I thought I would add this to the Lounge as a nice little project that has worked out as a great success <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>

I have an old Compaq IPAQ H3900 which has been sitting in a draw for about 4 years. Our very own Lounger <!profile=chrisgreaves>chrisgreaves<!/profile> has a very good ethos called S.U.F.E. or Second Use For Everything, this and my love of Kitchen Table Science spurred me on to see if I could convert this PDA for GPS mapping.

The items you require are:

1) PDA running any version of Windows Pocket PC (my PDA has 2002 Premium)
2) Bluetooth connectivity
3) GPS mapping software (more below)

I have been holding my ground on purchasing my GPS receiver for some time as they can be quite expensive and have been holding off for the sales. Wweeelll, I went into a local electronics shop and was rather miffed when I saw the GPS receiver I had had my eye on was not there <img src=/S/sad.gif border=0 alt=sad width=15 height=15> I had a word with the manager who looked up on his computer and found that it was in stock but not on display, I asked why and he told me they were on recall by head office as they were not selling as in-car systems were taking over. I asked him if I could make an offer, I said 10, he said 20, we agreed 15 <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>.

So now armed with a very, very cheap solar powered SiRF III 20 channel GPS receiver, I was on the hunt for a <img src=/S/free.gif border=0 alt=free width=30 height=15> piece of mapping software suitable for an old PDA. Hunting around the internet, I found this site PocketPC GPS and Navigation which has a plethora of software but due to issues I have with updating the .NET Framework version I was stuck with choosing OziExplorer which is different from usual GPS applications as it does not supply maps <img src=/S/nuts.gif border=0 alt=nuts width=15 height=15>.....but this is where the fun starts <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>

Installation was very simple using the standard XP application GUI and I was in the garden within 20 minutes showing my geographical location. The software supplied by OziExplorer is fully functional but has a 30 minute connectivity time before it cuts connection and requires you to restart and then connections is regained for another 30 minutes. Cost for this to be removed is approximately 30 Euros.

Moving onto the creation of maps I hunted around the internet and I discovered much to my surprise that you can go to the Ordnance Survey site and at Get-a-map and can download a series of maps legitimately and for free. I was able to download 5 ordnance survey map tiles and join them in a graphics application. Using the OziExplorer PC software I was able to calibrate this image and upload it to my PDA.

I have now got a working Compass (although I prefer a real one), an altimeter (fantastic in assisting in contour navigation) and speed, distance measurement.

A successful little project <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>