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  #1  
Old 01-04-2008
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Blackberry 8310 GPS - tech question

I'm hoping i can use my GPS capable Blackberry 8310 on Lake Michigan this summer to track where I am.

With my AT&T gps plan, I only seem to have access to the TeleNav software. It does a great job on land, but alas, the lake is simply solid blue (no features at all).

I'm wondering if there might be an external receiver I could add, as well as some other software. And, by doing this, receive the gps data for free, and have depths and details of Lake Michigan.

any thoughts?

Thanks.
-marcus
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Old 01-05-2008
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I get the "GPS Location" on my 8800 (accessed via Options, Advanced Options, GPS, choose "Refresh GPS" from the menu) lat and long co-ordinates and then transfer them to a paper chart. Maybe you can do something similarly.

That doesn't answer your question, but it works well for me until something better and near-free comes along.
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Last edited by AboardIndigo; 01-05-2008 at 08:06 AM. Reason: Added details.
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Old 01-05-2008
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Some of the hand held Garmins take their Blue Chart nautical data, in addition to land maps. Personally I like the Vista.
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Old 01-05-2008
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Be careful when using any GPS unit to fix your location on a chart that both the chart and the GPS are using the right chart datum settings. Most GPS units default to WGS84 IIRC, and not all charts use that, so it is probably best to check.
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Old 03-05-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
Be careful when using any GPS unit to fix your location on a chart that both the chart and the GPS are using the right chart datum settings. Most GPS units default to WGS84 IIRC, and not all charts use that, so it is probably best to check.
SD - Do you know if NAD83 is close enough? I thought I read that they were similiar/based on nearly the same thing, but wanted confirmation if you knew. I use a Richardson's that covers all of L.O., and some of them are NAD83 rather than WGS84.
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Old 03-05-2009
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AboardIndigo—

In most GPS units, you can set the chart datum to match the chart you're using. According to this website, they're fairly similar but not exactly the same.

Quote:
Similar to WGS 84 is the North American Datum 1983 (NAD 83). This is the official horizontal datum for use in the North and Central American geodetic networks. Like WGS 84, it is based on the GRS 80 ellipsoid so the two have very similar measurements. NAD 83 was also developed using satellite and remote sensing imagery and is the default datum on most GPS units today.
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Thanks Dog.

I'm using my Blackberry 8800 (or 8820 maybe - I can never remember). I think it uses WGS84 and has no option to select other datums.

This is mostly just for cruise estimates, but if I got caught out in the fog it would be nice to know that it was 'good enough' to keep me away from shore or heading in the right direction to safety.
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Old 03-06-2009
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Check ActiveCaptain, Jeff Siegel has installed NOAA charts and is working on applications for Blackberry. Other smart phones can download his program already.

Ronbo
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Old 03-06-2009
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marcusn - playing devils advocate here. I am a longtime user of BB's, and am quite tech savvy having been in the industry for 12 years. I caution one thing about using your BB as your only electronic navigation aid. You've likely never used the GPS feature on an extended basis (ie; that application constantly running for an entire day). When using that application, you will greatly increase battery usage, so just make sure you have an inverter on board to keep the device charged up. Otherwise, be sure you know how to navigate without electronic aid.
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Old 03-07-2009
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Exclamation

I would confirm that the chart datum is the same as the BB/gps. If the BB can't match datum, the position is at least a little bit wrong. Imagine being a little bit aground. And yes the BB will consume a fair amount of battery over the course of a day.

My non-BB phone, a Casio ruggedized phone (GZ-one) on Verizon, claims GPS ability, but I have determined that it is not actually GPS... It is RDF, using the cell towers for triangulation... Which is OK, in range of a cell tower I suppose... not sure of the location precision... But there are a lot of places on L. O. where I am out of tower range. No tower, no position data. Ever try to make a call from Main Duck island? Something to keep in mind.
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