Showing posts with label N800. Show all posts
Showing posts with label N800. Show all posts

Sunday, June 08, 2008

The Nokia N800 Tablet comes through the crash just fine

My Nokia N800 Internet Tablet which I use for GPS, Music Player and Internet access was on the motorcycle when I had my crash two days ago.

It was mounted using the Proclip holder and Ram mount accessories as mentioned previously on this blog: LINK

Since it's only friction and gravity that hold the N800 in place with the Proclip holder, it naturally came loose during the crash and subsequent sliding on I-70.

When I got to my motorcycle to try and pick it up, I noticed it lying on the ground beside Maria and figured it was toast; though the display was still lit up. I threw it in my tankbag along with all the other contents that had come out (I had it only half zipped up) and went to try and pick up my motorcycle.

I was perusing all the gear I got from my motorcycle yesterday and set aside the N800 since it was all crusted over with dried up mud and pretty scratched up, gave it a day to "dry" since last I'd seen it on the highway, it had ice particles all over it.

I turned it on yesterday and she works just fine! Wheeew! As you can see below, the faceplate is pretty scratched up but the LCD screen is undamaged. Not too bad eh?

N800 while using rdesktop to remote into my laptop at home

yep, pretty scratched up

While I surely don't recommend trying this out with electronics such as the N800, its gratifying to know that the events leading to its getting scratched up did not lead to its destruction. Once I get my motorcycle back, will have to figure out a way to keep the N800 in its holder, no matter what until I want it out.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

A More Robust Mounting System for the Nokia N800

I received the Nokia N800 Car Holder from ProClip today, decently priced item but shipping was a bit over the top. I'd received the RAM Mount Combination a day or so earlier so I spent about 30 minutes or so after lunch mounting them onto the BMR Shelf on Maria.

The "universal" PDA holder which had been claimed to hold a N800 had finally failed. Part of the mounting bracket to the actual holder had broken, too much time in the sun and its UV rays I am guessing. The adjustable bracket mechanism had been balky at best before that so the breakage finally got me off my cheap butt and I ordered decent gear this time.

A few holes drilled into the BMR Shelf, a little locktite for the nuts holding down the screws and I was done:

I applied some duct tape in the grooves to make it a snug hold on the Nokia

Turn the handle, pack the whole thing up, except for the base mount, during stops if needed.

Now I can adjust the viewing angle with ease to prevent sun glare and reflections. I hope to get a ride in this evening towards Garden of the Gods and catch the rocks at sunset so it'll be a good test for the mount/holder as well. It's rock solid once you tighten down the locking handle.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Summary Notes re N800 and Navicore GPS Kit

Having completed an almost 3000 mile trip on my motorcycle while using the Navicore GPS Kit and software on my Nokia N800, I thought I'd post the lessons learned before I forget them.

Good Stuff:

1. Navicore software recalculates pretty fast when you deviate from gps-recommended route.

2. Screen is usable even in bright daylight if you:
a. Provide a sunscreen of sorts
b. Ensure you're at brightest display level, and make the mod on your N800 to allow a timeout of 60 minutes so you're not having the screen dim itself every five minutes.
c. Map screen is really nice and visible on overcast days.
d. The windshield mount, coupled with my adjustable windshield on the motorcycle allowed for minute angle adjustments to deal with glare, sometimes even while on the move if all it took was lowering or raising my windscreen a tiny bit. Properly mounted, it is quite sturdy and stayed affixed during the whole trip with no problem when the motorcycle hit bumps and rough pavement.

3. The gps receiver that comes with the kit worked flawlessly. It will take a couple of minutes to lock on to satellites for a fix when you turn it on but after that, no problems.

4. The voice prompt volumes are loud enough to hear on a motorcycle IF you're using earbud earphones. Don't count on hearing anything from the N800 otherwise at speeds greater than say, 30mph.

Not so good or "gotchas":

1. The USA maps are split between West and East USA. I happened to be traveling where they split (my guess is the missisippi was used as border). So when doing route planning, you have to remember which map to load, east or west USA. This causes the gps some confusion as well when you cross this border. Confusion such as not displaying roads, or trying to get you back to a road it actually knows about even though its wrong way to go. Oh, it also interferes with route planning since if your destination is an address on the other mapset, it'll not find it in searches. You have to get to the city first, then try it again once you've switched to the other mapset.

2. Wish there was a button to stop the nagging when you turn off the planned route for fuel. A bit annoying.

3. If you want the most direct route, pick "shortest route", otherwise it might not be the route you wanted. I kept forgetting to check which option was toggled and sometimes the route recommended was not what I wanted to use. Route recalculation comes into play here.

4. When you pick your destination under "find destination", the whole route flashes very briefly on the screen before returning to street level. I wish you had the option to look at it more thoroughly, THEN press a continue button for it to start guiding you at street level.

5. As with most GPS, not very good at giving you the "big picture" in terms of routing. It's best to carry a paper map with you covering several states around you. I did not, ended up taking a "fastest route" routing that took me way out of the way. See points 3 and 4 above.

6. The N800 is not waterproof, be prepared to put into waterproof bag/case when rain hits. At that point in my case, you're down to voice prompts. Which aren't bad, I just found that it helps to look at the map too when deciding to act on a voice prompt.

7. Halfway through the trip, the N800 would sometimes report "not charging" even when the charger was plugged in and supplying current. I had to, at those points, remove and put back in the charger plug, sometimes several times, before the N800 would report "charging".
Update: Turns out it was the charger I bought from ebay causing the issue, once I got the right one, no more problems with charging on the go.

8. Re the N800's Hildon GUI, to me the Navicore icon was virtually impossible to see in bright sunlight (it's black and red). Best thing to do at this point is try and click the home arrow at bottom of taskbar and select then from menu of open applications. Perhaps switching to new theme will help. No big deal either ways. This only came into play when wanting to switch between Navicore GPS app and my media player.

9. The N800 screen is responsive to a gloved finger's touch, some of the buttons in the apps are pretty small though. YMMV. Found myself wishing for a stylus attached to my glove's fingertip at some points.

10. The mount that comes with the kit is not lockable of course, so sometimes I had to de-rig my setup when going in for breaks and away from the motorcycle. Most times, I left it on the motorcycle, but with the zipper hiding it from easy view. A lockable mount would be really nice.

11. N800's screen not usable to me when using polarized sunglasses or dark helmet visor. YMMV.

Summary: Nice piece of kit, worked great to get me to addresses I'd never been to before. Loved the voice prompts for the most part, it would have been nice if the voice prompts said the street name that it wanted you to turn on but for the most part it was clear enough based it on displaying the name on the screen. Assuming of course if the glare did not make it hard to read.

I'll probably end up buying the Navicore kit for personal use once I have to return the trial kit back to the Womworld people. Hopefully upgrades by Navicore in the future will resolve some of the things I ran into in the gotchas above.

Still on the fence re the windshield mount, it works well, but aesthetically on a motorcycle, probably a different mount in the future for me. I think I found a sunshade for it but it'll have to wait till I decide on mounting hardware.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Cobbling together a sunshade for the N800 while its on the motorcycle

I went for a short ride today to Radio Shack to get one more cable to hook up my cellphone to my amplirider. Not that I am going to take phone calls while riding but to hear the alert tone when mail/vm comes in while I am moving.

I also cobbled together a sunshade of sorts for the N800 while its attached to the windshield mount. It's made from an old storage case for a telecoupler modem device. Yes, I've been using computers that long, actually....longer.

I found at the end of the ride that of course less air hits the unit while on the move and in the sunlight so it got warm to the touch. This is something I have to monitor while on the trip coming up next week. Main problem remains glare on the screen, not only from when direct sunlight hits it but also reflections from your gear. Changing angles(for which the Nokia mount is great) helps a bit. I was even able to wear my polarized sunglasses and still read the screen.

Here's some shots of the benefits of this sunshade (note the old cardboard now acting as supporting member):

Navicore Screen in "Sunny" mode while motorcycle is in garage's shade

Navicore in "sunny" mode while outside in the sun

Navicore in "cloudy" mode while out in the sun with helmet reflecting on screen

Navicore screen in "sunny" mode with less helmet reflection

All in all, the cobbled together sunshade did it's job pretty well. It shaded where it could and as an added benefit it allowed me to just zip the case shut and hit the N800 from prying eyes while I made a quick stop at the Radio Shack, leaving the motorcycle parked where I could keep an eye on it of course.

You can see my unobstrusive voltage indicator lights in some of the pics. It's so unobstrusive I forgot to look for the lights while riding! Another thing to get used to while riding.

Oh I also tested out my new earbud earphones. Got them from a seller on Ebay and they got here yesterday. They're the JVC HAFX33B Marshmallow Headphones if your curious. Nice noise isolation abilities, comfortable so far though I did not go for a long ride and great music fidelity.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

More GPS testing along with my Amplirider.

Temps in the high 80s to low 90s, sunny with a bit of a breeze.

Another beautiful sunny and hot day in the forecast for us in Colorado. I decided that using the GPS software on my Nokia N800 to get me to two local BMW Motorcycle dealers would be a good test of the software now that it's licensed.

I hooked up the N800 to a small amplifier called the Amplirider. It accepts inputs via 3.5mm connectors from up to three devices and outputs to your headphones. It can be hooked up to your motorcycle's battery but you can also hook up a cheap battery case from RadioShack to avoid ground loopback noise which I encountered when I was using it while hooked to my motorcycle's battery. Gary is the guy who makes these amps and he was very helpful in helping figure out a solution. Check out his products at his site: Click Here.

The best part about this amp is that it comes with a remote volume control unit to allow you to adjust the volume on the fly. Handy feature as I discovered during the ride when wind noise increased or decreased depending on my speed.

Why use the amp? Well in my case I did not strictly need it since the N800 functions both as a music/media player and a GPS with the Navicore software. However, for you readers out there with a separate GPS unit, you can then hook it up and your MP3 and be able to listen to both while riding. You may have to play with volume output on the MP3 player, as I had to, so that you can hear the GPS voice prompts over the music.

The amp is well made and compact, highly recommended, specially due to the prompt and helpful customer service provided by Gary, it's maker.

So, on to the Navicore GPS software testing. The sunny conditions again made the screen usable, but just a little more than barely. You can make out the major icons indicating future turns, sometimes you can make out the street name where the turn will be but the roads are visible along with your positional arrow icon most of the time.

I found that riding with the sun behind me, it was more usable than when the sun was in front of me. Why? Because with the sun in front, your riding jacket if it's light-colored as mine is, reflects on the N800's screen. However, I learned to place my left hand between me and the N800 and then the screen was readable once again.

Note: Some of the smaller items on the screen, like the time, mileage count and sometimes the street name are not visible (at least to my old eyes) most of the time. The voice prompts, along with the map display, got me where I was going with no problems.

I was using the "bright sunny day" display mode for the ride today. The background is dark green, roads are pale yellow and your route is highlighted in blue. Your positional arrow as you can see above is light green. Notice the turn arrow guides in the upper right Very helpful to give you an idea of what turn you'll be doing next to stay on course. The data fields below the turn arrows? Not visible to me, your mileage may vary.

Speaking of the voice prompts, the came through loud and clear. Couple of things I noticed, it tends to warn of coming turns at the .2 mile mark...however, it's really closer to .1 miles before you're at the point where you turn. Something to keep in mind.

More helpful were what I called the "preparatory prompts" I would get. Prompts such as "prepare to turn left", "get in right/left lane", "stay left", you get the idea. I purposely turned off one time to take a picture of the Mile High/Invesco Stadium and listened to the GPS nag at me a bit to get back on course. : ) Once I stopped to take the picture below, the nagging ceased.

After getting me back on course, I arrived at the second dealer with no issues. The prompt you get from the GPS is "Arrived at the waypoint" I think, or something similar.

From there I headed to the last waypoint which was home. I should mention I had been using the GPS in "shortest route" mode, so it disregarded the I-25 slab and took me down Broadway and from there into some side street. I stopped and switched to "fastest route" mode. It recalculated things for a few seconds and advised me to do a U-Turn.

Saw this as I headed home, thought it worth a stop and a picture.

Outside of CabooseHobbies

The GPS software directed me to the closest onramp to I-25 and from there I followed the slab to I-225N and then Parker Road, Smoky Hill Road and then home. It guided me with its prompts and display right to my cul-de-sac. Very nice and pretty accurate so far in terms of its map database.

Back home in the garage, note the display is much more readable in the shade.

I like this GPS software, I wish the N800's display was a bit brighter in bright sunlight but I don't think any matter of shading I can come up for it will improve things. Only thing I can think of is a fully enclosed box through which I would look at the display but then I wonder how it would look on the motorcycle and whether it'd interfere with my flipping up my tankbag at gas stations to get to the gas cap.

I already cannot raise/lower the windshield while the N800's mount is attached. A bit of an inconvenience but not too bad.

Friday, June 29, 2007

The GPS software is finally licensed.

Finally got the issue resolved re the licensing code for the GPS software from Navicore for my Nokia N800 Internet Tablet.

Ran into one connectivity issue along the way, it apparently uses TCP Port 9000 so I could not connect to the Navicore server from my work PC. Had to do it via my phone's internet connection, after that all was well. Geek talk aside, this means that you may have issues registering your own unit if behind a firewall. Keep that in mind.

I took the unit out for a spin and the standard daylight display was quite usable. Not very bright but usable with the display settings on maximum of course. The GPS receiver connected via Bluetooth just fine, took it over five minutes to get a GPS fix the first time though. The second time seemed faster. Will have to time it better next time as well. I checked out the night display and truly its for night use only, totally not usable in daylight. I tried the bright sunlight display for a bit and definitely more high contrast but then I could not see my positional arrow. More testing to be done.

I searched for the address of the locksmith I was running the errand to and off I went. I kept expecting to hear the voice prompts telling me where to turn and such. Nothing. I did see the road (I was in 3D) move as I did, an arrow showing myself but no route directions or arrows pointing the next turn like regular GPS's I'd seen.

So, I get to the locksmith (I knew where I was going), do the errand then go back to the motorcycle to explore the GUI a bit more. Turns out I have to "Find Route", then I am asked again for the destination address, (I had originally selected the "Find Address option), it already lists your present location as the start point of course. So I put my workplace address in, and first thing it told me was "please move closer to a road on a map". I guess it can't do much till one is back on something it knows about vice a parking lot. : )

I got back on the road and it started giving me voice prompts and turn guides on the upper right of the screen. The route it had picked out was highlighted on the display in green and easy to see (remainder of the roads were in yellow). However it did not pick the optimal route, perhaps based on the preferences it comes with, will have to look into that. I took the route I knew was best and it would "adjust" or re-route accordingly within a few seconds at most.

I am sure this is configurable, but the voice prompts to turn were sometimes not very timely if I had not already known I was turning. However, it was very nice to be able to hear the prompts. The female voice, Sarah, was very clear over the noise of the motorcycle.

More testing is involved and more delving into the software's capabilities remain to be done but its working!

Monday, June 25, 2007

More testing of the cooling vest; using the N800 without a sunshade

Temps in the mid 80s to apparently a high of 100. My motorcycle's thermometer never went above 97.1. Sunny and hot but with southerly winds gusting enough to get your attention.

I did not go riding till 1430 hrs, waiting for the heat of the day to build up to further test the cooling vest's ability to help with the heat. I also went ahead and removed the homemade sunshade from the N800's windshield mount to see how the display did without its shading effect.

The cooling vest took over six hrs to fully dry out overnight, pretty good, and something to keep in mind when using it as a commuting aid. I recharged it again just before I headed out, this time wearing an Everlast brand long-sleeved compression t-shirt. Initial contact with my body, like last time, was nice and cooling...almost cold. It helps keep your cool as you don the rest of the riding gear. Again, I chose the clear visor for my helmet and no sunglasses, relying solely on the tape on the visor to block sun glare to my eyes.

I rode out East on CO30 or Quincy Road, taking the road to Watkins when it presented itself. Again, it's hottest when one apparently rides in same direction as the wind which was coming from the South. Perhaps it's a feature of motorcycles with full fairings, not sure. As I neared Watkins, I took the I-70 Slab eastward. I stopped in Strasbourg to tank up and then proceeded onwards towards the town of Limon.

The vest was keeping me cool just fine as before. I noticed however that the long sleeves on my compression t-shirt were actually helping more to keep my arms cool than just having a short sleeved t-shirt on. I'll have to get more of these for the trip I think.

The N800's display was pretty washed out in the direct sunlight again, some of the features on the screen were still visible but I believe a sunshade will be a mandatory item for usage on a motorcycle. Since I was still lacking the license code for the Navicore software, was still using the freeware Maemo Maps application. I basically ran it in the background, listening to the N800s media player and my tunes as I rode, occasionally switching (with some repeated attempts due to using gloves and the small GUI icons) back to the mapping utility to see where I was on the map.

I must say the mounting kit that came with the Navicore unit is starting to grow on me. While it does preclude me from moving the windshield up and down, it does hold the unit quite steady(minor vibrations), is fully adjustable as to viewing angles, and I could switch tunes easily while on the move. For those of you who might be interested in the mounting kit for your use: Windshield Mount: Nokia Type HH-12, the plastic holder for the N800 which screws onto the windshield mount: Nokia Type CR-86. I don't know if these are available separately from Nokia.

I was nearing Limon when I spied the exit sign for CO86 which leads you to Kiowa. I elected to do this and enjoyed this dual lane county road (mostly straightaways)in the afternoon heat with nice views of rolling terrain dotted with mostly ranches and many cattle basking in the heat. Cooling vest was doing it's job nicely, camelback kept me hydrated and I just enjoyed the road listening to tunes. Once I got past Kiowa I could plainly see two thunderstorm cells approaching from the South and West. Quite a lightning display from the one to the South so once I got to Elizabeth I headed North via county roads, away from the storm.

I managed to outrun the Southern storm cell and did not catch up with the Northern storm cell so no need to stop and stow away the N800. It is of course not even close to water resistant so it's another thing to keep in mind. I am not sure the N800 will catch on with motorcyclists as a device to use not only for tunes but for GPS, and FM radio. If it does, I hope some manufacturer comes up with a nice waterproof casing for it with a built-in sunshade perhaps. At this point, I'd settled for a nice looking sunshade.

I do plan on taking the N800 with me on the ride to the BMWMOA National Rally next month so it'll be a good workout for the GPS software and the mounting kit.

So, a three hour ride, in apparently mid 90s weather (the strong southerly winds helped keep things bearable along with the cooling vest). Saw many bikers out, with not much in the way of protective riding gear however. The cooling vest was still cooling me off when I arrived home. About 150 miles of riding, N800 still usable in terms of display controls. I was not however able to read the tune titles in the built-in media player, but was able to actuate the virtual controls for tune switching.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Testing N800's display using Maemo Mapper and testing my new evaporative cooling vest.

I went riding this afternoon, temps from mid-80s to low 90s at one point I think. Sunny with a few clouds and a pleasant breeze for the most part which helped keep the heat down.

Two objectives today: 1. Field test the evaporative cooling vest from Techniche that I bought from for $31, shipped. 2. See how the N800 screen does with a small sunshade in place, me with a clear visor and no sunglasses.

First the evaporative vest, it charges up with water in 2-3 minutes as advertised. Felt nice and cool but not as cool as having just a wet tshirt on. However, the cooling effects lasted well past the two hour mark as I rode in the plains east of Denver, towards Elizabeth, then back west to Parker on CO86, which I took to Castlerock, then Wolfenberger Rd to CO105 down to Larkspur, on the I-25N slab back to founders parkway, back to Parker and home via Orchard Rd just past Arapahoe Rd. The cooling effect was fine until the 2.5 hr mark then I started to feel the heat a little bit and sweat just a tiny bit.

I had been hydrating the whole ride from the camelback as well which helps keep the core cooled down. When I finally got home, I took the vest off and it still felt cool to the touch and still a bit water-laden. I think the 2 hour mark is the point where one should consider "recharging" it with more water to enhance its by then waning cooling effect. So, happy with the purchase, it only made my tshirt very slightly damp.

Now for the N800's display while using GPS. While I am waiting for the license code for the Navicore GPS Software, I realized I could use the included GPS receiver with the N800 using the free software I'd downloaded before called Maemo Mapper. This is GPS/Mapping software that is freeware for this platform. I rigged up a small cardboard shield to help with the sun. See below.

An overall view of where the unit sits when mounted. This was while Maria was parked inside the garage.

Still inside, you can see the image is very usable while indoors

I rode about 120 miles or so today, and the screen was usable for the most part thanks to two factors. One, the cheesy but working cardboard shield I placed into the mount that helped provide shade to at least half the screen most of the time. My realization that the sunlight coming in via the top inch of my clear visor was causing glare on the visor and to my eyes, this was prevented by placing an inch-wide strip of duct tape on top edge of my visor. Once I had the duct tape in place, the screen was then more usable.

The only time the screen was pretty washed out, but still barely usable was when the sun was directly behind me, then it was pretty glaring. I will have to try it again tomorrow without the screen and see how it goes.

It was quite amusing watching the dot that was me, and the track that was created as I moved, move along the maemo maps' roads/streets which I'd downloaded from Google Maps. The freeware is not as sophisticated as I hope the Navicore software will be in that:

a. It did not increase/reduce map scale based on speed.
b. If you touched the screen, autocenter would turn off, had to stop the motorcycle and re-enabled autocenter by lead so that the map would scroll correctly.
c. It always maintaned North on the top of the map. I think it's the same with the Navicore software.
d. I did not try voice prompts since I did not know how to input a route for it to monitor.
e. Maemo Mapper does not carry all the US in the SD Memory card, it depends on Internet access to download maps as you need them if you did not previously download them prior to heading out. So I had to manually move the scales to find maps as I went that I had stored. No big deal if you pre-plan which within WiFi access to the Net.

Still, what do you want for free? It did confirm for me that my speedometer is about 3-5 mph faster than what I am actually going at on the motorcycle. It had a compass rosette but I had trouble seeing it in broad daylight. The maps showed up pretty good, the roads were yellow and the background was white so it showed up pretty good. I can only imagine the Navicore high contrast maps will be even better.

I did find that the display did not detract from safe riding of the motorcycle. A brief glance, such as when I scan all the instruments, also allowed me to periodically check my position on the map.

The GPS receiver that is bundled with the Navicore software worked like a champ, always had at least 9 if not more satellites locked in. It runs on a rechargeable battery and it had no issues to present. It just paired via Bluetooth with the Maemo Mapper software just fine and worked.

Navicore GPS Kit is here, initial observations, a new delay

So I got the kit from Womworld yesterday. I installed the software onto my Nokia N800 Internet Tablet and ran into the review's first major delay. The software license code reported itself as "already in use" when it connected to their server when installing and of course the GPS software will not run. I emailed womworld for a new code but since they're in Great Britain, they're gone for the weekend so the earliest I can expect to start using the gps software is Monday.

Yep, I tried calling their helpdesk using the number helpfully enclosed with the kit. However it's apparently a national holiday wherever the helpdesk is and I am out of luck till Monday as they don't do weekends.

Well, at the very least I could try out the mounting hardware that comes with the kit I told myself. The windshield attachment suction cup is very strong and holds things securely. Just make sure it does not wiggle once you engage the lock. The unit actually came off the windshield once, with my N800 mounted, and dropped to the floor! I think it was because I did not pay close attention. No harm done but something to be aware of, specially on a motorcycle! Luckily I had done the mounting right when I took the N800 out for a ride yesterday.

As I had suspected, the LCD screen is damn near useless in bright daylight. I was wearing the dark visor with my helmet and raising it out of the way helped a tiny bit but still the images were very washed out. This is a problem with all LCD screens on mobile electronics so no big surprise.

Once I get the license code activated for my N800, I hope to use the "high contrast" screen display on the GPS software. Maybe it'll help, maybe it won't. I've pretty much resigned myself to using the voice prompt feature when riding anyways. It will be much safer since it removes the temptation to look at the screen instead of paying attention to the road.

We'll see how the above works out, first I have get licensed!

The GPS receiver that comes with the kit is compact, charges via the enclosed usb power cable. Mating it to my N800 will also have to wait for the right license code.

Below are a couple of shots to demo the screen display quality while the motorcycle was parked out in the sunlight. Mounting point is the windshield as mentioned before. Note, using the windshield on a motorcycle means you can no longer raise or lower it without then having to adjust viewing angle on the N800 mount. Not to mention also making sure you don't intefere with the motion of the windshield since you can knock off the N800's mounting hardware and off goes your N800!

I had the display brightness on maximum, with the dimming timeout set for 60 minutes so it would not cut in and dim the display in order to try and maximize battery life!.

You can barely see the video player controls, the red is my tshirt reflecting on the screen.

I then cobble up a quick "sunshade", helps a tiny bit as you can see.

As you can see, it's barely usable the screen which is why I am pinning all my hopes of using the gps software's visual info on the "high contrast" mode that it comes with.

I am sure it'll be better during overcast skies and in the evening/night. These are just the initial observations I am making here.

For a great in-depth review of the N800 using the Navicore GPS in a non-motorcycling environment ( i.e. the way it was designed to be used), go to thoughtfix's blog here.

23JUN07: Check out 23JUN's article. Changing some factors resulted in the screen being usable for the most part of a ride.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Delay is sometimes a good thing!

So, remember my posting back in May about me being approved to review the Navicore GPS Kit for the Nokia N800? I had originally been scheduled to receive it at the beginning of June but delays due to customs caused it to not get back to womworld till recently.

Now the kit is on it's way to me via DHL, I should have it by next week hopefully. The womworld trials people tell me I get to have it a whole month starting from when I receive it!

Why am I so excited about this? It means I get to have it during my motorcycle ride to the BMWMOA International Rally and back. If that does not prove to be a good workout/trial of this GPS kit for my tablet, I can't imagine what else could do it in so short a time.

So yes, sometimes delay is a good thing.

Previous Posting

Friday, May 25, 2007

I've been approved to do a review of Farkle

Got good news via email this week. I had emailed the people at N800 Womworld offering to review the Navicore GPS Software and Kit that is made for the Nokia N800 Internet Tablet.

This tablet is a gadget I acquired over a month ago and now they make a GPS software package and car kit for it. It's got a pretty large screen for my old eyes, built-in WIFI connectivity, can tether to my phone for Internet access, has built-in software to make it useful out of the box as well as a growing list of third party applications since it runs on the Maemo version of Linux so it's open source.

Anyway, enough geeking, go to womworld if you want more details. Back to the reason for this posting. I had emailed the good folks at womworld and they agreed that it was a good idea for a motorcyclist who already owned a N800 to try it out on a motorcycle and see how it does. Their reviews unit is due back to them at the end of the month and I am supposed to get it afterwards.

I've already determined that setting the N800 in the map case for my tankbag won't work due to heat issues since it's exposed to direct sunlight. I'll be trying their car mount which attaches to a windshield instead.

I've been thinking about getting a TomTom Rider GPS for a while now but if I can get the Navicore kit to work on my motorcycle with my N800, that's one less thing to carry and worry about on trips.

Until I get the kit, it's unknown to me whether the screen will be visible in broad daylight or how the voice prompts will sound while at highway speeds. I plan to use my earphones to plug into the GPS of course. Best guess right now is if the screen is hard to see, I'll rely on voice prompts during the testing.

Still this will be my first official review of a company's product under their aegis and with them providing the equipment! Good Stuff.