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Customer Review

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars worth the fiddle - set up instructions here, 4 April 2012
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This review is from: Bluenext - BN903S 65 Channels GPS Dongle (Misc.)
As other reviewers have said this device is not 'plug and play' but needs a bit of fiddling around to get it working. However stick with it because it is worth the effort.

I am using it with OPEN-CPN chart plotter for marine navigation and currently am still just conducting initial tests. So far I am pleased with the speed and accuracy of both the dongle and the software, which cost a fraction of the price of a dedicated GPS chart plotter.

Here are the steps I followed (after a fair bit of trial and experimentation) which may help others to get started.

I wanted to install it on an Advent 4211 netbook running Windows XP with no CD drive so I downloaded the drivers from the Bluenext website[...] (but you could just copy the CD to a USB stick on another computer).

Start by plugging the dongle in. It is a good idea to use an extension cable as you may need to dangle the device out a window to get a good satellite signal initially (setting it up at home I found that it would not acquire satellites even on the window sill - maybe metal in the window frame was acting as a screen, but once acquired it stayed locked on back indoors with no problem). A steady indicator light shows that the device is looking for satellites and a flashing light means that it has locked on and acquired a position. IMPORTANT NOTE you also need access to the internet at the same time as dangling the dongle out the window to get it set up the first time.

Installing the driver for the dongle (shows as CP2101 USB Composite Device)is relatively straight forward - just click on the Install.exe file and from the box that appears select CP210x_VCP_Win_XP_S2K3_Vista_7

However device manager on my computer showed that it was also lacking a driver for the CP2104 USB to UART Bridge Controller, which manages the COMs ports.

This driver is not on the BlueNEXT install disk or in the install files downloadable from the BlueNEXT website because the precise driver needed will vary from one computer to another.

I found it by going to [...], downloading and installing their utility that scans your computer for missing / out of date drivers and then identifies the one you need - this is a free site but with stacks of annoying advertising screens. It took 2 or 3 attempts to get the right driver (there are several available) but once I downloaded and installed that the dongle was recognised and began working instantly.

Now go into Control Panel / System / Hardware/Device Manager and select VIEW DEVICES BY TYPE. Under the Ports tab you should see the USB to UART bridge controller listed. It may have a port number next to it - if so make a note and skip the next step.
Otherwise - click on the Bridge Controller Device and a window will open. Choose the PORT SETTINGS tab and click the ADVANCED button - the number of the port being used will be displayed there - make a note of it.

Before navigating it is necessary to run a further program (included on installation CD and download) called ROM_AGPS.exe. There are some Chinese instructions (with very brief and badly translated English versions inserted)in a pdf file but the process is quite simple - start the ROM_AGPS.exe utility.
Select the correct port number (from above) select a Baud rate of 9600 and click CONNECT. Some GPS NMEA sentences should start to appear scrolling down the screen - if they are dingbats and odd symbols rather than readable characters you may need to change the baud rate. Now click ROM AGPS and wait for a 'successful' message to appear. Close and exit the utility.

You are now ready to launch your mapping software (not included with dongle but plenty of freeware available on the web)install your maps and start navigating. NOTE - your mapping software may require you to tell it which port to look at to get the GPS data from the dongle and the format of that data.

I have also run this dongle with the free Quo mapping software from Mapyx Ltd (covers UK and Ireland only) using both the free Ordnance Survey 1:25000 street map and Open Street Map and it works brilliantly. Very pleased with my purchase
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 12 Apr 2012 20:11:27 BDT
A. Conroy says:
I have also downloaded the QUO map software to my netbook and it works very well with that - even accurately tracked me walking round my house and garden!
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