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Friday, August 25, 2006
Globalsat BT-328 Review

1. Introduction

Globalsat BT-328 - Page 1

- Introduction

After the release of the now infamous BT-338 based on the SiRF III chipset , Globalsat recently announced a new GPS device, the BT-328, this time powered by another SiRF chipset, the GSC2. A general overview and its performance are presented in this review, where we compare it with, none other than the BT-338. Do we have a new winner in the GPS race?

- Globalsat BT-328

The BT-328 is the latest Bluetooth GPS from Globalsat, built on the latest SiRF GSC2 low power technology. It combines performance with low cost, creating an entry level BT GPS at a very attractive price. Compatible with any device offering a Bluetooth compliant serial interface, it can provide accurate GPS position information for up to 16 hours continuously.

- Features

• New SiRF GSC2 high performance and low power consumption chipset
• Communications with Host Platform via Bluetooth Serial Profile
• Built-in ceramic patch antenna
• Supports NMEA0183 data protocol
• 3 LEDs to show the status of GPS/Bluetooth/Battery
• Rechargeable Li-ion battery
• Operation time: 16 hours, in continuous mode
• Auto power-off, if Bluetooth is not connected to any devices within 10 minutes
• Bluetooth operation range: 10 m

- Used chipset

The SiRF GSC2 chipset has the following specifications:

Chipset:
SiRF GSC2
Frequency:
1, 1575.42 MHz
C/A code:
1.023 MHz chip rate
Channels:
12 channel all-in-view tracking
Tracking Sensitivity:
-155 dBm
Position Accuracy:
10 meters, 2D RMS 
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:
8 sec., average
Warm start:
38 sec., average
Cold start:
42 sec., average
Altitude:
18,000 metres (60,000 feet) max.
Velocity:
515 metres/second (1000 knots) max.
Acceleration:
Less than 4g
Jerk:
20 m/sec
Protocol messages:
NMEA 0183 protocol
Output format:
Supports command: GGA, GSA, GSV, RMC, VTG, GLL (VTG and GLL are optional)
Operating temperature:
-20° to 60° C
Humidity:
5% to 95% Non-condensing

Looking at the SiRF GSC2 specs and compared with the SiRF III, we notice the following:

  1. SiRF GSC2 chipset doesn't support WASS/EGNOS
  2. SiRF GSC2 chipset supports 12 channels whereas the SiRF III 20 channels all in view
  3. SiRF GSC2 chipset hot start time is 8secs whereas the SiRF III is 1 sec
  4. BT-328 has 16 hours whereas the BT-338 17 hours operation time
  5. BT-328 is smaller (thinner) than the BT-328 and lighter in weight




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