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  • Excellent gadget for phone and laptop use

    posted by georgistz on 02/12/2011
    0

    Involvement:Expert (understands the inner workings) - Ownership:1 day to 1 week

    Pros:

    Small and light, good battery life.

    Nice logging feature, works even if not connected to a phone or anything - just has to be in the "on" position.

    Quick cold start and reacquisition - just a few second after turning it on and has s position lock.

    Works perfectly with my phone (SE K550i) and laptop.

    Can be used as a standalone "black box" to track where someone/thing has been all day.

    Cons:

    Charger port is not Micro-USB (as with any newer phone), so to charge it, you have to carry its cable (which plugs in any USB charger or port, so still convenient).

    Extremely slow first position lock - took about 40-60 minutes when first started out of the box.

    No battery status indication.

    Uses USB just for charging, the data connection is through bluetooth only.

    OtherThoughts:

    After unpacking, plugging the charger and turning it on, it took almost an hour to acquire first position lock, I even thought it didn't work. But once it locked, it worked perfectly. Even after turning it off and the next day on again, it find your position very quickly. I use GpsMid (free J2ME app) on my phone for routing and tracking and it works with that without any problems.

    I didn't try the bundled app for extracting the data logs, since it's reviews were very bad, but downloaded GpsBabel and used that (works perfectly). Just select as input: Device - SkyTraq Venus based logger, init and read baudrates of 9600 and output: GPX XML.

    It shuts off the bluetooth if not connected within 5 minutes after startup to save power, so you have to turn it off and on again to connect to your phone/laptop.

    Bottomline:

    Excellent little thing, exactly what I wanted.

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