[aprssig] Really CHEAP Puck-type USB GPS Receiver

Lee Bengston lee.bengston at gmail.com
Tue Jul 24 23:11:44 EDT 2012

On Fri, Jan 20, 2012 at 1:26 PM, Stephen H. Smith <wa8lmf2 at aol.com> wrote:
> If you want a GPS to use with a computer-based APRS or mapping program, this
> is an unbeatable deal.
> Amazon is currently selling the GlobalSat BU-353 USB "hockey puck" GPS
> receiver for USD $25.28 with FREE shipping!

Fyi, this is still available for $26.29 with free shipping.  Mine
arrived late last week.  So far it works great.

> This is a USB-interfaced device that will work with any kind of
> COMPUTER-based APRS setup, but NOT with stand-alone hardware devices like
> Kenwood radios, TinyTracks, Tracker 2, etc.

Yup - using it with a netbook when the netbook goes mobile.

> It uses the now-ubiquitous SIRF-III GPS chipset and standard Prolific
> serial-->USB interface chip internally.  The standard Prolific driver
> commonly used with serial<-->USB cable dongles works with it, to create the
> virtual COM port required by most mapping and APRS programs like UIview or
> APRSpoint.

And given most Linux distributions have prolific drivers built-in,
it's plug and play in most cases with Linux.  I've tried it in Lubuntu
and Debian Squeeze in the netbook - works fine.

> The SiRF-III chipset is sensitive enough that the device will probably work
> just fine inside the car on top of the dash, but the device is waterproof
> and has an embedded magnet to stick to the roof of a vehicle if needed.

It works fine on top of the dash in the car even when in the garage.
My Garmin GPS II Plus struggles a bit when the car is in the garage.

> Link to the Amazon page for this device (Warning: long URL may wrap lines
> and break)


Thanks for posting this back in January.  I didn't bite right away,
but fortunately it's still a great deal.  Picking up one of these was
an easy way to get around the fact that the Opentracker USB doesn't
pass GPS data to a computer when in KISS mode.  I left my old GPS,
which has a serial port, dedicated to the OT-USB for stand-alone
tracker mode.  When deploying the netbook in KISS mode, the new GPS
and the OT-USB connect to the netbook, and "presto" no USB to serial
adapters required.

Lee - K5DAT

More information about the aprssig mailing list