Wednesday, September 14, 2011

iPhone GPS

I may have been down and out for awhile but my brain didn't stop working...uuuhhhhh. During the time that I wasn't able to ride I did some mapping for a Pacific Coast tour that I want to take in May of next year. I'm old school and I like to have a map in hand as my primary guide, no batteries required. However I'm not from the Paleolithic age so having a little technology along on the ride is welcomed. What's hard for me to stomach is the high cost of dedicated GPS/tracking devices with all the bells and whistles costing hundreds of dollars. All I want is a device that can track and it's already in my pocket...my iPhone. I read good reviews for Motion X a GPS tracking app for $3.99 (a little cheaper then a Garmin). I tried it yesterday for a 12 mile ride ( I'm Back ) and it worked well. I'll keep trying it until I'm confident that it is dependable for a longer tour. There is still a chance that I might fork over some big bucks for a dedicated GPS if the Motion X app doesn't measure up.

Motion X GPS app on iPhone

The Basics:
I start off by mapping out a ride on Ride With GPS ( ridewithgps.com ). I then load the GPX track file from Ride With GPS to the Motion X app on my iPhone via iTunes. When I ride I simply turn it on and pick the right menu choices and then follow my pre-mapped track. You can also record a track while riding with the Motion X. Battery life is short with the Motion X running. I calculate that you use up to 75% of my battery in less then 4 hours. I'm now researching auxiliary batteries and charging systems. 

It is not my goal to end up with a load of electric equipment so I'll figure out what works for me over the next month or two.

The Mount:

RAM bicycle mount for iPhone mounted on my Catrike 700.  The band at the top of the phone is an O ring for a DiNotte light. I use it to secure the iPhone in the cradle. The cradle itself is tight but I'm afraid a good size pot hole might encourage the phone to pop out. I bought a bunch of small and large O rings from DiNotte. They are strong, flexible and have a ton of uses.

A view from underneath. The cradle can be removed from it's base when it's not used.
One last look from a different angle. The stub that holds the iPhone and Computer is an add on I purchased at Bent Up Cycles when I bought my trike.


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