by: John Applin
This is a tiny bluetooth GPS receiver which I bought from Mobile Fun Ltd, I bought this to connect to my O2 XDA 2i PDA and it cost around £40. I was intially looking on google for cheap GPS receivers and this came up as the cheapest. I thought at that price they'll be a catch, and the catch usually being poor performance, but I was pleasantly surprised! This thing really does work, and works well!
After searching for initial reviews on this device I came up with very little other than the reviews from Mobile Fun Ltd, which I was reluctant to trust for fear of them being somewhat biased. I thought for £40 I'll take a chance and so bought it, all credit to Mobile Fun the receiver arrived the very next morning. Upon opening the box I was a little disappointed, all the there was by means of instructions was a small sheet of paper that had been loosely translated from Japanese to English by a dyslexic toddler. You can download the user manual from here and the Tomtom pairing manual from here. After following these instructions you will have it set up in no time. Another thing I noticed was that there is no manufaturer's name or marks anywhere on the device or the packaging, which makes searching for support quite difficult.
A nice touch with this little device is that it is supplied with a battery that is common to a lot of Nokia phones (3.7V 850mAh Li-polymer battery, BL-5C), a quick search on ebay means that you can get replacement batteries for these receivers for about £4 which is good to know should you need one.
What's In The Box?
Bluetooth GPS Receiver x1
12v In Car Adapter (USB) x1
Basic Instructions x1
USB Charging Cable x1
Provided you follow the limited instructions for pairing with your device, and the Tomtom setup instructions, you should be up and running in less than 5 minutes. I have only charged the receiver once since I bought it about 2 months ago, the battery just seems to last forever! The supplied in car charger and USB cable means that the receiver can be charged on the move from a 12v source and can also be charged from any PC or laptop. From cold start up the receiver aquires a usuable GPS signal exremely quickly, quicker than most of the really expensive GPS receivers that I've come in contact with. The device is extremely small and can easily fit into any space in your car, or even your pocket if you're using it for walking or cycling.
One small problem I did have is that when using it with my XDA 2i the Tomtom software would often freeze and cause me to stop the car, reboot my phone, then carry on my journey. At first I thought this was the result of the XDA losing its connection with the bluetooth receiver and hence confirming my fears about the price of this product. It quickly became apparent that this was not the case and it was in fact an issue with my PDA and the Tomtom software.
I quickly discovered a workaround for this issue between the Tomtom software and my XDA that enables the whole system to work flawlessly. I shall write a 'how to' on this workaround shortly as I'm sure many other XDA 2i users share the same problem.
I do know that there is a known issue when using any bluetooth GPS receivers with the O2 XDA 2 (note not XDA 2i) due to the bluetooth stack settings that are shipped with the phone, please be aware of this before buying this device as you are sure to encounter problems.
Compatible with TomTom, Navicore, and all major GPS software packages.
12 parallel satellite-tracking channels for fast acquisition and reacquisition.
Provides superior navigation performance in city environments.
Built-in rechargeable Lithium-polymer battery provides more than 10 hours of constant use.
Unit can be charged with the included car charger while still in use.
Mini-USB charger compatiblty, charge not only the Bluetooth GPS Receiver but also compatible PDAs & Smart Phones with the same charger.
3 colours LED to show the status of Bluetooth/GPS/Power activities of this device.
GPS receiver: L1, C/A code, 12 channels
Tracking sensitivity: –152dBm (average) or better
Acquisition sensitivity: –139dBm (average) or better
TTFF (Time to First Fix): Cold Start: 50s (average) / 60s (95 possibility)
Hot Start: 2s (minimum) / 6s (95% possibility)
Positioning accuracy: Standard Positioning Service (SPS), WAAS (optional) 2DRMS: approx. 5m
Measurement data output: Update time: 1 second
NMEA output protocol: V.3.01
Baud rate: 38400 bps (8-N-1)
Type: GGA, GSA, GSV, RMC
Power consumption: 75mA (average)
Bluetooth: Bluetooth version 1.2 compliant
Class 2 operation (up to 10 metre range)
Serial Port Profile (SPP)
Output terminal: Type B Mini-USB (TTL Level)
Antenna Type: Built in Patch Antenna
Battery: 3.7V 850mAh Li-polymer battery, built-in charger
LED: Power (red), GPS (green), Bluetooth (blue)
Dimension: 64(L) x 39(W) x18.5(H) mm
Operating temperature: -20°C ~ +60°C
Storage temperature: -20°C ~ +60°C; Battery: -20°C ~ +45°C
A great little device that performs well beyond its price range. Check if there is any known issues with your device and bluetooth GPS receivers before purchase as this will save you a lot of headaches. The only thing that lets this product down is a lack of documentation and online support, other than this well worth the buy!