Recommended GPS

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by Shane Ornelas, Feb 24, 2018.

  1. Shane Ornelas

    Shane Ornelas Lurker

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    What is the most dependable GPS you guys are using? Looking for useful information on available GPS.
     
  2. Mark Blue

    Staff Member

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    I believe it’s the US Globalsat BU353-S4. You can grab the latest drivers from their website as well. Can you tell us what map program you plan to use?
     
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  3. Shane Ornelas

    Shane Ornelas Lurker

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    Honestly I use paper maps, and a Magellan GPS to navigate.
     
  4. B. Dean Berry

    B. Dean Berry Moderator

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    I use two. I have a Magellan Roadmate standalone, as well as a computer-based GPS receiver. The one for the computer is used primarily for GRLevel3 and Mobile Threat Net.

    Currently, I use a Globalsat BU-353 magnetic GPS receiver for the computer. If you prefer holes, I have also used the Globalsat MR-350P/S4 with great results.
     
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  5. Shane Ornelas

    Shane Ornelas Lurker

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    Im thinking about giving the Globalsat GPS a try. Im left with uncertainty at times using the paper maps with the Magellan. Thanks for the info.
     
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  6. Rob Herman

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    I use a Qstarz Q1000XT GPS logger. It can be used like a puck and continues to log if your computer crashes, is shut down or goes to sleep. It also has blue tooth.
     
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  7. Mark Blue

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    I have an old Delorme BT-20 that still works to this day. It also included a USB cable for charging or connecting that way if preferred. That crazy thing has taken a beating over the years sliding around on the dashboard during the heat of the chase. It’s like the old Timex saying, it takes a licking and keeps on ticking. I have 3 extra lithium ion batteries I purchased back in 2008 from Mouser Electronics, so I always have a full battery no matter what. Bluetooth does have a certain appeal for those who want to go wireless.
     
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  8. B. Dean Berry

    B. Dean Berry Moderator

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    I like the idea of Bluetooth, but I've come to never depend on it. It seems like such a good tool, but there's something off about it. It will connect and work fine for a year or more, then an update comes, or the wind blows, or it's Tuesday, and it stops connecting. Will outright refuse to connect. This stuff has happened with headsets, speaker/mics, GPS units, even with my car stereos.

    Just one day, it stops.
     
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  9. Shane Ornelas

    Shane Ornelas Lurker

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    Ya technology is awesome when it works the way you need it to! Bluetooth, GPS ect...
     
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  10. Shawn Camp

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    Dear Dean Berry

    Does the Global sat-bu-353 have any software that must be put into your laptop first before you can use the puck ?????? how does it keep track of your location while out chasing and does it accurately update so that it updates the roads and streets and stuff like that or does it just keep track of where you are ?????? also what do you use for the roads and streets and back roads and county roads of the different states of lets say Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas so that you know where you are so that let's say you don't wind up in a ditch or on some road with no where to go or run ???????? and does that puck fit on your dash inside or outside on the roof ????????? . please get back to me on answers on these questions as soon as time allows you to do so. Thanks


    Shawn C.

    " FOX 4-WARN STORMTRACKER"

    "FOX4NEWS.COM"


    "WEATHER ONLY ON FOX 4- THE NEWS STATION
     
  11. B. Dean Berry

    B. Dean Berry Moderator

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    The puck is a GPS receiver that connects to your computer. It has a magnetic base for use outside the car. It emulates through a COM Port, and works with software already on your computer. I would recommend GRLevel3 with the road map placefile.

    Sent from my Z971 using Tapatalk
     
  12. J Tyler

    J Tyler EF3

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    The last time I spoke with Globalsat was a while back, but at that time they were officially telling customers that the company that made the chipset for the BU-353 (which is what I've run for years) was not going to develop a driver for windows 8, 8.1, or 10. I was just at their website, and they still do not show a driver for Windows 10. There was a workaround the last time I checked a year ago, but it was ridiculous IMO.

    If you want to use a mapping program like Windows Streets & Trips 2013, or Delorme (and I assume GR3) which use NMEA, you have to purchase:
    GlobalSat BU-353S4

    It is my understanding that GlobalSat has a puck specifically for Windows 10 Apps (like the Windows Map App) which does NOT use NMEA. If you want to use those mapping apps, you have to buy
    GlobalSat 05-BU353-W10

    My information may be out of date. If it is, please correct where I am wrong.
     
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    #12 J Tyler, Mar 20, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2018
  13. Mark Blue

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    I looked over their website and indeed this W10 model is what one could potentially use with Windows Maps. The other information you stated is true as well, but to avoid any confusion there are Windows 10 drivers for the S4 variant, but not the standard BU353. The BU353 is the one with the workaround for Windows 8, 8.1, and 10. Thanks for sharing!
     
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  14. B. Dean Berry

    B. Dean Berry Moderator

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    I'm partial to the MR350P/S4 that I had on a past chase vehicle. I had it working with both Windows 7 and Windows 10, and it did an excellent job.

    The downside is that it requires a hole in your roof to mount. If you see that as a downside. I don't.
     
  15. STexan

    STexan EF4

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    Are you talking about a true "GPS device" or a "GPS connect to software" setup? If you just want something that works all the time, data connection or not, and can be situated in the upper windshield corner with easy viewing at all times, and has virtually all roads down to county/city level, a Garmin GPS is hard to beat for number of reasons. I never travel or chase without one. I just never cared for relying on a tablet or laptop to critically navigate with or view current real-world position with.

    BTW, the Garmins do have a basic "logging option" but you need to download and retrieve the data within about a week before it's over-written. Also, I recommend the Dezl (trucker versions). They have some simplified destination selection options and you don't have to have a complete address if you just want to target a town center.
     
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  16. Dan Robinson

    Dan Robinson WxLibrary Editor
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    My 5-year old chase laptop (Windows 7) crashed last week, and I decided to replace it this weekend with a new one (Windows 10). I have the BU-353 puck and GPSGate. I tried the Windows 8/10 workaround shown on the Globalsat web site (basically using an older driver and setting Windows to not to auto-update it) and got the computer to see the device, but no GPS fix is ever broadcast from it ("olive" state in GPSGate). I'm not against getting the newer puck as it will probably be a more trouble-free option long term, but wondered if anyone else had this problem with the 353 in Windows 10 and was able to get it working.
     
  17. B. Dean Berry

    B. Dean Berry Moderator

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    I've had that problem in the past, and am still looking for the solution I used. It's using a text program to alter a registry entry, but you do it once, and it works. Are you getting Code 10 errors?
     
  18. Dan Robinson

    Dan Robinson WxLibrary Editor
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    I'm not getting any errors at this point - device manager shows the GPS is there and working, GPSGate also sees it but it isn't seeing any data from it.
     
  19. Drew T

    Drew T EF4

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    Granted, I have a bit of bias because I'm a trucker, but I have a Garmin Dezl GPS (the Dezl series are the trucker models). Yes, they're expensive compared to the car only ones, but they tend to have a more complete database of places to stop when you're looking for food or a truck stop to get a shower. The company I drive big rigs for provides GPS now, so I use the one I bought in my personal vehicles now. I'm also a bit old fashioned so I carry maps with me as well.

    That said, when I do have a chase partner, it's usually the same person, and I trust him completely, so I let him handle navigation when we chase together. Most others, I'll still handle at least part of the navigation if nothing more than I'm used to shouldering that responsibility on my own from mostly chasing solo and from being a trucker.
     
  20. Darren Lo

    Darren Lo EF0

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    The GlobalSat 05-BU353-W10 only shows up on Amazon and a few other e-commerce sites, but not on GlobalSat USA's or GlobalSat TW's webpages. The Amazon description looks rather unprofessional and directs you to download drivers from some weird site. I thought this was strange enough that I e-mailed GlobalSat USA about it, and got back a reply that this is a legitimate GlobalSat product. Just sharing in case anyone else found this odd.

    I have the BU-353-S4 and previously attempted to use it with Windows 10 Maps by feeding it through GpsGate and then to GpsDirect, but this setup has proved unreliable in my experience. Perhaps I will try the -W10 version with Windows 10 maps, and use GpsReverse to allow usage of legacy programs that expect NMEA. If that doesn't work then I might be forced to use both the -S4 and -W10 pucks simultaneously, despite how idiotic that seems.
     
  21. Shane Ornelas

    Shane Ornelas Lurker

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    Im using a true GPS device. A Magellan for navigation. I always keep a paper road atlas in the car incase of a technology fail
     
  22. Darren Lo

    Darren Lo EF0

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    I purchased the GlobalSat 05-BU353-W10. I'm happy to report that you can get it to work both with the newer Windows Location Service (for newer programs such as Windows Maps) and with legacy programs expecting serial interfaces (such as GRLevel3 or MS Streets & Trips) without relying on GPSDirect or GPSReverse, which both have never worked properly for me. The setup process is somewhat complicated:

    1. Go to u-blox.com and download the newest versions of the "u-blox GNSS Sensor Device Driver for Windows" and "u-blox GNSS VCP Device Driver for Windows". In my case these files downloaded without the .exe file extension, so rename them to put the extension back if it is missing. Then run the sensor device driver installer, followed by the VCP device driver installer.

    2. Plug in the puck. Open Device Manager. Check under "Ports (COM & LPT)" and verify that the "u-blox Virtual COM Port" appears there -- note the port number. Also check under "Sensors" and verify that the "u-blox GNSS Location Sensor" appears there.

    3. Try your programs with the virtual COM port to see if they work. If they do, you're done. In my case, GRLevel3 didn't work because it expects a different flavor of NMEA messages. So there is more fun to come...

    4. Download the latest version of u-center from u-blox.com. Unzip and run the installer. When the installer prompts you to "Select components to install", click on the Drivers box to expand it and make sure you check "Use Windows USB serial driver." Make sure "u-blox GNSS Sensor Driver for Windows" is NOT checked.

    5. Run u-center. In the lower left corner of the toolbar, there is a little connection icon with a drop-down arrow next to it. Expand the drop-down and connect to the virtual COM port you noted in step 2.

    6. Go to View/Configuration Dialog and go to the NMEA category. In the right-hand side of the dialog, there is a drop-down box for "Main talker ID". Set this to "1 - GP (GPS)". Click "Send" at the bottom of the dialog to push the settings to the device.

    7. Quit out of u-center.


    I think all of this only needs to be done once.

    8. Enjoy your storm.
     
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  23. Glen Heinz

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    Thanks Darren, for the write and taking the time. I've got the puck on my save for later buy list.
     

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