I debated what to call this project... maybe N.R.A.G for Not Really A Garmin or T.T.W.B for TomTom Wanna-be.
In the end I settled on Where Am I? ... just a "proof of concept".
I used a GSM/GPRS celluar modem I bought off EBAY dirt cheap ($20).
I mounted a modified Console Display-vx on the back of the modem's PCB. I removed the high profile DIN connectors to allow the whole thing to fit in the modems original enclosure.
You can see the SiRFIII GPS module to the right.
With the motherboard and netMicroSD-WiFi installed. This was used only for development because it allows Ethernet connectivity.
netMicroSD removed, OS image flashed, application loaded...ready for insertion into enclosure.
Bench testing with power supply.
Top view showing small DC/DC power supply module.
Bottom view showing DC/DC module battery pack and case for GPS module.
Close up screen captures...Yea, I changed the color of the zoom buttons in the final version.
How it works:
Upon power up the "Where am I" application is automaticaly launched. I used the standard SIM card from my AT&T cell phone.
Once the GPS achieves lock the the status bar is updated with the coordinates and the "Where am I" button (the bottom bar) is enabled.
When this button is touched the modem is dialed and a GPRS connection is made. The tile maps are automatically downloaded from
the Virtual Earth (Google maps also supported) web service server. There are Zoom In and Zoom Out buttons on eather side of the screen.
Onced downloaded the maps are cached and updates are much faster from then on.
The entire application is written in C#. It utilizes the GPS intermediate driver in CE (no need to parse NMEA strings...yes!).
I also have a sister project that uses a headless version (no display), uses a Compact Flash based cell modem and sends GPS coordinates via SMS text messages
on a timed interval to any email box or mobile device anywhere in the world. This projects uses several of the RIL (Radio Interface Layer) features of Windows CE and is
a much more compact design. I will post that project soon also.
The complete source code for this project as well as the OS project file is available here: