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Adding Aftermarket Internal GPS to the CF-29

Discussion in 'Panasonic' started by onirakkiss, Apr 18, 2008.

  1. onirakkiss

    onirakkiss Notebook Evangelist

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    So folks, there is a new cf-29 faq created from super mnementh. :notworthy:

    on my cf-29mk5 wasnt a internal gps, but i need it.
    i bought an 54 channel gpsmouse with usb, i did not know at this time, that there are enough serial ports inside the toughbook ( i.e. near the keyboard-connector).
    I read many pages in this forum, but found no hint to integrat an gps-mouse in the computer.
    i opened the machine and there are some open connectors.
    In the site modly.org i found the schematic from the greatfull ohlip of connector cn18.
    I used the usb- and power-pins with an flatcable from an defective tft-display, for my luck an 40pin.
    Left from the handle is, if u dismantel this an hole. I dont know for what, but i used the hole, to put a mini switch with a cable soldered on it, to switch on and off the gps-mouse (50mA) over the USB-Power.
    In the closed-cover from the hole i cut an window for the switch.
    The innerside of the hole was filled with hot-glue from the pistol, so no water can float the laptop trough this hole.
    The flatcable is cuted beside the pins i need, the soldering is easy now. Its fixed with big balls of glue and a tape around.
    Gps-Mouse found her home in the little plastic-thing without her plastic-clothes, where in original the Gps is located. It was a little cutt-modification on the plastic till the GPS slips in. Be carefull not to destroy the gumlipps!
    There only on problem. Half of the antenna is now behind the magnesium so it detect only 2 instead 8 satelites outer there.
    Any reasons?


    Here are the pictures:

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  2. Modly

    Modly Warranty Voider

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    54 Channel? You sure about that? If so... Now I'm jealous and I'll have to get one :p

    But... I must say GOOD WORK! You got an aftermarket GPS setup to operate (even if it only has 2 sats).

    The reason you aren't picking up much signal though is because the magnesium blocks it, just like a hot chick's friends at the bar. (They both see what you are trying to do and shut it down ;) )

    That is why we have all gone with external antennas on our 28's.

    But so far, I must say you are doing a great job!
     
  3. Toughbook

    Toughbook Drop and Give Me 20!

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    You have the right idea but the wrong hardware. You need a smaller antenna so it will fit all the way in the end of the black plastic trim. I ran into a similar situation stuffing a big GPS antenna into the bumpout of the CF-28... 2 satellites and that is all.


    You need a small GPS antenna! Good work though... Another person not afraid to brick a laptop... You gotta love it!
     
  4. klboo

    klboo Notebook Evangelist

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    Nice write-up! I don't have a cf-29, but enjoyed the post and the pics. Probably one of the more audacious mods posted since the old days of exploring the RIM card on the 28. Soldering to the ribbon cable must have been difficult.

    Good job!!
     
  5. onirakkiss

    onirakkiss Notebook Evangelist

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    @modly look i.e. at ebay# 170210250926 or try it on google
    ur funny!(...drunken? :D)

    @toughbook My apologize: i did'nt know, which dimension the antenna of the mouse has till i had it in my hands and opened. I hoped the mouse is sensitive enough, but the half area of the antenna is behind the metal.


    did anyone switched the antenna from a mouse to an external?
     
  6. onirakkiss

    onirakkiss Notebook Evangelist

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    Thanks for ur positives and hints.

    I solved the antenna-problem:
    unsoldered the shield and the antenna from the gps-mouse and connected with a short piece of RG174-cable together, so it fit better into the sidecover.
    Now at the moment i have Indoor 4 and outdoor 8 satellites! :D I reside in forest....

    In the shielded case of my hilux, the toughbook on the seat i got during i drive from the cloudy sky 9 to 12 satellites, more are not visible with my software...

    Here are the pics:
    (take a look at the 3V-backup-battery)
    [​IMG]

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    (don't look so close)
    [​IMG]
     
  7. huntler

    huntler Notebook Guru

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    I'm very impressed!! It looks like we are getting somewhere. Do you guys think the same gps engine your fittig into the cf-28 would work? I don't much like the external antenna though. It seems if you could get the parts for the factory gps cheap it might help with fitting a antenna in the larger plastic housing.

    i remember tb saying it was cheaper to get the kit than the parts but if you only need the plastic housing. How muh could that cost??
     
  8. Toughbook

    Toughbook Drop and Give Me 20!

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    I think the plastic housing is pretty much the same. The hefty prices were mainly for the stock GPS antenna and engine. The prices for the other stuff is all over the place. Yes... I plan on using the same EM-408 to to install in the 29. My original thoughts were to unsolder the patch antenna that comes with the 408... But you will need an active antena to get through the plastic housing. I found one that works on the bump-out in the 28 (FINALLY!) I can't remember the model number off hand but I bought it off of usglobalsat.

    Good stuff here onirakkiss... Keep up the good work!
     
  9. onirakkiss

    onirakkiss Notebook Evangelist

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    This is an add-on to my first post in this thread.
    To prevent of an run-down of the accu, i built in an switch on the left frontside. But if someone forget to manually switch off the GPS, if the notebook is switched off, there is regardless 5V voltage on the GPS. To avoid this, i connect the line from the switch now not with cn18, but with the power of an external USB-port.

    Pics:

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    [​IMG]
     
  10. ohlip

    ohlip Toughbook Modder

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    Ok! guys, for the head up, I managed to work the EM408 to CF-29 toughbook on a first stage. Unfortunately it is connected temporarity outside the notebook. The data is streaming but i don't have yet complete materials to verify its reliability like for example, I don't have yet the sarantel antena. I will publish all the pinout and diagram after I complete the whole thing. For initial report, here is the picture for your reference.
     

    Attached Files:

  11. mnementh

    mnementh Crusty Ol' TinkerDwagon

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    I like the second picture... the first one is too messy...:tongue:

    Good job... It will be interesting to see what it does with the Sarantel antenna...
     
  12. Toughbook

    Toughbook Drop and Give Me 20!

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    Ohlip... It's funny that you mentioned this today. I just got in a 29 for my GPS testbed. I planned on just unsoldering the antenna that comes with the EM-408 and using some thin coax to connect it to the main module. Then I can slide it over into the stock position. I'll report on my progress when I can.

    Can you post a quick pinout... I already know pretty much where they need to go but I'd like to cross-reference it with yours.

    Thanks,

    Rick

    EDIT - This is the GPS antenna that I used on another application in the CF-28. I snugged it into the stock GPS "hump" after dremeling a little more room on the inside. It IS an active GPS antenna so it gave me pretty good results. Not quite as good as the Sarantel... But then nothing on the civilian market will! Here's the link...

    http://www.usglobalsat.com/p-250-at-65-portable-active-mmcx.aspx

    There are two screws on the bottom of the case and the RG-174 is, of course, easy to splice.
     
  13. ohlip

    ohlip Toughbook Modder

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    The first one is for testing the engine temporairly if it works or not the wiring I created. I even used the drop down regulator that I ask to you(Mnem...) before and it works too. I pulled out the regulator, connect the engine directly to 5Vdc and it works even more with the help of enable/disable function of the engine to drop down the voltage to 3.3Vdc

    ohlip
     
  14. ohlip

    ohlip Toughbook Modder

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    I tried 3 type of patch antena to the original location the small one big one but its not to good. I only got 7 satellite, 4 fix but anyway its indoor. Tried again with extension cable about 2 meters and place outside the windows, in sec. its full on winfast nav and only one is not fix.

    Now! I have to cancel one of my cf-29 on ebay to retrofit with em408. Sucks, ebay still charge me for listing fee.



    ohlip
     
  15. Modly

    Modly Warranty Voider

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    Antennas are the largest downfall to us :D

    They are either great, but exposed, or well protected and obtain signal like my grandmother receives reality.

    However, I did mean to tell you when you got back, we gotta send out a GPS hump to regist1. He works for a plastic molding company and could probably make us some modified humps.

    I'm wondering if we could make a hump that lets us fit the sarantel vertically inside of it...
     
  16. ohlip

    ohlip Toughbook Modder

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    I am thinking about if the bump out is a bet wide or can be extended out to place a regular patch antena. It will gonna be much better coz I observed that when I take it out the antena and place on a palm rest area it has big dif...ce.


    Anyway, I already order a sarantel antena from JG. Hope it will be here before the weekend so that I can confirm to you all guys if is a big success or not



    ohlip
     
  17. Doobi

    Doobi ToughBook DeityInTraining

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    I have had very good luck with the JG antenna and mounting it to the stock RIM location on the 29. Very little cutting, and, unlike the 28, you don't need to cut the seam of the unit thus keeping the integrity of the lid. All you do is slick a little bigger hole than is already there and the JG slides right down in. The existing hole is rectangular, and is very easy to enlarge just enough to slide the JG body in and lay it flat. It's almost as if the design of the JG, a little smaller, is made for this kind of hole. I will try to take some shots this week to show you what I mean. Anyway, once that was done, I then enlarged the hole on the plug with a Forstner bit to fit the outer cover of the JG, and slid the plug over the cover. Epoxied that up to maintain water seal, installed the plug, inserted the JG from the rear (hahahaha he said rear) and now just need to secure it down with some hot glue or tape and it will be GTG. I have already tested it's durability several times (on purpose) and it is VERY forgiving. I think anything short of dropping it right on the antenna, at an angle, will survive. Now I just need a new antenna and the 408 mod working, and I will be happy (yes, I said new antenna; no, my testing didn't break it; it was my dumb arse cable run that got pinched in the hinge and spliced the line). So hey, if anyone wants just the JG antenna, with a slightly used, hardly-notice-the-break-in-the-line cable, send me a PM and we can work out a price.
     
  18. ohlip

    ohlip Toughbook Modder

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    Doobi, Mail sent, it work perfectly. Thanks again for the materials.


    ohlip
     
  19. mnementh

    mnementh Crusty Ol' TinkerDwagon

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    Heh! That's the same amplified antenna I used with my Magellan RoadMate 760 so I could stash it above the sunvisor instead of in the dash! It worked great for almost a year until I upgraded to my current Garmin Nuvi 200W!

    The Roadmate was a lot more accurate with the active antenna... but that SirfStarIII based Garmin gets lock SO much faster... and of course, I was d@mned if I was gonna pay Magellan $100 for the map update when I got the whole Garmin with 2008 Maps for $169.00 from Buy.com, plus it's widescreen with photo viewer & builtin 6 hour battery, so easily pocketable.

    mnem<~~~ Where am I?*
     
  20. Toughbook

    Toughbook Drop and Give Me 20!

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    I'm thinking... If you want to go that route... That we should mold one similar to the CF-30. That way we could still have it on top of the LCD but it would be covered. Now... Here's the issue.

    I had a long series of emails back and forth with Jim Gray. I had installed the Sarantel antenna inside a "protector" ... Basically like what you are talking about doing. You have to have the Sarantel antenna laser tuned IF you install it INSIDE something. This is no problem... All you need to do is to order a minimum of 10,000 antennas for them to do this.

    I feel that the LCD mount is best. Right now I have a customer whose GPS drops out while he is typing as his hand covers the antenna!

    Anyway... Bedtime for Bonzo...

    'Night!

    Uh... Yeah...
     
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