Author Topic: which PDA??  (Read 2982 times)

Offline SamT

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which PDA??
« on: August 02, 2009, 10:11:51 am »

Having just used DISTOX / Pocket Topo on a PDA in the flesh so to speak,  I am now converted after my initial doubts.

Thinking of getting a cheap PDA off Ebay, Don't know much about them, ( I had an old Palm which I thought was a bit crap).

Clearly it needs to have an associated Otter box.
On off button on the front helps - so you dont have to take it out of the box to turn on.
User removable battery - so you can carry a spare and change underground if need be.

I looking at a HP IPAQ H2210

Anyone any thoughts..

Offline graham

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Re: which PDA??
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2009, 11:20:23 am »
We are using Dell Axim x51v's with good results so far.
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Offline Mr Fell

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Re: which PDA??
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2009, 03:03:11 pm »
I use Dell X51v, mainly for GPS & memory map and it seems to work well.
Up yer passage !

Offline Juan

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Re: which PDA??
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2009, 01:29:50 am »
I use Dell X51v, mainly for GPS & memory map and it seems to work well.
Works for me as well: for PocketTopo underground and general PDA apps

Offline biffa

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Re: which PDA??
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2009, 12:08:49 pm »
I have a HP IPAQ 4150 which works well in Otter Box.

Offline footleg

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Re: which PDA??
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2009, 02:47:50 pm »
This is from an email I sent recently in answer to just this question:

You basically need a Windows mobile (v5 or 6) PDA with bluetooth. Beyond that, the thing to consider is battery life. There are several sellers of larger batteries for PDAs on Ebay, so look for those and then see what models of PDA they fit. Personally I have a Dell Axim 51v, which is a bit Rolls Royce but the large high resolution screen is great for surface maps GPS use (with a separate bluetooth GPS receiver as the Dell does not have it's own GPS). For sketching underground you really don't need something that expensive.

Try this link for some examples of Dell Axim models and batteries:

Or HP IPAQ models with bluetooth look suitable too:

I use my Dell Axim 51v with a 3600mAh battery, which lasts about 24 hours continuously on with the screen backlight on the lowest setting. In daylight you can use it without the backlit on at all. I protect it with an Aquapak PDA case. If it gets muddy underground I just wash it in the nearest stream. So mud and water are really no longer a problem while surveying. I have heard some people have used a Disto in an Aquapak camera case too, without it affecting the laser measure. I've not tried this myself however.

Offline DaveR

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Re: which PDA??
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2009, 10:26:31 pm »
I have the HP iPaq 2110. It seems fine, cost £30 on eBay and I got a couple of larger batteries off eBay for £20. It can charge from a Freeloader solar panel.
One thing to be carefull of, and I don't know if this is unique to iPaqs. I recently had a leak coming through a sump (the survey gear, that is!). This is well beyond 'normal' use I accept. The box was in an ortleib bag and went to a couple of metres depth, so no great pressure. The drybag leaked and when I surfaced the Otterbox screen had come adrift allowng water in. End of PDA I thought, but after drying in the sun it worked again! Only problem was it had performed a 'hard reset' and had lost the Pocket Topo software and the .net framework. I was 'on the hill' and couldn't download these so had to use Distox and paper notes from then on.
The iPaq has an 'iPaq File Store' which is hard memory and isn't lost in case of a totally flat battery or hard reset. I have now put the Pocket Topo and .net files in there, plus backed them up to the SD Card for good measure. Fortunately I had saved surveys to SD card, so lost no data. It was a bit of a relief to find them intact! Also make sure you save surveys regularly as you make them in case of disaster! A £30 PDA won't cause tears, but hours of survey data lost will be a bummer. I guess most will have thought of this, but I hadn't!
Guess it's all a learning curve, and there seem to be plenty of Luddites waiting to say 'told you so' and swat you with their waterproof pads!
I'm really looking forward to Hidden Earth where we can compare tips at the DistoX workshop... better book an all day slot, Footleg!

Questions I'll ask; How do you survey side passages and then go back to the main line? When drawing in Illustrator how do you get the scale? Why don't any of my work colleagues understand why a spend thousands every year to get drawings of caves that no one is interested in but me?


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