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View Full Version : Review - PC-Mobile Bluetooth adaptor for non-bluetooth GPS units



Codenix
27th June 2005, 04:32 PM
I recently purchased a BTA01 bluetooth adaptor for my Garmin eTrex handheld to enable easy connection to my PocketPC Phone so I could run PDA street navigation software (in my case 'DestinAtor', although I'm going to test Navman ST as well).

There's a featured review of this device here (http://www.pocketgpsworld.com/pc-mobile-bluetooth-adaptor.php) , so I won't go too much into it, suffice to say, this is a nifty little device.

All up it cost around AU$70 including a specific cable for my eTrex, plus delivery to Melbourne (PC-Mobile ship from China). You can purchase these devices from PC Mobile (http://www.pc-mobile.net/bta.htm). They offer the usual SSL protection for online transactions, and I received my unit in three business days, which I thought was outstanding.

As per the above review, pairing and use with a bluetooth-enabled PDA or PC/Laptop is very easy. Be aware though that it only supports the NMEA protocol at 4800baud, so you can only use it to output a location data stream, NOT upload waypoints or download track data.

Now that I've added the BTA01 to my kitty, my $149 GPS unit has gone from an occasional-use camping-aid, to an everyday-use street-navigation tool.

:)

strider01
28th June 2005, 05:41 PM
Very nice find Codenix!! Now I can use my eMap with my XDAII over bluetooth for when I don't want to set up the laptop in the car!!

This is definitely a must remember for the future.

p-jay
4th July 2005, 10:56 PM
mmm, sounds to me that 'codenix' may be a front for pc-mobile sales. these B/T connectors are available here in australia from 'johnny appleseed' for $99 + freight. their item plugs into the car cigarette lighter and also powers the gps. i think that if i were in the market for this i would rather purchase locally from someone who supports their product and not from china where there is no word for support. ( and let me say , here and now that i am in no way affiliated with johnny appleseed , have never bought anything from them , but make this observation as an interested party) :rolleyes: .
caveat emptor (let the buyer beware)
the few extra dollars will be well spent if you need spe******t advice.
p-jay

strider01
5th July 2005, 05:15 PM
Hi p-jay,

I'm not sure if he is associated with them as the are in China I think!! Besides that it might have been the first site he found these things on. I didn't know they even existed until his posting.

Anyway, no dramas, you are right in saying we should support the local people first. I might drop in to JA and check them out. I bought me eMap GPS off them a while ago and they were most helpful with some pretty newbie questions. They had no problems with answering these for me.

Off to JA.....

p-jay
5th July 2005, 10:08 PM
hey strider ,
i may have been a little harsh , but i do think that chinese imports of all kinds are killing our local manufacturing base . apparently it is cheaper to export kiln dried pinus radiata to china where they turn it into furniture and then send it back , than it is to make the product here in oz . pretty soon we won't have any local joineries . and i suppose the same can be said for most other manufacturing industries.
now , off my high horse !
i'd like to know how you get on at JA ?? i am in the market for something to connect to my 6365 Ipaq . 'Festy' makes a lot of sense when he says that a bare bones gps is all that is required if connecting to a pocket pc.
the little unit that 'codenix' has would be ok in a situation where he was away from a power source and needed to run on the AA's . i like the idea of going wireless . the wire clutter is too much . i run a radar detector and jammer and jag the wires every now and again !!!
cheers,
p-jay :)

Codenix
6th July 2005, 04:59 PM
Hi p-Jay,

Well, I certainly didn't expect to be flamed :( after offering a review of a product I purchased after a great deal of research, thinking my experience might be helpful to others - after all, isn't that what this forum is for? For the record I'm not affiliated with any resellers or manufacturers of GPS or communications gear.

I am familiar with the product from Johnny Appleseed. I looked into it, but it was more expensive than the unit I purchased (remembering that I paid less than $70 including the cable, whereas the JA "BT Cube" was $99 plus cable plus postage), and I couldn't find any decent information on the BT Cube (as to whether it would work with my setup). I found the information on the JA website very confusing, and it seemed that the BT Cube required all sorts of cables - what's the point of being wireless if you've got cables lying around everywhere?

My requirements demanded that the bluetooth unit was self-powered as I already have a hand-held CB radio cradle and my Arkon PDA mount plugged into my two cigarette/accessory sockets (more cables!). So far I've run this unit in excess of twenty hours on rechargable NmH AA batteries without need of a recharge, so I reckon it's doing pretty well.

Finally, regarding "killing our local manufacturing base", the BT Cube is made by Haicom in Taiwan, so I'm a little unsure as to what your point was about that. As far as I know there aren't any 'local' versions of this product, or I certainly would have considered them.

Codenix.

p-jay
6th July 2005, 05:39 PM
hi codenix,
my point is that anything bought on 'eBay' from outside Australia leaves the purchaser with no consumer protection. at least if you buy from an Australian retailer you can be assured of aftersales support , even if it's just for the sake of reputation .
overseas manufacturers and australian importers know they can't unload rubbish here as it will cost them in the long run . ( tho' you wouldn't necessarily know that from some of the imported rubbish we see these days .
after having worked in SE Asia for over 12 years i have seen plenty of rubbish out of china and SE Asia in general.
overseas manufacturers and australian importers understand that goods destined for '1st' world countries must meet 1st world standards.
and any australian importer of overseas goods will quickly disappear if his goods don't meet our standards.
as i said before , the few extra $$'s will be well spent if you require support or a warranty claim .
your story has a happy ending , i'm sure there are many more out there that don't.

strider01
6th July 2005, 07:01 PM
p-jay,

My dealings with JA have been excellent. When I spoke to them prior to and after purchasing of my GPS they were only too happy to help. I wouldn't hesitate in using them again. Another great bunch of people are the guys at GPSOZ. Brian and the team there are also great to talk to. We have used these guys through work in the past and I attended one of their GPS Training Courses. Very well worth it for beginners like me!!

Dealing with either of these companies will see you through any dramas you might have with buying your gear.

And I don't work for either. I actually work for a local Council on the Central Coast of NSW. Just to clarify my standing!!

Codenix
6th July 2005, 09:08 PM
my point is that anything bought on 'eBay' from outside Australia leaves the purchaser with no consumer protection. at least if you buy from an Australian retailer you can be assured of aftersales support , even if it's just for the sake of reputation

p-jay, I certainly see the sense in what you're saying, although I don't entirely agree. I know I've been poorly advised and subsequently ignored by more than a few Australian retailers in the past, particularly where technology was involved, which is exactly why I don't put much stock retailer advice, and instead prefer to conduct my own research.

As mentioned previously, I conducted exhaustive research into my purchase, to the point that I mitigated the risk to a level acceptable to me. The product was not purchased on eBay, but directly from the manufacturer, and the anecdotal evidence I found about them (PC-Mobile) in the form of reviews and other forum postings was all very positive.

I think it's important to remember that technology has historically been very difficult to obtain in Australia, due largely to our miniscule market (in world-wide terms). The Internet, and the advent of eCommerce, has greatly extended our abilities as individual consumers to research and purchase any type of item from a world-wide, competitive marketplace. This competition in turn moderates pricing, and forces suppliers to make better products, lest the word spread (as it so easily can via the Internet).

'Buyer beware' is certainly appropriate with any purchase, however closing one's mind to the wider market, or encouraging others to do so on the premise that there's some inherent protection from one's own poor judgement or lack of research by simply buying locally will only result in reduced competition and thus quality, service, product-range, and cost-effectiveness.

On a side note, I mean no disrespect if my tone has come across that way. Only through healthy discourse can we all learn from each-other's experiences, and I certainly welcome yours :)

Codenix.

bhoulaha
3rd August 2005, 10:13 PM
I recently bought a LeadTek 9537 Bluetpooth GPS receiver from eFrontier (in NZ). I have it paired to my XDA II through an Arkon PDA mount - The rig works really well and all for less than the cost of my old Magellan 315. The price was pretty goos too - $199 AUD for the unit and it was shipped from NZ in three days. I have seen the same unit (9537) for sale here for $319.

Check out

http://www.efrontier.com.au/ they plug themselves as "Your Australian and NZ GPS spe******t"

:)