Friday, December 28, 2012

Bad Elf GPS Pro

Application: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch,
Function: GPS position and tracking
Cost: Free
Rating: *****

I hope everyone had a glorious Christmas. I certainly did, celebrating with my family and relatives.  Christmas eve service, food, wine, gifts, and assorted Christmas goodies were all part of the festivities.  New Years is just around the corner and we are about to go off the Fiscal Cliff.  Well at least the world did not end on December 21st. We seemed to have at least dodged that one!

It is a busy time of year so, I will do my best to keep updating my blog.  Speaking of Christmas, how about some Bad Elves.  No not those little vertically challenged folks in green and red costumes.  I am talking about the Bad Elf GPS.   I followed the development of the original Bad Elf GPS a couple of years ago.  I had purchased an iPod Touch which had no GPS so I looked a various options to get GPS coordinates to my device and apps.  It easily plugged into the 30 pin connector on the bottom of my device and provided the needed GPS signal to my iPod Touch. 

Bad Elf has now come out with an new and improved version of their little GPS. The new model is called the Bad Elf Pro BE-GPS-2200.
This model has Bluetooth and a host of new features that make it make it real winner!

Features:

  • LCD Display
  • Bluetooth communication 
  • Supports dozens of third party apps
  • Supports up to 5 devices at a time
  • 16 hour battery life with Bluetooth connections
  • 32 hour battery life as data logger
  • Configurable GPS sampling rate
  • Stand alone data logger
  • Points of Interest
  • Splash proof IPX4 rated
  • 45 second GPS lock time
  • 2.5 meter accuracy
  • 60,000 feet max altitude
  • 66 channel MTK chipset
  • Mini USB port for charging
  • Upgradable firmware
  • 3.2 oz
  • Download logs to iPhone or iPad
The Bad Elf GPS Pro can be used as a GPS source for the iPad, iPad2, iPad3, iPhone 3G, 3GS, iPod Touch 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th generation.

The GPS is Apple Mfi approved and works with virtually any locational based app available in the iTunes AppStore.
 
All the major marine, aviation, hiking, vehicle navigation, cycling, running/walking, golfing and geocaching  apps can be used with the Bad Elf GPS devices.

Marine apps include, iNavX, Navionics, iSailor, MotionX GPS, MemoryMaps, Chart and Tids, SailMaps, Jeppesen, Marine Charts and Imray. 

The Bad Elf GPS Pro comes with a companion app to use and display logged GPS data.

The Bad Elf app has five soft keys at the bottom of the screen for navigating the different pages of data and maps. The first Bad Elf page allows you to select the Bad Elf version that you have. This is where you initiate the connection to your Bad Elf device. It will work with the original or the new Pro model.

 The second page show the GPS data. There is not much special here, just some standard position, accuracy, time, speed and heading data.

The Map page will show your realtime GPS position.  The Trips page is where you can view data from your logged trips.  Data logging is only available on the new GPS-2200 model. You can use it independently on your travels to record your trips.  The GPS-2200 can then be paired with an iPhone or iPad and the logged trip data files can be downloaded to the device for viewing and analysis.

On the Info page you will find the settings for the app. Here you can setup the units for distance, speed and export capabilities to email, and iTunes in KML an GPX formats. Other FAQ and support pages are offered here too.

The app provides the ability to email and export the log files to in GPX and KML formats. The OpenIn feature also allows many of the third party apps to display the GPS-220 log files also. Not all app support this feature but many of the marine charting apps will open and display the log files on marine charts.

A handy trip details page provides the user with many maximum and average speed, distance and altitude readings for each log file.

It looks like a solid device that does more than just provide you with some GPS coordinate data.  It can provide GPS data for up to 5 devices simultaneously so everyone on board can have access to it.  The logging feature is an added bonus and the free app let you control and view all the necessary information and log files.

If you have an older WiFi only iPad or iPod touch that you want to put to use on your boat this is one alternative. The price tag is around $144 on Amazon so it is not cheap. If you are buying a new iPad be sure to get the 3 or 4G versions that have the GPS chip in them. You pay about the same and it is much more convenient having the GPS on your iPad.

The device and app only support iOS devices at this time, so the Android folks are left out of the game again.  Rumor has it that it is just a firmware limitation and that it may be addressed in coming updates. Stayed tuned!

~~~Sail On~~~ /)
Mark



















1 comment:

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