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Thread: Mini Review: Bluetooth GPS Qstarz BT-Q890

  1. #1
    Mod - iPad Forums RipplingHurst's Avatar
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    Mini Review: Bluetooth GPS Qstarz BT-Q890

    Okay, after long time researching, I decided to buy this one. Qstartz BT-Q890.

    Amazon link. Jonathan's review did it for me in the end - check it out. Manufacturer link here.

    Some specs:

    • eXtreme 66-Channel tracking for fast acquisition and reacquisition

    Super high sensitivity -165dBm adopting the latest MTK II chipset

    • Lower power consumption up to 12hrs navigation time

    • Slim, Thin, Li ght, and Stylish design, only 62L x 38W x 7H (mm)

    • Capable of Assisted GPS: download almanac data to realize fastest TTFF and positioning

    G-Mouse + Bluetooth in one: wired and wireless GPS receiver

    One touch switch to 5Hz update rate for higher accuracy of the demand of eXtreme Sport

    • Fast Position Fix ,Cold start 35s, Warm start 33s,Hot start 1s

    • Personal/Portable Navigation (PDA, Smartphone, PC, etc.)

    • QZSS, DGPS(WAAS+EGNOS+MSAS) support

    Auto On-Off function for smart power control
    So it has the MTK chipset, 66ch, super high sensitivity, 5Hz refresh rate, small, etc. What matters for me in the end is that it works very well. I leave it inside my center console, and it picks up signal better and faster than my old 5Hz Garmin GPS 18 mounted outside the car!


    There's also this: it works as a bluetooth gps AND a usb gps. Each one on its own com port, if you so wish. So right there you have two com ports with NMEA data for you.

    Works great with Xport, provided there's an application opening the port, Xport turns the thing on. No reaching to it and pressing the on button, like some bluetooth units out there.

    Also it does resume from hibernating with Windows 7. It also resumes from hybrid sleep too, very fast, no issues. I used to have BSODs with the Garmin (they do not update their drivers easily.)

    The thing I like most with this bluetooth gps is that it requires no drivers to install, if you so wish. If your bluetooth stack is up and running, pair it, and it will work for you. Talk about future proof! As long as BT is out there, this is going to work (windows 8, 9, 10, etc.). I'm tired of downloading, updating drivers, trying to make XP drivers work with Vista, later Vista with win7, etc. This the end of it!

    Now having said that, I later installed the USB drivers for this thing (otherwise when plugged it would just charge the thing via USB). They also work fine with windows 7 too, but as usual, not sure about XP, Vista, etc. Again, if your bluetooth drivers work, this thing should work with it.

    Also it comes with some very cool applications, which displays sat info, lock, they can save track data, etc. Using the apps you can update almanac data and thus enable assisted GPS function for even faster operation.

    Man, when I think about all the frustrating hours wiring and hiding and extending my usb cable for my external Garmin GPS 18...I even burned a usb hub in the process. Finally I've found what I need.


    Now I'm going to investigate if I can use it with my J/B 3G iPhone (regular iPhone does not have a BT stack) and see if I can use more precise apps with it than Rev2.0 (and enjoy the 5Hz benefits of this unit.)

  2. #2
    FLAC
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    i hope the new iguidance will have 5hz support... i have a qstarz gps, they do work great but most applications still display in 1hz increments.

  3. #3
    Mod - iPad Forums RipplingHurst's Avatar
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    Well, I'm more interested right now in applications like lap-time plugin, and tracking. But yeah, it would be nice if the nav apps worked @ 5Hz. I suspect the Garmin ones should? Not sure.

  4. #4
    FLAC
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    yes! i think it does because the newest version of gmpc comes with a 20x gps puck actually... for $100 for the software and puck its not a bad combo it looks like... and it would be nice if my car stopped telling me about places that arent there anymore (2008 maps!)

  5. #5
    Mod - iPad Forums RipplingHurst's Avatar
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    BTW, here's a picture showing how small it is. Yes, I'm considering buying the Garmin (software only just to see what's all the hype. People are really adopting GMPC on this forum, maybe it's the end of iGuidance?)




    Again, it can stay inside the console or glovebox, you can charge it via USB and forget about it, or just charge it when needed. Batteries @5Hz last less than @1Hz, though.

  6. #6
    Constant Bitrate
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    Does this start up in 1Hz mode each time it turns on? I ask because read a review last month that said it does this by default and then they had to change it to 5Hz each time it turned on. Maybe there is a way to change that default setting that that guy didn't find...
    Toyota Tacoma Install
    BMW 325Ci Install - Old

    ZOTAC H55-ITX, Intel i3 & 320 Series SSD
    7" Lilliput 669GL, M4-ATX, SB X-Fi, XMPCR
    Win 7, RR, Garmin, DashCmd

    Morel Elate 9 3way & IDQ10 ported (active 4-way),
    JL Audio HD Amps, Audison BitOne.1

  7. #7
    Mod - iPad Forums RipplingHurst's Avatar
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    Yes, apparently it does stay at 5Hz, more explanations below.

    Sorry I didn't get back to you sooner. Had a couple of issues connecting to it again.


    I'm not sure it's my fault or not, but I'm having too many ports sending GPS data and Xport is jumping around them and I'm getting confused. USB GPS is on COM5, Bluetooth GPS in on COM 3 & 4. I thought I had only one bluetooth port, but apparently not. Xport creates ports 8 & 9, since 6&7 are form my USBtoSerial interface (HD radio, extra). I don't know why Xport does not stick to the one I saved (COM3) when I turn on the ports 7 & 8, as per instructions, but I suspect it has to do with the docking/undocking and the on/off with the bluetooth radio.

    So in the car the gps is plugged to an usb port from the tablet dock. Bluetooth is always on, except when auto turn off kicks in. When I undock the thing, bluetooth probably kicks in, but COM5 is gone, but depending if I carry the gps with me or not, bluetooth might go off again...then when I come back and plug/dock the tablet to the usb, COM 5 is the first active, since no program is yet using COM3 and activating bluetooth port (I suspect), so I guess instead of turning on COM 3, Xport uses COM 5 instead, that I use with Qstartz software that require 115200bps USB connection to upload almanac data and record tracks.

    Sounds confusing? It is, I'm not sure I'm being accurate, I'm still trying to figure it out myself (1) what's happening (2) what should I do.

    Suggestion?


    In the mean time, I just used Qstartz own software (it came with Qstartz's own GPSview and Visual GPS, which I believe is freeware?).

    I attached a screen shot that show both software running simultaneously. QstartzGPSview show that it it is running at 5Hz refresh rate, and it has been so since I bought, that is, after multiple power cycles, manual and auto mode. So that is not a problem. However, this software is the only way I have to know it's at 5Hz. Maybe if I examine my track data, so, if I trust Qstartz own software, yes, it keeps 5Hz after power cycles.

  8. #8
    Mod - iPad Forums RipplingHurst's Avatar
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    Oops, forgot to attach the screen shot.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  9. #9
    Newbie
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    Did you get it to work with your iPhone?

  10. #10
    Mod - iPad Forums RipplingHurst's Avatar
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    No, sorry. Didn't even start trying. Got to do more research on what is possible with my J/b iPhone. Not optimistic though.

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