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GPS & Bluetooth

Being the proud owner of an Orange SPV C500 phone, I decided that it is the time to buy a GPS. After a little bit of digging the Internet, and by the way I haven't seen so far a lot of comparative testing on GPS chipsets, or even implementations, I found an i.Trek M1 GPS receiver, based on Nemerix chipset. I bought it from Semsons, and can be found here.

When I decided to buy a GPS my main criterias were:

  • Bluetooth - definitely
  • No display - in order to decrease the cost
  • Good battery life
  • No interpolation made automatically in the chipset - this disqualified Sirf III chipset, even if there were claims that the accuracy is improved

Given this, i.Trek M1 won the contest claiming 20hours of battery life (which I can say that is pretty accurate), the fact that the battery is identical to Nokia BL-5C (not sure about the exact model, but I should be pretty close about the model) and a pretty good accuracy. I must say that in Manhattan I did have some problems fixing the sattelites, but usually it behaves pretty good. I usually use it in combination with Pocket Streets 2005 and I find it very useful. Even if Pocket Streets does not give routing information, at least when you are a pedestrian and try to find a place can give helpful clues.

Also this gave me some reasons to try Visual Studio 2005 (Whidbey) at the time of testing still Beta2, to do some mobile testing. So I learned how to communicate with a Bluetooth device, quite simple, if you know to use sockets. I still have to learn how to discover Bluetooth devices, at this time the MAC address of my GPS is harcoded in the application. What did I do? I tried to create a tool similar to GPS Tuner (you can search for it using Google), to give me historic information. I wasn't interested in the graphing features of GPS Tuner, my main interests at least for now are the compass (where I am headed), current speed, maximum speed in this trip, and the distance. So far I managed to communicate with my GPS, and log the data in text files. I still have to work on the user interface, which is not my strongest area. Once I polish the UI, I think I will make it available to people.

Published Wednesday, December 07, 2005 1:28 PM by cchrism

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