Flymaster F1-Live


Flymaster Avionics just recently announced a new GPS tracking device called the Flymaster F1-Live. This is a GSM enabled GPS tracker which allows the live tracking of pilots during their leisure or competition flights. It is especially designed for flight - though we’re not sure how different this would be compared other GPS tracking devices. But apparently they have patent features.

As far as the hardware this GPS tracker offers the following:

  • 50 channel, 4 Hz (4 positions per second), high sensibility GPS;
  • Internal memory for more than 50 hours of flight with 1 second recording interval, i.e. 180000 points;
  • Quad band GSM-GPRS module
  • 20 hours of operation with 4 AA alkaline batteries.

If you’re a pilot you know that you lose cell phone coverage for a good amount of time and the Flymaster F1-Live has a solution for your live tracking needs. In the advent of network coverage loss the F1-live stores the data and resends missing track information to the server as soon as network coverage becomes available. And if all goes to plan you shouldn’t have any discontinuity,

We have no info on pricing yet.

QStarz GPS Sports Recorder (BT-Q1300ST) and QSports software review


OVERVIEW:
If you are an endurance workout junkie, this is the perfect tool for you. Lightweight, easy to use, with multi-functional software, the QStarz GPS Sports Recorder and its associated QSports program allow you to track your routes and your progress throughout your training regimen. The GPS unit itself is compact and simple, but the software provides the user with a gold-mine of information related to health, fitness progress, and workout details.

GPS UNIT:
The data logger itself is straight-forward to use. The included instructions describe what each light means, but the take-home message is that pressing and holding the main button will achieve any functionality that you need. The only drawback to this design that I encountered had to do with the brightness of the indicator lights. In the glaring sunlight, it was sometimes tough to see if the GPS was in fact tracking, data logger was active, etc. Simply shading the unit alleviates the issue.

When you first download and install the Qsports software, you must plug your data logger into the computer using the USB cable included with the unit. Leave the unit plugged in for the specified amount of time (included in software instructions) to charge the battery for use. Once the software recognizes the data logger, the first thing you should do is configure the GPS unit using the button highlighted below.

At this point, determine what activity that you’ll be using the GPS device to track. Runners, hikers, and cyclists will all want slightly different settings, and these will even vary by athlete. You can use the default settings to require the GPS to log a data point at specific time intervals, or customize to your liking. As I used this to track running routes in Phoenix’s South Mountain park trails, I selected the running setting. The default ‘running’ setting logs every 5 seconds, which works perfectly for most runners. Since South Mountain trails can be sinewy and full of switch-backs, I changed the setting to log every 3 seconds to achieve even finer “accuracy” of my routes. Make sure to play around with the options and become familiar with all setting to determine which might best for your workout. There’s really no “wrong answer” here.

Also, be sure to set your User Profile at the bottom with height, weight, and age, which assists the tools under the Health Management tab.

After configuration, the GPS is ready to take into the field. I used the arm-band that came with the device; a “standard” runners’ armband. Even in the mid-90s dry, desert weather that I encountered, the band was quite comfortable. Before starting on my runs, I’d make sure the GPS signal indicator was recording my position, along with the data logger. I never waited more than five (5) minutes for a signal lock, allowing me plenty of time to stretch and prepare my gear without having to wait for the GPS to achieve a signal.

Keep in mind that this GPS has no interface that displays real-time data. Some runners prefer having the GPS devices which show speed, location, etc. on the fly. If you prefer having constant updates during your workout, I suggest wearing a watch in addition to the GPS data logger. Personally, I’m a runner that prefers to minimize electronic gadgetry, particularly on trail runs. Too often, I would find myself looking at my watch and other instruments while working out, instead of paying attention to how my body reacts during workouts. For this reason, the GPS suited me perfectly. This is strictly personal preference, though.

Battery life never became an issue on my runs. Some of my longer trails runs would range between 90 and 120 minutes. So long as I charged the battery before each long run, I could track the entire workout without issue.

The GPS data logger does include Bluetooth functionality, but I did not interact with this functionality, as I do not own any Bluetooth devices. I guess that means I’m behind the times in some regards…

Finally, regarding the GPS’ accuracy, I found the positional accuracy to be comparable to a Garmin unit. Certainly for the purposes of tracking a workout, the accuracy of data on the QSports software’s Google Maps interface was impressive.

QSPORTS SOFTWARE

This feature is truly where the strength of this purchase lies. After returning home, I could plug my GPS back into the computer and view my workout across the Google Maps interface, and view the vital statistics (the software comes with the Google Maps map, satellite, and terrain views). Downloading your track from the device to the software requires plugging the USB cord back into the data logger and choosing the “Import Wizard” function in the QSports software interface. Once the track is uploaded, each data point logged in the field will show two attributes of interest at the time (choose from speed, altitude, distance, time acceleration, total ascent, and SRTM elevation). **Note SRTM refers to shuttle-collected elevation data, which will produce slightly different elevation values in some locations**

The three basic tabs (Summary, Graph, and Play) comprise the ‘Activities View’ window. Summary tab shows the basics: total time, moving time, distance, moving speed, elevation gain, and calories burned. The subfields of Time, Distance, Speed, and Elevation offer more detail. The graph tab offers up the information at each logged data point, as described above. The Play tab is a playback of your total route, with each logged data point serving as a point of reference (see below). This allowed me to see places in my runs where I slowed or accelerated.


Above is example of data accuracy taken outside my office in Phoenix, AZ. I was standing precisely there when I activated the data logger

The Statistics tab lets you track all workouts in monthly, weekly, or daily increments to see spikes or dips in your training time, which is handy to compare against recommended training plans.

The plethora of data and statistics available to the runner, cyclist, hiker, or any endurance athlete makes this a useful training tool. Short-term and long-term workout analysis are available to those using the QSports software. I would highly recommend the QStarz GPS Sports Recorder (BT-Q1300ST) and QSports software for any and all endurance athletes.

RouteConverter still around and improved


We first talked about RouteConverter about four years ago. They’ve been working on the software ever since and they deserve update. Here’s what’s been improved in the last four years:

  • works without installation under Linux, Mac OS X and Windows
  • automatically detects the format of over 70 file types
  • supports drag and drop for files, urls, zip archives and the system clipboard
  • supports undo and redo for an arbitrary number of actions
  • offers a Google Maps- or OpenStreetMap map view onto the positions of routes, tracks and waypoints and an elevation profile
  • allows to transform routes into tracks and tracks into routes using the Douglas Peucker Algorithm
  • allows to complement positions with elevation data from NASA Shuttle Radar Topography Mission, place names from geonames.org and postal addresses from Google Maps
  • contains an easy to use way to exchange routes with other users
  • is available in Arabic, Chinese, Croatian, Dutch, English, German, Serbian, Spanish

See http://www.routeconverter.de/about/en for details.

Garmin GTU 10 available tomorrow


Remember the Garmin GTU 10 live GPS tracking device we announced back in January? ATT just announced that they’d be selling it online starting tomorrow.

GTU 10 tracking device will cost $200 and this will include one year of subscription. After the first year you’ll have to shell out $50/year. This plan is the ‘standard tracking’ which lets you look at the last ten known locations each day. The ‘deluxe tracking’ package is $5/month which remembers where you’ve been for the last 7 days.

We hate to promote large corporations here at Navigadget but you know what - this is not a bad deal at all.

You can track pets, kids, or pretty much anything that moves with the GTU 10, setup geofences, and expect it to last up to four weeks.

Will you be getting one of these? We would like to hear your thoughts on this.

FBI tracking device torn apart


Do you want to know what exactly is inside a FBI GPS car tracking device? Then this is the right place to check out if you want to see full size photos with descriptions of each component. If you want to know how these people got a hold of this custom made GPS tracking device the law enforcement uses then head out to Wired for the longer story.

This is a live GPS tracking device rather than a GPS logger - that is your location information is transmitted to law enforcement in real time. The whole system consists of a battery pack, GPS receiver, a transmitter, and the magnetic mounting bracket. The batteries are quite impressive for one. It uses 4 Li-SOCl2 D cell batteries each of which gets you 13000mAh. The GPS receiver is not very sophisticated though - in fact it uses µ-blox GPS-MS1 which was first released in 1999.

giveaway: QSTARZ Q1000XT GPS travel recorder


We’re giving away one QSTARZ Q1000XT GPS travel recorder. This can be used for vehicle tracking or whatever you want to know the location of.

We’re changing the format just a bit. We’ll be using Twitter this time and all you’ll have to do is follow Navigadget and retweet this. And then we’ll randomly pick one of the retweeters as a winner. That’s all you have to do.

Back to the awesome GPS travel recorder: QSTARZ Q1000XT can record up to 400K points, has a POI to record your favorite spot, uses MTK II chipset which supports -165dBm sensitivity and 66-Channel tracking, has up to 42 hours battery life, uses a vibration sensor to smart power management, has an update rate of 1 or 5Hz, can be used as a bluetooth GPS mouse, and more.

If you want to more about the device go to QSTARZ.

OK, go ahead. Retweet.

QSTARZ software for Q1300ST


Not too long ago we had a chance to play with the BT-Q1300ST GPS Sports Recorder. The hardware itself is really light and has amazing battery life. But today we want to talk about the software. We were quite surprised with its ease of use and its capabilities. Called QSports it puts all of your activities on a calendar and organizes with activity type. It even has rowing as an activity type and that’s actually how we were doing that day as you can see from the image above.

The software lets you add markers on the map to mark your start line and finish line so you can get the exact stats on your race practice. It has a play mode that quickly follows the trail you’ve taken and it provides graphs including speed, altitude, distance, and even acceleration.

FBI is being sued after getting caught using GPS tracking device


Remember our story about FBI using a giant GPS device to track the car of a 1/2 Egyptian student? Well, it is payback time. The American citizen is now suing the agency for placing this GPS tracking device on his car without a warrant. The funny part is after the student found out about the device after an oil change he posted photos of the device online and two days later agents from FBI pulled him over and asked for the tracking device back. Now his lawyer says the agents who showed up to collect the device were “hostile,” threatening to charge Afifi if he didn’t immediately cooperate and refusing his request to have a lawyer present. The suit also says agents showed they knew private details about his life, such as which restaurants he dined at, the new job he’d just obtained and his plans to travel abroad.

QSTARZ CR-Q1100P commercial GPS tracking recorder


QSTARZ just launched a new GPS Tracking Recorder called CR-Q1100P, which is targeted for commercial users. It uses MTK II chipset with -165dBm sensitivity and 66-Channel tracking with a battery life that reaches up to 40hrs. CR-Q1100P has rugged designed that provides IPX-3 water resistance. It has a high quality rubber POI button and USB A type connector to increase its durability. There are 4 LEDs on the front side of this GPS tracker to view device status.

As far as software CR-Q1100P comes with DataViewer and QTravel which can both give you the tools needed for data analysis. Apparently the device is already out but we haven’t seen it on shopqstarz.com just yet. It supposed to go for $140.

GTU 10: live GPS tracking from Garmin


Garmin just came out with a live GPS tracking unit called GTU 10. It is web based tracker and will be showcased at CES 2011 which we’re attending again this year.

GTU 10 is tiny, It measures 3″x1.3″x.8″ and weighs only 1.7 oz. It is waterproof and comes with a carabiner clip and pouch making it easy to attach to a backpack or dog collar or whatever. You register the device at my.garmin.com and then hope that AT&T has coverage where the device is. Tracking is web based, or you can use the Garmin Tracker application for your smartphone.

With GTU 10 you can have up to 10 geofences and can get an email or text message when the device goes outside this area you have determined. The built-in Li-ion battery can last up to 4 weeks they say of course you can also get low battery and powered off notifications too.

Here is the pricing: GTU 10 itself is $200 which comes with 1 year of standard service. This means 10 points of daily track history. After the first year it is $50/year. Deluxe Tracking service plan $5 per month and allows 7 days of track history. No ETF, activation fees or contracts.