BT-338 Bluetooth GPS FAQ
1.) Q: What is the difference between a BT-338 version 1.0 (v1) and version 2.0 (v2)?
1.) A: The BT-338 version 2.0 has a revised circuit board that changes function of the auto shut-off, battery extending feature. v1 will turn itself off after 10 minutes of no active Bluetooth connection present, regardless if the GPS is operating from its internal Li-ion battery, or connected to an external power source.
v2 will still turn itself off after 10 minutes when running from its internal Li-ion battery, but will remain on indefinitely as long as it is connected to an external power source (i.e. car charger or AC charger). Note, this is a hardware modification incorporated. Receivers exhibiting v1 behavior cannot be upgraded to v2 without physical modifications made.
2.) Q: How can I tell which version v1 or V2) of the BT-338 I have?
2.) A: Any BT-338 with serial numbers between 55301 ~ 63000 and those starting from 67001 and higher are all v2. You can also check by turning on the BT-338 and connecting it to your AC or DC charger, then let it stand for 15 minutes. If the GPS has turned off, you have a version 1.0 device. (NOTE: BT-338 cannot have an active Bluetooth connection to your PDA, laptop or Smart phone during this test.)
3.) Q: On the new BT338 v2 GPS receiver, is it possible for us (not the customer) to open the BT338 and solder a jumper or add a component to the PCB to disable the auto-shut off completely when running on the internal Li-ion battery only?
3.) A: Auto-off feature is controlled by Bluetooth firmware. We can modify the Bluetooth firmware to disable the Auto-off feature when running on Li-ion battery only . It is impossible to perform this feature by soldering a jumper or adding a component on the PCB.
To upgrade the Bluetooth firmware , you need the specific fixture to do the upgrade. We
often perform the Bluetooth firmware upgrade in the factory.
4.) Q: Do any other Globalsat Bluetooth GPS receivers offer the same auto-shut-off feature as your BT-338 v2?
4.) A: Yes, our new BT-328 and BT-359 Bluetooth GPS receivers will both function in the same manner for as the v2 BT-338.
5.) Q: Is this device WAAS enable?
5.) A: Yes, the device is WAAS enabled by default, that are sold by USGlobalSat, Inc and its Authorized Dealers . Note, receivers with firmware 3.1.1 and above are WAAS enable out of the box.
6.) Q: What datum is used?
6.) A: WGS 84
7.) Q: Is this device waterproof?
7.) A: No…
8.) Q: What's the refresh rate?
8.) A: GGA(1sec), GSA(5sec), GSV(5sec), RMC(1sec),VTG(1sec)
9.) Q: How many satellites are needed for 3-D positioning?
9.) A: A minimum of 4 satellites (3 for 2-D no altitude)
10.) Q: Can I reconfigure receiver? If so, what program?
10.) A: Yes. SirfDemo programming utility. Note, custom settings are temporary until the receiver has exhausted both the Li-ion battery and internal Super-Cap back-up power supply. Then the receiver will revert back to its original default settings.
11.) Q: Can I reconfigure receiver's Baud-Rate? If so, what program?
11.) A: Yes. SirfDemo programming utility. Note, custom settings are temporary until the receiver has exhausted both the Li-ion battery and internal Super-Cap back-up power supply. Then the receiver will revert back to its original default settings.
12.) Q: Can I reconfigure receiver's NMEA data? If so, what program?
12.) A: Yes. SirfDemo programming utility. Note, custom settings are temporary until the receiver has exhausted both the Li-ion battery and internal Super-Cap back-up power supply. Then the receiver will revert back to its original default settings.
13.) Q: What platforms are supported?
13.) A: A better answer. Most devices with Bluetooth communication capabilities. (Check Manufacturer Specs)
14.) Q: Once set. Is SiRF Binary Protocol a permanent configuration?
14.) A: These settings are temporary until the receiver has exhausted both the Li-ion battery and internal Super-Cap back-up power supply. Then the receiver will revert back to its original default settings.
15.) Q: What is the Blue LED indicator represent?
15.) A: Bluetooth communication status. Blinking (Slowly)=No Bluetooth connection. Blinking (Quickly)=Bluetooth connection established.
16.) Q: What is the Yellow LED indicator represent?
16.) A: Unit is charging with external power plugged in. Red= Needs charging immediately. Yellow= Battery charging. LED off=Battery fully charge.
17.) Q: What is the Green LED indicator represent?
17.) A: Satellite status. Green LED Flashing=GPS position is fixed. Green LED Steady= No GPS position is fixed and searching.
18.) Q: My GPS shuts down after a period of time. Why?
18.) A: This unit is programmed to shut off automatically after 10 minutes if not communicating with another Bluetooth device.
19.) Q: What's the unit's Bluetooth transmission radius?
19.) A: Ten meters (10m) is unit's maximum Bluetooth transmission radius.
20.) Q: What's the unit's charging current draw? When Off? When On?
20.) A: When "Off" approximately 150mA. When "On" approximately 200mA.
21.) Q: What's the unit's Baud Rate settings?
21.) A: 38400 bps
22.) Q: When I turn the power on, does it actually start the GPS or the BT module?
22.) A: Both start at the same time, if no BT connection is made within ten minutes, then both will turn off.
23.) Q: How does the "20 channel" affect performance? Both: MR350 and BT-338 have "20 channel" in the specs?
23.) A: The sensitivity numbers like the TTFF numbers don't really mean much, as they're hard to tie into real life observations.
24.) Q: How much more is the SiRF Star III power consumption compare to SiRF Star IIe/LP?
24.) A: About 15% more power hungry than the previous SiRF Star IIe/LP.
25.) Q: Is SiRF Star III quicker in signal acquisition?
25.) A: Yes, SiRFStarIII can acquire much faster than IIe/XT2 in difficult environments thanks to the added correlating power and that is not reflected in the dB number.
26.) Q: What are the charger's electrical specifications (voltage, amps, pin size, etc) for this unit?
26.) A: 4.6 / 6V @ 1A - 3.5mm iPAQ power jack
27.) Q: Can I disable the auto-off feature?
27.) A: Unfortunately, it’s a standard programmed feature to conserve battery energy.
28.) Q: Does the BT-338 supports multiple bonding/pairing so it can be used with more than one Bluetooth partner at the same time?
28.) A: Unfortunately, it does not support this feature.
29.) Q: What is the output format for this receiver?
29.) A: Output format: GGA(1sec), GSA(5sec), GSV(5sec), RMC(1sec),VTG(1sec)
30.) Q: What is the current BT-338 firmware version?
30.) A: Firmware version 3.1.1 is the current BT-338 firmware version.
31.) Q: Will my receiver support older NMEA standards?
31.) A: Yes, NMEA 2.0 is backwards compatible with older versions of the protocol. NOTE: If your map software (such as Street Atlas 5) requires data
sentence GGA, and your GPS (such as the Magellan 3000) does not
output GGA, then they will NOT work together.
32.) Q: Why is my GEOID and mean sea level is missing which affects the altitude calculations?
32.) A: Yes, the GEOID correction was missing until it was added in version 3.1 of the firmware from my observations of the Holux 236 that uses it.
33.) Q: What are the differences between the BT-338_GSW3V3.1.1LowV_F-GPS-03-0506222 vs. BT-338_GSW3.1.1TO_F-GPS-03-0510032?
33.) A: The difference is we add the RTC time to 1 day, compared with older version 2.5hrs. It will keep the data we stored within 1 day so that no need to do Cold start.
34.) Q: Why is my GPS receiver detected by Bluetooth but no communication is being established to GPSInfo or my third party mapping application?
34.) A: Some BT-338 receivers have been found with the NMEA protocol disable. You may consider using a Bluetooth enabled notebook or desktop and SirfDemo program to switch the receiver back into NMEA mode. If problems persists, continue by removing rechargeable battery for a period of 1-3 hours. This action allows the device to reset.
35.) Q: What can I do to prevent my device from having GRMC NMEA time stamp data problem?
35.) A: There is backed battery for SRAM and RTC (Real-Time Clock) to keep last stored position , date ,time , satellite data. When you power down GPS , backed battery will keep the last data. It can help us to achieve maximum acquisition performance. After a long period of time (about 4 hours, depend on different products) GPS is power off, backed battery will run out and last stored data will lose. When you re-start GPS , last stored data display at first if backed battery is still active. If backed battery is inactive , default parameters will display. Only after new GPS signals are received , correct data will display. It can explain why incorrect date display at first. In short , the receiver requires GPS data to update these parameters.
36.) Q: After performing the above. Why is the device's GRMC NMEA time stamp data still incorrect?
36.) A: To correct this problem, remove battery for a period of 10-30 minutes…
37.) Q: Why does my receiver fail to acquire satellite information after in use from a flight?
37.) A: Under GPSInfo, perform a cold start. In result, the BT-338 will reset its registers for terrestrial coordinate calculation.
38.) Q: What satellite identification number is used for WAAS and EGNOS?
38.) A: Satellite #33 (AoRE) is for EGNOS, Satellite #35 (AoRW) is for WAAS, and it has been suggested that Satellite #41 (PoR) will be used to indicate that data is being received from the Japanese MSAS system.
39.) Q: Cannot connect to BT-338. When doing a discover i see the BT-338. But i cannot establish a serial connection. What I can do?
39.) A: Change original microsoft windows XP bluetooth stack. Instead of the stack provided from IBM ( widcomm )
40.) Q: Why am I not getting any or very weak GPS signals even though my GPS receiver is directly under the windshield glass?
40.) A: Certain vehicles may be equipped with special windshields that contain metal in the glass that prevents GPS and RF signals from being received properly. Customers with these types of windshields must use an exterior GPS antenna for improved results for GPS applications. If you are unsure about whether your vehicle has one of these types of windshields, contact your dealer and request more information. This vehicle list may not be complete and may updated from time-to-time.
41.) Q: The battery light didn't turn orange while the unit was being charged. What can I do to correct this problem?
41.) A: If you are using the DC charger check for an open (blown) fuse. In the other hand, if you are using the AC charger connect a different device that supports this voltage to confirm its functionality.
42.) Q: After changing my GPS receiver to send data to my PC in SiRF format, which was configured using the included SiRFDemo utility program, my GPS receiver's LED is now very dim and no longer is sending data to my mapping application. What can I do to correct this?
42.) A: First... you are required to download SiRF Demo programming utility here
Once this program is downloaded and installed on your laptop or desktop machine, you may proceed executing the following instructions listed below.
1. Select "OK" on the Data Source Setup.
2. Mirrored Serial Port and Baud Rate settings found in Device Manager ( Device Manager information can be accessed from Start->Control Panel->System->Hardware->Device Manager-> Ports->
For Compact F: Compact Flash OX16CF950 (Com X)
For USB: Prolific USB-to-Serial Comm Port (COM X)
3. Then, select "Action" followed by "Open Data Source".
4. Select "Action" followed by "Switch to NMEA Protocol".
5. Finally, at this step click "Send".
6. Exit the program.