Using PDA as a navigation system


GPS receiver

I got a SIRF II based GPS mouse with adapter cable and car power supply for 79.-EUR (ebay): HAICOM HI-204S Mini-DIN GPS Receiver

Haicom GPS receiver

iPAQ 3630

Nice software can be found for an IpaqRunningWindows. Actually I wanted to sell this fine peace of hardware but now this is beeing used as a car navigation system. The German maps take about 256MB so you might need a CF-Card (128MB, better 256MB). If you have less than 256MB you can also select a sub set of smaller maps. Without CF-Card it might only be possible to use city maps.

Palm V

The palm is used as my daily organizer. It is somewhat limited in computing power and memory but it is ideal as a simple GPS receiver.




  • external visualGPSce - Visualizes NMEA data, freeware (iPAQ)
  • external GPS Buddy - records data like latitude, longitude, UTC, date, and other data, freeware (Palm)
  • external Leadtek navigator - Visualizes NMEA data - simple, small and free (Palm)
    • This software is giving me PalmOS_Startup.cpp, Line:455, Error launching application and a reset on every 2nd launch.
  • external Cetus GPS - opensource, nonfree license. Navigation, Positioning and tracking among its features. (Palm)
  • external CruxView - shows GPS Information and can do programming of the receiver. free (Palm, PocketPC, Windows)
  • external nmea monitor - shows NMEA data (doh!), free (palm)
  • external gps4palm - Waypoint Navigation similar to Garmin's outdoor products, free, unfinished and slightly buggy (Palm)

Battery powered GPS mouse

This is the cable system that came with the receiver. Here the car power adapter supplies the GPS-receiver and charges the PDA.

                         car power 
                              |   _
                              \--| |--------> iPAQ
    GPS    ------------> >-------|_|
 receiver            mini-
   mouse             DIN 6

For using this is outside a car we need batteries, a few connectors and cheap serial hotsync cables to connect the pda. The GPS-receiver needs something between 3.8V-8V, so 3-4 mignon alkali or 4 NiCd cells should be OK. The batteries are only supply for the GPS receiver! According to the receiver specification the current consumption is 80mA @ 3.3V so roughly a runtime of 10 hours and up can be expected.

                              |   _
                              \--| |       
    GPS    ------------> >-------|_|------> >--------> iPAQ/Palm hotsync cable (serial)
 receiver            mini-               D-SUB 9
   mouse             DIN 6

Wiring of the battery adapter is quite simple:

       Mini-DIN 6 (female)                  
       solder side view                     
                                                   9-pin male
           ()   TX                     
   GNC ()      ___           RX  ---------------------o2 RX    
              |___|          TX  ---------------------o3 TX  
   VCC ()                    GND -----------o---------o5 GND      
                ()           VCC -------+   |                
           ()                           |   |                
           RX                           |   |
                                        o   o
                                      VCC  GND
                                      4* 1,5V


Links - maus.technik.gps FAQ

-- MatthiasWientapper - 06 Oct 2004 -- MatthiasPrinke? - 10 Dec 2009

Topic revision: r16 - 10 Dec 2009, MatthiasPrinke
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