Which PDA's work for Aiming?

I know that several people on this forum have experience with using PDA’s for aiming or site surveys. My question is does it matter what flavor PDA (or PDA OS) you have? I assume that whatever you get needs to have an interface to display web pages. Does PALM OS do this?

I am in the market for a PDA anyway, so I want to make sure that I get one that will serve this purpose as well.

Any general comments on that is appreciated.

Thank you.

Try the older Dell Axim Advanced (400MHz not 300Mhz) with network adapter (ethernet). You’ll have trouble trying to locate a PDA which has an ethernet connection. Same for trying to find an ethernet adapter for newer PDA as most do not use larger card slots.

I now use a laptop (old Dell Latitude CSx, cheap, works great) at exterior or in home, in conjunction with a headset at SM. I prefer not to wear the headset.

Headsets are too noisy and work fine placed near you.

Motorola Canopy has a pin out schematic (for building your own), found in knowledge base.

Have a Great day,

You could also get a PDA with 802.11b or 802.11g built in, then setup an 802.11 access point inside. You could use a wireless router or just a simple AP. Then use it wirelessly accessing the page via the PDA.

Thanks for the comments.

Using a laptop is not an option. That is what I am doing now, so that’s why I am looking for a PDA solution. We are often handing off roofs, ontop of 40’ ladders, etc., so using a laptop is really difficult and dangerous (either to the laptop or to me!)

The wireless solution is a good idea. I had not thought of that, but I would still love to have just a simple plug in device because once again, some of our installs are very difficult and setting up AP’s and finsing a good place for them, etc. could be a pain.

I will look into this though. Thanks.

I no longer use a laptop on rooftop or ladder, unless somone forgets to load 4.2.3 software.

Using the sycn port with a headset works best. Point & aiming using this method will save you time (& money). Max out pitch and tone, too easy!
I have never had to relocate a Module which I had good “tone” on.
Do your interface on the ground or in customers premises!

I don’t wear the headset and have fashioned my own.

I wish someone would build a single speaker with a short 2-4" lead to fit the sync RJ12 port?

I looked into trade overseas to create this, numbers are too small. Why the company which makes the Canopy headset doesn’t offer such an item …

I gave up on PDA’s, to only use my laptop to interface Modules, test signal and demo to customer before I explain how they make the ethernet connection and configure DHCP!
Hope this save you time?

Hmmm… Even a rudimentary search (Compact Flash Ethernet) on Google or Ask Jeeves yields a number of cards suitable for interfacing a PDA to ethernet.

Take a look here.

Hope it helps


Yes, thank you. I knowhow to use google. I am hoping someone has first hand experience in case there are any issues I should be aware of or any advantages/disadvantages with a particular platform and OS vs. others.

etech wrote:
Yes, thank you. I knowhow to use google. I am hoping someone has first hand experience in case there are any issues I should be aware of or any advantages/disadvantages with a particular platform and OS vs. others.

Just trying to help :) Did not mean to imply a lack of googling skills :D

I am about to buy a PDA and CF to Ethernet Adapter, but sounds like people are not really happy with using these? Would hate to waste the money if they are not worth it. Mainly want to use them for realignment of BHs, and for initial setup. Thinking that 1 guy would be able to do much more using a PDA, and a portable power supply (battery). Was going to get a Asus PDA and Trendnet adapter, anyone have comments?

For initial aiming, I use a set of headphones with an adapter I made (1/8" tereo jack at one end and an RJ11 at the other end) but I really don’t like the wire hanging off my neck - it’s hung up more than once. I just ordered a little piezo speaker that will run off a transister driver (which is what the tone output is on the radio) and I’ll let you know how that works.

Usually the tone gets it right the first time, but when needed I use a Dell Axim X5 with a WLan card for final tweaking. AP is a small-ish Aironet unit as it has great range.

Jerry Richardson
airCloud Communications

We use a Toshiba Libretto laptop. They’re nice and small, (not very powerful though, so not good for much else) and can be picked up off of Ebay for less than $200.

I’m not sure how you would aim with your laptop. Do you drag an extension cord up on the roof to get power to the Canopy and then plug into your laptop, or do you run an extension network cable from where you do the final for power inside the building?

And I meant only put in a wireless AP in temporarily, not forever.

I use my laptop along with a simple bypass module that I made. The module is a little surface box with 3 Cat-5 jacks and inside I simply split the power and ethernet and take it to the different jacks. One jack is “Feed” which has power and Ethernet, and comes from within the house where the powersupply is plugged in, the 2nd Jack is marked “Computer” which has only Ethernet punched down, and 3rd is “Radio” which has Ethernet and power combined again. Works great. I never understood why no one is making these commercially! :wink:

And yes I understand your point about the wireless AP. It’s just that in many cases our radio location is very far away from the distribution point in teh house. We are talking 4000-8000 square feet log homes! So often it would be hard to get the wireless signal all the way to the radio. Anyway, I am not arguing that point. It’s a good idea where it works.