Review: Qstarz BT-Q1000eX Xtreme Recorder

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For those who do not know what a GPS Data Logger is, it essentially is a GPS that usually has a sole purpose: to keep track not of where you are, but where you have been.  Qstarz has been hard at work trying to improve upon the BT-Q1000x and has brought out the BT-Q1000eX Xtreme Recorder.  What is different about this GPS logger and what makes it Xtreme?  Let’s find out.

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The form factor of this GPS Data Logger is similar to the BT-Q1000, but has a red panel on the top of the device versus all black on the earlier device.  Other then that, it is exactly the same size as the Q1000 and doesn’t look much different.

The BT-Q1000eX comes with velcro and wire ties for mounting as well as the software and a mini B USB cable.  It also comes with a cigarette lighter adapter to keep the device charged.  Even with out the adapter, the battery should last about 42 hours which is quite a long time in my opinion.  This is likely thanks to the lack of a LCD on this device.

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What makes this device different?  Well, the biggest difference is the switch on its side.  Instead of Log and Nav modes like the Q1000x, it has two different modes with logging and navigation possible in both modes.  The switch now controls how often a fix is taken. 1 Hz mode is suitable for most uses including logging of your travels.  1 Hz means it records a position once a second.  This mode works best if you are recording a long trip by car or for hiking. 5 Hz mode is mostly for the Xtreme feature and that is for racing or moving at high speeds.  It will record a fix to its internal memory 5 times a second.  You can also use the racing mode of Qsports which is part of the new suite of software included with the BT-Q1000eX which I will get to later.

The Q1000eX also has an integrated vibration sensor.  When the logger senses the device has not moved for 10 minutes, it will go into a sleep mode until the device is picked up.  It is recommended to pick up the device and shake it after it goes into this mode(indicated by the blue light flashing every 5 seconds in 1 Hz mode), but the sensor has been sensitive enough in my experience that I find it isn’t necessary to shake the device.

The last difference between the BT-Q1000 and the BT-Q1000eX is that the Q1000eX can take 400,000 fixes .  This is double the Q1000.  This extra memory allows you to stay on the track or in the field when hiking.

Like the Q1000, the Q1000eX can download AGPS or Assisted GPS data from the internet cutting the time to a fix down to 15 seconds.  You can also use the BT-Q1000eX as a regular GPS via the USB cable or bluetooth.  Again, this is the same as the Q1000.

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Qstarz has also upgraded the software and now dub it the PC Suite.  Inside this, it has both Qtravel and Qsports.  Qtravel is for logging your travels and Qsports is for logging your sporting activities like running, racing and biking. My favorite of the two is Qtravel.  Qtravel will let you geotag pictures as well.  This is the you can also save a KML file which can be used to overlay your path in Google Earth.  There are so many things you can do with Qtravel that it maybe overkill for some.  You can literally create an HTML travel log complete with the geotagged pictures.

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In Qsports, you can choose the different sports and keep track of your workouts.  It also has a Racing mode used for the 5hz mode.  This is most useful when auto or motorcycle racing.  When moving at high speeds, you need the extra 4 positions to catch every nuance of the corners on the track.  The racing mode will capture every lap and give you the data you need to improve the route you take around the track to get the fastest speed.  This is almost as good as some telemetry systems.  Of course the big racers in Nascar need not apply, but even if they did, the mounting options that come with the BT-Q1000eX makes it easy to find a place to put it somewhere on your race car or motorcycle.  Just make sure you put it in a waterproof enclosure and you should be ready to go.

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One word of caution to those planning to use a VM to for this.  I was unable to download the track reliably with a Windows XP VM running on Virtual Box.  I even had some issues getting the track on Windows Vista machine so there may need to be some work on the software or firmware on the device.  If you have a problem with it, then switch the GPS off and on before trying to download the tracks.  This will disconnect you from the satellites and for some reason makes the download much more stable.  I hope a fix is on the way from Qstarz.

Finally, for those who run Linux, you can use BT747 which is an open source program that will work with the BT-Q1000eX.  It’s not supported by Qstarz, but works very well and can even upload the AGPS data to the GPS as well as set different logging options.

I like the BT-Q1000eX and I will likely use it as my main GPS data logger.  I plan to eventually use it to capture data for the Open Street Map Project.  I just need to find someplace that needs mapping.  I want to thank Qstarz for sending out this review sample.  I love the device and will use it quite often.  It’s not as good as my favorite logger that I had to send back, the Visiontac VGPS-900, but it’s close enough.

The Qstarz BT-Q1000eX Xtreme Recorder is available from

MSRP: $149.99

What I Like: It’s small.  I also like that it is really unobtrusive when you are using it.  Just turn it on and forget it.

What Needs Improvement: The software was a little buggy for me.  Not sure if this was a device issue or software issue.  I also don’t need a lot of the options it ships with, but I am glad they are there if I need it.  I also dislike the serial connection mode it uses.  I wish it would just have a mass storage mode for downloading the data.

About the Author

Joel McLaughlin
Joel is a consultant in the IT field and is located in Columbus, OH. While he loves Linux and tends to use it more than anything else, he will stoop to running closed source if it is the best tool for the job. His techno passions are Linux, Android, netbooks, GPS, podcasting and Amateur Radio.

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