GPS - Bluetooth compatibility with ArcPad 7.1 map program
Greg Johnston
I'm new to GPS World and, based on what I have read, it seems like there is some very good advice given. I have a Fujitsu Stylistic w/a Bluetooth-ready XP Operating System (utilizes USB Bluetooth Driver - V2.0+EDR). I utilize an ArcPad 7.1 program for GPS input and map updates. The ArcPad 7.1 accepts the NMEA-0183 protcol for GPS input. I want to use configuration in the oil patch to locate and verify wellfied locations throughout Wyoming.

My question is this: Can a Bluetooth/GPS set-up (I'm looking at a Parrot CK 3300 Phone Kit w/GPS module (NMEA-0183 protocol) or any similar system) be utilized through a Parrot Dongle (V2.0 - 3Mbps max speed) to receive wireless GPS input to the ArcPad 7.1 program? Are there issues with rate-limiting input speed through the Dongle? Any advice on either the Bluetooth GPS hardware and any potential software issues would be greatly appreciated.
Speed of the connection is not an issue. However, the likelihood that the GPS signal is actually available from the phone via Bluetooth is slim. Often the Bluetooth functionality of the phone is limited to using a headset. You will have to review the device specs a little more closely. What is the pupose of the dongle?

A normal Bluetooth GPS receiver would work. However, most of the devices discussed on this site are consumer level. They would probably not have the features for the accuracy you might require.

Greg Johnston

Thanks for getting back to me on this. The whole intent is to get away from a connected "wired" system to the Tablet because I have problems with the GPS receiver card connecting into the Fujitsu. The thing keeps breaking off at the point connecting to our GPS adapter, so we are looking at a wireless set-up. Also, I do multiple tasks with different tools at the same time, so having a wireless connection would be awesome. I was hoping that GPS input via Bluetooth could be used. The Bluetooth USB dongle, I believed, is needed to pick-up the GPS signal off the Bluetooth (via Bluetooth V2.0 Driver) and transfer to ArcPad program in the Fujitsu tablet. I am a neophyte to all of this and may not be stating things exactly as intended, so please forgive me for that in advance. The only specification on in ArcPad is that the GPS use the NMEA-0183 protocol in order to communicate with the software. As you say, I may need something more sensitive and appropriate for the intended application.

I thought the Fujitsu had built-in Bluetooth. I now understand it doesn't and that is why you are using a Bluetooth dongle. Ok so far.

Most recent Bluetooth GPS receivers are sensitive enough and have excellent acquisition times. My concern was that you may want better than 5 - 10 meter accuracy. I understand ArcPad is professional software and using consumer GPS devices may not provide the results you need or expect.

Ken in Regina
Terry, it looks like the CK3300 is not a phone. It seems to be a handsfree thingy for use in your automobile that will connect to your smartphone via Bluetooth. Parrot makes multiple models of the handsfree phone thing and the CK3300 looks like more of the same but with a GPS receiver built in.

I wasn't able to find a lot of documentation on it but it seems like you can pair your smartphone so that you can make handsfree phone calls from your smartphone and at the same time you can use the GPS receiver signals from the CK3300 to run nav software on your smartphone.

I wasn't able to find any specs on the GPS receiver but if it's current technology it should be as good as any consumer grade receiver. One issue would be where you can mount the Parrot unit .. can it be placed so the GPS receiver module in it can get a good view of the sky?

Another issue is the Bluetooth pairing. Does it establish two seperate connections with the Bluetooth device (smartphone, whatever)? Or does it expect to do everything over a single connection? There's info on the site about using the GPS with a variety of different smartphones but nothing about how to use it with a laptop.

My concern would be whether the Parrot unit will pair with both a smartphone for phone calls and a laptop for GPS at the same time.

I would want some confirmation from the manufacturer before I would spend any money on the device, or make sure I got it from a supplier who will take it back, no questions asked, if it can't be made to work with the laptop for GPS navigation.

From the looks of it it's going to have a pretty standard GPS receiver in it. Don't know how good the internal GPS antenna will be. I would personally be a lot more comfortable going with one of Parrot's handsfree widgets without the GPS and get a good Bluetooth GPS receiver, like Garmin's GPS10x, that is known to be an excellent performer. Pair the Parrot with the phone and the GPS receiver with the laptop, put the GPS receiver way up at the windshield where it can get the best view of the sky and you're in businesss.

Oh yeah, a Bluetooth dongle for the laptop. Greg, if you're having problems busting USB cables off of things, get one of the new teensy USB Bluetooth dongles that only stick out about 3/16" or 1/4" from the USB port. They've become cheap as dirt and work as well as the ones that stick out an inch or two.

Greg Johnston
Ken and Terry,

I am really more interested in using the GPS only, not having the wireless phone available, so the Garmin GPS receiver may be a much better option along with a smaller dongle for mobility. I will definitely make certain the combination will work with the tablet in advance, or at least assure I can return with full refund.

Thanks for your input,

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