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Old 15-04-2009, 11:55   #1
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Cheap Hong Kong GPS

There seem to be a large number of cheap GPS units available shipped from Hong Kong, most seem to be well specified. has anyone bought or tried any of these? If so what is the verdict, they are good, you get what you pay for or absolute rubbish.

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Old 15-04-2009, 12:22   #2
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I bought one on ebay for $20 or so. Plugs into a USB port on my laptop. It also came with a CD and software. It works okay with NOAA chart software I bought. No complaints. I also have Maxsea and have had problems getting it to find the GPS on the USB port. It wants to find it on a 9 pin serial port which I do not have.
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Old 15-04-2009, 14:52   #3
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There seem to be a large number of cheap GPS units available shipped from Hong Kong, most seem to be well specified. has anyone bought or tried any of these? If so what is the verdict, they are good, you get what you pay for or absolute rubbish.

The parts are usually the same; it seems the assembly and quality control are where folks have problems. But for a GPS, probably nothing a otterbox couldn't fix.

Did you have one in mind BG?
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Old 15-04-2009, 15:38   #4
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I bought one of the cheap USB GPS units that plug into a laptop from an EBay site in Hong Kong. It is only a back-up for me, but it seems to work just fine.
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Old 15-04-2009, 15:47   #5
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All the GPS systems today are based on a large scale integrated chip. There are a few manufacturers but it is not a common thing. The primary functions of a GPS are no longer hard to make. It's all the rest of the parts that add up. The USB hockey pucks pretty much work. You can get into better antennas with some of the fixed mount units but if all you want is a location other software can do all the rest for you.
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Old 16-04-2009, 07:52   #6
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Hong Kong GPS

Hi Pblais, Thanks for your input. Saw your boat type, curious about Gozzards but after looking at a few, love em to bits. They look a bit like Vagabond but why do you insist in keeping them on the wrong side of the Atlantic?
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Old 16-04-2009, 08:35   #7
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They look a bit like Vagabond but why do you insist in keeping them on the wrong side of the Atlantic?
It's a Canada thing. I don't think they do any boat shows across the pond. Call Mike Gozzard and order a boat and he will have it ready. They are only made to order from Goderich, Ontario. It's a family business with 3 generations of wives, sons, and grandchildren. I wish we had the chance (money) to build a new one with them. It's a "part of the family" experience as they build your boat. They come to the Annapolis show and usually bring most of the family along.
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Old 16-04-2009, 11:54   #8
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Perhaps the golden lining with a cheap Hong Kong GPS is that it may drive prices down a little for higher end GPS's
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Old 16-04-2009, 11:59   #9
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Have you looked at the mfg stickers on any of them now. They are all made in china now (at least it seems that way), so what's the differance?
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Old 16-04-2009, 12:06   #10
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Have you looked at the mfg stickers on any of them now. They are all made in china now (at least it seems that way), so what's the differance?
Is Furuno???
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Old 16-04-2009, 12:23   #11
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Hong Kong GPS

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Perhaps the golden lining with a cheap Hong Kong GPS is that it may drive prices down a little for higher end GPS's
I hadn't thought about that! If they can make and sell them that cheaply then those who are charging 300-500 or more are really filling their collective boots at the expense of those who buy anything with a "Marine" tag. If the Hong Kong gear is only basic but works then maybe more, like me, will take the plunge and buy one. Let's all vote with our feet!
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Old 16-04-2009, 12:23   #12
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Not sure if this is what you are looking for, but for about $80 you can get one of these:

Amazon.com: Omnitech Portable GPS Navigation System 4.3" TFT LCD TouchScreen: Electronics

Ignore the Amazon reviews... those are for an older version than the one I have. This is a full featured car GPS, so it's not weatherproof, but I want it for use at my nav station. The reason I bought this particular GPS, and the thing that makes it attractive for marine use, is that it is hackable and can be set up to run lots of cool stuff, including a marine navigation app developed in Australia. But even better, you can load it up with free charts for anywhere you might be sailing.

So for about $100 and a few hours of hacking you can get a very nice self-contained marine GPS for your nav station and battery powered use in the cockpit when the weather is good.

I can post links for the hacks, etc. if anyone is interested.
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Old 17-04-2009, 18:10   #13
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I can post links for the hacks, etc. if anyone is interested.
Absolutely! Maybe start a different thread?
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Old 17-04-2009, 18:46   #14
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SPEEDOO, could you post info on hacking that unit when ya get a chance? Thanks, Chris
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Old 17-04-2009, 22:47   #15
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SPEEDOO, could you post info on hacking that unit when ya get a chance? Thanks, Chris
Happy to post the relevant links, with this caveat: there is a ton of information in the links, most of which I have not read. And I have not yet begun my own modding, so I won't be able to help very much until I have actually done it (it's on my project list but nowhere near the top).

This is the forum where the unit and it's mods are discussed in great detail:

Tech Smart Tips • View forum - Omnitech GPS (Gonav S1000 / Pharos GPS Drive 250)

Browse this forum as you wish. I'd recommend this thread for starters:

Tech Smart Tips • Login

The author, b5fan, is the moderator of the forum and is a very helpful chap, who probably knows more about hacking this unit than anyone else. But you will want to avoid asking any questions on that forum until after you've done some reading there and attempted to find your answers using the search function.

And in this forum I found a couple of threads about the marine navigation app, called OziExplorer. This is the most helpful thread:

Tech Smart Tips • Login

Here is a summary of what I know, so far:

The GPS is the Omnitech 16878, sold in the US, originally by Staples, then by a series of other outfits, including woot.com, where I got mine for about $80.00. Occasionally someone else will put a bunch up for sale, and I am sure units are available from ebay. It uses Windows CE 5.0 as the OS.

The 16878 is the latest version, but evidently older versions can be hacked just as well.

You will want to purchase 1 or 2 additional SD cards, either 2 or 4 GB. It is important that these cards are NOT SDHC cards, as it is my understanding that the unit does not work with SDHC cards. The cards are where your software, maps, etc, are stored. Newegg is my SD card vendor of choice.

You'll need a PC to do the mods., and you will need to purchase the OziExplorer software for a registration fee of $30, I believe.

It would be great if we could have three or four people here doing this, as we could help one another as well as post on the Tech Smart forum as appropriate. Maybe I'll start a new thread here to get more visibility.
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