[aprssig] Really CHEAP Puck-type USB GPS Receiver

Dave B dave at g8kbv.demon.co.uk
Wed Jul 25 16:48:43 EDT 2012

On 24 Jul 2012 at 23:11, Lee Bengston wrote:

> 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)
> http://www.amazon.com/GlobalSat-BU-353-Waterproof-USB-Receiver/dp/B000
> PKX2KA/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1327081831&sr=1-1
> 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.
> Regards,
> Lee - K5DAT

I've got one of these, yes, very good sensitive GPS RX, and the Prolific 
drivers work great on Windows XP.  (Not tried on 'nix)

BUT...  Take care if you have Windows 7 (32 or 64 bit)  On this box, (32 
bit) the Prolific drivers (whatever version I can find) BSoD's the system 
after a random time when this device is used.  Irrespective of whatever 
application it's used with.  (Maps, APRS, GPSView etc.  Even PuTTY's 
serial terminal!)

Sometimes it'll work for hours, sometimes it'll fall over within minutes.

Windows logs always point to "Driver" issues, and the only "recently 
connected hardware" is that GPS puck.

Other Prolific USB<>RS232 hardware I have, is now stable with Win 7, 
after I got Windows configured to NOT to micro manage the USB subsystem 
power settings.

Take care.

Dave G0WBX.

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