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GPS in rural southwest Alabama
Golfguy711
Hello All,

I am new to southwest Alabama and my travels take me to remote areas of Alabama and Mississippi. Looking for a good GPS receiver that will work with a tablet PC (Windows 10) Any suggestion and/or experiences with a products?

tcassidy
We were just discussing this. Unfortunately Win 10 built in mapping programs will not directly access a USB or Bluetooth GPS that we know of other than the U-Blox 7. I'm not sure it is still available.

The other method to use is software from https://www.gpssensordrivers.com/called GPSDirect. It can provide location sensor information from an external GPS such as the BU353 S4 and others.

See http://www.laptopgpsworld.com/5576-does-any-usb-gps-work-windows-10-offline-maps

Terry
GoneNomad
In this post, I mentioned that GlobalSat had in the past offered a GPS receiver that is compatible with Win10 built-in location service (without using GPSDirect). It uses the U-Blox chipset, which apparently is the only GPS chipset that has OEM drivers to do that.

As it turns out, GlobalSat had just been out of stock for a while, and this GPS receiver is still available.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/US-GlobalSat-GPS-GNSS-Location-Sensor-BU-353W10-Windows-10-Mappin...U-blox-/123760664682

That's certainly what I would use for a USB-connected GPS receiver on a Win10 device with no internal GPS receiver.
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tcassidy
I would agree with GoneNomad on that one. GlobalSat has a good record of successful GPS devices. I haven't tried that particular device but it sounds promising.

Terry
Ken in Regina
I'm tempted to try one. But it's motorcycle season and it's tough to attach a laptop or tablet to the handlebars.

...ken...
tcassidy
And buying from eBay in Canada almost guarantees doubling the price!

Terry
Ken in Regina
Boyd
Fifty bucks already seems like a very steep price for a USB GPS puck. I mean, you can buy a Garmin Drive 50 refurb with full one year factory warranty and lifetime map updates for seventy bucks.... . https://www.gpscity.com/garmin-drive-51-lm-with-us-and-canada-maps-(certified-refurbished)

Why is Windows so restrictive about this? Did they have a good reason to break something that used to be easy as recently as Windows 7? Perhaps something to do with privacy and restricting software from accessing your location without your permission?
tcassidy
It is not a restrictive thing. It is only that the newer mapping programs as well as the Win 10 built-in ones only respond to location information. Any Win 10 device with a GNSS chip or LTE will work just fine with the included programs. I know as I have 2 with GNSS and 2 with a cell card (sim not required unless you want service).

The other approach is just use a navigation program that understands NMEA and COM ports. As far as I can tell, they all work fine with Win 10 just as they did with Win 7 and earlier.

Terry
tcassidy
I would agree about the price though. The VK172 which appears to be the same as the u_Blox 7 seems to be under $10. I know it isn't as skookum in construction as the BU353 and doesn't have a cord. Probably a Chinese knock off but you get what you pay for.

For that matter the uBlox 7 looks like a cheap Chinese knock off. But I'm not sure of What!

Terry
tcassidy
Although I don't have the latest GlobalSat Win 10 GPS, I assume it will look like the S4. So this is a reasonable physical comparison of the two devices.




Terry
Ken in Regina
How well does the u-blox work when plugged straight into the USB port? Do you really need to add a pigtail and get it away from the computer?

...ken...
tcassidy
I haven't tried it for quite a while but I think that was the experience. Of course it depends on how well shielded the laptop is. I don't recall which device I tried it with.

Maybe Werdnanostaw could comment as I think he has used it more extensively.

Terry
Ken in Regina
I remember the Microsoft unit could be plugged in directly but also came with a cable. I think I tried it with at least three different laptops and it wouldn't work directly plugged into any. Had to use the cable and get it at least a couple feet clear.

... Ken...
Boyd
I have the old uBlox GPS that looks like an oversized USB flash drive, it was included with whatever version of Streets and Trips I bought ~10 years ago. That is - hands down - the worst GPS receiver I have ever owned. It struggled to get a signal mounted in the same spot as a Nuvi that locked on immediately.

We discussed that in some old thread, I think someone felt it was especially a problem when plugged directly into a computer. I was using a Windows 7 tablet and needed an extension cable (IIRC, one was included) for it to work at all.
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