mocked up the ipad on the handlebars, the first thing I thought was "no way will that fit!" But it actually worked out pretty well. It doesn't get in the way at all. (It does obscure the speedometer a little, but who needs a speedo anyway?)
 

bchunter

Member
Cool testing and set-up. Hope it works for you.

As for a power source, I went with a 3BR USB power plug and wired it up so that it was accessable right under my air filter quick release panel. I placed it here so taht I can run the cord up to the handlebars or into a tail bag, while still being able to run the cord along the seat and the tank so that there are no wires hanging out. This way I can still ride brushy trails without fear of the cord getting snagged.

Have fun with your modding :hb:

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Cool project.

On a somewhat related (if more rally-navigation oriented) topic - check out here for a couple of cool apps: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=936183. They started with an adjustable odometer / cap heading app, and now have a roadbook app. I don't have an iPad, but using my old iPhone as a dedicated odo is a genuine delight. Here's a shot of my setup using the iphone odo. You can switch the main readout between cap heading (shown) and either odo A (top right) or odo B (top left).


That was the a few days prior to the Spring Newbie ride. Worked like a charm. The iPhone holder shown is the X-Ram, which sucks enourmously for offroad use. I ordered this cradle http://www.vtwinmotorcycleblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/iphone-mount.jpg which replaced the one in the photo - way better than the pictured X-RAM. Velcro on the cradle/back of phone is a good backup retraint - esp on the X-RAM - ask me how I know (last Fall's newbie ride ...) Sorry - no pic with the new cradle - but it mounts the same way.

Power is by way of a dual USB charger running off the spare KTM ACC 2 circuit - I'm sure since DRZ folks regularly do heated grips and/or vests, etc - something like this could be done easily. You can see the USB charger to the left of the GPS.

Naturally, a good case is critical - here's a shot of my Lifeproof case. Shows mounted during the Fall 2014 Newbie ride - as you see from the above shot, I've relocated it up good and high for better visibility.



Only payware app I have, and well worth the money. Might also work well in combination with your topo map system too, if you don't mind a another device.

cool thread!

cm
 
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hooter

Member
Wow that is a pretty cool app! That would be handy for the VMC all day dual sport. Do you know if it runs on an ipad? Or iphone only?
 

hooter

Member
As for a power source, I went with a 3BR USB power plug and wired it up so that it was accessable right under my air filter quick release panel.

That's kind of the direction I'm going too. I found a 12VDC to USB adapter from the Battery Tender people.

http://www.amazon.com/Battery-Tende...a_nav_t_1?ie=UTF8&refRID=0RDK8K0QDSM8GNNFW2ZK

http://www.amazon.com/Battery-Tende...a_nav_t_2?ie=UTF8&refRID=0RDK8K0QDSM8GNNFW2ZK

There is very little space available on the Husaberg, so I've got some work to do to find room for it. I'll post updates as they are available.
 
I think iphone only, inasmuch as it runs off the GPS app, which I don't think ipads have. But I could be wrong on that. I know you don't need a wireless or data plan - a used old iphone will work just fine - just the GPS is all that's needed.

cm
 

doyoulikeithere

New member
Obviously, we are all aware that looking at our electronic devices while we are driving, is a bit dangerous. I realize y'all aren't sending texts or whatever, but earlier this year I was actually hit by another motorcyclist who was looking at his GPS and didn't notice me stop near the edge of the road, and start to get off my bike. I got sent flying. Fortunately, no one was hurt seriously, and Just pointing out that it happens eh . Hang up your phone and drive :)
BTW. I keep my gps in my pocket.
 

hooter

Member
I had one of the Battery Tender power supplies on hand, so I went ahead and used that.

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Typical Husaberg, there was a tiny space beneath the speedometer where I was able to fit the power supply and it JUST fits.

Wired it into the little running lamp that is inside the headlight assembly. This running lamp is always powered when the engine is running, due to the way I wired up my aftermarket headlight switch.

So now I have power. Next step will be to get a truly weather-proof mount.
 

hooter

Member
Well I've been using this setup for a few months now, here are some updates.

I switched to a Lifeproof case for the ipad, it's much more rugged and waterproof than the el cheapo case I started with. Here are the pieces you need:
- The lifeproof case itself: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00CJYA95G/ref=od_aui_detailpages00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
- the cradle: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00JTSKVXK/ref=od_aui_detailpages00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
- the mount: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003FMUP14/ref=od_aui_detailpages00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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A total of about $100 USD but well worth it. The mount provides a RAM-style ball and a plate that bolts to the back of the cradle. The cradle stays on the bike, and the ipad stays in the Lifeproof case. The cradle has a simple latch mechanism that holds the ipad/Lifeproof securely and can be quickly opened to remove the ipad.

The only drawback of the Lifeproof case is that when you open the little port to connect the power cable, the ipad is exposed to the elements through that port. So I used some RTV silicon to make a little gasket around the end of the power cable. Not perfect, but sufficient for anything less than a direct hit from a power washer.
IMG_20150619_203852.jpg


The Battery Tender USB adapter I started with could not provide enough power to charge the ipad. I looked around and settled on a very inexpensive cigarette lighter power adapter from one of my favourite Hong Kong web sites, Deal Extreme. They are only $1.95 USD each, but they work. You should get 2 of them because they are cheap and sometimes you will get a dud. Here is the link: http://www.dx.com/p/car-cigarette-powered-dual-usb-adapter-charger-for-ipod-dc-12-24v-48029

I did some soldering to connect the power adapter to my headlight, so it would spring to life when I turned on the bike's ignition key. I also did some waterproofing by sealing the seams and openings on the adapter with RTV.
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With all these colourful electronics, I will look like Dark Helmet travelling down the trail at Ludicrous speed.
 

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hooter

Member
Hey all, one other thing I learned with this setup - if you leave the ipad in direct sunlight on a hot summer day, it will get too hot and shut itself off. This isn't usually a problem when you're moving, but it's best to put the bike in a shady spot when you stop for lunch.
 

vwDavid

New member
Hi Hooter,

I hope you are still posting on this site. I have reproduced your setup using my ipad mini but initially I have been using the BRMB iOs Navigator app. It turns out it sucks and crashes all the time and is unusable. So, I am turning to your PDF Maps method - while the map cost is higher, hopefully the software is much better.

I have a number of questions

1) is the setup rock solid and accurate enough? Any complaints, issues, or annoyances?
2) did you buy the PDF maps through PDF-MAPS.com map store or through the BRMB direct?
3) I note that the PDF mapbook sold through BRMB says it is not geo-referenced. Does this mean it will not work on PDF-MAPS? can you add your experience?

Thanks,
David
 

vortexman

New member
I am just curios as to what you are actually looking at? I use standard dead reckoning land navigation techniques for my recreation and mineral survey applications so I am always interested in the newest gadgetry but am not sure why one would need a large screen and all the complex tech software.

Is it a moving map display or giant "go to" pointer you are viewing? I only use my navaids when I need a position fix and am stopped, or am marking a UTM way point. I see many references in here about "tracks" but unless one has a way of correlating this data with actual ground positions it is not much use.
 

lagbc

Active member
Question about Backroads mapbook PDF - is it a single large pdf map or it's broken down into pages like paper copy and you have to scroll trough when you move from a page to page?
 

vwDavid

New member
I am just curios as to what you are actually looking at? I use standard dead reckoning land navigation techniques for my recreation and mineral survey applications so I am always interested in the newest gadgetry but am not sure why one would need a large screen and all the complex tech software.

Is it a moving map display or giant "go to" pointer you are viewing? I only use my navaids when I need a position fix and am stopped, or am marking a UTM way point. I see many references in here about "tracks" but unless one has a way of correlating this data with actual ground positions it is not much use.

maybe you can give us a training day so we can all learn your spidy skills so we don't need smartphones with maps or gps. Please?
 

vwDavid

New member
I have learned if you buy the pdf mapbook though BRBM it is mulitpage and is not georeferenced and because of the pages an lack of georeferences it will not work with pdf map app.

You have to buy the non-page and georeferenced file through the pdf map map store.
 
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