I’ve never owned a pocket knife. I discovered long ago when my grandfather gave me my first Coleman multi-tool that a simple blade that tucks into its own handle is nothing compared to a nice multi-tool with screwdrivers, blades, saws, ect…
So when I bought my Mio C220 GPS unit for my geocaching hobby, I realized how much untapped potential was in one of these little guys. Here are the specs on the model I bought:
- 32MB RAM
- 3.5” Touch Screen Display
- 65K Colors
- Transflective LCD
- LED Backlighting
- 320×240 Screen Resolution
- Built-in speaker
- GPS Chipset SiRFStarIII
- CPU Samsung 2440 – 400Mhz
- SD/MMC Memory Slot
These generally go for $75 to $125 on websites ranging from eBay to Amazon.com. I managed to luck up and get in a $25 bid on my during a last minute bid on eBay and won. I don’t think the seller was too happy about letting it go so cheaply, but that’s what price reserves are for, genius.
The new desktop on a hacked MIO C220
So after fiddling around with it for a couple hours and figuring out how to put my own coordinate-oriented Points of Interest in there, I discovered that this was pretty much all the damned thing did. It did the job of a GPS, and did it well, but that was all it did. Not good enough for me. I am the keeper of the multi-tool, and I know from experience that if an electronic does its job well, it can probably do others just as well.
So a little Googling got me onto some websites dedicated to GPS unit hacking. I also purchased a book from ExtremeTech called “Hacking The GPS”. It’s a great read, if you are into that kind of thing. I own four of ExtremeTech’s How-To books so far.
I found that with the USB cable that came with my unit and a download or two, I could change the interface of my GPS unit and make it capable of playing music and videos. So here’s how it’s done. You’re going to need three things; A Mio C220 GPS, a USB cable, and the software package available from the following link: Download the Mio C220 Hack Pack kit
The first thing you’re going to want to do is extract everything in the pack. Put the Script folder on the C: drive. It’s easier for the transfer software to get there automatically, as it’s in another language with no option to change it.
With Windows 7, the drivers are already in the OS, so when you plug your Mio into your USB port, it’s going to attempt to install them for you. There’s really nothing you can do about it, just wait until it’s done. These drivers are absolute crap and won’t let you interface with your GPS unit at all. So go into your device manager and locate your Mio under “Mobile Devices”. Uninstall the hardware and click the box next to “uninstall driver”. Now unplug your Mio and then plug it back in. Locate the USB Driver folder from the Hack Pack and select the driver. Let it install, and you’re good to go.
Do a hard reboot on the Mio and let it boot to its default screen. Don’t touch it, just plug it in and set it down. You’re not going to be picking it up again for a while.
In the Transfer Mio C250 folder, double-click on Transfer_Mio_C250 and let it run. There will be a little icon in your task bar that looks like a broken chain. If it remains gray and broken, check your connections and your driver installation. If it is closed and gold colored, then we can begin.
Please remember this, it’s very important. There are going to be two folders named MioMap on the flash drive of your Mio, one inside the other. The navigation should be as follows: My Flash DiskMioMapMioMap. Using Transfer Mio, navigate inside the first MioMap folder and rename the folder inside to MioMap2. The button for renaming is titled “renommer”. This will preserve all your original data for your Mio. Now click on “new dossier”, this will create a new folder. Name it MioMap. Now we can begin the transfer.
On the left side of Transfer Mio, navigate to C:Script_3.24rMioMap. Copy everything in this folder over to your newly created MioMap folder on your Mio’s flash drive. Once everything is done copying, navigate one level up on the Mio to My Flash Disk and create a folder called Script. It should look like this: My Flash DiskScript. Copy everything from C:Script_3.24rScript into this new folder. When this is all finished, click on the button at the bottom right hand side of the Mio Transfer screen that says “sortir”. This will close the program. Now you can unplug the Mio.
Do a hard reset again, and then click on MioMap. A file manager will open rather than MioMap, and you can navigate the files on the flash drive. Go into the MioMap folder in “My Flash DiskMioMapMioMap” and run Autopatcher.exe. A window will pop up. Click OK and your Mio will restart.
When it starts again, you will hear the Windows Tone and will go to the same beginning screen. Select MioMap again and you will be taken to your new desktop for your Mio C220. I copied all of my maps except for Washington onto my desktop and then deleted them, leaving only my home state. Then I loaded television shows on it. Windows Media Player is fully functional and it may take a little tinkering to get it the way you want it. So enjoy your new GPS/Media Player.