Teletype Sirf III - 20 Channel-Bluetooth GPS

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TeleType 20 Channel SiRF III GPS Receiver

Last year when I wrote my Geocaching article for Pocket PC magazine I mentioned that the GPS receiver I was using was the TeleType 16 Channel Bluetooth GPS receiver. Several people who read the article went out and bought their own TeleType GPS receiver. Between the time of my writing the article and the time it went to print TeleType released an upgraded receiver – the Sirf III - 20 Channel-Bluetooth GPS. In addition to the 20 channels this unit has the new SiRFstar III chip set. When I found out they had the new SiRF III receiver I was very jealous!

The wonderful folks at TeleType were kind enough to send me a unit to review. If I had to sum up my thoughts on this receiver with one word it would have to be, “WOW!â€

Teletype Sirf III - 20 Channel-Bluetooth GPS

Setup

Setting up the GPS receiver is a breeze. When you turn the receiver on a blue light will flash – this indicates Bluetooth is active but not connected. To setup a partnership, fire up the Bluetooth manager on your Pocket PC and select New followed by Explore a Bluetooth Device. The TeleType receiver should be found and will look something like the following:

Setup

Tapping on the icon for the GPS receiver will start the exploration of services offered by the device. After a few seconds GPS OUTPUT should appear.

Setup

After selecting GPS OUTPUT and tapping Next-> your device will be paired. When you return to the Bluetooth Shortcuts screen you simply tap on the icon for the GPS receiver and you will be pair. The blue light on the receiver should now be solid, indicating that it is paired to a device. The icon in the shortcut window should change to look like the following:

Connected

Using The TeleType GPS Receiver

One of my favorite hobbies is Geocaching so of course what better way to test the GPS receiver than go out and find some caches! I fired up the best Pocket PC Geocaching application (IMO), BeeLineGPS to give the receiver a good test.

Since the SiRFstarIII GPS receivers can find satellites in rough conditions, I took outside some buildings with plenty of trees around. After less than 30 seconds I was able to get a lock on 4 satellites with another 4 visible.

BeeLineGPS Satellites

After switching over to the map view I was able to see all the caches around me, waiting to be found.

Caches Galore!

Navigation

Of course the most common use of GPS receivers is for vehicle navigation. I was able to test the receiver with TeleType WorldNavigator, Mapopolis, and the HP iPAQ Navigation System. All performed very well with this new receiver. The best part was I never had troubles when in typically bad areas – tall buildings or lots of trees.

Battery Life

I’ve always been impressed with the battery life on my older Teletype receiver, but the new one seems even better. While I haven’t done any extreme stress testing I’ve yet to have it die on me. On a recent trip I had it on for several hours while navigating and forgot to turn it off when I reached my destination. It ran several more hours before the return trip - never had any problems. With the auto adapter this wouldn’t be an issue but it's nice to know you don't need it for most trips.

The battery is replaceable so if for some reason the battery is no longer performing as it should you can easily replace it.

Conclusion

I’ve tested several Bluetooth GPS receivers but this is by far the best I’ve used. In most cases by the time I get my Pocket PC software fired up the receiver already has a lock on several satellites. The simple blue indicator light (flashing = not connected, solid = connected) makes it easy to recognize if you have a connection problem. The Teletype Sirf III - 20 Channel-Bluetooth GPS is easy-to-use yet very powerful and functional GPS receiver.

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