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Which phone / GPS receiver should I buy? Report your experiences here

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  • Well, I don't have a dash so to speak, but it sits on some plastic molding right below the windshield. I have used it in my daily a few times while going to work. I experienced the same issues in that car also (Elantra). With the elantra, I tried placing it at both the front and rear winshield, with minimal difference.

    I actually returned my first XGPS160 and bought a second one. No difference between the two, seems unlikely that two units would show up bad, unless there is a manufacturing problem?
  • aolaol
    edited August 2014
    Have you tried it in another car? Also in which country are you in? Is there GLONASS coverage? If you cannot sort out the reception, maybe return that unit too and buy the Garmin GLO. I have all three receivers, and both GLO and XGPS160 produce much better data than Q818XT. Between the two data is rather similar with the exception that XGPS160 connects steady 10 hz where the GLO fluctuates between 5-10 Hz giving average 8.5 Hz. This is probably UART buffer problem in the GLO receiver itself.
  • I am in the US. Like I said I tried it in my daily driver first, then took it to the track this past weekend. It is my understanding that GLONASS is available, but probably won't be as accurate since WAAS works with GPS only (I could be wrong about all this). That raises the issue, is there a way to adjust the XGPS160 for these types of things?

    Posted up some info on my issues here:
    http://racechrono.com/forum/#/discussion/1016/gps-receiver-issues-discussion

    I looked at the GLO, but after hearing about the frequency issues I shied away from it. I will give it a try at my next track event... Very disappointed with XGPS160 though. I really though that one would work well.
  • aolaol
    edited August 2014
    Have you contacted Dual support about the reception problems? I have no idea about any settings, but maybe they could help you. I've used the receiver in the Nurburgring and on Finnish circuit with great results. I believe they are an U.S. company so I think they might be interested in the problems you're facing.

    I'm also very surprised to hear XGPS160 doesn't work for someone, as I'm really loving my receiver :( You could consider that the issue is about the car used also, maybe it is causing some reception problems, and QSTARZ just deal with low signal better? And on good signal reception Dual works better? So maybe try running a session with the receiver properly attached to the exterior to find out why it is not working properly? I'm throwing ideas to air here...

    PS. I don't have any affiliation with Garmin nor Dual. So I recommend only devices that I've been happy with myself.
  • edited August 2014
    Yea, I actually picked the XGPS based on your suggestions here. Definitely want to thank you for the testing you have done btw.
  • Just want to mention that Garmin has released a firmware update as of January 28, 2014 that might have fixed the fluctuating update frequency.

    Has anyone updated and checked to see if it worked? I know they also released an older update that fixed the 1 second update issue...

    It would be nice to have options for the stable 10hz receivers.
  • One of my users has reported updating his Garmin GLO, and he says the update rate has improved after new firmware.
  • edited August 2014
    The GLO came in today. I haven't used it in a car yet, but I have walked around the house with it. I can confirm that the update rate is about ~7.5-8.5 Hz consistently. So whatever improvement they have made, would seem to have made it better or at least made it consistent compared to earlier comments? (I checked the firmware version using the WebUpdater, its the most recent one.)

    Also, a few things I have noticed compared to the XGPS160:
    1) using Bluetooth GPS app, the number of satellites in view is a little better. Satellites connected to was the same, maybe 1 or 2 more. Race chrono showed 16 for the GLO and 14 for the XGPS160.
    2) cold start-up is longer.

    I will run some more tests and post back.
  • I'm getting 7.5-8.5 Hz with the old firmware too, so it's not improved then. Are you using the "Bluetooth GPS" app with RaceChrono, btw? My instructions are not to use it, as RaceChrono can connect directly.
  • No, I am not. I was going through the FAQ on the XGPS160 site and it had some very specific instructions about using it. I tried it initially, to see if it would change anything. In any case, the "Bluetooth GPS" app provides a bit more detail about satellites and signal strength than RaceChrono, so I have been using it in my testing.
  • edited August 2014
    I ran some tests over the last 3 days with the GLO and XGPS160.

    I don't want to clutter this thread with pictures, so you can read more details here (I can upload the RC data if anyone wants it). I did about 2 "laps" with each device today and last friday.

    -The XGPS160 got more satellites (16 vs. 14 average) and generally the data collected by RaceChrono was better (DOP was lower, frequency is 10hz vs. 6.5-8.5 min/max for the GLO).
    -The actual position data however was not. Friday data was pretty bad for the XGPS160. Today's data was much better, but still not as accurate the GLO.
    -In a lot of the main roads, the GLO can place me in the center of the lane or at least in the lane. The XGPS usually has me on the border or outside the lane.


    I am returning the XGPS160, I had no luck getting in contact with the support guys (I didn't try very hard, but my phone calls went to an answering machine during business hours).
  • Contacted Garmin support about the update rate. First time they didn't really have an explanation for it. Second time around the guy gave me this:


    Thank you for contacting Garmin International.

    The Garmin GLO has both GPS and GLONASS receiver hardware built in, and will refresh at a rate of up to 10 times per second. It will not maintain a constant 10Hz transfer rate, but rather transmit whenever data is available within a specific accuracy range. It will never transmit less than once per second.

    With Best Regards,

    Not sure I understand, but I guess I can't complain if its accurate. Anyone care to comment about this? I am not very familiar with how WAAS/DGPS and their equivalents help, but is it possible the <10Hz update is intentional? Has anyone used a GLO on something other than an Android phone BTW? I find it hard to believe that all around the world, GPS satellites are only outputting ~75% "accurate" data.
  • aolaol
    edited August 2014
    I don't think they are telling the truth there (which is bad UART design) ;)
  • edited September 2014
    *****
    deadslow June 11

    I just tested Garmin GLO and Qstarz 818XT. Both promises 10 Hz update rate, but unfortunately Garmin is lying in their specs at the moment.

    Garmin GLO BT connection is capabale only to about max 16 kbits data stream, and that is why updaterate jumps between 5 and 10 Hz.
    Qstarz 818XT BT datastream is 25-35 kbits, and update rate is rock solid 10 Hz.

    I hope that Garmin will fix the problem, if it could be fixed with firmware update.

    In the meanwhile, my opinion is:
    Do not buy Garmin GLO if you want/ need 10 Hz update rate.
    ***

    I did send the reciever to garmin, complaining the issue above.
    It took 6-7 weeks, and they did send it/new one back to me.
    Tested it on the table:
    Updaterate average is 7 Hz, jumping from 7 to 6 and from 7 to 8.
    And data stream 12 kbits.
    So my guess is that they did something.

    (Qstarz 818XT BT datastream still is 25-35 kbits, and update rate is rock solid 10 Hz.)

    So, Garmin GLO still have issues with hardware and/or firmware.

    I will be sending the reciever for another service round. I am not buying bullshit excuses about stars not being in conjunction with planets.

    In the meanwhile, my opinion still is:
    Do not buy Garmin GLO if you want/ need 10 Hz update rate.
  • Next e-mail from Garmin was more bullshit. I think he is trying to say its the application. Deadslow, did you use an app to measure the bluetooth throughput? Which app did you use?
  • aolaol
    edited September 2014
    It's not the app's fault. Hard to provide evidence though... other than say it's impossible to receive 10 Hz from it using Android 4.3 or later.
  • Yea, I definitely don't think RaceChrono is the problem. We have all used it with 10 Hz and my old LG p769/L9 could take 10Hz from the 818XT. I highly doubt its the phone either (Nexus 5).

    I have asked the rep for the supposed "GLO android app" that gets 10 Hz from it. No response yet, but we will see.
  • Does anyone have suggestions on other GPS receivers that do 10 Hz?

    Currently:
    818XT - (Some units the update rate fluctuates. Also tends to be inconsistent with data)
    XGPS160 - Not enough people have tested it, but stable 10Hz. Bad position data for me, good for aol.
    GLO - approximately 7.5Hz update.

    If you guys have found others, I would be willing to get my hands on one and test it.
  • Seefo, I used RaceChrono. There is data stream meter in it. Go to live view and press the arrow down icon on the bottom of the screen.

    One way, I think, to test the GLO is to connect it to lap top or PC with bluetooth, and log the data with any terminal program. For example windows xp has Hyper Terminal.
    And then check the time stamps of the gps sentencies.
  • Would a HTC Wildfire running Android 2.3.3 and a 818XT be a sufficient set up for accurate lap times (Motorcycle racing)?

    Or is the older version of android going to cause probelms?


  • aolaol
    edited September 2014
    Latest RaceChrono will still work on that phone. Although I will drop 2.3 support some time in the future. But old version of RaceChrono will still be available for it. 818XT is not the best but it is enough to give accurate lap times if placed to the tail section of the bike. Vibrations will eventually make that receiver malfunction, but until that you're allright.
  • edited September 2014
    Cheers.

    If that's the case, what receiver would you think more suited to this purpose?

    Vibration resistance, accuracy, and even waterproofing are all important features for me I'd think. I'd like the unit to last, else it may be more economical to buy a purpose built gps lap timer.
  • aolaol
    edited September 2014
    I'd say dual xgps160. It's price of three 818xts ... But 818xt will last probably couple of years. Ive just heard many gone bad eventually. Remember racechrono is much more than a lap timer :)
  • From my experience using phones with internal GPS:

    HTC One X (Evita) - Works well, usually within 0.1 sec of official timing.
    Nexus 5 - Horrible, GPS very unstable even using Google Maps.
    Nexus 7 (2013 LTE) - Works well, usually within 0.1 sec of official timing.
  • External GPS recommended anyways, it will help on all devices ;)
  • edited September 2014
    Im currently looking for a nice reliable set up and been recommended the Nokia 5210 or 6300 along with sirf3 or qstarz1.

    Its for bike track timing :)

    Is this a good set up? Cheers
  • How5ser, for Symbian phones I recommend using QSTARZ BT-Q818X or XT GPS receiver. Although the Android version is light years ahead of the old Symbian versions, so I'd actually go look for an Android phone with Android 4.0 or newer.
  • edited September 2014
    Thanks for your reply aol.

    I am looking at buying a Samsung galaxy young, or Galaxy fame. Or I might just use my Samsung Galaxy S4 to start with

    Is this okay to go with my Samsung http://www.expansys.com/dual-skypro-gps-receiver-for-ipad-android-tablets-black-red-xgps-160-252679/

    Thanks
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