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Bluetooth BT338 and RBT2010 - SiRFstarIII v1 - Compared
Posté le 15 mai 2006 à 21:41:49 par gpspassion.

Raw power with SiRFIII and Monster Batteries

Comparing the Royaltek/Seidio RBT-2010 and the Globalsat BT-338


INTRODUCTION AND BATTERY LIFE : The Royaltek RBT-2010 arrived a little bit by surprise at the end of last year to complement the RBT-2001 that was a good performer (see the 2005 GPS Guide for PDAs/PCs), but with a battery life of 6.5 hours that paled in comparison with the 17+ hours of the Globalsat BT-338, requiring frequent recharging. The RBT-2010 is really an RBT-2010 with a larger battery compartment that hosts a large 1700mAh that is good for 17h42' of continuous operation, or 22' more than the 17h20' of the BT-338. That's what Royaltek were likely aiming for, so mission accomplished even though some will continue to prefer the "auto-off" of the BT-338 after 10 minutes, the flipside being that the on/off button needs to be depressed again to resume operation, while the RBT-2010 will stay on until the battery runs out.

One question we often get in the forums is, "which one performs best ?" Without revising the conclusions of the "2005 Guide" that showed that all SiRFstarIII based receiver offered excellent and similar performance, I did some new comparative BT-338/RBT-2010 testing with a quantitative signal analysis added for good measure to the qualitative track analysis.

URBAN GPS TESTING : These tests were run in the dense streets of Paris after starting with a "cold start" (memory was cleared) from an underground parking lot and ended in the basement of a house in the suburbs to get a broad spectrum of GPS use. The compact flash Globalsat BC-337 and the Yakumo DeltaX and Asus A636 GPS PDAs came along for the ride.

Starting from scratch ("cold fix") from the underground parking lot of a train station, the BT338 got a fix about 10 seconds faster than the RBT2010, while the BC-337 had some problems adjusting. In the second picture, good performance in the narrow streets of the "Marais" with some occasional overshooting by both the BT-338 and the RBT-2010. In the third pciture, all the GPS receivers fell prey to signal bounding between large buildings with some better filtering it seems by the BT-338 compared to the RBT-2010 that may be paying the price for some more aggressive tuning, sensitivity wise.

Testing performed in the basement of house in the suburbs with a position originally acquired outdoors (as a reminder, without some form of AGPS, a GPS can't acquire a fix when the signal level is below 28dB-Hz, which was the case here) and in these very poor conditions the RBT-2010 shows less drifting thanks to some better satellite tracking as seen below.

The first percentage shows that the BT-338 got a fix faster while leaving the underground parking lot, but the RBT-2010 managed to hold more satellites in the fix on average, while the BC-337 seems to be using a less sensitive antenna or possibly less efficient due to the way a CF GPS is placed.

The numbers in the basement show the RBT2010 performing significantly better in these poor conditions with some higher antenna sensitiviy as well.

OTHER ASPECTS : We've aleready looked at the power management, but let's also point out that these two receivers get DC power via the standard 4mm "iPaq type" plug and that the RBT-2010 sports an external antenna connector, of the fragile MMCXm/MC Card type though. MMCX or MCX would have been preferable.

CONCLUSION : After this side by side testing, the conclusions ofthe "2005 Guide" are confirmed, excellent overall performance for SiRFstarIII based units (2006 holds promise for Nemerix4 based systems though as will be seen in an upcoming article) with a slight advantage for the RBT-2010 over the BT-338 in terms of sensitivity, but in multipath conditions it could actually hurt its accuracy. Similar battery life too thanks to the battery upgrade.

WHERE TO BUY - GPSPASSION CLUB OFFERS : In the US you can find either model at Semsons with 10% off for GpsPasSion Club members. The BT-338 can also be purchased direct from US Globalsat and the RBT-2010 direct from Seidio. In Europe the RBT-2010 is available at

If you have any questions or comments, you can use this thread of the forums.

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