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 GPS Dataloggers and Geocoding
 [TOPIC] iBlue 757 / iTrek Z1 Logger, BT/MTK

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T O P I C    R E V I E W
gpspassion Posted - 02 mars 2007 : 14:07:02
[TOPIC] iBlue 757 Pro / iTrek Z1 Data Logger
MTK Chipset, Solar Panel, Bluetooth, 8Mb memory




1. INTRODUCTION

Announced in early 2007, the iBlue 757 "Pro" (the 757 was a NemeriX version with no logger that apparently got cancelled) is also available as the Semsons iTrek Z1. It packs in a lot of features :
- Bluetooth
- Solar Panel
- Data Logger with 8mb of memory (about 30,000 points)
- MTK GPS Chipset : a powerful yet lean chipset that debuted in 2006 and that was reviewed in the iBlue 737 and Qstarz 818 articles.

I received a review unit earlier this week from Semsons and have been testing it under all possible angles. Stay tuned for more, in the meantime here are some pictures:


2. PICTURE GALLERY





A pretty large unit and the casing has a "prototype" feel to it


The Solar Panel...


...compared to the other Solar GPS Receivers...


...and to popular Bluetooth GPS Receivers


A look at the inside
A large patch antenna for excellent sensitivity



Catching the sun on the dash !



3. PERFORMANCE TESTING

Below is an indoor track on foot. The 757 "stalls" completely while the 338 does some pretty decent tracking. Now these are extreme situations so if you're just hiking it might be ok. I get the sense that once it gets "confused" the MTK software has trouble getting back on its feet unless there is some velocity.



With higher velocity (driving in and out of a parking lot), the MTK based receivers perform better although the 757 seems to be tuned differently than the Qstarz 818 that produced a cleaner track while exiting the parking lot :



The two SiRFstarIII (firmware 3.2.2) based receivers tracks have been added, for some reason their tracks continue underground although they were not tracking.




4. OTHER COMMENTS


LOGGING SOFTWARE - WIP
The logging software is apparently being reworked by Transystem so I'll save my comments for a new version as the current version is not really functional with its very slow transfers and frequent time-outs that prevent the transfer of long logging sessions.

BATTERY LIFE
A first test run in navigation mode (no logging) resulted in a solid 25 hours of battery life. Since the battery is rated at 1000mAh, the time to power ratio is equivalent to the Qstarz 818 and slighlty higher than the original 737. A second test run with logging on came in at 24.5 hours, so no problems in this area.


Questions, comments ?
22   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Murphy Posted - 22 août 2008 : 10:03:16
Is there any option to reset it in your program ?
You could try to remove the battery for one hour and try again.
SB Posted - 22 août 2008 : 09:42:58
Hello everyone,

I have just bought this unit and this is my first GPS so I am a complete newbie. My problem is that I can enable data logging while the datalog program is running but when I remove this unit from computer and take it out(without connection with any PDA or other device) and after return when I connect it with computer and try to download my travel log, there is no information contained in it. (Yes, I turn it on to log status but still get this problem).

Any help? I am not sure what I am doing wrong.
Murphy Posted - 07 janv. 2008 : 14:17:43
There's a solar panel to improve the battery time ... but is it possible to charge the battery with solar ? I don't see any difference when I leave the gps off under the sunlight (the green charging led stays off).
Maybe it is possible to charge battery with some hardware modification ?
tortfeaser Posted - 22 août 2007 : 12:35:33
quote:
Now I'm fighting to get the CSV exported file converted in GPX format... GPSBabel seems to be allergic to these CSV !

Edit: I was boring searching software to translate correctly Datalog's CSV to GPX so I made my own script ... in php. If someone want it just ask.

I'm keen for this, I've no idea how to get these .csv files to something useful in Oziexplorer (GPX would be great).
mdeweerd Posted - 17 août 2007 : 15:38:03
To control the device, try http://sf.net/projects/bt747 . It is basically in Java: it runs in native java on windows and in a special environment on Palm, PocketPC. On person got it working on Linux (by modifying a small part of the code), but that should be done another way.

You can set the fix frequency to 5 Hz and the log period to 0.2s with that.

It also converts the log to gpx, kml, csv, plt and my development version currently does NMEA too.
Murphy Posted - 15 août 2007 : 14:42:45
Yes, regardless of the speed limit :)
I downloaded NMEA monitor here :
http://homepage2.nifty.com/k8/gps/index.htm
...and specially the customed ini file !
Decompress the nmea software and ini files together, launch nmea monitor, configure your gps (I used i-Blue 747 profil) and clic ok.
Go to the 'Tool' menu and select 'GPS Command/Report'.
Select the following line :
$PMTK182,1,3,002|$PMTK300,200,0,0,0,0 ;Log by time 0.2Sec (unofficial)
...and clic 'Send'.
Wait a few second for the send/return command.. and it's ready !!!
Your Z1 log now at 5Hz !

Note : In the official Datalog software, there is no more checked cases for the log option... normally impossible using this software, but the log is really at 5Hz, just go to the 'Data log' menu with the gps in log mode to see 5 new points/sec in the log gps memory.
The export feature works in 5Hz ... but not in NMEA format ! It reports 5 points with '000' in milliseconds, the same time.
I think it's a bug from Datalog export because screen table and CSV export works great with the 5 differents point/sec (sec.000 ; sec.200 ; sec.400 ; sec.600 ; sec.800 ; sec+1.000 ; sec+1.200 ...).

Now I'm fighting to get the CSV exported file converted in GPX format... GPSBabel seems to be allergic to these CSV !

Edit: I was boring searching software to translate correctly Datalog's CSV to GPX so I made my own script ... in php. If someone want it just ask.
The result of Z1's 5Hz is impressive ! The first test was a pedestrian use so the track is very bad but the second I made today by car is very nice ! It's just strange because the integrated logger gives me quite different results than my nokia (which captures gps's signal).
gpspassion Posted - 15 août 2007 : 13:17:01
Regardless of the spead limit ? Can you provide more details, links, etc... ?
Murphy Posted - 15 août 2007 : 10:48:19
Yes you're right, I misunderstood.
The device could send bluetooth signal at 5Hz permanently but the included logger stay at 1Hz, except if you go over a special limit (10km/h or 10m minimum).

Edit: Oh, with NMEA Monitor we set the gps to log at 5Hz
gpspassion Posted - 07 août 2007 : 23:27:37
What's to be "not sure" about? Hindsight being 20/20, yes, someone figured out a way to log >1Hz now, alhtough under certain conditions.
Murphy Posted - 06 août 2007 : 15:25:06
"You can't log at 5Hz though" => not sure :

http://www.gpspassion.com/forumsen/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=91761
gpspassion Posted - 04 juil. 2007 : 23:28:40
yes, same software, see the MTK thread. You can't log at 5Hz though.
divertisimo Posted - 04 juil. 2007 : 16:20:12
I have purchased the iBlue 757 and downloaded the operation manual.
I did notice in the manual, the setting for log time interval was only 1 Hz minimum.
I did notice a tweak for the iBlue 737 to enable a 5 Hz log time interval.
Is there a tweak for the iBlue 757 to accomplish this?
lyletanner Posted - 04 juil. 2007 : 09:49:38
Since it has the MTK chipset, can the iBlue 757 / iTrek Z1 be tweaked for 5Hz with software through the USB port? If so, is the memory fast enough to log at 5Hz?
Bartman_x50v Posted - 08 juin 2007 : 13:10:19
Is out the v2.1 01.06.07

V2.1 (1st June ' 07)  
Add functions: 
1. day light saving time function
2. km/ mile unit change function
3. generate a shortcut on desktop 
 
User Friendly: 
1. a confirm message is shown before saving file
2. CPU loading down to 10%

jnettleton Posted - 26 mai 2007 : 09:07:10
I tried V2.0 and it worked a little better. The data log screen shows a full log (34670 records) but I'm only able to download 6490. I tried several times to download more records but it would stop sending records after about 72% complete (probably because of a power save/sleep mode).

The "Draw Map" button has a limit of 5000 records to export to Google Map so it wasn't too useful for longer trips.

Communication with the GPS seems to be somewhat more reliable. I haven't gotten any "unable to read NMEA command" errors but the program has crashed several times.

I saw minor improvements but the upgrade is helpful...
gpspassion Posted - 23 mai 2007 : 15:45:56
Looks interesting, will give it a try tonight, full info :

- To support MS Vista
- To improve USB downloading speed
- To resume the COM port setting last time user connected
- To reedit the awkward wording on the software

http://www.transystem.com.tw/drivers_tool_iBlue757.htm
Bartman_x50v Posted - 22 mai 2007 : 17:04:35
Hi gpspassion have you see the new software for logging??
V2.0 (20th April ' 07)
http://www.transystem.com.tw/p-gps-iblue757.htm#
what do you think about it?
gpspassion Posted - 22 mars 2007 : 10:25:38
GPS Firmware updates are rare, for SiRF receivers I can only recall two since 2002, the Fortuna Xtrac v2 and Globalsat BT-338. As you can see in the WBT-100 thread there have been quite a few for that one though. One of the reasons is because they are risky so unless there is a USB connection it seems they don't want to chance it. You'll have to ping TS for your other questions, but other than the PC software, the 757 is quite functional as it is.
jnettleton Posted - 22 mars 2007 : 01:28:15
I'm new to GPS receivers and have done enough research to narrow my choice the iBlue757 Pro and WBT-201. I was looking for a data logger that I could connect to both a PDA (bluetooth) and Laptop (USB) and I like the solar panel feature...

How often do firmware updates occur? Does Transystem seem committed to improving the MTK chipset performance? Can performance be improved mostly in firmware by tuning the chipset? Have you seen significant improvements on other receivers with firmware updates? Is there data logger that performs better?

Thanks,
wrainey Posted - 15 mars 2007 : 00:40:47
Very helpful to clarify that, for the moment, there is less than meets the eye in these units.
Unfortunately the Globalsat you chose for logging and geocoding photos doesn't seem to have reached North American vendors, including the company web site.
gpspassion Posted - 14 mars 2007 : 22:52:35
Yes, the MTK chipset does not appear to be properly tuned for consistent performance on foot for now. As for your questions :
1. No PTL button on the 757, the 747 has one, but with some limitations as discussed in its thread
2. Correct, no external antenna port
3. The USB mode would only really make sense with a laptop. Assuming you can get the proper cable for your PDA you'll still need the drivers.

Generally speaking the logging modules of the 747 and 757 units are going to need a bit more work before thet can be recommended. Not only is the data transfer very slow but it frequently times out at least with my setup.
wrainey Posted - 14 mars 2007 : 22:37:50
I was interested in this unit, but the evidence of erratic performance at slow speeds is not attractive for hiking. A couple questions arise from looking at other threads and the manual online.
1. The manual software section (via the link at Semsons) pictures a press-to-log icon, but that isn't possible in this unit, correct?
2. The 747 thread indicates that there is an mmcx port on this unit by which one could attach an external antenna. None of the images I could find show an external port and it isn't mentioned in the manual.Do you need to dismantle it and access the connector for the on board antenna?
3. The geocoding thread mentions this unit will work as a USB mouse GPS. Is that feasible with a handheld (thus saving BT power drain) and will it also log if providing NAV data in this mode?

Thanks,

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