The iTrek is a serial mouse GPS receiver and sold by Semsons in America. The mouse is a re-badged GlobalSat BR305 and can be connected to over a dozen different types of PDA as well as standard 9 pin Serial and USB devices.
What do you get?
The retail package which I reviewed had the following:
- BR305 Serial Mouse Receiver
- Car Charger with splitter cable
- Connector for iPAQ 38xx/39xx/54xx/2210
Semsons as of the time of writing this review also are doing a special deal for US based orders where they'll give you a free Arkon PDA Vent Mount, which can't be bad!
The PDA connectors are supported by a generic PS2 plug/socket assembly. This provides power to the GPS and charges the GPS mouse. This allows iTrek to support additional devices through different cable sets rather than having a complete model for each PDA.
Manufacturers Technical Specifications
- Interface BR-305:RS232 interface with PSII connector
- Output Message NMEA 0183 V2.2 protocol, and supports command:
GGA, GLL, VTG, RMC, GSA, GSV
- Channels 12 parallel channels
- Frequency 1575.42MHZ C/A code
- Hot Start 8 sec., average.
- Warm Start 38 sec., average.
- Cold Start 48 sec., average.
- Acceleration Limit <4g
- Altitude Limit 18,000m
- Re-acquisition 100ms
- Velocity Limit 515 meters/sec
- Horizontal Accuracy 15m 2D RMS Without SA
- 10m 2D RMS WAAS enabled
- 1-5m DGPS corrected
- Time Accuracy 1us synchronized to GPS time
- Dimension BR-305:59mm*47mm*21mm
- Power Consumption 90mA
- Storage Temperature -30C~85C
- Operation Temperature -20C~80C
Humidity Up to 95% non- Condensing
PDA Cable Types Supported
- PAQ 36XX/37XX series
- iPAQ 38XX/39XX series
- HP Jornada 54 / 56 series
- Palm V series
BR305-P500 for Palm 500 series
- Casio E-125 / 500 series
- Casio E-200 series
- Sony Clie T series
- Sony Clie N series
- HandSpring Treo 180/270
- XDA 2 series
- Mitac Mio 528 series
- Toshiba e-740 series
- Siemens Pocket Loox series
- Laptop/Notebook PC in RS232 interface
- Laptop/Notebook PC in USB interface
What does it look like
It is actually a small rectangular GPS measuring 2.25 x 1.5 x 0.75 inches (59 x 47 x 21mm). It has a wire coming out of one end, about 2 meters long which terminates in a PS2 connector (keyboard/mouse type).
The base of the receiver is magnetised, great for attaching it to the roof of the car if you experience signal difficulties with a heat reflective windscreen, but no suction cup to hold it in place on the dashboard.
On one side of the receiver is a small red LED which is constantly lit when there is no fix or flashing when the GPS receiver has a fix.
The cable coming out of the GPS isn't coiled, so you can conceal this down the side of the dashboard, but the power plug lead is coiled.
Installing the GPS is very easily done. There was plenty of cable to install it anywhere I wanted in the front of the car. As this is a serial device there is no software driver required. Just plug and go.
The first TTFF came in around 42 seconds, and subsequent TTFF's around the same time when cold.
The signal strength and sensitivity is slightly less than that of the Emtac. Where the Emtac would give a 7-8 satellite fix, the iTrek gives 5-6. This is not a problem as it is more than enough for accurate navigation.
On average, re-acquisition time was more than acceptable and in most cases took less than a second to re-acquire a signal when canyoning or under foliage.
Semsons are selling the iTrek for $129.99, but at the date of writing this review were offering it at a sale price of $109.99 and it can be purchased direct from Semsons Website.