When going on a holiday, vacation or to SPY on your girlfriend having a GPS datalogger in your backpack would be fun and handy... I just got a brilliant idea to turn u LAPTOP bag (+ur laptop) to a PORTABLE GPS data logger, I just feel its really cool to get back home and replay your path, you could also add a open log or and SD MMC card datalogger to make it smaller....
once you get back...u can get the data and play-back u trip on google earth....and see ur self MOVE....check out the video below and see how cool it is...
Sorry for the low quality video...but the path/track animation is very smooth...
Step 1: Required!!
1.GPS chipset with external antenna feature(RPSMA connector) which gives a RS232 output
2.Mountable(Magnetic) GPS antenna
3.USB to Serial converter(prolific will do FTDI also works fine)
(any other CABLES to make connection)
5.LAPTOP(win xp/linux/win7….wat eve…)
6.LAPTOP bag (targus is good)
Step 2: Connections
Connect the USB<-----> Serial Converter to a Serial Wire...
Connect the USB to your LAPTOP and OTHER END to the GPS Receiver
Also Power the GPS with an External Battery as Shown
It is good to tape the UBB port, So that the cable wont come off or there are no loose connections!
Step 3: PC settings!
go to POWER OPTIONS from CONTROL PANEL select ur POWER PROFILE and click CHANGE PLAN SETTINGS
from PUT COMPUTER TO SLEEP select NEVER when ON BATTERY OPTION (refer figure) and SAVE the settings
select CHOOSE WHAT CLOSING THE LID DOES OPTION
select DO NOTHING from WHEN I CLOSE THE LID when ON BATTERY option(refer figure) and SAVE the setting
!!DONT FORGET TO SAVE BOTH THE SETTINGS!!
Step 4: PUTTY settings
Download PUTTY here .if u use linux use GTKTERM...
and punch in the following settings...
Before we start go to DEVICE manager (right click on MY COMPUTER >PROPERTIES>Device Manager)
Find out the COM port number assigned to your USB to Serial port converter.
Select SERIAL (bottom left hand)
Set it for 9600 baud, No parity, 8bits, No Hardware Flow Control, 1 Stop bit
now Select LOGGING(under Sessions)
from session logging select ALL SESSION OUTPUT
also click on BROWSE and SELECT where u want the log file to be saved
Also un-check FLUSH LOG FILE FREQUENTLY option
Click on SESSION now
Select Serial Port and Press OPEN(bottom),a BLACK SCREEN with GPS DATA will be visible
Step 5: The SETUP!!
now carefully close your LAPTOP lid and put it inside ur bag with the connections(u can use a pouch as shown in the figure.)
please put the antenna outside the bag as shown...
Go for a ride(on a bike), walk home, hang around with friends, Go trekking, go exploring....be creative(mind that ur laptop battery might die!!! if ur trip is really long...)
Step 6: Back at HOME...
Finally we are back to HOME sweet home...
now open your laptop...go to the location of ur log file (which putty generated) upload the file at GPS VISUALIZER and voila there u have ur TRACK!! ur PATH....
to make it more fun...download GPS BABLE select the INPUT file as NMEA 0813 format and OUTPUT as GOOGLE EARTH Keyhome Markup Language(KLM)...click on APPLY to obtain a KLM file u will get a msg " translation complete."
DOWNLOAD and install GOOGLE EARTH and FILE> OPEN select the KLM file and VOILA there u have your trip....u can move the slider on the top and see how u MOVED!! u can also see the exact time line for your journey!! ENJOY!!!