January 1, 2015 at 9:03 am #7868
I’m leaving for a 5000km tour of India in about a fortnight and will be using PE instead of a Garmin bike GPS for the first time. I’ve created GPX files online for the whole route, each GPX file covering a segment of about 250km over 3 or 4 days. Is it possible to record a continuous track in the background while stopping and starting the route navigation each day and when switching GPX’s for a new segment? Basically, I’m hoping I can record my whole trip in one track that I can export/share every few days to map my progress. Also, on the altitude graph of the route the time baseline isn’t very useful to me, is it possible to change the baseline to distance so that I can see what hills are ahead? Even better would be a marker that would show you your current position on the graph. Any help or suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks!January 1, 2015 at 2:37 pm #7869
You can record the track in PE, but since you are using your own created GPX track it will be added to this. With a GPX editor or a simple text editor you can afterwards split the planned route and the ridden track.
The drawback is that you will be using significantly more battery power because the GPS must be on all the time. Also, you will need to pay attention to switching the recording on/off. In my experience (as a fellow world cyclist using PE) both will go wrong now and than. For instance you will forget to switch off the recording during a long lunch break or overnight. This will drain the battery. And when you do switch it off you will sometimes forget to switch it back on again. My golden rule: no matter how much charging (hub dynamo & solar panels) or power banks you take, you will want to restrict battery consumption.
An option to record your track is to use a GPS! I bought a Garmin Etrex HCx (cheap) to record my track. The garmin can be set up so that it will start recording as soon as it is switched on.
See my feature request (distance – altitude profile) regarding your altitude graph request/suggestion.January 1, 2015 at 5:37 pm #7871
Thanks jsgblom for the prompt reply which all makes sense. I was thinking of taking my old Edge 705 GPS as a back up anyway. It’s something else to keep charged but I could probably get 2 days out of it with the back illumination off. I´ve only used PE for local rides so far but I love the map display and would find it hard to go back to the Garmin now. Re conserving phone battery, are you saying you only turn on the phone when you want to check your still on the planned route?
Any advice on planning routes within the app? Does using Cycling mode and avoiding unpaved surfaces give you sensible routing i.e.quiet back roads where possible?January 1, 2015 at 8:46 pm #7872
When I’m on a long trip I usually set the PE » Settings » Screen Dimming to Always Allow and the iOS » Settings » Auto-Lock to 3 minutes. This will both preserve battery and gives you a convenient time to check if your still on track. Even though I use a hub dynamo to charge my iPhone while riding I still find this the best way to keep my iPhone charged. It happened to me to often that I forgot to switch off PE during a break and find my iPhone drained. (See also my feature request Screen Dimming: moving & charging.)
I’m using the PE route planning (MapQuest) mostly for the Netherlands and sometimes Europe where it is really good in using the recreational route for bicycles. But for the Netherlands there is a ton of detailed road information available.
For India I don’t think there is as much information about the smaller roads. I just tried to create a coastal road from Bombay to Goa for example and it is even not always able to calculate a route. When I was in India last year I didn’t use it since I didn’t have mobile internet and wifi was not very often available(!).January 2, 2015 at 1:26 am #7873
Again, thanks for a very prompt and useful reply! These guys have written quite a nice article on using smartphone navigation
where I think they pre-plan their route (without wifi) by just dropping pins at the intersections and then following the breadcrumb trail of pins.
Most of my route will be preplanned (I use gpsies.com) but it is nice to have the ability to go off-plan at times. Re the lack of digital road info in India, I’m sure it is no worse than the best paper maps : )
I´ll report back on on my PE experience with iPhone 5S when I get back..
Thanks again.January 2, 2015 at 9:20 am #7874KritouModerator
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I use a Bad Elf GPS Pro on the bike (and motorcycle) as it allows me to put my iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad in Airplane mode and then turn back on the bluetooth. This means a great saving in power without the phone’s own GPS running. It’s datalogger will record several days worth of riding with the optimlal logging rate selected – the data can then be downloaded to the Bad Elf app for storage/forwarding. As observed elsewhere remembering to switch on/off ancillary equipment is a problem but I find the unit will happily run all day on a charge via it’s micro USB port and has a “sleep” mode when you are not on the move
They come up on eBay for about £100
Attachments:You must be logged in to view attached files.January 2, 2015 at 10:51 am #7876
@Kritou: thanks for the tip! Sounds like a better option than a separate Garmin GPS since when using your iPhone you will immediately notice if the Bad Elf is switched on or not, and when the Bad Elf battery runs empty you will always have the iPhone GPS as a ‘back up’. Plus the advantage of being able to use GPS on your iPad/iPod Touch as well. Will it work on a Mac too?
@mikewild: Who do you mean by “These guys”? I use the same bread crumb method now and then, also just on the fly (on the road). This is easily done with PE. I name the bread crumb pins with “ff” (dutch slang for “quickly” = eFFe), so afterwards I still know it is a temporary pin.
I use routeyou.com – instead of GPSies.com – which has a great (mapping) interface.January 2, 2015 at 12:05 pm #7877KritouModerator
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The data can certainly be uploaded to a Mac using iTunes but I don’t know if there is any other way the Bad Elf can talk to a Mac
I bought a very cheap iPod Touch 4th Generation and loaded it with PE and the BE app solely to use as a navigator on my pushbike. There are also a couple of cheap and simple handlebar mounts that I found on the internet
The bad Elf website listd dozens of iOS apps that are known to work with it’s range of GPS devicesJanuary 2, 2015 at 12:27 pm #7878
@Kritou:I did some research into the Bad Elf and found another option as well: Dual Electronics XGPS. It doesn’t have the tracking option though. And the battery doesn’t last as long: XGPS = 1400mAh/10h versus BE = 1600mAh/16h. So it seems the winner is… Bad Elf.
@mikewild & @Kritou: Regarding the tracking: I submitted a feature request some time ago about automatic bread crumb tracking. Check it out and you might want to support this feature request if you agree with it.
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