Friday, September 28, 2007

GPS In 240!!

This is a story of an old car having a new car features. I am very sure that most of you have heard about Global Positioning System (GPS). Using satellite, this GPS technology enable a real time tracking to be done. In countries such as France, GPS had been used in cars. And even some new cars have this GPS features built-in in them. So now, how do I have GPS in Malaysia; in this old brick (which definitely have no such thing as LCD stuffs).

First of all, credit to my dad who gave me chance to know and get to use GPS. He went to France about a year ago when he started to appreciate how feasible to have a GPS system inside a car. To have GPS, simple and basic things that you must have is a device that is able to transmit and receive data to and from the satellite (which can be called as navigator or transceiver), and an interface device that have software and maps to indicate your location such as a hand phone, laptop, or PDA.

In my case, I am using a HP iPAQ PDA which runs with Windows Mobile 5.0 and a GARMIN GPS 10 navigator (transceiver). The GARMIN GPS 10 navigator is connected to the PDA using Bluetooth. Note that you can also used PalmOS based PDA.

How about the software?? The software comes along with the GARMIN navigator. Maps?? The software given by GARMIN is a navigation software and of course it needs database or maps. Let say you stay in Malaysia, you definitely need to put in Malaysia's map into your handheld so that the software can use it. Maps for countries such as US and UK are expected to be available anywhere on the net. I am focusing on Malaysia's scenario. Maps for Malaysia & Singapore is available at Malsing ( Just download and follow the instructions or details on the portal. There's a lot of mappers and GPSers there.

Then, just turn on the Bluetooth on my PDA, turn on GARMIN GPS 10, and let the software track my location first before i start searching for places. I can enter name of roads, city, or even places of interests such as mosques, names of buildings, nearest petrol station. The software also provides route preference features; you might want to skip U-turn and want to choose the least distance route. It also have voice direction which is really handful because you cannot take a look at the map all the time while driving. Yes, definitely it will take about few days before you can really understand and handle the software properly; practices make perfect.

For me, I need to use this device as my current job need me to get all over customer's place on time, so that I can complete my job for the day. Believe it or not, all was done by GPS. I have to go to Bangsar area, Damansara Heights which I don't really familiar with. Sometimes GPS will asked me to go through housing estates and small roads, and before you know it,the building that you want to find is in front of you :)

Where to get this GARMIN device?? There is a GPS shop in Low Yat Plaza, I forgot which floor but this shop sells GPS related products only. I believe he can assist you as he assisted us; from hardware selection, software, and maps.

OK, may this post click up your mind to have a GPS system. Oh before I end-up, this GPS is FREE! Why FREE?? Because there is no service provider. GARMIN GPS 10 is only a transceiver device, and the rest is done by the software, so why pay??

More details?? Just drop me an email...Good Day :)

Monday, September 17, 2007

Brake Booster Failure :)

After all, today is the time for the brake booster / servo pump to fail. The first symptom I got early this morning is when I brake while driving down a slope, with just a little braking power, the tires jammed and skid for a short while before it stopped. From that point of time, I have suspected that something is not right somewhere, but then I just continue traveling to the office. Everything seems normal.

Then I have to go out to the customer's place. Driving just outside the office, while braking at a traffic light, I felt the brake became harder and engine tremble vigorously if the brake being applied hardly. I could also hear hissing vacuum leak sound. Luckily there's one VOLVO mechanic around that area and I just passed by to have him rectify that it is the servo problem.

Got it changed (BOSCH brand) this morning also :) Whew, I got back the feeling of driving a VOLVO with good braking power :) It's quite simple to DIY, but with time limitation, I just let the mechanic do.....

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Stucked In Mud ??

If you got into mud, what to do?? First, don't panic and keep revving and rotating the tyre because it will just get things worse. Second, gather some friends, make sure enough member to push the car out of the mud slowly. Then only get into the car, and speed off from the area quickly.


p/s - 240 is damn heavy to push to get out from mud, believe me.... we were really exhausted that day after pushing one 240, one Kia, and one MPV!