Tracking Part II
Having used the RoyalTek RGM-3800 for a week now I am very pleased with it. The biggest test to date came yesterday when I grabbed a couple new AAA batteries for it and made the fix at the apartment. I popped it in my suit jacket and headed off on a road trip down country with my friend Mary. The little unit kept a fix all the way south, whether in the car, inside buildings, in the train and the batteries lasted an even 10 hours (perfectly timed for me re-entering the apartment.
I wish the unit could sync with OSX rather than having to use Parallels to use the supplied data sync software.
It works well mind, transferring the NMEA datafiles flawlessly. The supplied iLocat scans your download folder and presents them for matching with photos. It also has a quick map feature, so that you can verify that the path you downloaded resembles the one that you thought you took. This is a great way to determine whether the unit was functional. The only feedback from the unit itself is a little LED that goes red when you are low on power. In off when the unit is off, blinks green when acquiring a fix and goes solid green when all is well. Thus you end up leaving a lot to trust.
So far the little unit lives up to this trust. Typically, when I have the NMEA file, I put it through GPSBabel under OSX, translate it into a GPX file and then view it as a path in Google Earth. The sample below is from our trip south.
The only problem I have run into thus far is an inability to erase the flash memory. I haven’t reached capacity yet (far from it actually) and right now I have configured it to start overwriting the previously stores waypoints. this may be fine. However, if you hold down the power button for three seconds, the little LED is supposed to alternate between red and green and erase the flash. I can’t seem to trigger this and although the RoyalTek support folks suggest you can erase it from the datalogger application, I have not been able to do so.
Nonetheless, a week in and having made five or six good journeys, the little unit continues to impress, on bike, in car or train or wandering of foot. Quite cool!