As a memory map and PDA user for my sat nav/GPS solution I have for three years been unable to use some of the main features on the hill as the battery runs out long before we get home, so I only use the system when navigation is tough poor visibility etc and stick to traditional map and compass for most situations (until I get lost). I leave the system on from the start of the walk until the end of the battery or walk whichever comes sooner for the data.
My real problem is, sadly I might add I like to analyse the data and store the track as a route for later, if the battery runs out on the fells I loose it all along with the navigation facility should the weather and my average traditional navigation skills turn pear shaped. I toyed briefly with the idea of buying a Satmap system until I realised that the hundreds of pounds I have spent on memory map maps would be wasted and I would have to buy them again as satmaps version.
Solution for less than fifty pounds I bought an extended life battery, (www.mugenpowerbatteries.com)for my particular PDA the battery life has gone from 4 hours to about 11 hours. The original battery 1250ma the new one 3000ma and it comes with a new battery door cover to accommodate the larger battery. It still fits in the otter box (www.otterbox.com) which keeps my unit totally water and bomb proof.
I hope this may be of some use to others if indeed there are any others with the same challenges
Not thought about a solar recharger (e.g. freeloader)?
From what I've seen they work in the UK's climate
Before purchasing my satmap i sometimes used my mio 550 PDA on the hills and too only got around 4 hours life from the battery. A satmap would be a good solution but your right about the maps, you would have to purchase their maps to get the most out of the unit. You can however still use your memory map to plot the routes on your PC and then save as a gpx file and then send to your unit. I have the full uk at 150,000 satmap maps but use Anquet to plot a route along with this web site now. I would avoid the freeloader, although a great product in theory In reality it was a waste of time, i had two (one a replacement) for the West Highland Way last year and found them useless on solar power. If you go down the road of the expensive sat map option, there are evoucher sites offering 20 % off full price purchases , bringing the cost down to around £240 excluding maps.
Depending on your PDA , these may be available for your palm top.
> Why are modern devices so power-hungry?
Psion 3MX: 16MHz, 16-bit processor. OS designed for low power use.
Modern PDA: 632MHz, 32-bit processor. Microsoft OS.
How many mobile phones use Microsoft OS, and how many use Psion/Symbian? There's a good reason most manufacturers use Symbian, and not MS bloatware.
Which prompts me to say that I'm now the proud owner of the 'latest' in Psion technology; a Revo. Yes, only 10 years too late... I thought I'd left my 3mx on the train before Christmas, but it seems that Santa's little elves managed to hide it so well that my repeated searches of the room didn't find it. Fortunately, it turned up behind the curtains...
It's prompted me to dig out all my old Psions in various states of disrepair (broken 512k 3a, broken 2M 3a, broken 16M 5mx, software, memory chips, etc). All screen cables, which seem fairly cheap, so I may repair them. If anyone wants a 1MB Flash 2 SSD upgrading to 4MB, let me know...
Yes, very off-topic ramblings, I know...
"I'd love to be able to link my Psion to a solar charger, but there isn't a single solar charger on the planet capable of doing it." ....Paddy
I thought the 3mx used AAs? Can't you recharge them in a solar powered recharger?
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