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Review: i-gotU Bluetooth GPS Travel and Sports Logger

 
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lbendlin
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Location: Massachusetts, USA

PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2009 6:03 pm    Post subject: Review: i-gotU Bluetooth GPS Travel and Sports Logger Reply with quote

The i-gotU devices have been around for a while but we haven't yet had a chance to review them. Recently Mobile Action (the device manufacturer) asked us to consider the improved GT-200e version for review. So, let's have a look at this new member of the photo-data-logger family.

For the review we will focus on the ease of use (including the "right out of the box" behaviour), as well as the functions of the desktop program for configuring the receiver and for visualising the recorded results.

http://www.pocketgpsworld.com/igotu200ebt.php
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NickG
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Joined: Nov 09, 2003
Posts: 357
Location: UK

PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 10:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

At first glance, this looked good: More memory than my Qstarz - enough to record a week's skiing at 1 second (1 second is useful to record the turns, otherwise it just comes out as a wobbly line), but the negatives you mentioned have really put me off.

I still don't get why they don't just put a MicroSD card card in it, so you you don't have to worry about running of memory on longer trips.

Why don't they use a normal Mini-USB connector? Why come up with a new connector instead of using the standard one used by nearly all other devices?

That huge button is stupid. It should be a small recessed button. Even the tiny switch on the qstarz keeps changing itself - meaning I've often lost data and have loads of waypoints I never knowingly created. Lack of a physical power switch means it's no use as a permanent vehicle logger.

Sealed battery compartment is the showstopper though. Batteries never seem to last as long as they claim - especially if the unit has ever become very hot or cold (eg skiing). They only seem to last a year or two, even with low usage.

Also that track log under foliage looks pretty awful. I use my Qstarz (SirfStar III) in the New Forest quite often, and I never get tracks which look like that! They might be off by a few feet, but they don't zig zag about by 100ft as show in your picture.

On the plus side though, the software looks quite a lot better than that of other loggers I've used.

Looks like I'll have to wait a bit longer for the holy grail data logger (which would basically be a Qstarz Q1000, but with microSD and a barometric pressure sensor) and a recessed switch!
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lbendlin
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Joined: 02/11/2002 22:41:59
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Location: Massachusetts, USA

PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 4:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Using a GPS for skiing has a few additional challenges - you will want to use a receiver that handles the various altitude models well (including the geode correction), and the batteries generally don't handle the cold well (resulting in shorter useful run time)

The sealed battery is only an issue if you are off grid for longer times which is not very likely on a ski trip.

I am finishing up a review of the Columbus V-900 which has a SD card slot. But it is neither waterproof nor has it a removable battery either. You'll have to compromise...
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NickG
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Location: UK

PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 4:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

lbendlin wrote:
The sealed battery is only an issue if you are off grid for longer times

So how do you get the battery out to change it? They only last about 2 years in my experience. Once it's gone you'd have to throw the whole thing away and buy a new one. Not really what I'd want to do if I'd spent 80 on a logger.

My iPhone battery is noticably worse than it was when I bought the phone a year ago, and there's no way to change it. Sad
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lbendlin
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Location: Massachusetts, USA

PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 5:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

At least on the iphone you can get it exchanged by a third party (for loads of moneys).

You will always have the option to use an external power supply (emergency charger etc) at the expense of losing the watertightness.
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HairyDJ
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Joined: Oct 26, 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2009 11:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Been playing with a GT100 for a year or so now - bought for a friend to track her speed and route whilst out jogging.

I have found the button and checking of status very frustrating, and she has actually stopped using it now as it's simply not worth the hassle. She can use the running sensor in her trainers with her ipod in a couple of simple (and reliable) presses and then get out and run. To use the GT100, she would usually have to stand around outside for a minute or two to try and get a good GPS fix and then struggled to remember what all of the silly flashing light codes meant. As she said - I wanted it to help me with my run, not mess me about and distract me.

I've run with her a few times and "driven" the gadget, but found what I believed to be a massive flaw in the way it records it's data. It seemed to show up worst when running under trees (similar to the track in the review above). When I actually exported the data to excel and played with it I discovered that, rather than logging absolute Lat / Long data, it seemed to calculate a distance and track from last reading and then store that data. The effect being that cumulative errors seemed to put the track further and further out until it got a good fresh fix and seemed to put me back on track. Quite obvious as it had me running back and forth across a canal instead of along the towpath! I found that I couldn't edit the spreadsheet in any meaningful way due to the mapping plot seeming to use the movement data instead of the absolute Lat / Long for the map.

NOTE - I'm trying to explain this based on recalling from many months ago! I certainly know that whilst it had a vague idea of where we'd been, any attempt to calculate accurate distance travelled or speed over any section turned out utterly unusable answers.

Sadly, this is a gadget that I wanted to use and looked forward to playing with, but it's pretty much in the bin now ...
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NickG
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2009 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You could try using one of the QStarz recorders. They log every one second (the full current position) and would have enough memory for many hours of continuous recording. I've had no problems with the accuracy of the unit and usually I find my tracks are almost exactly overlaid onto any tracks or roads when I combine the tracks with satellite imagery. I can send you some sample data if you like?
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HairyDJ
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 8:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

latest maplins catalogue is punting these at a tenner off - hopefully the latest version Rolling Eyes
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lbendlin
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Location: Massachusetts, USA

PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 1:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

HairyDJ wrote:
latest maplins catalogue is punting these at a tenner off - hopefully the latest version Rolling Eyes


they have to have "64M" on the face side.
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