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GPS Project

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duyduck

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i am going to build a project for my school and decided to do a gps project. I will want to create a gps receiver, and have it display to an lcd just like any normal gps receiver with a color display. I also wanted to set up a heads up display to integrate it all together, so i am making a heads up navigational display. This is a senior project that i have to do to get my degree at devry university. Any ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. My goal is have a a integrated system using gps, probably a 5in lcd screen to view the map, and a projector to display the identical map on the lcd screen to the windshield as a heads up display. Can anyone give me any help on this idea? Thanks.
 

crust

Member
This seems very ambitious for a senior project. I think the receiver is the easy part. The difficult part will be handling mapping on the LCD. It would be much easier to perform the mapping on a laptop for instance. Implementing a trip computer, however, should be straightforward.
 

duyduck

New Member
does anyone have any ideas where i can map the gps on the lcd without a computer? Is this the only way to do it? How do built in navigation work on cars, since they run the navigation on an lcd w/o a computer? Thanks.
 

crust

Member
The navigation system built into cars does in fact use a computer (and many use DVDs to store the map data). It is not going to look like a traditional desktop PC, but will be an embedded machine, probably with an integrated controller for the LCD and DVD drive as well as an interface for a touchscreen or pushbuttons. My portable GPS uses a strong ARM processor and I would guess the systems in cars probably use a more powerful and faster CPU since power consumption is less of an issue.
 

duyduck

New Member
how would you suggest i go about doing this? Probably using a single board microcontroller to hook up a gps engine and, how would i use an lcd with it as well? I understand this is an extensive project, i just need to be led in the right direction. Thanks.
 

crust

Member
Get an LCD that has an integrated controller, then you can just send it commands and data to display on its screen. It handles "how" to actually draw the letters and numbers.
 

duyduck

New Member
I would like to thank you for the help you have given me so far. Its starting to seem more and more difficult the more i think about it but i will not become discouraged. It seems to me that you have done a similar experiment, or have done something of this nature. I would like to have some more information about how this all works, because i feel a little bit lost. If you could explain to me about how the integrated controller on the lcd works for a gps, it might help me a lot. For the lcd, i can't seem to find a graphic lcd with an integrated controller like you said i needed, maybe its because i dont understand what it quite is, sorry to ask but i need more direction.
 

crust

Member
Ok, I *still* think that the graphic LCD will be very difficult to do given that this is a student project -- I am guessing the time line is limited. Some graphic LCDs will allow you to address each pixel individually. For instance, you say "set pixel 100,12" to graylevel 3 or something like that. On other displays, you must redraw the entire screen. Clearly, the first type is easier to work with because it contains a framebuffer memory and the logic to address/control the display. The second type has a memory, but you reload the entire memory when you want to make a change to the display. So you must have your own framebuffer and/or recompute the image anytime you want to make a change. I would get started on this project as soon as possible, because you will spend a TON of time writing the software.
 

duyduck

New Member
i see, so basically the only way to do this is by writing each pixel in one at a time, according to where you move. If that is the case, i would probably have to shy away from something like this, because it would take me months just writing a program for it. The timeframe i have for this project is about 8 months, i would probably have better success using an the gps engine and integrating it to a pda or such, and writing a program to have the pda connect to heads up display? What would you suggest? It needs to be extensive enough to take about 8 months of planning and building, let me know what you think.
 

crust

Member
Your original project described something very similar to my personal GPS receiver which is an etrex legend. I would suspect garmin spent a couple of man years just writing the software for the device. And yes, I think that project is quite complex. What you probably could do would be to forget about the graphic display and instead use a text display and some memory. You could build a simple system that would incorporate a trip computer (velocity, speed, etc) as well as a memory to record waypoints. Even backtracking to the waypoints would not be terribly difficult if you just print out the direction in terms of degrees rather than actually drawing a compass.
 

duyduck

New Member
i would make it a text display, but there isnt much unique about that in which the heads up display would be something very similar to the ones in gm cars already. i would probably would want to use an ique, that has gps, hook it up serially to a projector to be used as a headsup display, cahnge some settings on the ique, or something of that nature. Does that sound like something possible? The project just needs to implement hardware and software together.
 
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