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General Project: Rugged GPS datalogger for 24hrs

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by timdine, Feb 23, 2011.

  1. timdine

    timdine Lurker
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    Feb 23, 2011
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    I've been using my SGS Vibrant for a few weeks now and have had great success with it. I haven't done a lot of modification to it besides rooting to change networks. One of the things I planned to do with it when I purchased it was to use it for GPS data logging during long hikes, and adventure racing / orienteering events of at least 24hrs. I work in the GIS field and have used a number of different devices that are designed specifically for rugged data collection. While a dedicated gps data logger may be more suited I've decided to make this hardware fit this task.

    Some of my requirements are:
    -Waterproof
    -Batteries must last at least 24hrs
    -Device must stay turned on for the entire time (No swapping batteries that would require a reboot)
    -Rugged (Survive life in a pack while hiking)
    -Wifi/Phone/Display are all optional
    -Data logging of at least every 5mins

    Some things I've considered:
    -3500mah battery, ordered and awaiting delivery
    -External AA or AAA to USB battery pack to charge the phone
    -Pelican Style Case (Universal PDA, 1015 are good options but wouldn't fit the USB pack. 1050 might be a good option)
    -Bluetooth GPS is not ideal because it requires another power source to manage.

    I haven't looked at exactly which software I'd like to use, I haven't looked at alternative roms to save battery or custom data logging software that can turn the gps on and off yet. I wouldn't rule out either of those if they were required.

    I'm going to start testing a few of these ideas soon. Any suggestions or ideas would be appreciated.
     

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  2. Hrethgir

    Hrethgir Android Expert
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    Feb 16, 2010
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    Have you used your GPS for long periods already? The Samsung Galaxy S phones are pretty notorious for having issues getting and keeping satellite lock. But if you aren't having problems with that, then the biggest issue you will be looking at is battery life. It's going to take a LOT of battery to keep a phone running with GPS on and logging for 24hrs straight. There are plenty of apps on the Android market that will track and log you via GPS, so that part shouldn't be an issue. But in all honesty, I'd tell you that you would be WAY better off getting a Garmin handheld GPS to log your tracks. It will probably hold satellite signal better, especially in the woods (especially if you get one of the H-series units, like my Legend HCx), will have way better battery life (my Legend HCx can run a full 24 hours on a pair of regular AA batteries, and lithiums should last even longer), and those outdoor handheld GPS receivers are already rugged and waterproof.
     

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