Thursday, September 29, 2016

WAZE and the ultimate display ?

OK ... maybe "ultimate" isn't there (ultimate would be a combining glass), but this is REAL close.  

I first tried mounting a 7" tablet in the center of the car console, suspended from the CD slot (holders available in eBay), but I found that to be too large as it got in the way of the radio. So I removed that and just used my phone ... which is a Samsung Galaxy Note 3 (sometimes it would lose GPS lock by sitting/lying on my seat ... or being in the cup holder).  I decided that the ideal spot for a display was right above my "4 wheel drive" button, to the left of the radio, because even if it got in the way of that button, I only have to press that button once or twice a year in winter (to get in and out of my driveway).  After looking at a few ways to mount a cell phone there, I decided on the WizGear unit:

The WizGear applies a flat metal piece (using double-backed tape) to the phone, and the round mount uses a "rare earth" magnet (Neodymium), and while I don't know it's gauss rating, all but the heaviest cell phones will stay in place.

Now, with the WizGear, the mounting for it assumes a flat surface, and the RAV is NOT flat there ... it is slightly curved.  So I used a piece of 3M 5952 Black VHB double-back foam tape on one half of the existing mounting tape, which gave it an orientation closer to "curved" ... and mounted it above the "4 wheel drive" button.

I tried using my phone, but it has a 5.7" display, which puts it into "phablet" territory ... and that size was too large.

I decided the answer was a smaller phone ... but I like my "phablet" (and wasn't going to change) so decided to use a "mini-tablet" ... and that is a cell phone.  So I searched eBay for "bad IMEI" (which means it cannot be used directly as a cell phone, but it's WiFi and BluTooth work just fine) and found an LG Volt LS740 with a bad IMEI ... it only costs $30.  

While my ageing eyes cannot read everything on the display, I find that I only need to hear the prompts ... and see if the next move is a right or left turn ... which even in this crappy picture, you can see easily.

To get power to it, I ran a power cord up, but it took several days to do that because I had to use Silicon cement ... but could only apply it about 3 inches at a time due to the curves involved.  So I taped the cord in place, and would glue only 2 to 4 inches of it every 24 hours.  Then, when that would dry, I'd apply different tape and glue another 2 to 4 inches.  After about a week, the whole cord was in place and secure.

Living with the LS740 cell phone didn't work out ... that model is crap ... lousy GPS signals, bad data points (Waze would always generate bad information, assuming I had transported 200' to a side road).  But it proved that the architecture would work ... and work well.  And while GPS ratings are NOT available on cell phones, I did find evidence that the Nexus 5's GPS is very good ... so I found a "bad IMEI" Nexus for $60 and installed that in place of the LS740 ... huge improvement in reliable GPS.

This has made me a much safer driver because now I don't ever need to look down to see my cell on the seat beside me, and the GPS directions are always right ... Waze is instead right in line with my vision ... and it's easy for me to hit the necessary points on the GUI to report accidents or to thank someone who has spotted something of interest.


Other day, I was driving to work and I took this picture from the drivers seat:

You can clearly see my Waze display easily "in view" while if you zoom in on the drivers windshield in front of me, you'll see his cell phone and charger cable in his way for good vision:
LOL ... he's going to get a ticket driving like that.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Search This Blog

My Passions