Thursday, 9 September 2010

IgotU - the New Logger


Mobile Action have introduced the third generation of their GPS logger series iGotU. Alongside the GT-120 and the GT-200/e there is now newly available the GT-600.
It is however in the tradition of the 200e larger than the GT-120 which really is tiny. However it boosts more storage, it is up from 16MB to 64mb and now also has a motion sensor. This was in earlier version of the 200 available but discontinued. It is back now with this new product.

GT-600_06
Image by urbanTick / the all new GT-600 including accessories as you will find it in the shop.

More storage is great and with 262'000 points you will not run out of memory any time soon. This is up from about 65'000 points with the GT-120. So it's a lot more storage space and is suitable for long trips with infrequent access to a computer to download the data.

The other improvement that the new product brings is the battery. Instead of a 230mAh Lithium-ion battery that the GT-120 has, it has a 750mAh rechargeable Li-ion battery. This probably also partly explains the slightly large dimension of the GT-600. A longer lasting battery is of course very much appreciated by every user, since this provides the freedom to stay out just this little bit longer.

Not only the battery life has improved, but also the GT-600 is now able to manage its sleep wake time automatically. It has got a Motion Sensor built in, hence the 'MD' sign on the device. With this technology the device is able to distinguish between time of motion and times of rest. If it doe not move, it automatically goes into sleep mode to save energy. It will of course also wake up if movement is detected and automatically starts recording again.

This automatic battery management system is believed to improve the battery live dramatically. This would be about 80hours at a log interval of 15 seconds. So in this sense last for a 10 day trip. And certainly this will be good enough. Compared to for example some of the Garmin products, reviewed a 405 HERE, or a 201 HERE, where a Forerunner 405 last only for about eight hours. Of course this is a tricky comparison since the two products do completely different things and the Garmins for example all have a display which the iGotU series doesn't have. This is only to say that for the purpose of simply logging location data this iGotU GT-600 tool is perfect.

Lets have a quick look at how the GT-600's SiRF StarIII 65nm GPS chipset performs. Actually all the three iGotU devices are using the same low power chipset and it can be said that it works pretty well. Give that central London is a tricky location for GPS devices the results are very good. There are here and there some glitches and stay points as we are used to from using for example a Foretrex 201, but that really depends on the terrain and environment.

GT-600_02
Image by urbanTick / The GT-600 draws the ORANGE line as compared to the Forerunner 405 drawing the WHITE line. It can be a little bit noisier at times, especially if not switched off indoors as it keeps trying to record something.

In comparison to the Forerunner 405 (WHITE line) which manages inner city locations extremely well the GT-600 (ORANGE line) draws nice lines and at time even better than the 405. It depends really on the location and how it is held or worn. If used on the bike, attached to the handlebar makes for a really good reception, but even in the bad or pocket it perform very well.

In case it becomes necessary, depending on the use, the track can be easily edited using either the mobile action package or other free software available on the internet, for example directly in Google Earth.

GT-600_03
Image by urbanTick / The GT-600 draws the ORANGE line as compared to the Forerunner 405 drawing the WHITE line. Here the Orange line is actually more accurate than the 405. It was used on the handle bar of the LikeABike in this case.

The data handling and device setup is managed thought he PC suite provided by Mobile Action. No setting other than on/off can be handled directly by the device. This simplifies the whole process, but of course puts a lot of pressure on the desktop software. It is easier, though to navigate on a large screen and manage the different settings than it is on a small screen directly on the device. However changes on the go are not possible. Also the software only really supports Windows machines unfortunately leaves all the mac users unsupported. There is an open source project on launchpad that will enable mac users to load and delete data from the device. You can download the igotu2gps version 0.3.0 HERE. However, it can not change any of the device settings, so is only really for the simple data management. For a lot of users this will be good enough and they can just leave the settings be the factory defaults.

The GT-600 comes out of the box with general factory settings that will allow the user to start logging straight away. This is really useful and given the simple device user interface, one button and two colour LEDs, one literally can start logging while walking out of the shop. The box also contains the USB cable that connects the device to the computer and is at the same time the cable to charge the GT-600. As with previous models the 600 also comes with a silicone case, now transparent instead of the previous characteristic blue case, and a very basic strap to attache the device to something or even wear it around the wrist. A note on the case. Given the flexibility of the material and the larger size the device does not sit as tight as the smaller brother GT-120. I got it caught in the bad and the bus door and the case slid of the actual unit. Generally though it works perfect and give it a good grip for the handling of the unit.

To conclude on this very exciting new GPS logger as the latest one in the Mobile Action iGotU series, the GT-600 is definitely one of the very few GPS units of choice for travel and location loggers. The large storage and the dramatically improved batterie life combined with the Motion Detection technology will serve you very well on any trip. The one button to save waypoints or the location of a photograph is as simple as it gets to use and will help to organise and arrange your photo collection after the trip. If you start using it you will probably find yourself tracking constantly and not only for trips it is really interesting to review the record of movement one does even day to day. With this you can start your log book today.

GT-600_04
Image by urbanTick / The GT-600 with cable.

4 comments:

Matt D said...

We have been looking for a GPS LOGGER and this easily fits the bill. Thanks for the review!

fan said...

There is a choice of three really, the GT-600 being the latest model. Depending on the sort of stuff you want to do the GT-200 might also be a choice since it has the bluetooth built in.

Steven Vance said...

I use a GlobalStar DG-100.

I chose this model because it came with rechargeable batteries, charges via USB, and has a port for an external antenna (which I use).

I really like the motion detector of the GT-600.

fan said...

Steve, let us hear how the DG-100 performs, I imagine you are also using it at innercity locations?