A Summer Day and a New GPS

I’m getting close to being able to paddle again, but not quite there just yet. I don’t want to go back too soon, and end up having to take more time off, so I’m not going to rush it. The pain is mostly gone, except for if I move my hands in a certain direction, or I put too much pressure on them. I’ll know when they’re ready, and I know that it won’t be too long from now.

My feet have been taking up the slack though, and I took full advantage of the beautiful day we had today. As luck, or life, would have it, just after I broke my right hand, and cracked my left wrist, my, new to me, Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 arrived in the mail. I mentioned, a while back, that I was going to change my GPS setup, from the ipod, that I’ve been using up to this point, to the larger screen of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2, which has a 7″ screen.

I was finding that the small screen of the ipod was getting a bit too hard to read, especially in bright light conditions. And, of course, my eyes aren’t getting any younger either. So, after experiencing these tablets, that my son and my brother had on our last trip, I decided to make the switch.

Again, I’m not loaded with cash for these types of things, so I did what I always do, I looked on ebay. Sure enough, I was able to pick up an ‘as is’ Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 for $36. plus shipping, which is a pretty good price for these tablets. I was confident that I could fix the problems that they said it had, which turned out to be a broken power switch.

I was able to order the ribbon cable, which came with the power switch, and the volume up and down switches, plus the IR sensor on it, as a complete unit. It cost me only $2. on a slow boat from China. I looked on YouTube, to find instructions for replacing this ribbon cable, and I was able to replace it with no problems at all.

When I replaced the ribbon cable, I tried to start the unit, but it wouldn’t start. I then turned my attention to the battery. I tested it, and it was deader than a door nail, and it wouldn’t charge in the Galaxy. At first, I thought I would have to buy a new battery, but I got the bright idea of taking out this battery and trying to charge it with a special lithium battery charger that I had purchased for my ebike project.

Guess what! It worked like a charm. The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 sprung to life, and it is now working just like new. Turns out, when the battery in these things gets too dead, the internal charger goes into slow charge mode, and you have to leave it charging for a day or two, in order to bring the charge up high enough so that the internal charger can switch to normal charging mode. So, it all worked out real well in the end.

I took the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 out for a walk today, to see how well it could track me. I left it turned on, in my backpack, and set it to ‘track’. I wasn’t all that confident that it would be able to track me from inside my backpack, and through all the bush, and obstacles that I would encounter.

I should mention, also, that I purchased a mapping software for this tablet, since it uses the Android operating system, and the mapping software I had for my ipod would not work with this. It only cost me $7. to buy Canada Topo Maps Pro, which is put out by a company named Atlogis. I was really impressed with the detail in the maps. They were better than what I was using with the ipod.

There are different ways you can buy this software online, and each has different pricing. I bought mine at Amazon.ca, where it was just $7. In the Google Play store, it was over $10. so it pays to shop around. Hey, 3 bucks is 3 bucks. It all adds up.

Here’s a picture of what I was using up until now;


This is a fourth generation ipod and, like most ipods, it doesn’t have GPS capability. But, it does have Bluetooth capability, so that’s why I purchased the Co-Pilot Bluetooth GPS receiver. Together they do a darn good job of keeping me from getting lost. I had no complaints about this setup, except for the size of the screen.


This is the same area of the map, on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2, in landscape mode, and in upright, or portrait mode;


You can clearly see why I would prefer the larger Galaxy screen, and there is no need for the Bluetooth GPS receiver anymore, since these Samsung Galaxy Tabs come with a built-in GPS receiver.

Also, I never used my ipod for anything else but a GPS, even though it was capable of so much more. I didn’t even play music on it, ever. I have a feeling, though, that I will use the Galaxy for more than just a GPS. I already have apps loaded onto it, and I’m still learning what it can do, and how everything works. That’s what I’ve been doing while my hands are resting up.

As far as how the Galaxy worked goes, well, I was completely blown away. Even though I had it in my backpack, it tracked my every move while I was out walking today. Even, relatively, short movements, left or right, it tracked them. Not one break in the tracking line. Here’s a segment of that walk I took, shown on the Galaxy, via Canada Topo Maps Pro;


The blue line is where I walked. By the way, the part of the track that goes over water on Horne Lake is a boardwalk. I haven’t learned to walk on water yet, but ya never know 🙂 You can switch to different types of maps in this Canada Topo Maps software. Here’s the same track on the Google satellite map;


This was a, relatively, short walk, at just under 10kms, and not into any deep wilderness, or anything like that, but for a test run, it showed me exactly what I wanted to see. I wouldn’t normally leave my GPS on, to track my movements, but it’s nice to know that it does have that capability. I was out for about 2 1/2 hours today and, when I got back, there was still over 50% charge left in the Galaxy.

One thing that does bother me about, both the ipod, and the Galaxy is that there is no auto-off on these things. I can’t believe that these companies don’t put such a feature on them, since they seem to have everything else but the kitchen sink on them. Both the ipod, and the Galaxy screens will go black, if left idle, so it’s very easy to forget to turn the power off, because it looks like it’s already off.

This is why I always like to have a backup battery. I had one for the ipod, and now I will need one for the Galaxy. Here’s what I will be ordering next;


This neat little unit is just $10. with free shipping, on a slow boat from China. It plugs into the bottom of the Galaxy, and recharges the battery using 4 AA size batteries. Of course, it doesn’t come with the batteries, but I already have a bunch of really good Eneloop rechargeable AA batteries I can use for this.

So, it looks like the switch to the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2, for GPS use, will be a winner. I’ll update any further developments, should any arise.

I just thought that I’d throw in a few pictures from today’s walk as well.


Elliot Lake from the bushes, on a beautiful, sunny, warm, but not too hot, summer day.

IMG_0052 Panorama

The beautiful Sherriff Creek Wildlife Sanctuary, which is where I walked to today.


It’s very troubling to read, in the news, how bees are dying off at an alarming rate. It’s not such a stretch to wonder why this is happening, or who might be responsible.


Wow! These are really bright red berries.


Walking along the boardwalk.


This water fountain was put out on Horne Lake not too long ago, in memory of the two women that were killed in the Algo Mall collapse. A fitting tribute, in my opinion.

So, that’s it for today. Who knows, the next post might come from the water. Then again, I do have another possibility in mind right now. 🙂


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