[aprssig] Really CHEAP Puck-type USB GPS Receiver -- WORKS GREAT!

Michael Braitberg mbraitberg at sugarloaf.net
Fri Jan 27 22:19:59 CST 2012

Mine arrived today. I have never seen such a fast Cold Start. Works fine
with all my applications and is sitting in the living room with 12
satellites locked!
Michael AB0MH

-----Original Message-----
From: aprssig-bounces at tapr.org [mailto:aprssig-bounces at tapr.org] On Behalf
Of Stephen H. Smith
Sent: Friday, January 27, 2012 12:42 PM
To: TAPR APRS Mailing List
Subject: Re: [aprssig] Really CHEAP Puck-type USB GPS Receiver -- WORKS

  On 1/23/2012 8:57 PM, wa4sca wrote:
> I ordered one since I was ordering some other stuff.  It arrived, and
after some fiddling, got the drivers working on my WIN7 machine.  It works
fine with APRSIS32, Precision Mapping S&  T, and my dumb terminal program.
UI-VIEW32 sees the port, and complains when the GPS is not plugged in.
However, it does not appear to be seeing the data.  Show GPS Input just
shows a blank screen.  $GPRMC data is present and valid when I look with
another program.
> Alan

I received my USD $25 Globalsat BU-353  USB GPS today.    Within 3 minutes
delivery, I had it plugged into a USB port on my Panasonic CF-51 Toughbook
CoreDuo 1.6 GHz laptop), and working perfectly with  Visual GPS, MapPoint, 
UIview, TopoUSA 8.0   --AND-- Precision Mapping 9.0.   All simultaneously
the freeware XPort GPS port splitter.     Get this extremely useful GPS

. <http://www.curioustech.net/xport.html>

As soon as I plugged the BR-353 in, the existing Prolific driver on my
system (used with several other USB GPSes and Argent Data's generic
dongle) immediately enabled it.   One reboot, and it acquired lock in about
minute positioned by a BASEMENT window under an overcast Michigan winter

Normally, I have XPort intercept the physical COM 1 port on the Toughbook
(that I use for a serial GPS) and output virtual COM4 through COM12 which I
use with the various apps. All I had to do was change XPort's INPUT port
from COM1 to the virtual COM16 created by the Prolific driver to get
everything to work with the USB Globalsat instead.  No changes to any of the
apps required at all.

The unit is very small, lightweight but nicely finished, with a beveled
round case that looks like a tiny flying saucer about 2 inches (5 cm)
Should be fairly aerodynamic at high speeds mounted to the roof of a
The magnet embedded in the underside is powerful enough to stick to a
textured vertical surface such as a refrigerator without slipping.

Interestingly, the plastic case does NOT have the usual sonic-welded
It is actually held together with 3 tiny Phillips-head screws, so opening &
hacking the device (serial output???) non-destructively should be possible.

A single small low-intensity red LED (thank god not one of those
screamingly-bright blue LEDs currently fashionable on digital gadgets!)
lights solidly during acquisition (verifies USB power)  and starts flashing
when lock 
is achieved (like the GPS legend on the Kenwood D700 screen).    This
will NOT be a blinding distraction on top of a car's dash at night.

I have run it with both the Panasonic Toughbook and an Acer ZG5 netbook 
successfully.   This gadget is definitely an excellent value.



Stephen H. Smith    wa8lmf (at) aol.com
Skype:        WA8LMF
Home Page:          http://wa8lmf.net

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