Using a Smart phone for Navigation?

brumby33
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Using a Smart phone for Navigation?

Postby brumby33 » Fri Nov 03, 2017 8:27 am

I know a lot of riders use their smart phone for navigation using GPS but while using it in a city area with the ability to use Internet by your provider......but that chews the battery so quickly.
I have an older Samsung S4 which still operates really well and technically more smarter than me....much more smarter in fact :lol: but I can't seem to take it off the Internet grid and use it offline for GPS.
Will the later model phones do it? I prefer to work with Android as it's what i understand the most or is iphone easier to use GPS?
I rode with a recreational group a few weeks back and I even had the phone connected with my AXA headlight with the USB charging port (with lights off) and was using Map My Ride app. but by the time an hour and a bit went by, my battery was toast and phone didn't have enough power to continue. The ride did have a lot of stop starts so it's very possible that the dyno wasn't working enough to charge up.
So....what say if I put my phone into aeroplane mode and used an offline map like map.me? would that work or do you have to down load a planned out map first?
Or if that doesn't work, how else could I isolate the stuff that chews up the battery....but still use the GPS component or doesn't the GPS on smart phones work without internet imput? If that was the case then wouldn't the GPS be useless out in the boonies?
I'm just trying to get my head around planning and using GPS with my phone rather than buying a separate GPS unit as many just use their phones these days.

Thanks in advance for your advice

Cheers

brumby33
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human909
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Re: Using a Smart phone for Navigation?

Postby human909 » Fri Nov 03, 2017 9:36 am

-make sure the screen is OFF! This is the biggest chewer of batteries.
-newer phones chew batteries less quickly (except if their large screen is on), my phone will happily navigate all day with the screen off
-use a app that doesn't require a cellular connection, "maps.me" is good

An S4 should have a decent enough battery to navigate all day. Just don't have the screen on and use a program that doesn't require cellular connection (turn it off to save batteries).
Last edited by human909 on Fri Nov 03, 2017 9:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

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SheikYerbouti
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Re: Using a Smart phone for Navigation?

Postby SheikYerbouti » Fri Nov 03, 2017 9:38 am

You can get a Magellan Cyclo 500 with all the maps etc for $99.....

https://www.boxlots.com.au/products/mag ... orts-watch

It's easy to use .gpx files to load routes and all that jazz. The main thing is that external sensors only work with BT not ANT.

Sure beats having a large, pricey, short-battery device on your bars.

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andrewjcw
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Re: Using a Smart phone for Navigation?

Postby andrewjcw » Fri Nov 03, 2017 9:40 am

I'd say your battery is toast and not holding charge, I think a modern phone should last a good 2.5 - 3.5 hours with map software running from full, probably more like 5-6 hours if you lock your phone so the screen turns off (but with maps is still running). You should be able to see what's using your battery through battery settings in your phone.

Google maps requires a data connection to load and calculate the route. You can then download and save that route for offline use, or even if you lose data connection after that point it will still work - but it won't be able to calculate a new route home and you lose some features.

brumby33
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Re: Using a Smart phone for Navigation?

Postby brumby33 » Fri Nov 03, 2017 10:13 am

My battery seems to hold good charge in normal use and i tend to use FB and forums regularly.
Also, my screen tends to turn off relavely quick when its not being used...around 20 seconds or i just hit the side button.

Cheers

Brumby33
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trailgumby
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Re: Using a Smart phone for Navigation?

Postby trailgumby » Fri Nov 03, 2017 10:44 am

For our trip to UK, Germany and Italy last year I uploaded tiles from Open Street Maps to my Garmin 810 before we left. They worked *really* well, even directing us according to street traffic direction when streets were one way. So much faster than Google maps and no expensive data requirement. No need for GPX files, it worked out the route from the UI.

The only downside was that traffic direction thing. It assumed we were on bikes and sent us around the block when we were on foot, towing our heavy wheeled suitcases on Florentine cobbled streets after my wife had rolled her ankle in Munich 2 days before. But that was the only glitch.

I have an S4 as well. My experience with battery life with GPS navigation running is similar to the OP's.

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Re: Using a Smart phone for Navigation?

Postby madmacca » Mon Nov 06, 2017 10:13 pm

It may be worth experimenting without the Dyno hub - some phones are very fussy about the USB voltage they receive, and if it is out-of-spec (especially with something as variable as a dynohub) , "charging" can actually deplete the battery. In these situations, using the dyno hub to charge a powerbank, then using that to charge the phone may be the better way to go, as the battery smooths out the voltage variations.

Google maps will allow you to download a section of map, which you can then use without a data connection. The menu from the google maps app has a tab for "Offline Maps".

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Re: Using a Smart phone for Navigation?

Postby brumby33 » Mon Nov 06, 2017 10:30 pm

madmacca wrote:It may be worth experimenting without the Dyno hub - some phones are very fussy about the USB voltage they receive, and if it is out-of-spec (especially with something as variable as a dynohub) , "charging" can actually deplete the battery. In these situations, using the dyno hub to charge a powerbank, then using that to charge the phone may be the better way to go, as the battery smooths out the voltage variations.

Google maps will allow you to download a section of map, which you can then use without a data connection. The menu from the google maps app has a tab for "Offline Maps".


Jeez....thanks for that madmacca....I didn't know that. Might explain why my battery was depleted so quickly on the very first time i used the Dyno.
I do remember reading recently but wasn't sure if it was true or not that the dyno hub will actually use AC current as apposed to DC current.....so if AC current is going directly through the phone....that could have devastating affects on the phone battery...wouldn't you think?
Although on saying that.....the power is coming through from my AXA70 headlight which is being powered by the dyno and the USB cord went from the head light USB port to the phone....so if a Dyno produces AC current...then the light maybe AC powered as well.....Holy Sheeeet!! I really must find out about this before I truly stuff up my phone :shock:

I've been meaning to buy a power bank for a while now....could be a priority now.

Thanks again for that info.

Cheers

brumby33
"ya gotta hold ya mouth right"

VWR -2013

ridingboots
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Re: Using a Smart phone for Navigation?

Postby ridingboots » Tue Nov 14, 2017 5:46 pm

Hey Brumby

My way around my dyno not charging my phone is I have a battery pack for my iPhone. I plug my batter pack into the dyno and charge it. I then use it to charge the iPhone. It is great for longer bike rides and found that I don’t have to turn my phone screen off for crazier longer bike rides.

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Re: Using a Smart phone for Navigation?

Postby RonK » Tue Nov 14, 2017 6:51 pm

brumby33 wrote:
madmacca wrote:It may be worth experimenting without the Dyno hub - some phones are very fussy about the USB voltage they receive, and if it is out-of-spec (especially with something as variable as a dynohub) , "charging" can actually deplete the battery. In these situations, using the dyno hub to charge a powerbank, then using that to charge the phone may be the better way to go, as the battery smooths out the voltage variations.

Google maps will allow you to download a section of map, which you can then use without a data connection. The menu from the google maps app has a tab for "Offline Maps".


Jeez....thanks for that madmacca....I didn't know that. Might explain why my battery was depleted so quickly on the very first time i used the Dyno.
I do remember reading recently but wasn't sure if it was true or not that the dyno hub will actually use AC current as apposed to DC current.....so if AC current is going directly through the phone....that could have devastating affects on the phone battery...wouldn't you think?
Although on saying that.....the power is coming through from my AXA70 headlight which is being powered by the dyno and the USB cord went from the head light USB port to the phone....so if a Dyno produces AC current...then the light maybe AC powered as well.....Holy Sheeeet!! I really must find out about this before I truly stuff up my phone :shock:

I've been meaning to buy a power bank for a while now....could be a priority now.

Thanks again for that info.

Cheers

brumby33

That is misinformation. Since USB ports are not all powered, devices which charge via USB must have protection circuits to prevent them from discharging if the current is too low, such as when the USB port is unpowered, or in the case of a dynamo hub, when the dynamo is not turning fast enough.

Devices such as smartphones typically require a 1 amp current for the charging circuit to activate. If you are not riding fast enough, or in your case if you are also running the light, there simply may not be enough current to charge the smartphone. There may also be a hysteresis between the charging circuit cutting out and cutting back in again, so if you are riding at a marginal speed there may be little charge reaching the device.

Other devices such as bike computers, which require a smaller current to charge can be connected directly, but I've found with phones it is better to use a powerbank with a pass through circuit to ensure a stable current, or as has been suggested, just charge the powerbank and use it to charge the phone later. Or you can turn off the light and ride faster. The output of my dynamo/charger setup becomes marginal for smartphone charging at around 15kph or a little under.

BTW - USB ports are DC, not AC. Your AXA70 has a built-in rectifier.
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brumby33
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Re: Using a Smart phone for Navigation?

Postby brumby33 » Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:18 pm

RonK wrote:
brumby33 wrote:
madmacca wrote:It may be worth experimenting without the Dyno hub - some phones are very fussy about the USB voltage they receive, and if it is out-of-spec (especially with something as variable as a dynohub) , "charging" can actually deplete the battery. In these situations, using the dyno hub to charge a powerbank, then using that to charge the phone may be the better way to go, as the battery smooths out the voltage variations.

Google maps will allow you to download a section of map, which you can then use without a data connection. The menu from the google maps app has a tab for "Offline Maps".


Jeez....thanks for that madmacca....I didn't know that. Might explain why my battery was depleted so quickly on the very first time i used the Dyno.
I do remember reading recently but wasn't sure if it was true or not that the dyno hub will actually use AC current as apposed to DC current.....so if AC current is going directly through the phone....that could have devastating affects on the phone battery...wouldn't you think?
Although on saying that.....the power is coming through from my AXA70 headlight which is being powered by the dyno and the USB cord went from the head light USB port to the phone....so if a Dyno produces AC current...then the light maybe AC powered as well.....Holy Sheeeet!! I really must find out about this before I truly stuff up my phone :shock:

I've been meaning to buy a power bank for a while now....could be a priority now.

Thanks again for that info.

Cheers

brumby33

That is misinformation. Since USB ports are not all powered, devices which charge via USB must have protection circuits to prevent them from discharging if the current is too low, such as when the USB port is unpowered, or in the case of a dynamo hub, when the dynamo is not turning fast enough.

Devices such as smartphones typically require a 1 amp current for the charging circuit to activate. If you are not riding fast enough, or in your case if you are also running the light, there simply may not be enough current to charge the smartphone. There may also be a hysteresis between the charging circuit cutting out and cutting back in again, so if you are riding at a marginal speed there may be little charge reaching the device.

Other devices such as bike computers, which require a smaller current to charge can be connected directly, but I've found with phones it is better to use a powerbank with a pass through circuit to ensure a stable current, or as has been suggested, just charge the powerbank and use it to charge the phone later. Or you can turn off the light and ride faster. The output of my dynamo/charger setup becomes marginal for smartphone charging at around 15kph or a little under.

BTW - USB ports are DC, not AC. Your AXA70 has a built-in rectifier.


Thanks Ron, Yes I asked the Vivente dealers that I bought the bike from about this and yes they said that whilst the current coming from the Dyno is AC, the AXA light converts it to DC so I have no worries....phew!! Thank God for that!!
When I initially ran my mobile phone from the light's USB port, I turned off the lights as it's either one or the other but I must also say that the ride I was on was rather slow and a lot of turn arounds so the 14 kph minimum needed probably didn't happen as I wanted it to...but a Bicycle hash ride involves alot of turning back and stopping to check directions. However, I was a bit shocked to see that from a freshly charged up battery when i left home was depleted within an hour and a bit and that the dyno didn't make any difference at all.
I hadn't given it another run yet since I spoke with the bike shop but I will and I'll make sure I ride at least 15kph and see what difference it makes.
Thankyou for your input on this Ron...I'll keep experimenting but I will buy a battery bank unit very soon.

Cheers also to those who had input in my querie.

Cheers

brumby33
"ya gotta hold ya mouth right"

VWR -2013

BenGr
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Re: Using a Smart phone for Navigation?

Postby BenGr » Wed Nov 15, 2017 3:27 am

brumby33 wrote:
RonK wrote:
brumby33 wrote:
Jeez....thanks for that madmacca....I didn't know that. Might explain why my battery was depleted so quickly on the very first time i used the Dyno.
I do remember reading recently but wasn't sure if it was true or not that the dyno hub will actually use AC current as apposed to DC current.....so if AC current is going directly through the phone....that could have devastating affects on the phone battery...wouldn't you think?
Although on saying that.....the power is coming through from my AXA70 headlight which is being powered by the dyno and the USB cord went from the head light USB port to the phone....so if a Dyno produces AC current...then the light maybe AC powered as well.....Holy Sheeeet!! I really must find out about this before I truly stuff up my phone :shock:

I've been meaning to buy a power bank for a while now....could be a priority now.

Thanks again for that info.

Cheers

brumby33

That is misinformation. Since USB ports are not all powered, devices which charge via USB must have protection circuits to prevent them from discharging if the current is too low, such as when the USB port is unpowered, or in the case of a dynamo hub, when the dynamo is not turning fast enough.

Devices such as smartphones typically require a 1 amp current for the charging circuit to activate. If you are not riding fast enough, or in your case if you are also running the light, there simply may not be enough current to charge the smartphone. There may also be a hysteresis between the charging circuit cutting out and cutting back in again, so if you are riding at a marginal speed there may be little charge reaching the device.

Other devices such as bike computers, which require a smaller current to charge can be connected directly, but I've found with phones it is better to use a powerbank with a pass through circuit to ensure a stable current, or as has been suggested, just charge the powerbank and use it to charge the phone later. Or you can turn off the light and ride faster. The output of my dynamo/charger setup becomes marginal for smartphone charging at around 15kph or a little under.

BTW - USB ports are DC, not AC. Your AXA70 has a built-in rectifier.


Thanks Ron, Yes I asked the Vivente dealers that I bought the bike from about this and yes they said that whilst the current coming from the Dyno is AC, the AXA light converts it to DC so I have no worries....phew!! Thank God for that!!
When I initially ran my mobile phone from the light's USB port, I turned off the lights as it's either one or the other but I must also say that the ride I was on was rather slow and a lot of turn arounds so the 14 kph minimum needed probably didn't happen as I wanted it to...but a Bicycle hash ride involves alot of turning back and stopping to check directions. However, I was a bit shocked to see that from a freshly charged up battery when i left home was depleted within an hour and a bit and that the dyno didn't make any difference at all.
I hadn't given it another run yet since I spoke with the bike shop but I will and I'll make sure I ride at least 15kph and see what difference it makes.
Thankyou for your input on this Ron...I'll keep experimenting but I will buy a battery bank unit very soon.

Cheers also to those who had input in my querie.

Cheers

brumby33

One very important factor is some phones turn the screen on when starting and stopping charging, which if it happens enough drains the battery very quickly. Sometimes this is easy to fix, other times not so simple, just look up your particular phone.

TheReality
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Re: Using a Smart phone for Navigation?

Postby TheReality » Wed Nov 15, 2017 5:54 am

Hi,

I use my phone for navigation and strava, screen on all the time. Just dimmed as much as practical. I use Google maps for navigation, or "here we go" for offline navigation if needed.

I can do a 4.5h ride leaving me with about 30% battery left, that's using strava as bike computer and maps for navigation (2hrs).


If you're like me and hate spending money on phones, take a look at the Xiaomi Redmi series (3s,4x). I run the 3s, missus runs the 4x both have awesome batteries and performance. They cost less than $200 brand new on eBay or eGlobal. We get better battery life than most $1000 phones, and don't have to be locked in to a contract to afford it.
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Re: Using a Smart phone for Navigation?

Postby LG » Wed Nov 15, 2017 6:34 am

We used an AXA 70 and a cheap oppo phone for navigation (including recording our route), as a camera as well as for Internet/phone while touring in Europe using 'Locus map pro' with offline maps. The phone was generally attached to the bike stem with a quad lock mount and plugged into the usb socket on the light. We also carried a cache battery as a backup and for evening use, usually charged in campgrounds. The screen was generally set to sleep after a couple minutes of use and I'd wake it up as needed for navigation or to take a photo. In cities the phone would often be left on for an hour or so while finding our way.

Our average speed on any given day was in the 11-15km/hr range. On the flats it was common for the phone to be fully charged at the end of the day, in the hills not so as we'd have quite a bit of time going up at walking speed and a short amount going at speed down. The phone was showing that at least some charge was being delivered at around 8km/hr. I understand these lights only put out 0.5 amps as a maximum.

Overall following 6 months of riding we were very impressed with the phone light combo. The phone battery still works great and at this stage doesn't appear to have been effected by the dynamo charging.
LG = Low Gear

brumby33
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Re: Using a Smart phone for Navigation?

Postby brumby33 » Wed Nov 15, 2017 9:20 am

Thanks TheReality and LG for your input.....yes I'm thinking perhaps I might either try and dig one of my old phones out or buy a cheaper one from ebay just for the purpose of Navigation....I can still use the WiFi for downloading info without having a datacard or number attached (i hope) and just use it as an offline nav device...I too use the Quadlock system on the stem on my bike and it's an awesome gadget. Even when i update my phones, I usually don't go with the latest and greatest because generally many of the things that come out on these things are pretty much lost on me...they are much smarter than I haha.

LG thankyou for your info on the AXA 70 light's charging performance....I'll do another test on mine soon under better circumstances and see the difference made. apart from the charging thing...they are a pretty decent light...i really like them.
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LG
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Re: Using a Smart phone for Navigation?

Postby LG » Wed Nov 15, 2017 10:22 am

Just to confirm with my phone, I had no sim card in the phone for 4 months, just downloaded all the maps before I left and used wifi in campgrounds, towns, etc. Works fine. Bought a sim card when we got to the UK and made no difference to charging performance.
LG = Low Gear

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Re: Using a Smart phone for Navigation?

Postby cyclotaur » Wed Nov 15, 2017 12:07 pm

human909 wrote:....
-use a app that doesn't require a cellular connection, "maps.me" is good
...

I use this as a 'map' in new areas or on tours. You can load ride routes into it as well.

I put the iPhone into 'Airplane' mode to save battery and leave it in my pocket unless I get lost or want to check where I am. Usually can also run Strava on it all day as well, as long as I can recharge each night.

I've used it here and on tours in Europe as well. Just make sure you've down loaded local maps before you set out.
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Re: Using a Smart phone for Navigation?

Postby BugsBunny » Wed Nov 15, 2017 1:44 pm

I used an smartphone app called Komoot whilst on a long distance (9 hours) solo ride in Japan. It allows you to plan your ride route and as its connected to the internet it can dynamically re-route the route on the fly. I then connected to a BT headset so that as I was riding I would hear the navigation prompts. This allowed me to ride close to the full 9 hours without fully depleting my iPhone or BT headset as the iPhone was "screen off" and in my jersey pocket. It isn't perfect as sometimes the navigation prompts came a little too late (e.g. "turn left" but I was already a few meters ahead of the junction) - so at times you need to stop - pull out the iPhone to view the map/route to figure things out.

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V2rocketeer
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Re: Using a Smart phone for Navigation?

Postby V2rocketeer » Sat Nov 18, 2017 3:44 pm

SheikYerbouti wrote:You can get a Magellan Cyclo 500 with all the maps etc for $99.....

https://www.boxlots.com.au/products/mag ... orts-watch

It's easy to use .gpx files to load routes and all that jazz. The main thing is that external sensors only work with BT not ANT.

Sure beats having a large, pricey, short-battery device on your bars.



Do you know if you can load maps from other countries on this device if taking a trip or is it only able to use Oz maps?

Bear

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Re: Using a Smart phone for Navigation?

Postby RonK » Sat Nov 18, 2017 4:48 pm

V2rocketeer wrote:
SheikYerbouti wrote:You can get a Magellan Cyclo 500 with all the maps etc for $99.....

https://www.boxlots.com.au/products/mag ... orts-watch

It's easy to use .gpx files to load routes and all that jazz. The main thing is that external sensors only work with BT not ANT.

Sure beats having a large, pricey, short-battery device on your bars.



Do you know if you can load maps from other countries on this device if taking a trip or is it only able to use Oz maps?

Bear

No, you cannot load other maps.
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