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Old 19-05-2010, 19:05   #1
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GlobalSat BU-353 ?

I am setting up a PC chart plotting system for a upcoming cruise and have been looking around for GPS receivers. I hear a lot of talk on the forum about the GlobalSat BU-353. It's very cheap which I like but is there any advantage in paying more for a more expensive usb receiver? I will be coastal cruising in the US and Central America.

Thanks
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Old 19-05-2010, 21:10   #2
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I like buygpsnow.com for small GPS devices. They have great prices and lots of reviews. I noticed that the BU-353 has 28 reviews there:
Globalsat BU-353 USB GPS Receiver, BU353
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Old 20-05-2010, 06:35   #3
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This is a very good device - I get tons of successful reports with it. It is also fairly hardy, FWIW - mine has been on board a lot, been banged around and spent time in hot humid environment and still works (though of course that's not a scientific proof of it's quality).

Which other USB based GPS devices are you comparing it to?
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Old 20-05-2010, 06:58   #4
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I've been using one for 6 months with Opencpn, and its working well--the only advantage of the more expensive GPS units is that they are standalone, but if you are going to navigate with electonic charting on a laptop or netbook, its all you need.

My only gripe is that I can't find a way to average the SOG and COG outputs so the course and speed jumps around, but I am still hoping that the Opencpn guys will do the averaging in their program.
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Old 20-05-2010, 07:32   #5
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I got one, just works on linux, driver for windows included.. using it with opencpn
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Old 20-05-2010, 13:06   #6
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The only problem I have with the BU 353 is that OpenCPN seems to stop communicating with it every few hours. I have to reboot to get it working again.

I've turned off sleep, hibernation, etc. so that isn't the problem.
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Old 20-05-2010, 13:29   #7
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The only problem I have with the BU 353 is that OpenCPN seems to stop communicating with it every few hours.
Do the OpenCPN people know about this? They've been doing a lot of development recently and I'd bet someone could help to figure out why it was hanging.
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Old 21-05-2010, 08:59   #8
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I hate to bother Dave with my problems. He has so many folks working on so many different problems that my problems seem trivial. The team he has assembled is an impressive bunch.

I expect that the problem I am having is more with the BU 353 than with OpenCPN.

We are taking our first long cruise in June so I'll know more about our problem after that. I have other navigation systems as back up for the OpenCPN. The cruise is from Deltaville, VA to Falmouth, Maine. (New to us Defever 41)
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Old 21-05-2010, 09:03   #9
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That's enough to sell me on it. I'll give it a shot and post my results at some point in the future. Thanks for the advice.
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Old 21-05-2010, 09:15   #10
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The cruise is from Deltaville, VA to Falmouth, Maine. (New to us Defever 41)
How do ya like that...another DeFever in the house!

You don't have to stop at Falmouth - head on up to the Penobscot Bay sometime during the Summer - I have 2 moorings available, especially for DeFevers.
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Old 17-08-2010, 07:08   #11
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BU-353 problem

I am trying to use a BU-353 with OpenCPN. It works sometimes but not often. I can check the BU-353 output using gpsmon (linux) and it all looks fine but OpenCPN does not see it at all. Then another time, it will work fine. Anyone else experience this? Any ideas how to fix it? I will be crossing the English Channel next week and it would be nice to have a working chart plotter.

Rick on Orca
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Old 17-08-2010, 07:59   #12
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hello rick, mine works great (linux).. in fact i bought it since people explicitly recommend it for lx
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Old 17-08-2010, 09:02   #13
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Yeah, mine worked fine too - for several months - until I moved aboard the boat and could actually use it. Once it got set to SIRP (?) but I set it back to NMEA and it worked again. I can't find anything wrong with GPS receiver. It worked with OpenCPN for a few days a couple of weeks ago then stopped again. This is a mystery to me.
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