Originally Posted by IdahoRenegade
I have a few questions for you guys. I use CoPilot and have played with Backcountry Navigator on my tablet, so I'm not completely unfamiliar with the tech. I don't use my tablet on my bike due to it's cost and difficulty of mounting/protecting. I'm considering an S5 to replace my old Garmin Oregon for on and off road navigation. So, a few questions/comments.
1. CoPilot I find adequate for my needs for on road use. But it's map set is not even close to accurate with regard to forest service roads. BN is better, but still not great for current maps. The USGS maps are not current; I'd like to find some Motor Vehicle Use Map database (forest service legal roads/trails) to import. Other probem with BN, while it shows your position and records tracks, it doesn't do autorouting. So...are there any apps that have decently accurate FS maps and that support autorouting on forest service roads? (Garmin actually is the best I've seen on this).
2) My Oregon has a mini-USB connection. Keeping it functional on the bike has required some creative redneck engineering with velcro and elastic. Do any of the smartphone connectors function decently under the vibes of a bike? How long do newer smart phone batteries last when GPS is turned on? Will leaving a phone plugged in and charging when the bike isn't running come close to significantly draining the bike battery?
3) How have your devices held up to the shock, vibe and general abuse of off road/gravel road use? Is there a good option for a shock resistant case and Ram mount for the S5? (I don't trust a finger mount).
4) On longer trips when I'm camping I probably would throw my Android tablet in the tank bag, then use it for trip planning at camp. Here I have to show my ignorance....what is the best way to get data, say a GPX file between the 2 devices? Does bluetooth work, or do I need to cable them?
1) Have you checked OSM maps online to see if they have the detail you need? If so, OSMand may do what you want. Or you can route on a PC in Basecamp, and transfer the route to the phone app.
2a) My phone connector has been rugged. I recently had one fail at the charger end. But for $2.99, I don't care. I initially had a problem with rain water getting in the phone end when they were unused. That damages them. I now stick the end in a cover when it is unused. When plugged into the phone, I have the cable attached to my RAM mount just a few inches from the phone, so it doesn't move or unplug.
2b) The GPS receiver itself does not take much power. Getting the software to render and display maps, and powering the display in sunlight, that takes serious power. You may be lucky to get three hours in bright sunlight. But you may get well over 24 hours of GPS tracking with no display. Assume you need to charge while using it. Also, the S5 has about a 10 watt/hour battery. Your bike battery is likely well over 100 watt/hours. So you can charge the phone well over 10 times from the bike. Even a VERY small motorcycle battery will be 50 watt/hours, or about 5 phone recharges.
3) Never had a vibration issue in many, many, years of use with various phones. My S4 has at least 10,000 miles of use. Though I admit that only a couple of hundred has been off of pavement. I use a RAM universal finger grip mount. I tried the X-Grip. Hated it.
4) Transfer data can be done by moving the microSD card from device to device. Or you can use an OTG cable to plug in a memory stick then copy to/from a memory stick. Yes, WiFi and Bluetooth, maybe even NFC, can be made to work, but can also be painful to set up and get working. I wouldn't bother. Online cloud storage would be easy, but of course easily worthless for what you want. You can buy portable hard disks intended to save photos and such on, if you wanted to go to that level of complexity and cost. I wouldn't, since the SD card or OTG cable would be so easy to do.