GPS Geologger GT-730 in the field test
A compact GPS logger in a practical USB stick housing. How does the GPS receiver beat itself in geotagging practice?
A GPS receiver chip, memory and power. More is basically not necessary to record a GPS track. The GT-730FL-S offers this basic equipment in a handy USB stick design for a reasonable price. What about the operation and above all the quality of the recording?
Operation and displays
For the operation of the logger, a slide switch and a button are available. The switch turns the logger on and off. With the key special places can be saved as special waypoints (Waypoint).
Also, the information that the logger via LEDs of himself, are simple and understandable. If the blue LED is lit, no position is known. If the blue LED is flashing, everything is OK and the GPS recording is in progress.
If the yellow LED lights up, charging is switched off, the Geologger is ready to go.
Geologger in the charging station
In the GPS logger in the USB stick design a 450 mAh battery is built in. Charging is via the USB plug. Simply plug it into the computer or use a USB power adapter. I use one of these compact power adapters, which are used on most smartphones.
The manufacturer writes something of 18 hours of battery life. On the first tours, I came with about 17 hours recording time very close to the manufacturer.
Software and alternatives
Geologger with internal USB port
Even if the USB stick design might suggest it. The GT-730 does not behave like a USB stick on the computer. Unfortunately, a mass storage device (MSD) mode has been omitted. To manage the logger and to read out the tracks drivers and software are needed. The “GPS Photo Tagger” program for Windows is included on a mini-CD.
The program is quite easy to use.
Actually only 4 points are needed in the file menu: ” Read log “, ” Configure GPS “, ” Clear log ” and ” Export route “.
After downloading the data, save the tracks to a GPX file via “Export itinerary” and continue using it in the geotagging tool of choice. Incidentally, all selected tracks are saved in a GPX file.
The supplied software can also link photos with GPS data from the GT-730. But I would not go into that and refer to the proven geotagging programs GeoSetter (Windows) and myTracks (Mac).
There are very good alternatives for the Mac.
There is no software for Apple Computer. But that’s not a problem as there are very good alternatives here. On the one hand myTracks4Mac, the track management software with top geotagging possibility offers an integrated logger import function. Simply select the GT-730 in the GPS-Logger Assistant. More about track-based geotagging with myTracks in this howto .
Import Settings HoudahGeo
On the other hand, the free GPS logger tool HoudahGPS. Here you can select “SkyTraq” and the USB modem in the settings. The geotagging software HoudahGeo also uses the same import module and can thus access the GT-730 directly. Again, there is a practice howto .
GPS recording in practice
The logger is always waiting for me fully charged on the power supply to the next use. Switch on outdoors, wait until a position is determined and into the photo bag. Up to the first position usually takes about 20 seconds to just over a minute. If there was a long distance between the last place and the current position, the first positioning took much longer.
I can not complain about the reception quality. Even in the camera bag, the route was recorded in the trunk.
In addition to GPS track recording, special locations can also be recorded as waypoints. Simply press the button and the current location will be highlighted in the recording.
|GPS chipset||SIRF IV|
|Supported auxiliary systems||WAAS and EGNOS|
|memory size||2 MB|
|Storage||256,000 track points|
|Battery internally||450 mAh|
|Battery life||about 18 hours|
|size||76 x 29 x 18 mm|
GPS Logger GT-730
Those who are not bothered by drivers and Windows software will get a decent geologist at an attractive price with the GT-730. Reception quality, track memory size and battery life are good, only the time until the first fix could be shorter.
I like that:
- easy handling
I do not really like it that much:
- No USB mode to read
- Partially First-Fix takes too long