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Bluetooth GPS Receivers - any guidance?
obrienj
No pun intended in the subject line.

Seriously, anyone have any guidance on the subject of Bluetooth GPS receivers? chipset, construction, iGuidance compatibility, better brands, etc.

Use will be with both a laptop and a ppc.

Regards,
Jim
Marvin Hlavac
Jim, as far as sensitivity to weak satellite signals, I think any brand new GPS receiver today is very good in comparison to what was on the market few short years ago. Perhaps units based on the SiRFstarIII chipset still have a slight edge, but not so much that it would prevent me from buying another product, if another product has other features I want.

Generally speaking, a piece of wire is more reliable than a radio connection, so I tend to favor USB GPS receivers over Bluetooth ones. But in case of your PPC it very likely is much more convenient to use a Bluetooth unit.

In advertisements do ignore (completely) any mention of number of channels, or number of satellites a unit can track simultaneously. Also ignore if a unit has or doesn't have WAAS. These are features which make absolutely no practical difference to end users. Also ignore if a unit can be configured to anything higher than 1Hz, because no software supports it anyway.

The single most important feature may be battery life. Some units offer automatic power on / off feature, which I would recommend as it will likely extend the battery life since you will not have to remember to turn the unit off when you no longer need it.

Semsons has a vast selection of Bluetooth units.
obrienj
Marvin,

Thank you, that was just the kind of info I was looking for.

Regards,
Jim
obrienj
Marvin,

I've decided on a "wired" solution, the GlobalSat BU-353 as long as it functions with iGuidance 4 and Franson's GPSGate (I have need for multiple GPS data users on my system).

Can you verify that and please advise if there is a "better" hardware option.

And are there any other dongles, widgits, other stuff that I must order or, if these two products work together, do I plug in the unit and install the software? (Of course with all the proper installation caveats)

Regards,
Jim
Marvin Hlavac
Perhaps most laptop computers these days do have a built-in Bluetooth capability, so no USB-Bluetooth dongle is needed in most cases. BU-353 is an excellent unit. It will work with iGuidance 4 (and so would most other receivers).
BobGPSr
I got a Garmin Mobile 10 to work quite nicely with my UMPC (a Fujitsu U810). SiRF III chipset, WAAS enabled, and 22 hours battery life. Can be recharged with a USB connection.

To get it to work with Google Earth Plus, I had to hand assign com 6 to be used. Also must keep it in NMEA mode -- so after a GPS power-on do not run the included nRoute software which flips it to Garmin PVT mode.

I like the ability to put the little thing flat on the rear window deck in the car.
BobGPSr
BTW wearing the Mobile 10 on the included beltclip and walking with using the GE+ as a moving map (one handed UMPC display) works very nice also.

Next will be trying out topographic maps.
onavatte
I've been using a Blutooth Garmin 10 for 3 years now and I'm still very happy with it. I used it on PPC but I'm curently switching to an UMPC (that's how I've discovered Laptop GPS World ) and actually don't plan to change my receiver as it does the job !

Another nice advantage of bluetooth receivers is that bluetooth drivers already map the GPS receiver on COM ports. So unlike USB receivers, they can be used directly with many GPS softwares in serial mode without the need of FransonGate.

By the way, thanks for the advice Bob, I planned to use Google Earth Plus as well and will remember the proper settings to use now.
tcassidy
FYI
Almost all USB GPS receiver drivers map the USB to a COM port also. The exception is the Garmin GPS20x. I understand that with Delorme units such as the LT40, you must tell the program to install the driver for COM port functionality.

I had a Garmin GPS 10 Bluetooth receiver but changed to the 10x(Mobile 10) when I went from Que to XT on my PDA. Both are excellent receivers and start in NMEA mode. I will note that Garmin Mobile PC on my UMPC attempted to upgrade the firmware on my 3 year old GPS10. A failure of that procedure rendered the GPS10 useless.

Terry
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