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Review: Columbus V-900 Logger

 
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lbendlin
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Location: Massachusetts, USA

PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2009 2:50 am    Post subject: Review: Columbus V-900 Logger Reply with quote

Most of the time when we review a device we suck all the information and newness out of it and then put it aside, moving on to the next fad, erm, exciting gadget. But there are exceptions - devices that are not just innovative but also useful. They will be come part of the "stuff that gets used".

One of these devices is the Columbus V-900 data logger. I had the unit for review from BuyGPSNow.com the moment it became available - nearly a year ago. I had completed the review in my head after a short time. Yet I never got around to actually bring the review to paper (well, web page) and "move on". Somehow daily usage got in the way.

And today, a year later, the device still is in a class of its own, and I am happy to finish the review.

http://www.pocketgpsworld.com/columbusv900.php
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inthe128
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Joined: Nov 27, 2005
Posts: 130
Location: Czestochowa, Poland

PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 7:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmmmm. This is the type of doo dah I need. In the mists of a Polish junction is this Englishman tryong to log a new camera or speed of an existing camera. The first attempts with a mark positions on the TomTom and then pen and paper, were not very safe. Currently doing this with either the wife doing the pen and paper side or using the iPhones voice record and hoping that my pressing of TomToms position store will all tie up when I get home.

A device that records a voice and GPS position is the real deal for me, so I got excited at this. Its a bit daft that it records the position at the end of the voice tag, thats the wrong way around, but still.

I am happy to help the database stay up to date in my neck of the woods, but you do need to be tooled up and sometimes I see something, mark it, get home and forgotten what the hell I marked, old age perhaps, but this device would certainly make my sighting much easier to record.

BUT.... is this really the only device out there that does this sort of thing????
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lbendlin
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 2:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

as far as I know, yes. Both the SD card slot and the microphone are still unique selling points.

Time Machine version 1.5.4 and newer will "correct" the voice tag timestamp issue, but that only helps if you actually use the program. If you take the raw data elsewhere you'll have to do the time surgery yourself - lookup the length of the voice recording, look back in the GPS log the appropriate number of seconds, find real position.
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inthe128
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Joined: Nov 27, 2005
Posts: 130
Location: Czestochowa, Poland

PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 2:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the logging position at the end of the voice tag is a bit daft. As the cameras here in Poland are painted grey and hiding, its as quick as you can to mark it. I think depend how fast it logs, to do a quick "camera" tag and then record the details in a new tag. However this is the thing for us spotters and now the wife can relax rather than siting like a coiled spring awaiting my last minute shouting.
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JockTamsonsBairn
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Joined: Jan 10, 2004
Posts: 2777
Location: Bonnie Scotland (West Central)

PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 1:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lutz,

Can you clarify:

lbendlin wrote:
For the statistically inclined the Report function gives you a deep analysis of a trip (this was added recently in the 1.6.1 update of the TimeAlbum program).


lbendlin wrote:
We were told that the TimeAlbum 1.5.4 or later mitigates the issue in the exported files.
You speak of 1.6.1 in the past tense and 1.5.4 in the future tense: are they numbering the releases from 9.9.9 back to 0.0.0? Laughing

Also, see my comments in the Verifier's thread.
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lbendlin
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 3:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I received the V-900 last year I didn't check the version of the TimeAlbum applet. Somewhere around december 2008 they released 1.5.4 . When I completed the review version 1.6.1 was on the cbgps.com website. Now they have released 1.6.2 - ok?
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dannoll
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Joined: Sep 28, 2009
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2009 1:20 am    Post subject: Tracking frequency and photo matching tolerance question Reply with quote

Thanks for a thorough review. My wife and I have been geotagging photos for about 2.5 years with various devices, replacing one with another because the old one dies. We were recently given the Columbus v900 and have been logging data the past couple of days and hoping to actually geotag today with the Columbus software. I have two questions I hope you can shed some light on:

1) In the Columbus software, is there a way to set the photo-matching tolerance/threshold? For example, can you set the matching threshold so that photos are embedded with GPS data, even if the nearest time track is 5 minutes, 15 minutes, 30 minutes, etc. away? With 3rd party geotagging software, we can set this easily. Was hoping the Columbus software might allow it.

2) We are noticing that the device is consistently taking tracks in groups of maximum three continuous tracks spaced one second apart, then skipping an amount of time. This has been consistent across days of data, even when we believe we should have a reliable signal. The following timestamps for a sequence of tracks is typical:
220502
220503
220504
220539
220540
220541
220640
220641
220642
220800
220801
220802

Any idea what we or the device may be doing wrong?

Thanks.
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lbendlin
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2009 1:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

1) is mentioned in the review



2) Are you sure you didn't accidentally enable "Spy" mode ?
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dannoll
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 6:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Lutz,
Thanks for the quick reply.
1) I think I'm asking something a little different. Unless, if I understand you correctly, that the Columbus software only allows time correction in one direction. That is, you can tell it that the camera is slow by X minutes, or fast by X minutes. But you can't tell the software "match the photo to a GPS coordinate within 15 minutes (before or after) when the photo was taken". If the Columbus software can do that, it's not clear to me from the user guide or this tutorial how it could.

2) The device was not in spy mode. If it were, I would expect the groupings to be exactly 1 minute apart (the current spy mode configuration setting).
Thanks,
Dan
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lbendlin
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 8:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ah, but spy mode works differently. It wakes up, tries to take positions (up to eight) and then goes to sleep again. It can take any amount of time to try and get a fix, and will only start the counter again after it succeeded. So what you got is a mix of successful and unsuccessful attempts, methinks.

as for 1) - Try it out, maybe the software has an internal wobbly as long as your times from the camera and the GPS are close enough.
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lbendlin
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2009 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I may have stated that in the review but I have just now hit the 512 files limit in the SD card root. (by the way, this only occupies 86 MB on a 1 GB card...)

So if you use the Columbus as a BlackBox (as I do) make sure you move files from the sd card root to a subfolder every now and then. Like, every half year...
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lbendlin
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 3:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just did my annual archiving of the driving tracks. I seem to use on average 80 MB for a year. On a 1GB microSD card this gives me a gazillion of years of logging. It works with 2 GB cards too, but that is rather pointless in black box mode.

Just keep remembering about the file count limit!
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MikeSD
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2014 5:16 pm    Post subject: Bluetooth with Windows 8.1 Reply with quote

I'm trying to use this with the Surface Pro 2, using Windows 8.1. It connects fine but disconnects within 1-2 seconds.

Any idea why it might not work with this tablet?
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lbendlin
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2014 2:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do you have the option to try this with a different GPS receiver? Does Windows 8.1 even support the SPP profile?
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MikeSD
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2014 9:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

lbendlin wrote:
Do you have the option to try this with a different GPS receiver? Does Windows 8.1 even support the SPP profile?


I've tried a GPS via USB and it works fine. The Bluetooth one connects sometimes. And does work, when it does connect, with one of my app. But most of the time, the Bluetooth connects then drops. Seems to be a Windows 8.1 thing. I have it on two different machines and both work the same.

Also, I have tried connecting my tablet to my desktop, via Bluetooth and they connect, but drop also.
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