I've bought myself a GPS logger. After some window-shopping I decided to go for the BT Q1200
. Even though the thing costs about 125 euro
in Dutch shops, I found one for 105 dollar
. Add 30 dollar for shipping and deduct 5 dollar (10% discount coupon found with google
(BGN01 ;))) this comes down to 130 dollar, or with the cheap dollar 87.50 euro
Anyways, I ordered the thing last Friday, but they were closed until Monday for the holidays. It arrived today. So that's pretty good. Did have to pay by a google checkout service (new, I think) because my paypal account didn't have a verified address? And then stuff isn't insured, whatever. Google worked fine. Two days later it was at my doorstep. Nice.
The downside was a 110v (American) adapter. We use 220v in the Netherlands so that's quite useless for me. Fortunately the Q1200 uses USB to connect to a pc AND to recharge, so simply hooking it up to my computer does the trick just fine. So if anyone needs a 110v USB adapter...
The device is smaller then I expected. Good thing ;) Came with a cover I'll probably use. Even though it didn't have a hole for the USB connector. Nothing a pair of scissors can't fix.
At first sight it appears as if the device has a large display. Then the display will appear to be a solar panel allowing you to recharge the device so it can operate up to 48h longer. Of course this is a manual estimate so it's probably much shorter, but it's a very nice feat.
The device worked right from hooking it up. Finding a satellite took a little longer, but that's probably because it had to lie next to the window. The reception of GPS signals is very sensitive to buildings and other blockage. Installing the drivers and software was a piece of cake. A minor software update was available on the internet, but I saw no difference. No matter. The program gives you a nice interface to the device, which only has one button and no display.
Now the most important of the whole thing, navigation. The Q1200 supports several protocols. Even though they're not explained (not even typed out) in the manual or the software, google came to the rescue to explain them. It's right about that time I discovered the accuracy of GPS is not as accurate as I had hoped for. But I'm going to have to live with that, in favor of American national security. The reception is pretty stable and the coordinates roughly correspond with google maps. Tomorrow I'll be taking a trip around the Netherlands (no, not to test the device but to congratulate my mother on her birthday :)) and afterwards I can see how it behaved.
It has several settings and intervals at which it can log. This ranges from 1 to 999 seconds. The (huge...) disadvantage is that you can only set these by the interface on your pc. And I do mean pc, because they only work on windows xp/2k3/vista. Luckily I'm using one of them :)
The only glitch I've seen so far is the unstable altitude gauge. It's ranging between -10m and +60m, which is quite a difference. For your information, the Netherlands is quite a few meters below the sea-level. But at the moment I don't know what the normal deviation is for altitude with GPS.
Anyways, later more :) Tomorrow or the day after tomorrow I'll be getting my Nokia N95. More fun fun fun :D At least, I hope...