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Old 12-07-2014, 17:07   #1
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Are there any known working Bluetooth GPS devices with Windows 8?

I know that this has been discussed before but I'm not having a lot of luck with past threads, or at least not finding anything very encouraging!

I just bought an Asus T100 'Transformer Book', with the idea that when using it for navigation I can remove the screen/tablet and put it in a mounting bracket on the cabinside. BUUUT I didn't realize until after buying it that the only USB port is on the removable keyboard, meaning that if I want to use it in the configuration I'm hoping for I will need to use a Bluetooth GPS receiver.

I see lots of reports of Bluetooth GPS not working, but haven't found any success stories that are within my relatively limited technical understanding. Has anyone recently had success with this setup and if so can you recommend a Bluetooth GPS so I know what to buy? The ones listed on the OpenCPN site appear to all be discontinued. I am also open to the idea of installing Ubuntu on here if that is likely to work where windows won't.

I suspect this will just highlight my ignorance, but is there any adapter which might allow me to hook the T100 up to a USB GPS device via the micro-HDMI port? it does have one of those...
Thanks!
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Old 13-07-2014, 03:02   #2
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Re: Are there any known working Bluetooth GPS devices with Windows 8?

Calderp,
best results also with Win8 I have with the Qstarz BT-Q818XT:
- chipset MTK II
- 66 channels
- baud rate 115200
- sensitivity -165 dBm
- switchable for 1 Hz or 10 Hz
- datum WGS84
- DGPS (WAAS, EGNOS, MSAS)
- cold/warm/hot start 35/33/1 secs
- protocol NMEA 0183 (GGA, GSA, GSV, RMC)
- battery Li-ion 42 hours with 1 Hz usage, 24 hours with 10 Hz usage
- battery charger for 12V included
- mini USB connector for battery charge and/or USB data transfer also possible alternativ to Bluetooth
- easy change of battery (cell phone type)

Gerhard
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Old 13-07-2014, 08:35   #3
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Re: Are there any known working Bluetooth GPS devices with Windows 8?

Thanks Gerhard, that's great info. A question- do you have this mounted somewhere inside the cabin, or does it need a view of the sky? I have read something about, if I remember right, the newer Sirf chipsets getting much improved reception inside a boat vs. the MTK II but I'm not sure whether
a. those Sirf chipsets are in Bluetooth receivers and
b. whether this is really a concern.

I have a relatively thin cored fiberglass/balsa cabintop, as long as I can get reception thru it I suppose it doesn't matter too much for my purposes which chipset I use.

Also, have you ever tried this GPS with an Android OS (smartphone) or Linux? Has anyone else?

Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarCode View Post
Calderp,
best results also with Win8 I have with the Qstarz BT-Q818XT:
- chipset MTK II
- 66 channels
- baud rate 115200
- sensitivity -165 dBm
- switchable for 1 Hz or 10 Hz
- datum WGS84
- DGPS (WAAS, EGNOS, MSAS)
- cold/warm/hot start 35/33/1 secs
- protocol NMEA 0183 (GGA, GSA, GSV, RMC)
- battery Li-ion 42 hours with 1 Hz usage, 24 hours with 10 Hz usage
- battery charger for 12V included
- mini USB connector for battery charge and/or USB data transfer also possible alternativ to Bluetooth
- easy change of battery (cell phone type)

Gerhard
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Old 13-07-2014, 09:18   #4
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Re: Are there any known working Bluetooth GPS devices with Windows 8?

All I can say is I been watching and new technology is popping up all the time.
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Old 13-07-2014, 09:40   #5
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Re: Are there any known working Bluetooth GPS devices with Windows 8?

Quote:
Originally Posted by calderp View Post
Thanks Gerhard, that's great info. A question- do you have this mounted somewhere inside the cabin, or does it need a view of the sky? I have read something about, if I remember right, the newer Sirf chipsets getting much improved reception inside a boat vs. the MTK II but I'm not sure whether
a. those Sirf chipsets are in Bluetooth receivers and
b. whether this is really a concern.

I have a relatively thin cored fiberglass/balsa cabintop, as long as I can get reception thru it I suppose it doesn't matter too much for my purposes which chipset I use.

Also, have you ever tried this GPS with an Android OS (smartphone) or Linux? Has anyone else?

Thanks!
It only doesn't work inside a steel boat. Best results however in fiberglass boats.
If the software you are using knows about the Bluetooth SPP (serial port protocol, virtual com ports) then you can use any operating system.

Gerhard
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Old 14-07-2014, 16:06   #6
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Re: Are there any known working Bluetooth GPS devices with Windows 8?

Ok, I ordered it. Will report back.
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Old 28-08-2014, 09:36   #7
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Re: Are there any known working Bluetooth GPS devices with Windows 8?

How does the ASUS Transformer work as a chartplotter? Did you get the Blue Tooth GPS to work. How well is the touch screen implemented in OpenCpn?

David
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Old 28-08-2014, 09:52   #8
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Re: Are there any known working Bluetooth GPS devices with Windows 8?

Hhhmm I bought a fairly cheap GPS device off e-bay that works perfect with my Microsoft Surface Pro (Win 8). It was listed on e-bay as "G-mouse U-blox Microchip USB GPS Receiver H-8123-U2000"

For me it works everywhere.. In the boat (fiberglass), in my car (even downtown, tall buildings), in my house, ect... At $30(or so) it was a steal.

I use OpenCPN and a Navionics App on it.
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Old 28-08-2014, 09:54   #9
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Re: Are there any known working Bluetooth GPS devices with Windows 8?

Quote:
Originally Posted by travellerw View Post
Hhhmm I bought a fairly cheap GPS device off e-bay that works perfect with my Microsoft Surface Pro (Win 8). It was listed on e-bay as "G-mouse U-blox Microchip USB GPS Receiver H-8123-U2000"

For me it works everywhere.. In the boat (fiberglass), in my car (even downtown, tall buildings), in my house, ect... At $30(or so) it was a steal.

I use OpenCPN and a Navionics App on it.
Dammit.. Just reread the post.. You were looking for a Bluetooth device... Sorry the device I posted is USB.
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Old 10-09-2014, 07:41   #10
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Re: Are there any known working Bluetooth GPS devices with Windows 8?

To report back, I have had limited success. The bluetooth gps did not work at all with the current version of opencpn, but when I installed the beta it worked great. Except... at some point my computer stopped being able to pair with ANY bluetooth device. The only cure was a complete reinstall of windows, after which it worked great again, for a little while. Then the same issue. I did this a couple times, got really tired of it and decided this was a good excuse to practice my dead reckoning so I gave up on it for a couple weeks. I'm going to try abs sort it out this week and will report any progress. As near as I can tell it's a windows 8 issue which may be exacerbated by opencpn.
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Old 14-09-2014, 17:58   #11
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Re: Are there any known working Bluetooth GPS devices with Windows 8?

Sorry to join this thread late. I haven't been around much because I've been too busy sailing. I try to help out testing and debugging O during the off-season.

I've used OpenCPN to display Bluetooth GPS (and AIS) data for about four years. This season, I upgraded my hardware to a Windows 8 tablet. (Prior to that, it was Windows XP on a netbook.)

Note that my problem may be specific to the US Converters Bluetooth transmitters that I am using to send my GPS and AIS data out. I do not use an off-the-shelf Bluetooth GPS. Instead, I added BT transmitters to my wired navigation system. But my suggestions below may help you if you're having problems:

I have always had problems of various types getting O to maintain a stable connection with the virtual COM ports that the Windows Bluetooth drivers create. My netbook used Toshiba Bluetooth chip, so I used the Toshiba Bluetooth stack and everything worked great.

I have similar problems under Windows 8, and my way of solving it has been to use a virtual serial port splitter to make the connection. If you want two-way communications (GPS in, Autopilot commands out), your best bet may be XPort, since that handles full duplex well. (However, you'll need to disable any Windows Secure Boot feature in your setup routine, otherwise Windows will block it.) If all you want it GPS in, PolarCOM will handle the task just fine. What seems to happen with both of these programs is that they open the virtual COM port and keep it open, something which O seems to have difficulty with.

I also tried the Toshiba stack, and it worked with my tablet, but it does not support LE (Low Energy) profile capability of Bluetooth 4.0. I don't need that feature right now, but I plan to buy a bluetooth wind instrument that connects using BT4 LE profile, so Toshiba stack might be an option. You'll have to search Google for a very simple hack to enable Toshiba stack on non-Toshiba hardware.

There just seems to be something funny between O and Windows Bluetooth (and possibly my Bluetooth transmitters). Other software works fine with the virtual COM ports, and O works fine with other software and/or transmitting devices.

But maybe some of the software that I mentioned will help you.

FYI, I'm using 3.3.1606 on my boat. I test the more recent betas at home, but not confident enough in them to use them on the boat.

Here are some prior threads on the topic:

OpenCPN not recognising Virtual COM port

How to Transmit to Autopilot on COM40 ?

Blue Screen of Death Errors when Outputting Data to COM Port
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Old 14-09-2014, 21:25   #12
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Re: Are there any known working Bluetooth GPS devices with Windows 8?

RhythmDoctor....

I know we have beat this to death in the past, but....

Can you give us a bit more information about your experiences with modern (i.e. 3.3.1601+) OpenCPN and Bluetooth? I'd like to get this right, somehow, but we have not nailed it yet.

What works, and what doesn't? I guess I am focused on the Microsoft stack, since this is most widely available out of the box.

Thanks
Dave
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Old 15-09-2014, 07:03   #13
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Re: Are there any known working Bluetooth GPS devices with Windows 8?

I'm using a Garmin glo Bluetooth GPs, t100, and opencpn.

Firstly theres issues with Bluetooth and having WiFi on. Turn off WiFi to test. I was having issues getting open cpn to recognise the Bluetooth device up until last month. There seems to have been a windows update that's changed the Bluetooth. Now it provides a com port for all my Bluetooth devices automatically in windows and open cpn can add it as a com port . Now runs without a hitch. I didn't do anything to make these changes it was all auto with the windows update. my gps is using com port 5 but you can just go down the com port list until you get the one that works. I turn o the Bluetooth device before I launch open cpn


The major issues for me now is the t100 sharing WiFi and Bluetooth on the same chip which is a major problem as I needboth at the same time.
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Old 16-09-2014, 06:04   #14
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Re: Are there any known working Bluetooth GPS devices with Windows 8?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bdbcat View Post
RhythmDoctor....

I know we have beat this to death in the past, but....

Can you give us a bit more information about your experiences with modern (i.e. 3.3.1601+) OpenCPN and Bluetooth? I'd like to get this right, somehow, but we have not nailed it yet.

What works, and what doesn't? I guess I am focused on the Microsoft stack, since this is most widely available out of the box.

Thanks
Dave
I will try to, but I can't simulate this at home, so I need to be at the boat to test it. It may be awhile before I have time to head down there.

I did post a similar log for you in February from the then-current beta, but you never responded. Did you ever get a chance to look at it?

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Old 16-09-2014, 18:21   #15
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Re: Are there any known working Bluetooth GPS devices with Windows 8?

rd...

I saw that post. That was 3.3.1328.

Then dansken reported success with 3.3.1606, so I thought we had it solved.

Apparently not, or at least not with all possible hardware.

I bought one of the hi grade serial-BT adapters you recommended. Fooled around with it some, got totally frustrated with sorry state of Microsoft BT stack, and drifted off to other problems.

<rant>
The thing that is so annoying about this whole problem is that the stack is supposed to completely hide the details of pairing, etc from the application. An application program (e.g. OCPN) cannot even tell that the port is BT without unnatural system queries. And even then there is no clue how to treat the port any differently from any other physical port, or other type of virtual port, say USB-serial adapter. The exact same serial port system APIs are used.
So the only thing a programmer can do differently for BT is vary the timing and sequence of the initialization calls. And that is what I am experimentally doing, with long distance feedback.

</rant>


I should re-open this...

Thanks for your input
Dave
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