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Transystem i-Blue 737 GPS receiver user review
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lbendlin
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2006 7:24 pm    Post subject: Transystem i-Blue 737 GPS receiver user review Reply with quote

Here is a short user review (by kar98) of the first Bluetooth GPS receiver that featured a MTK chipset and the Bluetooth Sleep function.



OK, the Christmas season is over and wandering through the computer stores, I noticed that nothing they had for sale excited me the least bit. Already got every gadget known to god, man and beast; and better, faster, slicker to boot.

Nothing exciting in the PDA aisle, no fancy new iPods, the cellphone shelf looks plain depressing and seeing how I just spent $350 at the auto-glass place, car stereos left me yawning, too.

So I got my hands on a i-Blue-737 Bluetooth GPS receiver, made by Transystem in Taiwan. The unit is also sold as ITernet PS-737 and as QStarz BT-Q810.

The receiver does not impress with fancy design gimmick, but what’s under the hood is what counts anyway. My first exclamation of “oh, nice!” was at the discovery of the rechargeable battery.

It can be replaced by the user, without the use of any tool and it’s the same as in my Nokia 6030 phone: a 1000 mAh Li-ion job that promises 25 hours of usage, after which it can be recharged in 3 hours by connecting the receiver to the powered USB port of any computer, a wall charger, or to a cigarette lighter-to-powered USB-port adapter.

As far as I was able to determine, the mini USB port on the PS-737 is for charging only. When connected to a computer, it shows up as “CP2102 USB to UART Bridge Controller”, but that’s it.

Swiftly we rip the unit apart:



The bottom lid, the battery, and the matchbox-sized receiver. Neat feature: the black rectangle at the bottom is a rubber pad, presumably to stop the receiver from scooting all over your dashboard while driving. Nice. The battery is the same as in many Nokia phones (BL-5C), enabling the consumer to replace it for about $20.

Immediately after turning it on with the slide switch at the side, a whole Christmas tree of LEDs lights up at the top. OK, so it’s just two lights, but they sure blink a lot. And not even in sync with each other.

The blue light indicates a successful pairing by blinking rhythmically; the orange LED, near the “orbits” icon, does the same once the receiver has gotten its first fix, albeit at a different rhythm.

The LED near the battery icon indicates charging status, but I haven’t managed to run the battery down yet. Interesting solution to a problem I didn’t know I had: when the receiver doesn’t detect a Bluetooth device, it goes into stand-by, but doesn’t lose the GPS until you turn it off the hard way, by using the physical switch.

This means when you stop at a way-point, like a gas station, a point of delivery, or a scenic view, you can grab your PDA on leaving the car and the receiver will maintain its fix, so you don’t have to wait for a new fix when resuming your trip...without leaving the PDA in your car, running down its battery and inviting long-fingered rapscallions to walk off with it.

If you have ever paired one Bluetooth device to another, setting up your PDA or computer to work with the receiver shouldn’t confuse you either. While I completed that process, the device busied itself finding its position in the known universe and we finished at the same time, after a tad less than a minute:



Better than -158dBm sensitivity in the palm of your hand! That’s indoors, by the way. Outdoor performance was outstanding. Driving through the same landscape that used to baffle your ancient SirfStarII receiver of yore --winding country roads with lots of huge trees, valleys, shopping malls, tall office buildings downtown-- the MTK chipset in this new receiver typically showed twelve satellites reading 8 to 12 of them at near full strength.

In comparison, the SSII (Pharos iGPS360) was lucky to barely read 3 or 4 out of 6, and the very good TomTom MkII (SSIII) typically received 7 to 8 satellites and used half a dozen of them. Coming from a company I hadn’t even heard of yet, the MTK chipset’s performance is impressive indeed. Also, there doesn’t seem to be much of a “sway”, i.e. when standing in place the receiver will not show you wandering around in a 15 foot radius. Likewise, barely any deviation from your actual path either.

For around $70, you’ll get a device with a few interesting new approaches like the intelligent power management, the user-replaceable standard Li-Ion battery, almost twice the battery life of the TomTom MkII, better than SirfStarIII accuracy and remarkably fast fixes. Data output is in the NMEA format, the 32-channel receiver is also DGPS-enabled (WAAS, EGNOS, MSAS, RTCM).

Thanks to BuyGPSnow.com for providing the review sample.
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portman
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Location: Dorset

PostPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2006 9:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've had one for about a month, bought it off ebay, £40, very impressed too!!
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Billum
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Joined: Feb 28, 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2007 6:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Had mine for about 12 weeks. Absolutely no complaints, the power management is excellent I let it remain on (Standby ) using occasionally for 12 days before the low battery warning showed.

:D
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Digitore
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Joined: Mar 02, 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2007 5:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bought one on ebay for £40. It has a very respectable TFF (cold) of 30-40 secs on average and even in a 2 storey building will happily find 10 satellites. Build quality is not up to Holux standards, but if you're only going to put it in the car it's more than adequate.
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Jon002
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Joined: Jan 08, 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2007 5:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does this GPS receiver easily link up with TomTom Navigator 6?

I have to buy the DVD version of Nav6 for my 990i which doesn't come with the Tomtom GPS receiver, and this receiver looks like a good one to go for.
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lbendlin
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2007 4:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

yes, works fine with any navigation software, including TomTom 6
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p800
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2007 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just received my BT-Q810 this morning.

Sats located from hot start inside my house in 1 to 2 secs. I can pick up 12 sats from inside my house with no problem, of which 9 get a fix.
Go outside and it just gets better. :D

If you are thinking of buying a new BT GPS unit, you can't go wrong with this unit. £42.64 from Ebay using "buy it now".
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Kar98
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Joined: Nov 25, 2004
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Location: DFW, Texas, USA

PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2007 9:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jon002 wrote:
Does this GPS receiver easily link up with TomTom Navigator 6?


Piece of cake. Was so easy I didn't even have a chance to take notes. Embarassed
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doogle
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2007 8:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I realise it's got a good standby feature but I'm looking to do a semi-permanent install in my car so I'd like to be able to power on and off with the ignition. Is this possible with this receiver?
Can you charge it and use it at the same time?
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Kar98
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2007 8:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

doogle wrote:
I realise it's got a good standby feature but I'm looking to do a semi-permanent install in my car so I'd like to be able to power on and off with the ignition.


Dunno, in all the cars I've ever had (and there were quite a few) the cigarette lighter was life, whether the ignition was on or off.

Quote:
Can you charge it and use it at the same time?


Sure.
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lbendlin
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2007 8:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

doogle wrote:
I realise it's got a good standby feature but I'm looking to do a semi-permanent install in my car so I'd like to be able to power on and off with the ignition. Is this possible with this receiver?
Can you charge it and use it at the same time?


yes, this receiver has a "real" on/off key. You will want to try to operate it without battery though, otherwise you would deep discharge the battery all the time. batteries don't like that.
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doogle
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2007 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks!

Do you know if the battery is removable? Does it use the nokia type like a lot of the other units?
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Kar98
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2007 8:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

doogle wrote:
Thanks!

Do you know if the battery is removable? Does it use the nokia type like a lot of the other units?


Well, considering that there's a picture of the disassembled unit posted above, with the battery removed, and it even states explicitly and verbatim the "battery is the same as in many Nokia phones (BL-5C)", I guess we'll never know.
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technik
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Joined: Mar 18, 2004
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2007 11:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Got my BT-Q818 today.

It's the improved version of the BT-Q810 as reviewed.

The building I work in has heat reflective glass that stops most GPS from working indoors even if placed next to the window, but this BT-Q818 got 5 satellites within 5 minutes of being unpacked from it's box. :D

I am very impressed with it.

Got it from that well known auction site.
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spook51
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2007 8:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Isn't the only 'improvement' the capacity of the battery?
The BT-Q810 has a 1000mAh battery whilst the BT-Q818's is 1100mAh.
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