May 5, 2011
Just recently I got a chance to order and use another compact USB GPS receiver – ND 100 by GlobalSat.
This receiver uses the same drivers as it’s cousin – the ever popular BU-353 about which I previously blogged here.
Since I already have the Prolific chipset drivers installed, ND-100 worked right out of the box. In my test it quickly acquired a fix and provided position to within about 5 feet – all *indoors*. It also appears to have a bit less of a stationary “course drift” than my BU-353s, though that could be individual device issue.
The primary advantage of this device is a form factor – rather than being a GPS “mouse” it is a “USB stick”, the size of average external flash drive, though it feels a bit heftier. It fits well into my netbook and avoids messing with wires. That said, one drawback may be that it requires additional space to the side of netbook, least it catches onto something and pops out of the USB socket. No big deal though, it can be plugged right back in – and no harm done. PolarCOM will reacquire the connection shortly.
All in all another good option, available on Amazon for about $35.
February 17, 2011
The question of which GPS to use with PolarView and PolarCOM comes up almost every day. There is certainly a great variety of GPS devices out there, with many pros and cons to each.
That said, based on user feedback, GlobalSat BU-353 GPS “usb puck” seems to be a definitive leader, for many years consistently getting high marks for reliability, precision and generally doing what these devices are supposed to be doing. This GPS supports Windows (XP, Vista, 7), Mac OS and Linux.
Drivers for Windows and Mac are usually supplied with device. You can also download drivers online by following this link. These drivers are from original chipset manufacturer and seem to work best. They are listed for “PL-2303”, which is a type of microchip used in GlobalSat GPS device. Linux already includes drivers in most popular kernel distributions.
The only issue BU-353 tends to suffer from is “wandering” speed/course
when at complete rest. This is easily remedied by using data dampening option in PolarCOM, under “Configuration->Data->Data Dampening”.
A going price for GlobalSat BU-353 seems to be around $35 at Amazon or elsewhere, so they are easy on the budget too. Follow this link to order one.
June 2, 2010
Below are a few videos demonstrating some of the basic functionality of PolarView. I did not spend much time on it so quality is not great. I still need to figure out how to annotate mouse clicks and keystrokes.
Some of the features in the video are not yet available in the current release – but will be in the upcoming version.
Demonstrating how to lay a route:
Miscellaneous options including:
– Setting and moving a waypoint
– Changing palette colors
– Showing tide information for a given tide station
– Searching chart list for a specific chart
Using a GRIB viewer:
A better demonstration of a GRIB viewer (using an older version of PolarView), made by a user. Thank you!
November 23, 2009
This is an intermediate maintenance release that fixes a few issues in version 1.0 of the product.
PolarView: show bearing/distance information when moving waypoint used in route.
PolarCOM: solves a number of serial port connectivity issues – if you had a problem making your GPS work with PolarCOM, this update should resolve it (or so I hope).