October 23, 2009

The phone arrived today! It’s pretty heavily scuffed on the face, but aside from that works fine. I would have posted about it earlier but a) nobody reads this blog, and b) I was busy testing tracking applications. I installed InstaMapper, a free java GPS tracking application, and also AccuTracking, a paid version of the same. From my research, they seem to work mostly the same, although AccuTracking has a more polished feel to it. It also seems to have a larger buffer to hold unsent location updates, which is probably the most handy part. I managed to get them both installed following instructions here, and got them both running at startup following instructions located here. Basically InstaMapper is running as the only allowed “Full-Time App” in the Java settings, and AccuTracking is running under Personalize > Settings > Power Up. I don’t know if I will keep both running all the time, but while I test location feedback (having the phone and driving around with it), etc, it seems the best way to see which I like more. I’m also toying with keeping both running, just to have some redundancy, but I need to see what sort of battery life I get first. I also need to purchase a USB battery charger, and look into if I want to attach an external antenna or not. I’ve seen some cheap ones on eBay, so I may go for one just because it seems better to have than to have not.

I also ended up hacking up a CHDK uBasic script (Ultra Intervalometer) to do some more things, mostly dealing with turning the LCD display off after taking a picture (the camera turns it on automatically) and logging some information to a text file whenever it takes a picture. I ran through a set of batteries just getting that working, so I still need to test out what sort of battery life it gets. I noticed that two of the previous launches that used an A70 seem to have the camera set to an f-stop of 9, which I can’t reproduce; they may have been using an earlier version of the firmware that apparently allowed you to specify an erroneous f-stop, or possibly I’m just overlooking something. Going to keep digging there.

I’ll try to get some pictures up sometime soon, been too busy poking things to make nice pictures, but I’ll get around to it!