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Appeared on: Monday, September 18, 2006
Evermore DL-200BT


1. Introduction

Apart from GPS devices, Evermore also manufactures GPS loggers. These are stand alone devices that can log your route, and afterwards be used to show valuable information through software like Google Earth. We had the chance to test Evermore's flagship, the DL-200BT, a dual device since it is a BT GPS and a data logger at the same time.

- Evermore DL-200BT

The DL-200BT has a wireless interface and uses the Global Positioning System (GPS) to record vehicle movement, speed, route and duration of stops. The DL-200BT is driven by a 12-channel EverMore chipset, capable of storing up to 25,000 waypoints with WAAS/Egnos support and BT compatible interface.

This information can be displayed on GIS mapping with MapInfo format or data can be downloaded to a P.C. so the user can view vehicle activity in more precise detail. Additionally, the device can be used for navigation as a BT enabled GPS device.

- Features

- Applications

- Used chipset

Evermore has developed the main chipset in-house, which has the following specifications:

General L1 1575.42MHz, C/A code, 12-channel, Carrier-Aided with HWTrack
Sensitivity -143 dBm minimum
Update Rate 1Hz
Accuracy Position : 15m CEP without S/A

Velocity : 0.1 m/sec without S/A
Acquisition Cold start : < 120 sec (typical)

Warm start : < 45 sec (typical)

Hot start : < 15 sec
Dynamics Altitude : -1000m to 18000m

Velocity : 500 m/sec

Acceleration : 4g
Reacquisition <100 msec
Datum 219 standard datum, default WGS-84
DGPS WAAS/EGNOS
WAAS Accuracy Position : 5m CEP

Velocity : 0.05m/sec
Protocol NMEA-0183 v2.2 , 8-None-1
Auto Adjustment Baud Rate 4800-115200 bps
NMEA Message GGA, GLL, GSA, GSV, RMC, and VTG
Operation Temperature -20oC to +70oC
Storage Temperature -40oC to +90oC
Operating Humidity 5% to 95% non-condensing
Antenna Built-in Patch Antenna / Option active antenna, MMCX jack
Interface Wireless Interface
Current Consumption 150 mA
Operation Time Up to 6 Hours after full charge
Power Switch System power switch except charge unit

2. Package

For our testing purposes, Evermore sent us the retail package that includes:

The current price of the product is around US$147.00, as found around the net.

The DL-200BT is almost twice the size of the Globalsat BT-338.

On the front, there are several LEDs (explained later on) indicating among other things, GPS status. At left, there is an antenna MMCX jack, while on the right, the on/off switch, an AC/DC jack and a mini din 6 pin port (used to connect with USB interface, however this cable is not provided in the retail package)...

The Li-Ion battery is rated at 1100mAh 3.7V:

The external dimensions are 98x47x31mm with a weight of 95gr. There are four leds, with the following blinking behaviour:

Something else included in the package, is an anti-slide rubber mat. You can put the mat on your car dashboard, to help keep the device from sliding about. However, from our experience, and we've seen this with other devices that have had the same mat, at least in our BWM 320, the device was more stable without the mat. Again it depends upon where you plan installing it.


3. Installation

The installation of the device is very simple. After charging for about 3hours, you can install it on either your PDA or BT enabled laptop. Remember, the pair key is four zeros (0000), in case the application asks for it. All tests were done with an ASUS A6JA laptop. We recorded all produced data for a pre-selected route with VisualGPSX and later analyzed it with GPSLog.

In order to measure the TTFF ("Time to First Fix" which is the time it takes for a GPS to determine its current position), we used GPSInfo "Cold Start" function. All tests ran simultaneously, under the same environmental conditions with the device installed in a BMW, model 320, 2006. We will be comparing the DL-200BT with the BT-338 from Globalsat.

By using EMT GPS View v1.70, we are able to connect to COM4 and check if our device is working properly.

Evermore provides GPSView v1.80 on their official website, which we suggested downloading.

- Tests Day One

The first day we tested the device under a clear daylight sky and 35°C.

Globalsat BT-338
Evermore DL-200BT
Time to First Fix (TTFF)
Secs
44 sec
? sec
Fix
Invalid
0
1.7
2D
0
39.5

3D

100
58.9
Satellites
Average (in view)
10.09
11.09
Average (in use)
8.35
3.70
Average Signal Level (in dB)
Maximum per Satellite
45.70
49.50
Average per Satellite
32.78
41.05

The DL-200BT showed average performance with the most obvious problem the low % of 3D Fix, indicating a possible problem when tracking four or more satellites. It also had a low average in use satellites count, with only 3.70 (average), hence the problems with the 3D fix which requires 4 satellites. The average in-view satellites is nice and healthy at 11.09, while the signal levels per satellite were very good.

- Logger functions

If you intend buying the Evermore DL-200BT, more than likely it will be for its logging features. The device can store up to 25,000 points in its built-in memory. In order to get those points in a workable format, so that they can be exported to Google Earth or another similar application for example, you need to use Evermore's Datalog Analyzer. Evermore ships with version 2.70, however there was a newer one that was used for most of our tests (v3.0.1.4.)

From the main screen, you can select the COM Port and Baud Rate. After pressing Connect, the software will look at the selected port and to find the DL-200BT.

This is the main screen of the software. Here you can Dump/Erase Way points and set several interesting features, like logger function on/off, time to log and distance to log.

By pressing Dump Way points, you save all information in a .dat file, which can be used with either the Evermore DataLog Analyzer or other mapping software, like Google Earth:

The software will prompt you to launch google earth

and here is what you will see, your route overlayed on a google earth photo.

The software can be used as a Virtual GPS feeder for software that supports functions like e-map or Microsoft's Autoroute:

The third tab offers something interesting, Waypoint Analysis. You can select time, speed and reduce the margin for evaluating your driving performance.

The software is capable of displaying graphs as well, savable in bmp format.

- Overall impressions

Evermore's DL-200BT uses a custom chipset that had difficulty in matching the performance of SiRF III based GPS devices. While the receiver signals are very good, the overall tracking features are rather limited, with not very good 3D Fix %. In order to use the logging features of the DL-200BT, you need to install Datalog Analyzer, which is able to convert the saved data into various formats for use with your favorite mapping software. The software is constantly being improved by Evermore, and will prove an invaluable asset in evaluating your driving performance.


4. Conclusion

The DL-200BT is an interesting device, combining two function, that of GPS tracker and logger. The device can be used either stand alone (logger) or connected to a PDA/Laptop with the BT interface for GPS tracking. The retail package is complete, with all needed software and cables. On the performance side, Evermore uses a custom chipset that compared with SiRF III GPSs, offers much lower performance. While the satellite signals were very high, the overall tracking was average with around 60% 3D Fix. This may improve with the addition of an external antenna.

The retail price (~US$150.00) makes it higher in price than an ordinary BT GPS device, but this is justified since the devices is also a logger. Obviously then, the device is targeted at people who wish to track their routes, logging them so that they can analyze them at a later time. If you have this need, the Evermore DL-200BT device is just what you need.

The Positive

The Negative



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