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RoyalTek Onyx RFG-1000

31st May 2003

 Review by Dave Burrows

  

RoyalTek originally brought us the Sapphire and the newly updated Sapphire RGM-2000, now RoyalTek have brought to the market a new low power GPS Mouse called the Onyx (RFG-1000).

 

The Onyx is a small flat square GPS Receiver sporting a low power chipset and an 8 channel GPS Receiver.  The Onyx weighs in at a light 25 grams and is only 57mm x 50m in size.

 

As the Onyx has a low power chipset typically <25mA, the receiver doesn't support the full 12 satellites like most receivers can.  The Onyx will only receive data from up to 8 of the constellation.  With 8 sat receivers, TTFF's can be a little extended compared to 12 sat receivers.

 

RoyalTek Onyx GPS Receiver

Bearing that in mind, the longest TTFF's we received from cold was 2m 23s which although is longer than the Sapphire and the average 12 sat GPS Receiver which is around 50 seconds, it's still quite good.  Although TTFF's are a little extended, once the Onyx locked onto the satellites it managed to maintain a lock quite well.  Unlike the Sapphire the Onyx doesn't have a flashy design, it's a plain black plastic receiver, but much smaller in size when you compare it to other similar receivers like the Leadtek which really are oversized now for what they do.

 

The onyx like the new Sapphire RGM-2000 comes with a new style Y connector, and much better in my opinion.  PDA's supported include:-

 

- iPAQ 36/37/38/39/54 series

- Casio E125/E200/E500

- Jornada 540/560

- Fujitsu Siemens Loox

- Dell Axim

- Yakumo delta

- NEC E200/300

- ViewSonic V35

- Toshiba e740

- Palm 5xx Series

- O2 XDA! 

 

Old Cable Set

New Cable Set

 

The good news is that any cable sets for the new Sapphire RGM-2000 will also fit the Sapphire RGM-2000 making it very easy to interchange cables across models. 

 

RoyalTek have quite an impressive set of cables for the new Sapphire.  RoyalTek sent us a 3800 connector cable set.  You can also purchase a serial or USB connector allowing you to connect the Sapphire direct to your laptop if you desire a larger screen.  The onyx is very small and lightweight and is hardly noticeable sitting on the dashboard once the cables are hidden out of view.

 

The bottom of the receiver is magnetic so if you wanted to fit this to the exterior of the car and pass the cable inside, then you can.  The only thing the receiver is really lacking is a felt type backing for the base.  One thing we did find due to it's size and light weight, it did seem quite quick to slide across the dashboard of the car.  A small square of double sided sticky tape should soon put a fix to that.

  

The RoyalTek Onyx sports the following features:-

  • Compact size

  • Eight parallel channels

  • Built-in active antenna

  • Super-cohesive magnetic for installation

  • High sensitivity to satellite signal

  • Super Low power consumption

Technical Specifications

  • Eight parallel channels in GPS.

  • Built-in active antenna.

  • Super-cohesive magnetic for installation.

  • High sensitivity to satellite signal.

  • Super Low power consumption.

  • Apply to any devices with nine-pin COM port & PS2 ,USB and some specific PDA.

  • NMEA 2.2 GGA, GSA, GSV and RMC, Baud rate 4800bps.

  • Navigation update rate: 1Hz.

 

Drivers

There's one difference with the Onyx over conventional mouse type GPS receivers and that's down to it needing a driver to be installed to control the receiver.  Most GPS receivers you can connect direct to via serial connection, but with the Onyx you have to load a driver onto the PDA or PC.  Installing the driver to the Pocket PC was straight forward, just insert the CD, select the relevant driver, and follow on screen prompts.

 

 

Once the driver is installed, simply run the driver from START | PROGRAMS | ROYALTEK DRIVER and you'll be greeted with the first screenshot below.  This allows you to connect between manual and auto plug and play mode.  Plug and Play will automatically detect the connection of the receiver and start receiving data, where as the manual option may be required if you don't want to use the receiver but connect the Pocket PC to say ActiveSync.  The second screenshot shows a connection with a 6 out of 8 sat view.  Although the receiver plugs into the bottom sync port of the Pocket PC, it doesn't actually use COM1, the driver pushes the signal out to a virtual com port, in this instance on a Compaq iPAQ 3870 it used COM5 and NMEA 4800 baud.

 

 

GPS Hardware TTFF (Time To First Fix)

 

Cold

Test 1

Cold

Test 2

Cold

Test 3

Cold

Test 4

Cold

Test 5

Cold

Test

Average

Warm

Test

Hot

Test

CoPilot CF 1m 22s 1m 8s 56s 1m 17s 54s 1m 07s 52s 16s
Emtac Sleeve/CoPilot 40s 37s 42s 37s 46s 40.4s 10s 9s
Emtac/Socket BT GPS 47s 53s 42s 36s 38s 43.2s 10s 17s
Garmin eTrex 39s 44s 40s 41s 43s 41.4s 8s N/A
Garmin eTrex Summit 38s 41s 45s 39s 42s 41.0s 8s N/A
Garmin eTrex Vista 37s 57s 32s 35s 38s 39.8s 17s N/A
Garmin GPSMap76 42s 34s 23s 56s 32s 37.4s 12s N/A
Garmin GPSMap76S 32s 53s 32s 39s 36s 38.4s 11s N/A
Garmin Geko 101 1m 37s 45s 38s 44s 41s 53s 15s 13
Garmin Geko 201 34s 45s 38s 43s 40s 40s 19s 10
HaiCom 302 CF 50s 33s 1m 25s 36s 1m 25s 57.8s 23s 10s
HaiCom 303 MMF 42s 1m 05 s 41s 1m 02 s 1m 18s 57.6s 36s 3s
Holux GM-210 42s 38s 35s 37s 42s 38.8s 30s 4s
Holux GM-270 54s 1m 07 s 1m 03s 50s 1m 12s 61.2s 39s 4s
Holux GM-270U 46s 49s 42s 1m 01 s 49s 49.4s 35s 3s
Holux GR-230 1m 02s 55s 50s 49s 52s 53.6s 39s 5s
LeadTek 9531 / 9532 29s 37s 39s 41s 43s 37.8s 9s 5s
Magellan Meridian Range of GPS 38s 53s 43s 33s 35s 40.4s 18s 15s
Magellan SporTrak Range of GPS 37s 47s 46s 41s 41s 42.4s 19s 16s
Navman 3000 (ROM 2.0.0) 49s 52s 1m 33s 3m 23s 8m 5s 2m 56s 20s 11s
Navman 3400/3420 (ROM 2.1.2) 1m 33s 2m 30s 1m 32s 52s 1m 17s 1m 32.8s 20s 12s
Navman 3450 (ROM 2.1.2) 57s 50s 1m 09s 48s 1m 0s 56.8s 20s 11s
Navman 4400 53s 1m 03s 1m 19s 54s 53s 1m 00.4s 0s 0s
Pretec Compact CF 1m 28s 2m 47s 57s 45s 1m 2s 1m 23s 1m 16s 12s
Pretec Compact LP CF 3m 48s 5m 32s 4m 59s 1m 53s 4m 02s 4m 04s 52s 33s
Rikaline X5 41s 41s 34s 41s 42s 39.5s 39s 0s
Rikaline X6 34s 60s 44s 48s 57s 48.6s 38s 0s
RoyalTek Onyx 1m 28s 1m 39s 2m 23s 1m 38s 1m 35s 1m 46s 1m 24s 17s
RoyalTek Sapphire RGM 1m 02s 1m 0s 56s 41s 55s 54.8s 37s 10s
RoyalTek RBT-3000 57s 46s 43s 41s 55s 48.4s 30s 9s
RoyalTek RGM-2000 48s 52s 40s 45s 39s 44.8s 33s 7s
SysOnChip BT GPS 48s 77s 66s 67s 51s 61.8s 37s 4s
SysOnChip CF Plus (SIRFXTrac) 40s 30s 33s 38s 39s 36s 30s 0s
TFAC MG30 Mouse 1m17s 1m 26s 1m 38s 1m 36s 2m 11s 1m 37s 34s 4s
TomTom Bluetooth GPS 48s 52s 46s 59s 51s 51.2s 37s 3s

 

Fastest

TTFF

Cold

Tests

Slowest

TTFF

Cold

Tests

Manufacturer

Stated

Times

Warm

TTFF

Tests

Manufacturer

Stated

Times

Hot

TTFF

Tests

Manufacturer

Stated

Times

CoPilot CF 54s 1m 22s Not Stated 52s N/A 16s N/A
Emtac Sleeve/CoPilot 37s 46s Not Stated 10s N/A 9s N/A
Emtac/Socket BlueTooth GPS 36s 53s 1m 20s 10s 45s 6s 10s
Garmin eTrex 39s 44s 45s 8s 15s N/A N/A
Garmin eTrex Summit 38s 45s 45s 8s 15s N/A N/A
Garmin eTrex Vista 32s 57s 45s 12s 15s N/A N/A
Garmin GPSMap76 32s 56s 45s 12s 15s N/A N/A
Garmin GPSMap76S 32s 53s 45s 12s 15s N/A N/A
Garmin Geko 101 38s 1m 37s 45s 15s 15s 13s N/A
Garmin Geko 201 34s 45s 45s 19s 15s 10s N/A
HaiCom 302 CF 33s 1m 25s 48s 23s 38s 10s 8s
HaiCom 303 MMF 41s 1m 18s 48s 36s 38s 3s 8s
Holux GM-210 35s 42s 45s 30s 38s 4s 8s
Holux GM-270 50\s 1m 12s 45s 39s 38s 4s 8s
Holux GM-270U 42s 1m 01s 45s 35s 38s 3s 8s
Holux GR-230 39s 1m 02s 45s 39s 38s 5s 8s
LeadTek 9531 / 9532 29s 43s 48s 9s 38s 5s 8s
Magellan Meridian Range of GPS 33s 53s <2m 18s <1m 15s <15s
Magellan SporTrak Range of GPS 37s 47s <5m 19s <1m 16s <15s
Navman 3000 49s 8m 05s 2m 0s 20s 48s 11s 18s
Navman 3400/3420 (ROM 2.1.2) 52s 2m 30s 2m 0s 20s 48s 12s 18s
Navman 3450 (ROM 2.1.2) 48s 1m 09s 2m 0s 20s 48s 11s 18s
Navman 4400 53s 1m 19s n/a 0s n/a 0s n/a
Pretec Compact CF 45s 2m 47s 1m 0s 1m 16s 45s 12s 8s
Pretec Compact LP CF 1m 53s 5m 32s 2m 10s 52s 45s 33s 20s
Rikaline X5 34s 42s 45s 39s 38s 0s 8s
Rikaline X6 34s 1m 00 s 45s 38s 38s 0s 8s
RoyalTek Onyx 1m 28s 2m 23s 45s 3m 0s 45s 17s 20s
RoyalTek Sapphire 41s 1m 02s 45s 37s 38s 10s 45s
RoyalTek RBT-3000 41s 57s 45s 30s 38s 9s 8
RoyalTek RGM-2000 39s 52s 45s 33s 38s 17s 45s
SysOnChip BT GPS 37s 77s 45s 37s  38s 4s 8s
SysOnChip CF Plus (SIRFXTrac) 30s 40s 45s 30s  38s 0s 8s
TFAC MG30 1m 17s 2m 11s 45s 34s  8s 4s 0.1s
TomTom Bluetooth GPS 48s 59s 45s 37s 38s 3s 8s

 

Conclusion

The RoyalTek Onyx is nice and compact and very lightweight and performs well for an 8 sat receiver.  It's Time To First Fix is slower than the regular 12 sat receivers, but it still well within reach of acquiring complete data from the satellites in a short time.  The Onyx is also waterproof which means you can place it outside on the bodywork of the car without any worry!

 

The only thing it really lacks is a felt backing or a suction cup through the cable to keep it in one place on the dashboard.

 

 

References

Manufacturers Website

http://www.royaltek.com

Pocket GPS Reviewer

Dave Burrows

Pocket GPS Reviewer Website

Dave Burrows.com

Rating

 

Durability

Windscreen Suction Mount Strength

not supplied

Air Vent Mount Strength

not supplied

Car Power Cable Quality

Overall Rating 90%

How did we achieve these ratings ?

Review Ratings

 

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