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Bluetooth GPS

Didn't get any bites on my last thread, but I'll try it again on a slightly different topic...

Can anyone recommend a bluetooth GPS (or recommend one not to get)? My Delorme Earthmate has been problematic lately. It requires a serial port emulator to use with other software than Street Atlas, and this seems to conflict with other hardware I'm running. The USB cord is also getting in the way, and I'd like to have something that's mountable.

Thanks
 
Skip Holux has a nice GPS Bluetooth unit on Ebay.. Cheap! compared to prices of a couple years back. I have a Gsat .. it is about as big as a cellular flip phone.. It works well.. I did have it replaced underwarranty once.. It wouldnt work aftewr a chase.. For some reason i felt it was the heat .. We had parked for a chaser gathering awaiting initiation for a few hours. the ambient temp must of been 150 degrees or more sitting on the dash in the car... im unsure..

The specs show it will withstand high heat.. So who knows.
 
I picked up a Holux GPSlim 236 on Ebay for pretty cheap. Use it primarily on my Treo 700p with the Delorme. Trying to get it on my laptop as the bluetooth unit but am having issues getting any of my programs to see it. Not sure if its the lappy or not. My guess is the unit is fine as my Treo picks it up with no problems!
 
Two votes for the Holux. I'll have to give that one a try. There should be hardware reviews on this forum. There are plenty of hardware reviews for these devices already out there, but not in the context of chasing. I was reading through cell phone reviews and I don't care how tinny the ringtones sound, I want to know how easy it is to tether and configure in windows as a modem.

Tony, what make and model laptop do you have? I have yet to actually test the bluetooth capabilities of my laptop and am leery about diving right in.
 
It requires a serial port emulator to use with other software than Street Atlas, and this seems to conflict with other hardware I'm running.

Skip,

It's important to note that no matter what GPS unit you get, you'll likely need to run a serial emulation software to share the information between apps. If the Delorme one has caused issues for you, you could try Franson GPSGate. If the issue has been one of coordinating your COM ports, then no new GPS unit will likely cure that...

-John
 
If the Delorme one has caused issues for you, you could try Franson GPSGate.

I am using GPSGate, the thing is that you need to install the Delorme virtual serial port before GPSGate can see the USB device. Are the bluetooth devices like this as well, or are they NMEA compliant, and operating their own virtual serial port?
 
I also changed to a Holux Slimline this past winter. I tested it out once and it worked well. I also upgraded because I didn't want the USB wire anymore that the Earthmate had. But you'll also need to invest in something like GPSGate now if you need to share the connection between apps.
 
I'm going out on a limb here, but I "think" this how these devices work. Normally, we use a serial port in connecting a GPS device to our computers. When using a USB port, we are doing much the same, but the USB is "pretending" to be a serial port. I'm betting that Bluetooth wireless will work much the same way.

That being said, you still have the issue of using the one serial port device among many pieces of software. It doesn't matter whether it's bluetooth, serial, USB, or whatever, it's still one device. If you have mapping software, the mapping software will hog that one port with the device.

Here's where GPS Gate comes in. It takes the one device on the "serial port" (real or imagines) and 'emulates several devices on several ports allowing you to use more than one piece of software on the serial device. Each program will be assigned a different port (You will have to do this within the software).

Delorme products are indeed serial port based gps products, but.... they are proprietary in nature. They use a non-standard code that works with the Delorme software only. Now, Delorme does have a Serial Emulation software driver that chages the way the gps device behaves and makes it NMEA compliant and allows the use of the device with other NMEA compliant software.

So to use the Delorme GPS device with anything other than Delorme software, you need the Serial Port Emulation driver. To use ANY GPS device with more than a single piece of software, you need a serial port replicator (GPS Gate is one example). I believe the Delorme Driver will also allow you 2 or 3 ports as well, but honestly, I do't remember and my laptop's not in front of me at the moment.

John Diel
 
I am using GPSGate, the thing is that you need to install the Delorme virtual serial port before GPSGate can see the USB device. Are the bluetooth devices like this as well, or are they NMEA compliant, and operating their own virtual serial port?

I haven't been able to find clear information yet, but it would appear that it also uses some translation software to get it to NMEA. I don't know that I've seen a modern GPS receiver that doesn't first need to go through software to get an NMEA compliant signal. I still would say that if it's COM port issues you're having, no new software will make that go away.

-John
 
I use the Holux 236 BT GPS receiver along with GPSGate with no issues. It's really nice not having a USB cord getting in the way. I've got mine mounted towards the floorboard (with velcro) and then just run the power and external antenna to it, works great!
 
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