CF-H1 Quick GPS Mod

Discussion in 'Panasonic' started by Toughbook, Jan 31, 2014.

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  1. Toughbook

    Toughbook Drop and Give Me 20!

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    Okay guys... This is an easy one. Short of cleaning out toe jam... It doesn't get any easier.

    This mod cost $27 to add dedicated GPS to the CF-H1 and (did I say already) was very easy to do.

    After complaining about the dismal performance of the Gobi 2000 GPS and after reading up on it that you cannot attached an active patch antenna to it... Shawn suggested that I just go ahead and buy a Ublox 5 PCI-5s card off ebay. For $12 it was a steal. I also bought a Taoglass GPS antenna from DigiKey ($15) though, unless you want to take the GPS antenna all apart and solder your own lead... You will want to buy one with a longer lead than the Taoglass provides (4"). There is plenty of space for a larger one. Check out Jim D Gray & Assoc if needed. The antenna might be a little more expensive but I am sure you can call one of the guys there and tell them you need one with a 9" - 12" lead and they will set you up.

    So... Remove the AC, remove the batteries and all the screws that you can see around the edge. In addition to those, you will want to remove the hard drive port cover and then you will see 2 additional black screws. Then you will open your DC port cover and there is a hidden screw in the corner there. Now you should have out all the screws. GENTLY pry the haves apart. There is nothing to stop you except all the years it has been together. There are no wires attached to the back and they separate cleanly. Then this is what you will see.

    [​IMG]

    You will carefully remove the silver ground tape attached to the Gobi 2000, lift the U.fl leads from both Main and Aux spots, remove the two screws and then carefully remove the Gobi 2000. Then install the Ublox card and secure it with the 2 screws. I ad already fabbed up a Taoglass with a beefier cable for my CF-30 installations and didn't feel like shortening the cable... So I just used what I had on hand. I ran the antenna cable down the side, tucking it into corners to keep everything out of the way when the halves go back together. You can see the routing and installation below.

    [​IMG]

    Here is a close-up of the antenna in the top, by the handle. I used a piece of 3M industrial double stick tape to adhere one side of the GPS antenna to the side of the handle. I really wanted to see if that would get a good signal in that location before I made anything permanent... But I may just leave it that way for now and then open it up in a few months to make sure it is still attached. Regardless... It really can't go anywhere else. Here's a close-up...

    [​IMG]

    If you look on top of the antenna you will see a black layering. This is something I have always done with my GPS antennas after talking to the guys at Jim D. Gray & Assoc. You basically cut out 3-4 "o-ring" looking patches out of thick electrical tape... So they look like this> O... Then you layer 3-4 layers of those on top of each other. What you are trying to do is to isolate the center element so that it cannot touch anything. You don't want the center element pushing up against anything. It will degrade the performance of the antenna... So they say. In this case it was far enough away... But I still did it anyway.

    So... After all this... I booted up and held down the "key" on the lower right. This gets you into the BIOS. I used the other keys to move around once in there and saw that the GPS was already set and ready to go. I booted up and went to Ublox's site and downloaded U-Center. This loaded the needed driver (as W7 will tell you it couldn't find it!) and then will load U-Center. The GPS is on COM5 so I set that and told U-Center to "autobaud"... It was set to 9600 Baud. So... Get the GPS streaming and let it lock onto satellites. Then go into View Configuration, select Ports and set to 4800 (or whatever you want) then click on "send"... Then close that window and another box will pop up. The default checkbox should say "save configuration"... Click on send again. The go to "Receiver" and select "Save current configuration."

    After all that... I opened U-Center and was greeted with this sight!

    [​IMG]

    I still have a little tweaking to do as some of the programs seem to think that the GPS is still on COM2... But Streets & Trips and Delorme Topo worked great.

    If you have questions... Just let me know! :thumbsup:
     
    ohlip, capt.dogfish, I58SR and 2 others like this.
  2. mklym

    mklym Notebook Evangelist

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    Nice work Rick (no surprise). Makes me wish I had kept one of the two I bought off Jeff, instead of giving them away. Opps. :)
     
  3. ADOR

    ADOR Evil Mad Scientist

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    I am slowly getting everything loaded up on mine. I just got another one in, but it's missing caddy and top cover. Should of looked at the auction better, my bad. LOL Been following your posts on this Toughbook.
     
  4. toughasnails

    toughasnails Toughbook Moderator Moderator

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    ADOR likes this.
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