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Customer Review

37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From hate it to love it (with much swearing), 28 Sept. 2011
This review is from: Bluenext - BN903S 65 Channels GPS Dongle (Misc.)
I bought this last summer while back in the UK and expected it to be plug and play which, as many others have said in their reviews, it is far from! Returning home to the Philippines (the relevance of this fact will become clear later) it sat idle in my office drawer until September when I rediscovered it and decided to have another shot at installing it. The problems that I encountered were.

1. The driver is for Windows 98/2000/etc and I'm running Windows 7 on my laptop
2. The instructions are both crap and in Chinese
3. The mapping software I used (Microsoft Autoroute 2010) accepts only GPS devices with a baud rate of 4800 (this device uses a baud rate of 9600 even though it says that it will work on 4800)
4. The mapping software is expensive
5. The mapping software is only good for Europe (or the US if you buy Microsoft's Streets and Trips)

After much head scratching and a little help from my friend I have been able to solve each of these problems.

1. Go to the BlueNext website and download the driver for Windows 7 ([...]l)
2. I couldn't find any instructions in English, so I just looked at the pictures and followed as best I could. Plug in the dongle and run the little rom.agps.exe utility (you'll need an internet connection to do this). This might sound naïve, but I tried to get it to work in my office (duh) it needs to "see" the satellites, so take it outside and leave it for a few minutes until the green LED starts to flash - if it stays on, then it hasn't found any satellites, once it starts to flash, then it has - BE PATIENT.
3. The baud rate issue was a tricky one. The output from the dongle is at 9600 on Com port 5. I used a little freebee called GPSGate (download it here [...]). What this does is to take the 9600 signal from COM 5 and translate it to 4800 on a different COM port (I chose COM 1), then I told the mapping software NOT to get the GPS data through COM 5, but instead to use COM 1.
4. Although I have Microsoft Autoroute for Europe, it was useless as I live in the Philippines (Ah now I see why that fact was important). So I downloaded some free (yes free!) navigational software called NavigatorFree from MapFactor (get it here [...] Navigator has everything that you need, 3D navigation, voice commands, programmable routes, the lot.
5. NavigatorFree doesn't come with any maps though, so I downloaded them from the OpenStreetMap.org people. You don't need to go to their website as they can be downloaded through Navigatorfree. Don't do what I did and download all maps for all countries as it took about 20 minutes to start the software after I did. Be selective and only download the maps for the countries that you need and the bootup time is cut to seconds.

And there you have it and pretty awesome little gps dongle for less than 20 quid.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 29 Jan 2012 09:55:29 GMT
Good review, I would like to add the suggestion of downloading gpsview from the bluenext website, it is a better utility than the one supplied with the device.

Posted on 24 Mar 2012 17:12:46 GMT
Yes, a really good post. I was flummoxed to get it to work and followed each of your steps in order, although it differed slightly at Step 3 - it used something called "Silicon Labs CP210x USB to UART Bridge" which it dowloaded automatically from the internet when I installed the dongle, and came in at COM4 at 9600 baud. Just told MemoryMap to look there at that baud rate, and away it went. Am using Windows 7. They could certainly make it more user friendly.
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Location: Manila, Philippines

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