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CoPilot USB GPS Receiver Review 10th May 2004

Review by Dave Burrows

 

CoPilot comes in a number of different bundles, whether you want a Compact Flash GPS Receiver, a Serial GPS Receiver, a USB GPS Receiver or even a Bluetooth GPS Receiver. This review is based upon the USB GPS Receiver.

 

The CoPilot USB GPS is based around the Rikaline GPS-6010, it differs in the fact that it doesn't have a PS/2 style connector, it comes supplied in a USB connector for connecting to a USB enabled Laptop, Notebook or Tablet PC and is rebranded CoPilot.

 

The CoPilot USB GPS Receiver comes bundled with CoPilot Laptop 7 (a review is available here of the software).

 

In The Box

When you open up the box you will find:-

  • DVD style box with 2xCoPilot CD's for Western Europe
  • USB (or Serial) GPS Receiver

  

 

Installation

Once you have installed CoPilot Laptop 7 all the correct USB drivers will be installed for the USB GPS Receiver, so all you then need to do is plug the GPS Receiver into a spare USB port and the light on the top of the GPS Receiver should start to blink. Installation really is as simple as that!

 

 

Technical Specification

Performance  
GPS Signal L1, C/A Code
Channel 12 Channels
Tracking Sensitivity -142dBm
WAAS Yes
DGPS Yes
   
Acquisition Time  
Re-Acquisition 0.1 Seconds
Hot Fix 8 Seconds
Warm Fix 38 Seconds
Cold Fix 45 Seconds
   
Standard Accuracy  
Position 25m (95%) CEP
Velocity 0.1 m/sec
Acceleration <4g
   
WAAS Accuracy  
Position 1-5m (95%) CEP
Velocity 0.05 m/s
Acceleration <4g
   
Dynamic Conditions  
Altitude 18,000 meters
Velocity 515m/sec
Acceleration 4G Max
   
Physical Dimensions  
Width 59.3mm (2.33")
Depth 50.2mm (1.98")
Height 19.7mm (0.78")
Weight 103g
   
Power  
Input 4.75 to 5.5v DC
Internal Backup 3.3V (1000 hours)
   
Environmental  
Operating Temperature -40 to +85C
Storage Temperature -55 to +100C
   

 

The GPS Receiver in use

I have used the receiver now for over a month in a variety of conditions from light foliage to normal day use. In all cases I found the receive quite sensitive to difficult conditions like foliage and canyon environments, in terms of signal, and with no 'Lag' associated with some of these higher sensitivity GPS receivers can have depending on the strength of the signal it's receiving.

 

Click the image for a larger graphic.Most days I saw an average of 8-9 satellites where you would usually expect to see 7-9 on an average day.

 

The GPS Receiver came configured to run at NMEA 4800 baud which is the standard for most GPS Receivers as 4800 baud is more than enough speed to allow the signal to come in and transferred to the PC without dropping data.

 

The image to the right is the satellite display taken from WinFast Navigator for the PC. It shows that the receiver knows about 11 satellites and has got a fix on 8. Click the satellite image to the right to see a full screen version.

 

Connecting using a Diagnostics Program

If you download WinFast Navigator which is available in our Downloads page under the Leadtek Drivers & Software section. Make sure you download and install the PC version. Then run the Navigator icon, click the CONNECT button specify the COM port your CoPilot GPS is on and NMEA 4800 and click OK and you should see data flying past in the top right hand window pane (Development Data View) and after a short while you should start to see bars appearing in the pane below this (Signal View).

 

Price and Availability

At the time of writing this review, CoPilot Laptop 7 was available for £299 including USB GPS Receiver. GPS Receiver cannot be purchased separately but you can purchase the Rikaline GPS which is very similar to the CoPilot GPS.

 

Conclusion

The CoPilot USB GPS Receiver worked well both in the test lab and also out in the open. In the test lab where I will usually see around 4 signals inside in my office, I was receiving 6 from the CoPilot USB GPS Receiver. Likewise out on the road, the GPS was very quick at obtaining a fix, no hanging around and once acquired it kept the fix without any need for re-acquisition.

 

 

References

Manufacturers Website http://www.alk.eu.com
Pocket GPS Contributor Dave Burrows
Pocket GPS Contributor Website http://www.daveburrows.com
   
Rating  
Sensitivity
Connectivity
Reliability
Robustness
   
Overall Rating 92.5%
How did we achieve these ratings ? Review Ratings
   

 

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