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Home > Hardware Reviews > Mobiles

Friday, May 05, 2006
Globalsat GH-601

1. Introduction

Globalsat, a well known GPS manufacturer, recently released a new series of GPS devices, aimed mostly at enthusiasts with an athletic imposition. The GH-601 series, represent the modern way of athletic training, where you can record your performance and then analyse the results at the comfort of your PC.

- GH-601

The Globalsat GH-601 is a fully-sealed, waterproof, LCD wrist-watch device, as well as GPS navigation functionality that locates and tracks points from start to stop. It is intended for people who participate in a broad range of outdoor sports, such as Jogging, Running, Biking, Snow Skiing, etc.

It also can be used as a GPS receiver through the USB interface. Globalsat also offers a variation of the GH-601, with the inclusion of an electronic compass and most importantly, a barometric altimeter, which offers more accurate results compared with the standard version.

- Features

1. Built-in SiRF Star III high performance GPS chipset. Excellent sensitivity for fixing the position, even with a weak signal.
2. Built in rechargeable lithium-ion battery.
3. Large LCD for easy readout.
4. Waterproof design.
5. Records all historical data for self training by defined day.
6. Workout project : Define the project which user would like to achieve.
7. Navigation : Tracking your route as crumb method; marking and saving your tracking points by a special algorithm; finding specified locations.
8. The firmware of the GH-601 can be upgraded through PC.
9. Easy data logger & supports Google Earth software.

- Specifications

Number of Waypoints: 100
Display Size: 24.9 x 39.88 (H x W in mm.)
Display type: Black & White LCD
Pixels (H x W): 80 x 120
Unit Weight: 72.87g
Waterproof Standard: IPX7
Unit Size: 46 x 82.5 x 18.5 (H x W x D in mm.)
Backlit Display:Single level
Operating temperature: -10C to 60C
Humidity: 5% to 95% Non-condensing
Voltage: 3.7V for a rechargeable battery, 5V for charging input
Charging connector: DC 5V
Battery: Rechargeable 1600mAh Li-ion battery
Battery life: 16 hours (GPS turn-on; Compass and Altimeter turn-off with backlight off) 70 hours (GPS, Compass and Altimeter turn-off with backlight off)
Connect to PC Interface: Mini-USB port
Electrical compass: GH-601, no; GH-602, yes
Barometric Altimeter: GH-601, no; GH-602, yes

- Used chipset

The Globalsat GH-601 supports WAAS (Wide Area Augmentation System). It's a system of satellites and ground stations that provide GPS signal corrections, giving position accuracy up to five times better. A WAAS-capable receiver can give you a position accuracy at better than three metres, 95 percent of the time. You don't have to purchase additional receiving equipment or pay service fees to use WAAS.

WAAS satellite coverage is available only in North America. Other governments are developing similar satellite-based differential systems - Europe's system is the Euro Geo-stationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS). WAAS receivers are compatible with EGNOS.

The SiRF III chipset comes with 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 notice that the chipset is capable of receiving up to 20 satellites (in reality 12 maximum), has very fast Hot/Warm/Cold start times and its accuracy reaches ~5m when the WAAS mode is enabled.

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