Lenovo tablet problems and maybe a Magellan in my future

#1
I have a 10.4 lenovo tablet i hsve been using topo usa as the software to navigate . I thought i had it all nailed only not ! i down loaded most of the western usa ca oregon az chunks of Nevada. In blocks based on general area . I used a max level of 15 but on my test runs the tracker tracks won't
Show in that detail only to the systems default which i think a zoom level 7or 8. Not nearly enough detail for off road nav . And the chsrger cord falls out if you even blink at it. So i am very frustrated and wonder what to do ? I used a 128 gig micro chip besides the main memory to load maps

i see the Magellan is on sale at 299 pre loaded topo trails etc. How ever I really really like good clean topo like on the usgs 24000 quads .

Any one using a Magellan have a nice screen shot with the topo they use ? Maybe ill go that way instead of throwing more time at the tablet root or if i stick with the tablet should i switch to something like gaia but i don't want to pay a subscription to use the software. What is your experience what set ups are you using ?
 
#2
over the past few years i've had 5 different tablets semi-permanently mounted in 3 different Jeeps and before that i used "classic" Garmin GPS units in several rigs. IMO, there is no reason to purchase a dedicated GPS device anymore unless you are using it outdoors all of the time, i.e. kayaking, mountain biking, etc. i just don't see how they can justify charging 2 to 3 times as much for a device which is less capable in nearly every way (compared to a modern top-brand phone or tablet) - *unless* you need a truly rugged/waterproof device.

anyway, here's a few ideas for you...


charger connection:

assuming it uses a micro-USB or USB-C connection, have you tried a different cable? if the connector is on the bottom then try inverting the tablet so it's on the top. also try a right-angle connector to reduce the leverage the cable has.

a 10" tablet also has a lot of mass and so be sure your mount is secure and not wobbling around. the RAM Mount stuff is solid, though i don't like that x-grip thing, their tab-tite cradle is much better.


download limits:

most of these type of apps are similar and have some sort of tile count or download size limit. even if the app doesn't, the provider (Google, HERE, Microsoft, etc.) usually will kick in a daily limit per IP address.

again i'll recommend AlpineQuest as one of the best apps for offroad gps/maps. specifically it has a great UI for downloading and estimates how big (file-size and tile count) your download will be for a specific range of zoom levels and if it will exceed the apps tile-limit. the best part is if you select too much, it will download what it can - then if you choose download from the menu again, the selected area is still the same and it will run another try and just get what is missing. i typically download up to level 13 to keep file sizes reasonable for larger areas, and then i can zoom one more level beyond that and even though it gets blurry it's still useful at arms-length (which is the distance my tablet is mounted from my eyes anyway).

however, IMO, the only efficient way to create really large (state sized) pre-downloaded areas is with a desktop computer app, i.e. MOBAC (see here for more info: https://www.alpinequest.net/en/help/v2/maps/file-based-select). however you need to be pretty technical to figure it out and build your own mapsource XML files for it. one good thing is that AlpineQuest, BCN, and some other apps all can use the same file format. i've created files with several different map sources of a few complete southwestern states - they are available to premium club members over on https://offroadpassport.com

now, all of that was in reference to the typical raster tile-based maps. your best bet to have a ton of areas available is probably to load up on vector topo maps from here: https://www.openandromaps.org/en

...those vector maps work in BCN and Locus. Locus is a great app, but has a ton of options and so the UI can be confusing. BCN is nice and basic, but i never was willing to tolerate all the little glitches it seems to have.

the OpenAndroMaps are very similar in detail to what you'd see on a classic Garmin or Magellan GPS device. they are a great resource, but IMO, they pale in comparison to the raster tile-based maps available (not even counting satellite/aerial maps).


so that was long post, but hopefully some of that helps you or others a bit!
 

J!m

Active member
#4
This is interesting and sparks a thought from me- you (theksmith) suggested a desktop would be needed- what about one of those Mac cubes they (used to?) sell? You know- maybe 5x5 and 3” tall? Do they still have those? If so they probably have 500gig or more of memory, since a Tb is like a pack of cards now.

The software is daunting for me however. I see an opportunity for someone savvy to pack up something using existing technologies for a new product offering with lots of data (maps-topo over road layers) as well as high resolution (fine zoom)...
 
#7
i only meant that you need a PC or Mac to operate the MOBAC software which will let you download large maps ahead of time for later use on Android tablets/phones. you don't need a desktop/laptop in your vehicle.
 
#8
@theksmith so I bought the alpine quest pro and have a few questions. First let me say it is very similar to topo USA. It is pretty cool. Started to down load areas. And it seems they are excruciatingly slow like other apps.

Once you have downloaded an area. How can you tell where the boundaries lie when you go to the next area?
If you load all these areas to a single sd card. When navigating from one area to another will the next downloaded area auto matcally. Load?

Any other tips hints or advice jn(;
Is there an instruction maual somewhere?
 
#9
@theksmith so I bought the alpine quest pro and have a few questions. First let me say it is very similar to topo USA. It is pretty cool. Started to down load areas. And it seems they are excruciatingly slow like other apps.

Once you have downloaded an area. How can you tell where the boundaries lie when you go to the next area?
If you load all these areas to a single sd card. When navigating from one area to another will the next downloaded area auto matcally. Load?

Any other tips hints or advice jn(;
Is there an instruction maual somewhere?
their website has pretty extensive help: https://www.alpinequest.net/en/help/v2/maps

they also have a support forum and the developer is quick to respond to most bug reports and even basic questions: https://www.alpinequest.net/forum/

to see what maps and zoom-levels you have managed to download, check out the "Show local storage coverage" checkbox: https://www.alpinequest.net/en/help/v2/maps/on-demand-check-coverage

you'll want to know about the favorites feature right away: https://www.alpinequest.net/en/help/v2/maps/favorite-sets#how_to_create_favorite_maps_and_sets

also, the "Caltopo" maps are the best source for topos (both Forest Service and USGS), you can add them as a map source from the "Add new maps" button: https://www.alpinequest.net/en/help...#how_to_add_maps_from_the_community_maps_list - (be sure to consider donating/subscribing to them to support the guy that aggregates all those maps and makes them available on fast servers: https://caltopo.com)

once you get a feel for the program, there are 2 advanced features you'll appreciate:
- the "workspaces" feature (good if you want to have multiple SD cards, or just to organize your data. i use one workspace per state so that i can have my "favorites" list be pertinent to that area as well as know how much file space i'm using per state and easily clear up space from a particular map type in only a certain area): https://www.alpinequest.net/en/help/v2/workspaces
- the "user settings" file (especially the "max_queue_size" option. also the "ask_if_outofbounds", "coverage_autoload", and "zoom_buttons_autoload" options): https://www.alpinequest.net/en/help/v2/settings/user-settings
 
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