Review by Dave Burrows
Lately we have been seeing some very ingenious designs and patents appearing. One new product design is one that Semsons in the US are selling. Now, basically it's a GPS charger cable for well known GPS mice and also Garmin Handheld GPS Receivers. However, if you take a closer look, the accessory plug that plugs into the accessory socket in-car has a built-in Bluetooth module hidden inside it and our good friends over at Semsons' have sent us one to review.
So what does that mean ?
It means you can now convert several kinds of GPS Mouse that sit on the dashboard to Bluetooth! Now that's a bit of a twist!
The cable we tested was sent to us by Semsons and we tested and reviewed the Holux GM-210 Bluetooth Adapter Cable.
Cables are also available for the Fortuna GPSmart, iTrek, Haicom, Cirocomm and Garmin eTrex.
With the use of the Bluetooth Charger cable, you can now bring more life to your GPS Mouse, allowing you to receive GPS Signals wirelessly using Bluetooth and will save you the cost of purchasing a Bluetooth GPS Receiver. Obviously there are extra benefits of having a separate Bluetooth GPS over this charger cable, because normal Bluetooth GPS Receivers can be taken anywhere, where as this will only work in-car.
It does have benefits over existing mouse that if you do upgrade to a different Pocket PC, providing your new Pocket PC is Bluetooth enabled, you won't have to then buy a new cable for it, allowing you to use it with nearly any Pocket PC.
Connecting to Pocket PC
Once you plug it into your accessory socket and plug the other end of the cable into your GPS Mouse, you just go into your Bluetooth Manager screen, create a new connection, and up comes the GPS Mouse showing simply as BT GPS. Create the bond (no passkey) and away you go. By default I was able to connect using WinFast Navigator on the HP iPAQ 2210 using COM 8 (standard BT outgoing Port) and using NMEA 4800.
The only problem I did find with this cable was the end of the plug where the fuse goes into had a small spring which didn't quite seem to be long enough for the accessory socket I was putting the plug into so I didn't get a good connection until I unscrewed the tip, placed my stylus into the hole (making sure it wasn't powered up first!) and tried to stretch the spring. After this I didn't have a problem.
One other thing I would mention when using this, is that it doesn't charge your PDA. Although it's good to have less cables in-car, you will find that you still on most occasions require a separate charger lead for your PDA.
The Bluetooth Charger cable does exactly what it says on the box. It converts any GPS signal it receives and then transmits this wireless over the air waves using Bluetooth to your Pocket PC, Palm or Laptop. If you're looking for a quick and easy way to go Bluetooth, then you may want to check this out. The Bluetooth Charger can be found at http://www.semsons.com under the GPS Hardware, Bluetooth section for $54.99.