6. GlobalSat BC-337
Unlike traditional GPS receivers which require separate antennas or wires, the WAAS enabled BC-337 is an integrated receiver with a built-in patch antenna, designed to fit directly into the Compact Flash or PCMCIA slot. The BC-337 design is based on the SiRF Star III with wireless consumer applications in mind; it will give accurate readings from up to 20 channels.
The BC-337 is truly transportable. Insert it into your PDA and place it in a convenient spot in your car and enjoy the benefits of using your additional mapping software for intelligent route calculation and voice-prompted, turn-by-turn navigation instructions.
1. CFA compliant.
2. WAAS Enabled SiRF Star III/LP low power All-in-View high performance 20-parallel channels.
3. Supports Standard NMEA 0183 command: GGA, GSA, GSV, RMC, GLL, VTG.
4. SingleSat updates in reduced visibility.
5. Superior urban canyon performance.
6. FoliageLock for weak signal tracking.
7. Optional external antenna.
8. Built-in Antenna for high sensitivity to satellite signal.
9. LED indicator for GPS fix or not fix.
The embedded Star III 20-channel chipset from SiRF provides a quicker Time-To-Fix (TTF) and higher satellite sensitivity, that can translate into greater accuracy for your software applications. The current price of the product is around US$111.99, as listed on USGlobalsat's website. Additionally, you can buy the external antenna (US$16.99) and the PCMCIA Adapter (US$8.99).
For our testing purposes, GlobalSat sent us the retail package that includes: the BC-337 GPS receiver, the AT-65-MMCX External Antenna, a PCMCIA Adapter Card , a cable suction cup clip and finally a CD-ROM (User Guide, Drivers, Utilities, etc…)
The contents of the retail package are shown below:
On the rear we see the model ID, SN, and place of manufacture.
The device draws power from the PDA and has only one red led (blinking: GPS has a fix, solid light: GPS does not have a fix.)
On the right, you can find a jack for the external antenna, which can be used to increase received signal strength.
The external antenna is long enough, around 5 meters!
Below you can see the BC-337 as installed on a Dell Axim x50V PDA. Due to its size, be careful not to damage the device. The power consumption of the BC-337 is 90mA , while its physical dimensions are 83 mm x 42.8 mm x 13.3 mm.
Please keep in mind that the device is not supported by the WM5 OS, at least according to current information posted on the Globalsat website.
The installation process is very easy, since no special drivers are required. Just install the BC-337 in a free CF slot and open the GPSInfo software to check if your GPS is working properly. Note, that the BC-337 will take COM4 and you have to set the communications rate to 4800.
Lastly, we used GPSTweak to check the device firmware: