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Home > Hardware Reviews > Mobiles

Thursday, February 02, 2006
Haicom 406BT-C

1. Introduction

Haicom recently announced a BT GPS device equipped with the SiRF III chipset with however, an interesting addition, that of a digital compass. Haicom kindly offered us the chance to test the new 406 BT-C model. Having already tested another BT GPS device from Globalsat, a direct comparison would be interesting for many potential buyers. First, let's see some background information about Haicom.

- Haicom background

Visit Haicom Website!is a manufacturer and exporter of GPS receivers, PDA accessories and a line of multimedia products. Established in 1990, the company has grown to employ 30 people and sees a yearly sales figure of US$8 million. The cornerstone to Haicom's success is the commitment to quality control. Also a major concern to comply is customer services. To the company, quality control and customer service make a win in combination. Yearly sales affirm this philosophy.

Haicom is an international supplier with markets around the world. Presently, the sales split is 60% in Europe, 30% in North America and 10% elsewhere. Expansion of any current markets is encouraged as well as entrance into new markets. With their full line of products, Haicom strongly encourages OEM and ODM customers to contact them at their office in Taiwan.

- Haicom 406BT-C

The HI-406BT-C is a GPS (Global Positioning System) receiver boasting a wireless Bluetooth interface with built-in active antenna and extra digital compass functions. With the HI-406BT-C, your mobile devices, such as Smartphone, PocketPC, laptopPC, tabletPC, etc. can receive GPS data wirelessly and perform GPS functions such as car navigation, personal navigation, route planning, tracking, etc.

Equipped with the most powerful and ultra high sensitive SiRF StarIII chipset, the HI-406BT-C can obtain a 3D fix in a very short time and under poor reception environment, such as in the middle of the car, next to a tall building, in your backpack or pocket.

In case the mobile device runs out of battery, the HI-406BT-C can also work stand alone providing you with directions and using the on board digital compass. As soon as you turn on the digital compass, the 12 LEDs on top of the HI-406BT-C will indicate north and south headings on the earth's magnetic field by lighting up the direction: the red light indicating north and the green light indicating south.

- Used chipset

The SiRF III chipset has the following specifications:

Chipset: SiRF Star III WAAS enabled
Frequency: 1, 1575.42 MHz
C/A code: 1.023 MHz chip rate
Channels: 20 channel all-in-view tracking
Position Accuracy: 10 meters, 2D RMS 
~ 5 meters, 3D RMS WAAS
Velocity: 0.1 m/s
Time: us synchronized to GPS time
Default: WGS-84 Acquisition Time (Open sky, stationary)
Reacquisition: 0.1 sec., average
Hot start: 1 sec., average
Warm start: 38 sec., average
Cold start: 42 sec., average
Altitude: 18,000 meters (60,000 feet) max.
Velocity: 515 meters/second (1000 knots) max.
Acceleration: Less than 4g
Jerk: 20 m/sec
Protocol messages: NMEA-0183 output protocol
Output format: GGA(1sec), GSA(5sec), GSV(5sec), RMC(1sec),VTG(1sec)
Operating temperature: -20° to 60° C
Humidity: 5% to 95% Non-condensing

Looking at the SiRF III specs, we can notice that the chipset is capable of receiving up to 20 satellites (actually 12 maximum), has very low Hot/Warm/Cold start times and its accuracy reaches ~5m when the WAAS mode is enabled.




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