Laptop, Ubuntu and Nokia LD-4W

Posted by slashme on 6 March 2010 in English (English)

So I finally bought myself a laptop which came with Ubuntu Karmic Koala, and I've got the Nokia bluetooth gps unit working properly with it. I've managed to get JOSM's LiveGPS module reading data, recording traces and saving gpx files, but it gives some nasty errors at startup - I just tell JOSM to ignore them. I can get gpsdrive and Merkaartor reading GPS data, but I haven't yet managed to get any useful maps working for them. I'll play around some more later.

My basic learnings so far:
* You need to use the "-b" option to gpsd or else you confuse the Nokia LD-4W.
* You can't un-confuse an LD-4W by holding in the off-switch for 10 seconds; that just removes all bluetooth bindings.
* As per the manual, you un-confuse an LD-4W by holding in the off-switch while plugging in the charger.
* I didn't get the dongle reading gps data by using Ubuntu's Gnome Bluetooth Preferences - I had to edit /etc/bluetooth/rfcomm.conf (instructions are available online), then add the line

DAEMON_OPTS="-b -F /var/run/gpsd.sock"

to /etc/default/gpsd . I start my gps by doing "sudo rfcomm bind rfcomm0" and "sudo service gpsd start", and then it's sending gps data to whichever program requests it, so you can have many programs reading gps data together (at the moment I'm running gpxlogger and LiveGPS at the same time).

Comment from mapsinE3 on 20 March 2010 at 15:31

I have ubuntu 9.10 on my EEE701. It works brilliantly with a BU-353 USB GPS dongle (which also needs the -b option to gpsd). The dongle is magnetic, so I can stick it to my hat with another magnet (excellent signal strength), and have the EEE in my backpack. Nobody has yet commented on my strange appearance (but I do live in London).

The real reason I'm posting here is to alert you to the awesome tangoGPS application:

- It downloads maps from OSM, and shows you where you are.
- It records tracks for you (as *.log files, these can be converted to *.gpx with the script found on tangoGPS's Documentation page so they can then be loaded into JOSM). No errors :)

# tango2gpx
for file in ~/Maps/*.log
do $file > $file.gpx

Please give it a try, I'm confident you'll like it.

Comment from slashme on 20 March 2010 at 18:05

Great stuff, thanks! I'll check tangoGPS out. I did some useful street-name, gpx and POI logging with LiveGPS today on JOSM with Nic Roets driving.

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