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Review: ALK CoPilot
malaki86
CoPilot 8 Truck for Laptop

Well, after a couple of days running it, I thought I'd offer my opinions so far:

The routing is great. It definitely takes into consideration the size/weight of the truck, as well as if you're using it for Hazmat loads (which I'm currently doing). I started my load in a small town in WV. I initially had it set in car/rv mode. It routed me across some nice country roads which are fine in a car. When I set it to truck mode, the route changed completely, getting me onto the 4-lane highways/interstates to get to my destination.

I then routed my trip, which is going to El Paso, TX. I started with the Hazmat setting turned off. As I figured, it routed me straight through Dallas, TX. After turning on the Hazmat settings, it rerouted me to use the loop around Dallas, which is required.

I haven't had any problems with it, other than it crashing 1 time while I was turning on the Hazmat routing.

CoPilot Truck has a GREAT set of truck POI's (mainly truck stops). In fact, it has truckstops listed that aren't in any of the POI downloads, books, etc that I've ever seen listed, even though the places have been there for 30+ years. However, they don't always show in the correct locations. Many times, especially with the independent t/s's, they appear at the town/city center for their location. One example is the Southfork T/S in Gurdon, AR. It's at exit 63 on I-30. It's at the end of the exit ramp. However, CoPilot has it shown to be in the center of town itself, which is 6 miles away. Another is K & T T/S in Fairmont, WV. It's shown to be on the exit ramp of I-79 at exit 139. In reality, it's 1.5 miles away on WV rte 73. From what I've tried so far, the big-name T/S's seem to be showing at the correct locations.

Another minor issue is the rest area's. Over the past few years, a lot of states have been closing/removing rest area's. But, CoPilot still shows the old locations. Kentucky, in particular, has "combined" rest areas, meaning build one large area in between 2 tiny ones that were removed. CoPilot shows the old (nonexistent) ones, but not the new ones.

All I can really say so far is: So far, so good.
malaki86
Forgot to mention this strange occurrence that happened to me today:

Back in version 9 (original) there was a couple of extra 2D map modes: Destination and Next Turn. What these 2 did were display your map in a 2D, North Up format where your current location was on one edge of the screen while the destination/next turn was on the other side. The closer you got to it, the more the map zoomed in, very smoothly.

Anyway, they did away with that feature with the POS they called version 11. Or so I thought.

Today, I stopped at a rest area and did a change for my next stop. Added a new stop, deleted the old stop and hit 'Go'. Nothing more. Prior to making any changes I was using the 3D map mode.

Well, when it went back to the driving mode, it was in the original 2D, North Up, Destination mode. I couldn't manually zoom in or out. So, I kept driving just to check. Sure enough, it kept slowly zooming in. It did perfect until I came to a highway interchange. As soon as it dropped into the ClearTurn mode for the interchange, then back to the normal 3D mode I was originally in prior to making the change of stops, it wouldn't go back into that 2D Destination mode.

I played with the settings some more but couldn't find anything to do that again.

Strange one, eh?
malaki86
Well, now I feel like a horses butt...

I looked at the online manual for CoPilot and sure enough, they DO have the 2D Next Turn and 2D Destination views...

Just go to the menu, Driving Views (1 page to the right), and Voila...
Ken in Regina
You should be careful insulting the horses, Malaki.

...ken...
malaki86
LOL
malaki86
Another day of basically non-issues with CoPilot. I did have to fight it a bit to get it to route me the correct way to my delivery tomorrow, but by adding a couple of waypoints in the proper places, that was resolved.

Also, I'm sure that I've mentioned that I use a front-end software called Centrafuse on my laptop/touchscreen. I control everything through my 7" screen while driving. Centrafuse can play mp3's, cd's, etc right "out of the box". I also have an XM tuner hooked to the computer, which is controlled through Centrafuse. So, all of my audio plays from the laptop to the truck stereo. Anyway, CoPilot will "embed" in it perfectly, meaning that while I'm running CoPilot, I can also see my audio-playing info, as well as a nice, large time & audio controls (pause, prev, next, etc). A screenshot is attached below.
Attached Images
copilot-centrafuse.jpg  
OneRVer
I sure would like to see the inside of your cab. I bet it looks more like a studio than a tractor cab.
malaki86
lol - pretty much.

In the front, I have my 7" screen mounted on my dash. Underneath that is my EVO phone. Also on the dash is a 4-way power box for connecting my phones, XM & monitor power. At the far right of my dash is a 7-port usb hub, which has my external sound card, touchscreen & xm receiver. I also have a wireless keyboard with touchpad on a shelf above my head for when I need a keyboard up front.

In the sleeper, I have my laptop sitting on a built in cabinet at the foot of the bed. The 400 watt power inverter is directly behind it, as well as my 320gig media drive (for movies, tv shows, documentaries and mp3's).

On the top bunk (no mattress) is my multi-function Lexmark printer/fax/scanner, a small APC battery backup (to make it through starting) and another 7 port usb hub. The rear hub has the front hub, wireless keyboard adapter, gps receiver, 16gig thumbdrive, printer, and 1 more thing I can't for the life of me remember.

The best part is that all of this will actually run on a 150 watt inverter easily. My power inverter will show the wattage in use, and at the computer's highest setting, playing a movie plus having a gps nav program running, it maxes out at 105 watts of power.
malaki86
Took a quick photo of the dash (sitting in the back). Underneath of the gps screen, you can see the EVO holder (has a coiled wire going to it). I used the phone to take the shot. Immediately below the screen is a small box with buttons on it. That's the interface for my Qualcomm (satelite box) to keep in touch with my company. Beside that is my current XM receiver, an old Roady 2.

I took pics of the back as well, but the camera is set to max resolution, which made jpgs that were 2.5meg each - lol. I'll redo those.
Attached Images
imag0014.jpg  
Ken in Regina
Man, with all that junk in the top bunk you better build yourself another headache rack in front of the sleeper!!
malaki86
hahahah - actually, it's all below a "wall" that's about 4" tall.
OneRVer
One item that I am disappointed with is the road selection. In version 10 you could put a "+" on a road that you wanted to take and "-" on the roads that you did not want to take and it would save that route. You can "AVIOD" a road but the only way to take a road you want you have to use the "SET AS WAY POINT". For instance, Driving South from Colville, WA on hwy 395, to Seattle, WA, I-90. Copilot wants to route you through downtown Spokane, WA instead of keeping you on hwy-395 which takes straight to I-90. So every time I head South on 395 to I-90, I have to AVOID the streets in downtown Spokane because the avoided streets are not savable. I notice Malaki found the same type of problem.
malaki86
Just thought I'd give an update with my results so far:

I just finished a cross-country trip using CoPilot 8 Truck. I've used it solely in Truck mode, with a large portion of the trip in HazMat mode. I started my trip in Mannington, WV. From there I went to Fairmont, WV for fuel. After fueling I then went to Friendly, WV to pick up a trailer, then to Parkersburg, WV for my load. The load delivered in El Paso, TX. Once empty I picked up another load that delivered in Fontana, CA, for a total of 2,660 miles, which I did in 6.25 days total.

Other than the 1 crash of the software (which I mentioned in an above post), the program has worked damn near perfectly. A few states need the rest areas updated in, but that's nothing more than getting the correct data for each state. Also, as mentioned in a previous post, some of the truck stops appear in the wrong location, but these have always been small, mom & pop operations. Not all of them are incorrect, but many are. Big name truckstops, such as Pilot, T/A, etc have always shown the correct location.

Something weird was going on today in California, on I-10, today, though. The rest areas along the interstate didn't come up in the POI Alerts, but if you did a search for them, they showed in the correct locations. The same was for most truck stops along the route. You just had to search for them.

I really like the multi-stop trip planner. It makes my life so much easier now. Even though Garmin MobilePC does multi-stops, it shows the ETA and distance to the final destination, where CoPilot shows the info to your next stop. In the trip planner, you can see the total time/distance for entire trip (all stops) by showing the route.

One thing I'd like to see added would be the ability to search for a POI near your next stop or near your destination, instead of the current options of "Nearby, Along route and Another City". Another option I'd like to see would be the ability to set your own default categories that are used when adding a destination (when you hit 'Destination, Point of Interest') The only one I use from the default list is Truck Services, but would like to have my own selection of Loads, Terminals and Rest Areas. The same goes for the 'Quick Stop'.

One bad thing is when you select a POI that is displayed while in the 3D mode. If you select to go to it, it wipes out your entire planned trip and sets that as your only destination. It should, instead, add it as your next stop in your planned trip.
Ken in Regina
Quote:
Originally Posted by malaki86
Another option I'd like to see would be the ability to set your own default categories that are used when adding a destination (when you hit 'Destination, Point of Interest') The only one I use from the default list is Truck Services, but would like to have my own selection of Loads, Terminals and Rest Areas. The same goes for the 'Quick Stop'.
With Mobile PC, you can have categories on both waypoints (Favorites) and custom POIs. You can have multiple categories on waypoints. I think you can only have a single category on custom POIs.

Quote:
One bad thing is when you select a POI that is displayed while in the 3D mode. If you select to go to it, it wipes out your entire planned trip and sets that as your only destination. It should, instead, add it as your next stop in your planned trip.
I think this is common to all of the nav programs, isn't it? Mobile PC doesn't wipe out your route. It just changes the active route to be the one to the new destination. You can reactivate the route for the planned trip at any point you want. The issue is that (at least in Mobile PC) you can have multiple routes saved but you can only have one route active at a time.

Is that not the case with CoPilot? E.g. does it really trash the planned trip totally? Or does it simply deactivate it and make the new route to the new destination active, allowing you to reactivate the overall trip route again later?

...ken...
malaki86
You can save a trip, but if you don't save it to begin with, it gets wiped out by adding destination by clicking one enroute (from the map view). I never save a trip - I just add/remove stops as my week progresses.
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