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Torn between Globalsat BU-353 and Earthmate GPS LT-40
Kyle Rogers
Hi all,

I've only recently been interested in using my laptop as a GPS device. Good thing I found this website, because it's full of information, which allowed me to narrow my choices down to 2 GPS receivers. Well, this will also be a bit about software as well, because I have 3 programs in mind. I live in Canada, by the way.

Like the title suggests, I can't decide between the 2 receivers. It seems that the BU-353 is very popular and does the job well for the cheap pricetag. I don't know much about the LT-40 but it does seem to be good as well, and apparently it's been improved from the earlier model. The price for the LT-40 is a little bit much, just because it comes with the software (which I don't know if it is good or not.)

I downloaded the trial version of Microsoft's S&T 2009 software to play around with the trip-planning and whatnot, and I'm loving it so far. I think I'd like to make that my software of choice, but iGuidance caught my attention and Garmin's software as well.

Now, will there be any conflicts with using either GPS receiver with the software that I mentioned? I'd like to keep the troubleshooting to a minimum since I'm very, very new at this.

Any recommendations as to which receiver to choose and/or software to go along with it would be greatly appreciated since you guys are more experienced with this.
tcassidy
Unless you are seriously considering Delorme Street Atlas, do not consider the LT-40. That GPS receiver will work directly with Delorme products but NOT with others. You would require an extra program to use the LT-40 with S&T, iGuidance or Garmin Mobile PC.

The BU-353 will work with all those programs as well as Street Atlas making it much more versatile. It is also a very good GPS if you are considering a USB unit.

Also, you might consider downloading S&T 2010. It has some excellent options not present in the 2009 version.

Terry
Kyle Rogers
Ah, yes, I forgot to mention that I'd prefer a USB GPS receiver. It'll be more expensive anyways to purchase a bluetooth adapter for my laptop on top of the receiver itself, unless there's a good reason to be buying a bluetooth receiver?
tcassidy
As long as the placement of the laptop in your vehicle allows the GPS unit to have a good sky view while tethered to a USB port, a USB GPS is a great idea. It does not require charging and you don't have to worry about Bluetooth dongles (as you mentioned). The BU-353 has a 5 foot cord so placement should not be an issue in most cases.

Terry
tcassidy
I will also mention that most GPS programs are available as a package with their own USB device. Delorme has the LT-40 as you discovered, Mobile PC is available with a GPS20x (also specific to that software) and Streets & Trips is available with a Navation 168, a more generic USB GPS that will work with most other navigation programs.

This can sometimes be a less expensive approach but may not suit your needs if you haven't fixed on one program. Read the reviews here of the various programs and consider what might fill your requirements.

Terry
Kyle Rogers
I think I'll go with the BU-353. I can't seem to find any Canadian online stores selling this unit for less than $50, lol...

I guess I'll just order it from amazon.com

Haha, I can't even order from amazon.com, that's just great. I guess I'll have to pay $50+ for this...
tcassidy
Don't you just love buying GPS stuff in Canada! It's like we're still in the dark ages here. The cheapest I see is, as you say, $50 at GPSCentral.ca.

I find the shipping (and possible customs) costs ordering from the US negate any savings on these low price items though.

Terry
MrUmbra
The BU-353 has worked well for me since I purchased it a couple years ago. It works fine in the car setting on front seat.

Here's a scatter plot for about 12.5 hours of fix data collected from my BU-353. It might be somewhat unfair because it was collected indoors; a multipath environment.
Attached Images
plotgps.jpg  
Kyle Rogers
After finding no alternative sources to buy the BU-353 I ordered one from GPSCentral.ca. I'm sure I'll grow to love this thing.
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