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 GPS Dataloggers and Geocoding
 [TOPIC] iBlue 747 Bluetooth Logger with MTK
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jrj

9 Posts

Posted - 02 mars 2007 :  18:44:06  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
EDIT BY GPSPSASION20070405
[TOPIC] iBlue 747 Bluetooth Data Logger
MTK Chipset, Bluetooth, 16Mb memory


http://www.transystem.com.tw/p-gps-iblue747.htm



UPDATED 20071025 : The PC application lets you export logged data to .nma (NMEA) and .kml (Google Earth) formats but the exported data is limited (no altitude for instance) and hard-coded. The settings in the "Log Format" page ONLY apply to the .csv format so if you need a GPX or KML with the full height/speed information you'll need to convert your .csv file via www.gpsvisualizer.com.

The iBlue 747 is a dual function GPS receiver with Bluetooth connectivity and 16Mb of onboard memory for data logging. It has the same overall design as the iBlue 737 (review) and Qstarz 818 (review) and likely share the same logging features as the iBlue 757 Pro/iTrek Z1 that has an additional solar pannel.

COMMENTS BY GPSPASSION : Received a test unit on March 12th and I must say I like it quite a bit more than the 757 thanks to its compact design, better casing (big anti-ski pad) and the PTL (Push to Log button).

In terms of memory capacity, 7000 points filled 10% of the memory, so total capacity should be around 70000, probably less when it becomes possible to activate the Elevation field.

The good news is that like the 757 it has full USB connectivity (unlike the 737/810/818) so you can use the newly discovered GPSInfo tool to activate SBAS or change the update frequency to 5Hz, more about that in the * Discussing MTK receivers and Tips and Tweaks * thread.


A few problems :

1. Switching to LOG starts the logging, but switching back to NAV does not stop it. Even if you turn off the 747, the logging resumes when you start it again. It has to be stopped by the PC software.

2. Can't activate the "ELEVATION" info field in the logging options. UPDATE : works if you activate the "HEIGHT" field instead

3. The PTL button only works if the 747 is "awake", i.e. connected to a PDA/PC over Bluetooth or logging, it won't wake up if you push the PTL mode. This limitation doesn't make it very useful

4. I was not able to download my 7000 points today, it kept timing out at about 60%. I wonder whether this has abything to do with the logging resuming automatically when you start downloading.FIXED - make sure the switch is in the "LOG" position and that you have the latest USB drivers.

Fortunately I haven't seen the log data being erased by moving the switch as others have, but overall I'd say that both the 747 and 757's logging modules are going to need more work before they're ready for prime time. They don't feel quite finished at this time. I was pretty annoyed today when I realized I wouldn't be able to geocode my pictures due to this timing-out problem. Never had such a problem with the Globalsat DG-100 which does strengthen my belief in single-purpose devices that do one thing well.

More test results :
- Logging without Bluetooth : 30h24'
- Log points with elevation : 61,076
- Downloading 61,076 points : 26 minutes !

Comments by 4river :
1. To "HEIGH" of a CSV file it seems that "Altitude + Geoid" is outputted.
In "HEIGH" should output "Altitude (mean-sea-level)".

2. "Overwrite Mode" of a Log is not "Circular recording".

3. Log capacity (just about).
1) Default items: 69,886 Points.
2) Default + Alt: 61,664 Points.
3) All except SID,ELEVATION,AZIMATH,SNR: 33,816 Points.
4) All items records: 12,479 points (it changes with the number of visible satellites).

4. Battery operating time (actual measurement value).
Condition: Log in every 5 seconds, and Bluetooth connection, stationary.
NMEA 1Hz : 27.7H
NMEA 5Hz : 17.2H


Original post by jrj : I just got one of these. This is not a review, just a few impressions.

The unit seems to perform well. No problem connecting to Streets & Trips or Google Earth. Pretty good sensitivity - yesterday it captured all the data on a flight from SFO to Seattle from inside my travel bag.

The iBlue software is very very rudimentary. Basically you can capture a CSV file or create a kml file for Google Earth. That's about it. The CSV file seems to be slightly non-standard but luckily Adam Schneider of GPS Visualizer is extremely responsive and updated his site to accept that data. As far as I can tell, that site is easily the best place to try to do anything with the iBlue data.

I'd be interested to hear others' impressions.

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gpspassion

94032 Posts

Posted - 02 mars 2007 :  18:51:12  Show Profile  Visit gpspassion's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Welcome to the forums and thanks for sharing, haven't had the opportunity to test one yet, I have the iBlue 757 Pro/iTrek Z1 for now. I'll be adding captures of the logging software, which is likely identical. Pretty nice design, but very slow transfers, at least with my setup.

Impressive performance on that flight, was it stored in the overhead compartment ? I assume it had a fix beforehand as signal levels inside a plane don't normally allow for acquisition.

If you want to share some pictures you can use this method. In the meantime I'll put the picture from the manufacturer's site.

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jrj

9 Posts

Posted - 02 mars 2007 :  18:56:52  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
That's correct, the download speed is quite slow due to the serial port over USB emulation.

On the flight the unit was in a travel bag sitting on a seat, not overhead. But I only remembered to turn it on after takeoff, so there was no fix prior to being onboard.
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gpspassion

94032 Posts

Posted - 02 mars 2007 :  19:05:50  Show Profile  Visit gpspassion's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Interesting, and do you remember when you'd used it before ? After 4 hours, it has to redownload the full ephemeris and that requires some good signal (28dB-Hz), but maybe you had it on the seat.

I still think the transfer speed should be faster, the Globalsat DG-100 uses the same Prolific serial emulation driver and it's much faster, with the 757 I stopped at 9 minutes for 15,000 points.

Just realized that they have a PPC utility on their website, hadn't seen it on the CD and I was about to comment about that ;-)

Oh and does the 747 have a button to record a manual data point ? The 757 manual says something about that, but it's not on the device.

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jrj

9 Posts

Posted - 02 mars 2007 :  19:37:46  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'd only used it the day before to log my commute, and some for checking connectivity to applications, etc. so total usage should have been less than four hours before the flight.

The 747 does have a button, as per the illustration, to manually record data points but I haven't used it.
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gpspassion

94032 Posts

Posted - 02 mars 2007 :  20:18:50  Show Profile  Visit gpspassion's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Oh good, I wasn't sure if it was used to power it off, there is a switch on the side too ? I wonder how the software handles manual points and if it singles them out properly. The DG-100 just adds to the automatic points so they are hard to find.

Had a look at the PPC app and it's just the GPS Viewer, not logging related unfortunately.

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uffe73

15 Posts

Posted - 03 mars 2007 :  10:11:53  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Does anyone know if this unit is available to buy in Europe yet? I've only seen it on Semson's webbsite. I was hoping I could find a dealer in Germany or UK (or even better, in Sweden) that would sell it to me.

I'm also looking forward to a review of the i-Blue 747. A back-to-back comparison with the Globalsat DG-100 would be really interesting since these are the products that seem to be offering the best logging capabilities for the time being.

Regards,
Ulf
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gpspassion

94032 Posts

Posted - 03 mars 2007 :  12:11:51  Show Profile  Visit gpspassion's Homepage  Reply with Quote
If you need a pure logger the DG-100 is going to be better with its three modes, USB plug, AA Batteries, belt clip. If you think you might need a Bluetooth GPS then the 747 or 757 are interesting, but I tend to believe in single purpose devices that do their "main" job best.

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uffe73

15 Posts

Posted - 03 mars 2007 :  12:51:39  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
After reading the review of the DG-100 on this site, I'm a bit hesitant regarding the software application. I think I'd like to see some improvments there before chosing that receiver. It should be interesting to see how user friendly the software for the i-Blue loggers are.
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gpspassion

94032 Posts

Posted - 03 mars 2007 :  14:33:52  Show Profile  Visit gpspassion's Homepage  Reply with Quote
"Weak" is the best way to describe them at this point, see the comment above, but don't take our word for it, you can download the PC app from the link below the picture.
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jrj

9 Posts

Posted - 03 mars 2007 :  17:47:14  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The iBlue has two modes, datalogger or Nav. Nav mode connects via bluetooth to your nav application, in my case Streets & Trips or my moving-map flight-planning application, Voyager. In datalogger mode bluetooth is off and you must download data over a USB connection. The key there is the semi-standard CSV file that is created. I don't think any of these dataloggers have good software, but as long as other software such as the website GPS Visualizer can utilize the file that's less of a problem.
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gpspassion

94032 Posts

Posted - 03 mars 2007 :  17:49:34  Show Profile  Visit gpspassion's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Yes, Adam fixed that quick, apparently the 757 was slightly different from the 747 log...

Intersting about the two modes. On the 757 in logging mode you can still use it as a Bluetooth receiver.

Apparently they are working on software that will allow for data downloading over Bluetooth, faster transfer over Bluetooth and a PocketPC application.

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Tosh

3 Posts

Posted - 04 mars 2007 :  16:55:36  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I ordered the iBlue 747 from Semsons a week or so ago, and it got delivered here (Norway) in 6 days. Shouldn't be much of a problem ordering from Sweden.

Anyway, I haven't been able to play much with it yet. Used TomTom Mobile on a bus trip on my Nokia N73 via Bluetooth, and it seemed to work very well (Not that I have any experience with other GPS devices).

Unfortunately, the software for the iBlue747 doesn't run on Vista, so I have to use someone else's Windows XP to set the preferences and data logging intervals. Hope they fix it soon.


- Tosh
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uffe73

15 Posts

Posted - 04 mars 2007 :  17:03:31  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Tosh,
How much did you pay in total (including delivery and customs) for the receiver? I'm a bit reluctant to buying from the US since I'm afraid it's going to end up pretty expensive with all additional costs.

/Ulf
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Tosh

3 Posts

Posted - 05 mars 2007 :  13:47:11  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Uffe:
Semsons took $95 for the unit, $29 for shipping, plus taxes.

Ended up costing me around NOK900. So a bit expensive, but I really wanted it. :)

One more thing, with the datalogger software's Vista incompatibility, I'm not able to download the logs from the unit using my laptop. If you run Windows Vista, make sure you also have access to a computer running Windows XP.

I sent Transystem a mail describing the problem, hopefully they'll make a vista compatible version of the software.

- Tosh
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admin_0

1 Posts

Posted - 13 mars 2007 :  18:41:52  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Has anyone tried to get the data-logging ability working with linux?

Is there just a NMEA command that you send to get it to dump
all data points? Does the GPS mount as usb-storage when using
a USB cable?
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