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Newby wants simple help to overcome lack of GPS sensor in Win 10 tablet
IKWIA
Hi,
Being a complete GPS virgin, I've tried reading several threads that I think might be relevant to my issue but am struggling with the terminology etc. It's gobbledegook to me at this stage.
  • I have a new tablet running Win 10 but it doesn't have a GPS sensor.
  • I have an ageing smart phone (running Android 2.3.5) that has a GPS sensor.
  • I'd like to know exactly ,step by step how to get off-grid mapping to work on the tablet preferably using Bluetooth.
OSMAND app on Android seems perfect but it doesn't fit within the limited RAM of my smartphone. I might use off-grid mapping a couple of times a year so I don't want to spend loads-a-money on it.

Cheers
IKWIA (I know where I am)
Boyd
OsmAnd is a mapping app that runs under Android on a phone or tablet. It has nothing to do with using gps enabled software on a Windows tablet.

From what you've said, it sounds like you just want to use your phone like a bluetooth GPS receiver and send data to your Windows tablet. Have not used any of these, but there are several Android apps for this. Check these out:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.Saenko.GpsOverBt&hl=en
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.jillybunch.shareGPS&hl=en
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.meowsbox.btgps&hl=en

As for how to make this work on Windows 10... sorry, no clue. But those apps should provide a stream of position data over bluetooth.

Then there's the issue of what software you will run on the Windows tablet to use a map. That is problematic because the list of available options keeps getting shorter. Just a thought, maybe you could pickup a cheap Android tablet and use it instead of the Windows tablet? There are a huge amount of inexpensive Android mapping/navigation apps that work very well for this.
IKWIA
Thank you very much for your reply Boyd. I have read the "theory" over and over and it sounds straightforward. However, quite often, in computing, something that sounds straightforward ends in tears or hands full of hair.
Hopefully, someone who has experience of doing what I am trying to do ie. has done it "in the flesh" so to speak, will reply.
Cheers
IKWIA
tcassidy
I certainly can't test it not having an Android phone. However GPS Complete claims to be able to provide Win 10 Location information from an incoming BT signal using the GPSDirect portion.

You are on your own setting it up but using one of Boyd's suggestions to obtain the BT signal and this program to receive it with your Win 10 tablet should give you access to Windows built-in navigation program. Or any other that uses the location API.

https://www.gpssensordrivers.com/

Terry
IKWIA
Thanks tcassidy. I look forward to hearing from someone who has actual experience of doing it successfully.
Boyd
Why do you need to hear from someone else? As slow as things are around here, that could be a LONG wait. Fact is, very few people use Windows for navigation today, and even fewer are going to do it using a phone as a GPS.

Seems to me you have the info you need now, download one of the bluetooth apps for your phone, download the driver that Terry posted and give it a try.
Ken in Regina
Quote:
Originally Posted by IKWIA
Thanks tcassidy. I look forward to hearing from someone who has actual experience of doing it successfully.
Or you could give it a whirl yourself, as Boyd suggests. Once you get past all the terminology what you need to do is pretty clear in plain language. And I think you mostly have that already clear in your own mind.

Part One is to get the GPS signal from the phone to your Win10 device. Boyd already listed at least three apps that should work and mentioned that there others in the app store. You just need to find out if any will still work under that ancient version of Android.

Part Two is to get a Win 10 app working with the GPS data coming via Bluetooth. Terry (tcassidy) has provided a link to a driver that will take a Bluetooth signal and provide the data to a native Win 10 app.

That makes the question of what navigation app to use, at least for starters, dead simple. Start with the built in Win 10 MAPS app. It's an excellent navigation app. If you want to be able to use it when an internet connection is not available, the MAPS app makes it easy to download selected regions (states/provinces/entire countries) for offline use.

I don't know what you mean by "off-grid mapping" but you've got everything now to give it a whirl to see if you can get it working at all. Once you get to that point and if you discover that the native Win 10 MAPS app isn't exactly the app you need, we can go from there.

In the mean time, we'll be happy to help with specific questions as you work through getting it working. Boyd and I both have Android phones, tablets, and experience, although I don't know if I ever had one with that old a version of Android. Terry and a couple of others have experience getting the sensor drivers working in Windows 10. So you don't have to worry about being abandoned. But you do need to be willing to give it a shot so you can move to the next step of asking specific questions about specific problems as you encounter them.

As Boyd said, this is a pretty limited and specific enough topic - especially with the combination of Android-to-Windows GPS signal and Windows Bluetooth-to-sensor driver - that you are not going to find a huge pool of people with experience doing it.

Of course you have two other much simpler options.

Option 1: Find a newer phone with a decent amount of RAM and processing power and spend the $50 or $75 so you'll have access to current Android apps like OSMAND or whatever strikes your fancy.

Option 2: Spend $20 or $30 on a decent USB GPS for your Win 10 tablet and minimize the potential headaches getting things working.

Welcome to the wonderful, and sometimes confusing world of GPS navigation!

...ken... (I Occasionally Know Where I Am)
tcassidy
If considering the second option (get a GPS) consider the uBlox 7 (aka VK172 g-mouse) if you can find it. In another thread we showed it worked both as Win Location sensor and (with the proper drivers) as a NMEA COM device. That covers both old and new(er) Windows navigation programs. It is not bad and pretty inexpensive too.



Terry
IKWIA
Thank you so much for getting back to me, I sincerely appreciate your help. I didn't realise that what I wanted to do was so peculiar that no-one else had done it. My stand-point is that I have a tablet and a GPS provider so it would have been good to get them playing nicely together. I've survived to the age of 62 without GPS navigation (as opposed to being within wi-fi grid) so I'm not going to spend more than a few bucks on it. Based on your feedback I'll give the software options a go instead of binning my stone-age smart phone (although it does have blue tooth so its not as long in the tooth as me ;-)
Cheers
IKWIA
Ken in Regina
Quote:
Originally Posted by IKWIA
Thank you so much for getting back to me, I sincerely appreciate your help. I didn't realise that what I wanted to do was so peculiar that no-one else had done it. My stand-point is that I have a tablet and a GPS provider so it would have been good to get them playing nicely together. I've survived to the age of 62 without GPS navigation (as opposed to being within wi-fi grid) so I'm not going to spend more than a few bucks on it. Based on your feedback I'll give the software options a go instead of binning my stone-age smart phone (although it does have blue tooth so its not as long in the tooth as me ;-)
Cheers
IKWIA
It's not that nobody has done it. The existence of the pieces that have been shared with you in the links above shows that at least the individual pieces have been. And it's very likely that some folks have done the whole thing. I have done most of it at one time, just to see if I could. But that was back in Win 7 when I had a good selection of standard Windows nav apps so I didn't have to do the part of getting the GPS data to a Win 10 sensor for use by a Win 10 Universal app. I just had to get it from Bluetooth to a standard COM port. And I was doing it with Android 4 or 5 and a phone with a good amount of RAM and performance.

The problem is that yours is enough of an edge case in its totality, especially the issue of the version of Android on your phone and the amount of RAM and the fact it now has to be done with Windows 10, that the numbers are likely very small. And the numbers that hang out on a GPS help forum are even smaller.

Good luck with the software connectivity approach (truly). We'll be here to help as best we can with your questions as you roll along.

...ken... (71, computer technology professional for 45 yrs and still nearly sane)
GoneNomad
Just... wow...
IKWIA
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken in Regina
It's not that nobody has done it. The existence of the pieces that have been shared with you in the links above shows that at least the individual pieces have been. And it's very likely that some folks have done the whole thing. I have done most of it at one time, just to see if I could. But that was back in Win 7 when I had a good selection of standard Windows nav apps so I didn't have to do the part of getting the GPS data to a Win 10 sensor for use by a Win 10 Universal app. I just had to get it from Bluetooth to a standard COM port. And I was doing it with Android 4 or 5 and a phone with a good amount of RAM and performance.

The problem is that yours is enough of an edge case in its totality, especially the issue of the version of Android on your phone and the amount of RAM and the fact it now has to be done with Windows 10, that the numbers are likely very small. And the numbers that hang out on a GPS help forum are even smaller.

Good luck with the software connectivity approach (truly). We'll be here to help as best we can with your questions as you roll along.

...ken... (71, computer technology professional for 45 yrs and still nearly sane)
Thanks agen Ken
When my mobile (San Francisco 2/ZTE Crescent) becomes a brick, I'll upgrade to one that enables Osmand - then my quest will have been a mere character-building nightmare lmao.
Cheers
IKWIA
Boyd
The problem is that you are trying to get on the train but it's already left the station. In 2008 plenty of people were interested in using GPS on their computers and things were hopping on this site. Today, almost nobody does that anymore and there's very little software available.

So it can be done, and I understand your rationale, but it probably isn't the best solution to get started with GPS. People upgrade their phone every year or two, so used ones lose their value very fast. You should be able to get a used phone with a big screen very cheaply. That will be easy to setup and you will have a lot of software choices. Maybe you have a family member who will actually give you an old phone for nothing?

But it's fine to stick with your original plan if you are determined. And I think you already have all the pieces to make it work. I just doubt that you'll find many others who have done exactly what you want so you will need to figure out the details yourself.

FWIW, I'm 68 and have been using GPS for about 20 years.
Ken in Regina
Quote:
Originally Posted by IKWIA
Thanks agen Ken
When my mobile (San Francisco 2/ZTE Crescent) becomes a brick, I'll upgrade to one that enables Osmand - then my quest will have been a mere character-building nightmare lmao.
Cheers
IKWIA
Well, it seems the character doesn't need a lot more building...

The problem with cellphones bricking is that they tend to take a very long time to get there. I have a lovely unlocked Nexus 5 with Android 7 on it sitting around here collecting dust. If we didn't have to worry about things like shipping costs I could probably make you a good deal on it.

...ken...
Ken in Regina
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boyd
...

FWIW, I'm 68 and have been using GPS for about 20 years.
Yeah, but you haven't been anything resembling sane for much of that time...

...ken...
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