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To Bluetooth Or Not To Bluetooth


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Alright, I love my Fortuna CF GPS. Its accurate, fast, reliable, easy to use... however, the thing is just huge sticking out the top of my Axim x5! Not to mention that the slot is beginning to show signs of wear (the GPS is getting a bit loose in there; I need to take it out every day because its just to big for certain situations at work).

 

So here is the question: buy the Fortuna Clip On Bluetooth version? Money is not a concern (already got a buyer for my beloved CF one). I've read all the reviews, and all the opinions. However nothing I've read directly related to geocaching with bluetooth and/or bluetooth on PPC 2003 (I hear there is some concern regarding that?)

 

On the surface it seems like a heck-of-a idea: stick the Axim in an Otter box, the gps in the backpack and away goes the happy cacher. But, will the battery last a full 8 hours of caching duty? Is the interface between the PPC and the GPS as responsive and accurate as the CF?

 

Common guys, help me out here!

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Mind elaborating Rubberhead? Best / worst you tested. Hours? Did you find accuracy to be a problem? Any noticble communication delays over the bluetooth connection?

As I recall, I demo'ed the Socket Bluetooth GPS and a similar device by HP.

 

I remember that both came with very nice and elaborate power supply systems. This was my first clue that this set-up was only wireless for a little while before needing some help. Going from memory, I'm thinking that I go a little less than 4 hours out of the GPS sending units and slightly less than that out of the iPAQ. It didn't seem to make a lot of sense to have to plug both units into a common power cable so that they could run wirelessly.

 

Anyway, the set-up did work with no noticable communication delays. There was even an option to view the NEMA sentence stream on the iPAQ. Acuracy was as good as any 12-channel GPS and lock time was fairly quick. I did not compare them side-by-side but I think the lock time was a bit quicker than an eTrex.

 

Most of the Bluetooth GPS units are very similar (maybe even identical internally). I never got my hands on the stand-alone unit (w/display) that also sends out a Bluetooth NEMA stream.

 

I do remember being very impressed with the MyNavigator software for the iPAQ. Very accurate basemaps and easy to work with menus.

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as I remember from the other people posts in different forums Fortuna on batteries will last you for about 6h. the PDA (in my case it was h2210 can work at moderate britness with BT radio on for abut 5h)

 

IMHO it's not that bad (you can always have battery extender :lol:

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CC,

 

I don't know if you caught my comments on the Belkin GPS (rebranded clip on). In the context of caching, I was extremely disappointed with the performance. Not only was there unacceptable drift, but cold temperatures seemed to make matters even worse. I returned mine (the saga of that tale can be found over at gpspassion.com) and got a RoyalTek BlueGPS instead. I simply couldn't be happier with it. Especially since it comes with a nice utility to change the GPS settings. BTW this was an upgrade from a CoPilot Bluetooth GPS. I just wanted something newer and perhaps with a bit more sensitivity.

 

I use an iPAQ 3975 with Mapopolis and GPS Tuner and I've never had an issue with battery life. I use a program called XCPUScalar to underclock the CPU and save battery life. Usually can get about five solid hours with bluetooth on.

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I'm a new cacher and I went with the fortuna blue tooth clip on for my ipaq and I love it. I have a regular battery and a extended battery for my ipaq and I know I can get 8 hours out of the ipaq but it isn't a issue because it slids into a powered mount in the car and can charge between caches. If I was planning a marathon cacheing trip I could leave one battery charging in the car all the time. A big advantage that the fortuna clip on has is that it uses the same charging plug as the Ipaq and it uses a removeable Nokia phone battery. Its supposed to get 8 hours on a full charge but you can plug it in when your in the car so it can easy do a all day cache hunt. You could get a nokia extra battery if you were worried about running out. If you get one of the AA battery extenders for the PDA you could also use it with the fortuna for long marathon cache hunts or just as a backup.

 

I'm still experimenting with the different GPS software for after I get close. I use mapopolis for streets and routing and obsolutely love it. I haven't decided yet if I like GPS tuner or vito navigator for tracking the cache after I get out of the car. I use GPX sonar for cache information and detail.

 

There is a detailed comparison and reviews of blue tooth receivers at gps passion here- http://www.gpspassion.com/fr/articles.asp?id=55 it was written in Febuary so its fairly recent.

 

I wrote a longer review with pictures of what hardware and software I use here at http://www.navicache.com/cgi-bin/ib312a/ik...ct=ST;f=4;t=859

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