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on 28 September 2011
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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on 18 February 2011
I am using the dongle with a Samsung Netbook with Windows 7 Starter. It works perfectly with the Memory-Map marine charts software. I had difficulty installing the driver as the Instruction Guide contains little helpful information. The driver is contained in a mini-CD that is enclosed with the dongle, but this too lacks adequate documentation. Once installed, however, the device works well. I have also installed the dongle on a desktop PC that runs Windows XP. It works OK on that too, and also links without problem to the Admiralty/RYA electronic chart plotter software which is installed on that machine. Overall, the dongle is good value for the money.
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on 5 June 2011
I'm using this on Linux with gpsd. No trouble being detected as /dev/ttyUSB0 (or /dev/gps0 if you have extra udev rules) if you don't have any other usb serial device plugged in. I also have the Globalsat ND-100 and ND-100s adapters - which happen to be more expensive and have the (supposedly) high quality Sirf III chipset. I would say that the BlueNext BN903S is more stable and predictable in operation. Many times I have to unplug and replug the Globalsat dongles to reset them and get them to acquire a satellite lock. The BlueNext dongle is far less problematic so far - it starts up and acquires satellites every time without fiddling. From my experience so far I highly recommend it. Can't make many comments regarding using it on Windows though - as I don't.
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on 4 April 2012
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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on 25 November 2011
I am using this with a DELL 10" WinXP mini laptop. Item works fine once you have an understanding of USB/Serial drivers and baud speed. Recommend using hyperterminal in XP if you have any doubts as this autobauds - but you will need to figure out which COM number is used by this USB BlueNEXT device. Word of warning the screen shots in the user documentation are Chinese/Mandarin (I think) and the english text is a little sparse if you are a non-techie. Works well however and gets GPS location quickly and good value at the price. Does not come with even a minimalist graphical location software. The only OOTB method of confirming the device is working is by correctly configuring the supplied diagnostic software which will display the NMEA0183 sentences.

One last thing. A Satelite File needs to be downloaded via internet every week or the device will not acquire. This can be a problem if WiFi isn't available.
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on 5 June 2011
Spent a whole day trying to install then found that the installation instructions were incomplete.

Once installed it would not connect to my mapping software cos it is not NMEA compliant - it runs at 9600bps whereas NMEA-compliant software requires 4800bps.
Could get no useful help from Bluenext.

Don't imagine that you can just plug it into the USB port of your laptop in the car; I need to use the supplied USB extension lead to enable me to place the dongle on the dashboard before I can get a reliable fix - and thats in open countryside.
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on 8 July 2011
I'm pretty savvy with windows but this thing flummoxed me. The product may or may not be good once it works but installing it is obviously a nightmare. Definitely not a 'plug and play' but a 'plug and fiddle and try again and go to online fora and download more bits and still get the message that the device is not recognised and decide to send it back'. I'm putting mine in the post and buying one that might be a little more expensive but, then, might actually work!
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on 12 April 2013
Thought this dongle was going to be hard work having read some of the reviews, but it couldn't have been easier! Loaded the drivers from the disk provided, plugged in the dongle, opened my mapping software (Memory Map) configured the gps setting for baud rate 9600, manufacturer NMEA, COM port 4, left it for 3 mins or so to pick up signals (indicated by green light changing from static to flashing) and that was it. Works a treat! Time taken from unpacking to working was less than 10 minutes. I'm using Windows 8 32-bit pro. Have also installed this on Windows 7 32-bit pro with the same ease. No instructions needed. It provides a very accurate location and I'm really pleased with it :) Highly recommended!
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on 27 June 2012
The GPS works fine under Windows 7 64bit. I had no problems installing - Windows 7 found the driver on the Internet but you can run "CP210x_VCP_Win_XP_S2K3_Vista_7.exe" on the supplied CD to install the necessary drivers for Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7.

To speed up the first location fix, you can run the program "Rom agps.exe" in the folder "ROM_AGPS_0801" on the CD. This connects to an FTP server at Skytraq (the folk who make the innards of the GPS), downloads recent about the GPS satellites and sends it to the GPS.

Note that the GPS defaults to a serial baud rate of 9600 (note that Google Earth uses 4800 baud only). If you want to change the baud rate or other GPS settings, such as the use of WAAS/EGNOS, you may want to search the Internet for a file called "Skytraq_GPS_Software.zip" - this contains a really handy Skytraq utility called "GPS Viewer".
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on 28 June 2011
Not quite the "plug & play" advertised,but when installed the dongle
appears to provide a neat and accurate method of obtaining a GPS
fix.
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