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Explain GPS to kids

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My colleague took his son of 7 years old to work. This is a realy nice kid, so once and a while this is fine.
I showed my colleague my new eXplorist. He was enthusiastic and of course the boy wanted to know why we were enthusiastic like that.

I did explain him that this gps device got the signal of at least 3/4 gps satellites and that they that were telling it where they are. By knowing that the device can make an calculation to know where it is itself…anywhere on the globe. This is the elementary version.
You could have talked about atomic clocks and the delay of the signal, but this is for an older age I would say.

I really like to explain things to others, I must be the trainer in me… But it is extra nice to explain things to kids(, especially if it is one of your favourite subjects). They are often so inquisitive.

I know, not all of them!

May 31st, 2007 | No Comments | Posted in satellites

SporTrak Color -> eXplorist 600

I’ve only got the Magellan eXplorist 600 for an (late) evening and a morning now and trying to find out how things work. Coming from a Magellan SporTrak Color it is a new way of working. The processing of the different types of data (like the gpx-files send to me by geocaching.com) will need some time investment.

I’ll get back to this!

May 28th, 2007 | No Comments | Posted in gps passion


While searching for some information on my new GPS I did find TuxGPS, a Russian initiative from 2004 to port a Linux variant (uClinux) to Magellan GPS. Unfortunately it seems that both of the projects aren’t alive anymore.

Goal of the project was/is to get an open source operating system (OS) on Magellan device to make is possible to:

Write the open source firmware that includes navigational and mapping applications using open map and database formats…his project might be helpful for studying GPS principles.

Having access to the GPS correlator hardware and open source software, you will be able to see the operation of the GPS navigation system from receiving satellites signals to decoding and processing the navigation message, and, finally, to the calculation of the receiver location from the satellites ephemerides and timing data from the signal.

I am not a techno guy, but I like people that try to push devices and software to the limit. I am a big admirer!

May 28th, 2007 | No Comments | Posted in software

Hooray Day :-D

After more than three weeks waiting, I’ve got my new Magellan eXplorist 600. The sweet mum of a good friend of my buddy Servaas and me, took it from the US for me.

It is charging now and there are still about three hours to go. The firmware upgrade (2.03 -> 2.57) and other software (Magellan Geocache Manager for example) is or ready or installed. I did put a 1GB SD in for now, but have a 2GB ready to go…

Let the playing begin! :-D

May 27th, 2007 | No Comments | Posted in gps passion