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on November 2, 2008
This is a good compact GPS logger, which is primarily intended for geotagging digital photos.

The idea here is that the GPS logger periodically records your GPS location and then, later on, the Holux Logger Utility takes this timestamped GPS information and compares it against the JPG timestamps on your photos. Then for each photo, it can find the GPS record that best matches the photo time and add that GPS location information to the photo.

The basic idea works well. The M-241 is sometimes a little awkward to use, but I like mine enough that after I accidentally lost my first one, I quickly bought a second. I use the GPS info for both tagging photos and for generating route maps.

Some specific positives:
* The logger is very compact and easily fits into a pocket.
* The Holux logger utility uploads GPS data as either proprietary TRL files or as Google Earth KML files. The KML files can be easily viewed with Google Earth.
* GPS signal sensitivity is quite good. It can sometimes take several minutes to get an initial fix, especially if you are moving, but it tracks quickly thereafter.
* The LCD display is useful: I enjoy being able to watch things like direction, or speed, or travel distance as I travel.

Now some weaknesses:
* A Duracell Alkaline AA lasts me about 15 hours and a Lithium AA about 22 hours. (Fairly typical battery life for a GPS device.)
* The battery case cover is rather flimsy and needs cautious handling.
* The two button control UI on the logger takes a little getting used to. I can now navigate it quickly, but I initially found it rather frustrating.
* The logger utility UI is distinctly clunky and the manual is rather weak. The UI does the job, but not particularly elegantly.
* You need to keep your camera time synchronized with the logger's time and you need to compensate for timezone differences when you do the photo tagging.

You can use either USB or Bluetooth to communicate with the logger. I've been using USB on Vista, without any problems. I can't speak to the Bluetooth functionality.

Some suggestions:
* Make sure to download the latest firmware and logger utility from the Holux website. The latest versions have bug fixes and some feature additions.
* In the logger settings, turn "AutoLog" to "on". This means it will start logging as soon as it gets a GPS fix, and you don't have to remember to separately turn on logging.
* Rather than worrying about time zones, I ended up leaving my camera permanently in UTC+0 (GMT). The logger always writes its TRL records in UTC+0, so this means I can tag photos without having to specify a timezone adjustment.
* By default, the logger logs every 5 seconds. I moved it to every 30 seconds, which I find adequate for photo location and lets me store over a month of records.
* If you're using USB, it's worth turning off the Bluetooth radio to save power. (This is a new feature in the v1.12 firmware.)

Overall, this isn't perfect, but I find it very convenient as a lightweight tool for GPS and photo logging.
11 comment44 of 44 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Cute little gadget. It is a comparatively fast and sensitive little Bluetooth GPS unit with a tiny display that can show Lat/Lon/Alt/Speed/Compass/etc. and has a backlight. It will also automatically or manually log waypoints and routes with a modest number of configurable options. It works great with my Treo 680 Smartphone and DeLorme Street Atlas USA 2006 Handheld Edition. In fact it is more reliable than my DeLorme Bluetooth GPS's. Running 12 hours on an alkaline AA battery is rather amazing. The fact that the accompanying software can export the saved waypoint and route data in a number of formats, including NMEA and Google Earth KMZ format is cool. The software is a bit primative but it seems to work. I hope they come out with some updates.

Now for the negatives.

The USB driver doesn't seem to work properly on XP!!!

It seems to work okay on Win2K Pro.

Fortunately it is possible to connect your XP PC and the data download software to the M-241 over Bluetooth and get the data off of it. Slowly.

And Holux Technical Support (email to China) seems to be strictly a one-way communication medium. You send them emails and nothing ever comes back.

Would I buy it again? Yes! It's cheap and works great as an amazingly sensitive and fast little GPS. And if you can negotiate the usual quirks and user hostility of Bluetooth, you can make it do everything that Holux promises it can do. However it sure would be nice if Holux fixed the stupid USB driver for XP!

-Christopher Erickson
0Comment12 of 12 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on June 16, 2008
I've had this for a few months, and it works. I take it hiking and use other software (GPicSync, free) to geotag the photos. Make sure you set your camera to the right time (get the "true" time from the logger). I seems pretty accurate, finds the satellites after a little while (< 1 min), and has enough recording options. I really like that it uses AA batteries; it will run all day on a lithium rechargeable (2700 mah) that I also use for my camera. When I'm away for a few days, I just bring extra AA's. It can store a lot of waypoints. It has distance and time logging options, can display speed, distance traveled, location, can be locked to avoid accidentally turning logging on/off. And it's been knocked around without complaining.

The USB and bluetooth work fine on a couple of computers (XP); it is important to install the USB drivers before connecting it. I find the USB much easier than the bluetooth. You can adjust the settings from the software, which makes life easier.

OK, some quirks: the software appears to offer geotagging, but does not; the GPicSync works great though. With the USB connection, you have to figure out which COM port it connects to; this is trial and error (COM6 for me), but it stays the same each time you connect it. If it runs out of power while logging, the file is lost (same thing if you accidentally turn it off); there is a low-battery indicator, but you need to be checking it pretty regularly, or have a good idea how long your battery will last. The battery cover feels pretty fragile. You can't tell it to start logging until you get a fix on the satellites, which means each time you turn it on you need to remember to start logging a minute later.

I think for money and convenience (AA, reasonable memory, accuracy), it's the best logging option - at least in March it was!
44 comments17 of 20 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Cute little gadget. It is a comparatively fast and sensitive little Bluetooth GPS unit with a tiny display that can show Lat/Lon/Alt/Speed/Compass/etc. and has a backlight. It will also automatically or manually log waypoints and routes with a modest number of configurable options. It works great with my Treo 680 Smartphone and DeLorme Street Atlas USA 2006 Handheld Edition. In fact it is more reliable than my DeLorme Bluetooth GPS's. Running 12 hours on an alkaline AA battery is rather amazing. The fact that the accompanying software can export the saved waypoint and route data in a number of formats, including NMEA and Google Earth KMZ format is cool. The software is a bit primative but it seems to work. I hope they come out with some updates.

Now for the negatives.

The USB driver doesn't seem to work properly on XP!!!

It seems to work okay on Win2K Pro.

Fortunately it is possible to connect your XP PC and the data download software to the M-241 over Bluetooth and get the data off of it. Slowly.

And Holux Technical Support (email to China) seems to be strictly a one-way communication medium. You send them emails and nothing ever comes back.

Would I buy it again? Yes! It's cheap and works great as an amazingly sensitive and fast little GPS. And if you can negotiate the usual quirks and user hostility of Bluetooth, you can make it do everything that Holux promises it can do. However it sure would be nice if Holux fixed the stupid USB driver for XP!

-Christopher Erickson
0Comment11 of 13 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on January 15, 2008
Here is a details review of both the GPS logger models and read on to see which one is a clear winner over the other.

So I purchased the RBT-2300 and had some issues with the signal fix and one of my friend suggested to try the new Holux-M241, later realised the fix is due to the low signal level inside my apartment and its an issue with all GPS units.

My main use is for Geotagging photographs and also to be used as GPS with my Nokia N73.

Here are my observations on both the devices on a test I did this weekend.

Specs:
RoyalTek RBT-2300 with Nokia battery fully charged
Holux M-241 with Energiser lithium battery fully charged

Time to Acquire first fix:
Tried both inside my flat and first fix was difficult, so moved both the devices to my Balcony, RBT-2300 acquired the fix in approx 12 minutes and the Holux took 15 minutes.

Lock:
The RBT-2300 was able to lock to the signals more easily than the holux M-241 when i moved inside my apartment, Royaltek lost signal one in 10 compared to Holux losing 4 times in 10.

Logging:
RBT starts logging the moment you switch it on and the GPS is fixed, no hassles to wait for the fix and then press the start button to start logging.
Holux needs to get the fix first and then need to press the enter button to start logging.

Log size:
RBT : 180 days worth data or approx half million way points
Holux : 130,000

Battery life:
RBT using a Nokia batterly (860mAh) ran very good for 9 hours until the unit totally died.
Holux using the new Energiser lithium battery (approx 2800mAh) ran for 6 hours till it totally died.

Connecting to Smartphone:
Both the devices were very easy to connect to my Nokia N73 using bluetooth, got connected immediately without any problems.

Connecting to computer:
RBT provides only bluetooth and connected pretty well,
Holux uses both USB and bluetooth and connection was good.

Software:
RBT software is better then the Holux, remembers the selected Com port and also the folder location where GPS log file was last downloaded.

Downloading LOG files:
This is the main part where I started hating the Holux M-241, both took the same time to download using bluetooth, however the Holux files were empty without any log info in a previous test.

Reliability:
For any geotagging and logging purposes reliability of the data is more important, RBT has delivered proper ones till now and had no issues, but with the Holux, I was not able to download the data, this might be due to the fact that the battery got over and the unit switched off without stopping the log, now am not able to see the data in Holux, using the download tool, it crashes whenever I try to get the file.

Verdict:

Eventhough the looks of the Holux is better then the RBT, and the Holux has an attractive LCD display and many modes, it is clearly not a winner in the Geotagging scenario, may be it can be used as a GPS device for smartphones, but definitely never a reliable one for Geotagging, the reasons below.

1. For geotagging, i would prefer to switch on the device and start logging by default and if I dont want it, then I can switch it off, its ridiculous to wait for a signal and then to switch the logging on.

2. If the unit dies of low battery charge, I should atleast be able to get the proper log files from it, here Holux fails to impress.

Overall the new Holux M-241 is just a beauty with absolutely no brains and does not seem to be very useful for logging and Geotagging world with a highly unreliable performance.

Even though the RBT is simple and does not have any fancy display, it exactly does the job its claimed to do.

so anybody planning to buy the Holux M-241, please assess these facts and base your decision on what you mainly intend to use the GPS for, if visual display of the GPS details is not much of a bother to you, better go with the RBT-2300.

The Winner:

[b]RBT-2300 is a clear winner[/b] compared to the Holux M-241.
33 comments27 of 36 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on October 2, 2010
I am very satisfied with the purchase experience and the product. It would seem that allot of reviews are for an older version of the product but the one I purchased from CE Compass through Amazon and received on 4 September 2010 is everything that I expected.

There are many reviews and YouTube videos of this product and I had been looking at it for a long time. The only issue that I had to comprmize on was the readout of the latitude and longitude. I would like it to readout in decimal degrees but it uses degrees, minutes, and seconds. This cannot be changed for display on the LCD but there is an option when using the data to select your choice.

Also, I would recommend downloading the most recent software and reading the manuals. One review I read indicated that the unit did not capture waypoints but it does. One person also indicated that there was no locking feature for the inadvertent button push but there is.

I did not want a big heavy unit like my Garmin, I wanted a small light unit that I could wear around my neck in the field and log routs, take waypoints, and even take a picture of the readout if I wanted to. And even the lanyard that comes with it is top notch. The driver for reading the unit installed without any issues and I like the simplicity of the HoluxLoggerUtility. The price was also a deciding factor... Joe

NOTE: I've been using this device on and of since 2010 and am not disapointed. However, after it setting around for a while and replacing the battery I did notice a change in the settings. I very much like the "AUTO LOGGING" function, that is it starts logging when you turn it on. The default is that it doesn't. Forgot to set this setting and missed an etire trip. It just seems extremly dificult to remember to TURN LOGGING ON:-)
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on February 25, 2008
If you are a casual user, I would not recommend this product. If you are interested in actively figuring this product out, it could work for you. After 2 days of use, I have successfuly created and uploaded Google Earth files. This is really cool, and the reason I bought the product. However, I have also found the following: 1. This device eats batteries. I have reloaded the single AA battery twice in 2 days, having just used the product for a few brief periods. While indoors near a window, the product take a while to find the satellites. Because it takes a while, I set the unit down and then came back to it later only to find that the unit had timed out and turned off. Turning it back on started the process over again. The PC software is non-professional and is hard to use. It looks like a Windows 3.1 application. 3. The manual is minimal, at best. 4. The UI of the device is not intuative.
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on August 7, 2011
Simply put. I like this little data logger.

I've had mine for. oh. I guess it is coming up on 3 years now. I tried 2 others previously and they just didn't work well for me. But this one did. It DOES have it's quirks. and you have to work around them.. But of the ones I looked at.. and the few others I bought this is by far the best..

I used the 241 traveling though California, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Georgia, Virginia, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Washington DC, The Netherlands, France, The Czech Republic and Russia. It was used exclusively for photo tagging and keeping track of the days journey ( track logging )

All the specs are here for you to read. So instead of repeating them I would like to answer some of the other reviews with my own experiences.

Data downloading via Bluetooth. In a word. don't. Yes. it IS slow. of course it is. Bluetooth transfers data at about 2.1 mbps USB has a speed of 480mbps. But the 241 uses a mini USB cord that many cell phones and cameras use so you probably already have one and won't have to have one more special cord in your bag.

Tech Support. I only wrote them once with a question. The company and support is in China. So you have to remember this when writing them. Keep it as simple and clear as possible and you have a much better chance of getting a relevant response. Make it complicated. and the poor tech might decide it is easier to hit the delete key than break out the Chinese to English dictionary.

The screen. It is somewhat small. But, then again so is the device. I do wish some information was presented in a larger font.. But I was able to work with it..

RBT-2300. If it works for you.. then I am happy for you.. I really am. I started out with 2 similar devices. I didn't like that they had batteries I could not get in any corner store in the world. I also did not like having to try and remember what color blinking light meant what. I like the 241 where I can look at the display.. see it is recording.. and see that I am traveling at 551 mph at 33,010 feet in the air! I also LOVED that I could hang it off my backpack with its little included lanyard.
Lost log Files. In 6 months of everyday use I think I lost about 5 days log files. Don't know why.. maybe was due to a battery going out.. but.. 5 out of 180 isn't unacceptable to me.

Time to first fix. Most times this is less than 1 min.. the exception.. and this is an important one. When the battery is getting low it takes much longer to get first fix.. So.. make sure you start the day with a fresh battery!

Rechargeable Batteries. Holux advises against it. I don't. They do have a lower voltage than disposable batteries so it becomes even more important that they are fully charged before starting the day. But, a 2300 - 2500mah battery should last you 10-12 hours with the bluetooh off and if you are not playing with the backlight every few min. Of course not everyone can recharge batteries at night.. while camping for example. so just plan on 1 battery per day and bring 1-2 extra.

Auto Logging. There seems to be some disagreement on this one. Well. believe the 2 that have owned it for a while. It DOES auto log. just have to enable it in the menu..

Accuracy display. Nope, it don't have one. But.. if you take a walk with it.. compare your track to where you know you went.. you get a pretty good feel for the accuracy. It's pretty good.

Updates. Like ANY device. if you don't download and install available fixes and updates when you get a new toy you have no business complaining about things that have already been fixed.. If you only update the software without updating the firmware.. you still have no excuse to complain.. You should have done both at the same time. And, you should have thought to uninstall the updated software and revert back to the first version if you needed to get the data off the device.

Indoor performance. It has none. Common.. really.. you are going to complain about indoor performance? Just how big is your home that you need GPS in it? GPS was developed for the military for the purpose of navigating from point A to point B ( OUTDOORS ).. or to preciecely drop death from above. Neither of which requires it to work indoors. So, it was not designed for that..

Will it work on a airplane? Assuming you get smacked around by a flight attendant.. the answer is.. It depends. If you have a window seat. or seat next to the window you should be fine.. further towards the center of the cabin and you will have problems. Just point it towards the window..

Battery life: I hardly used disposable batteries in it.. So it is difficult for me to disupute one persons claim that a energizer battery lasted only 6 hours. But. I have to ask.. was bluetooth on.. the backlight? In my experience you should have been able to get 12 hours with the necessary things off..

Oh. a couple other things..

You do have to take care with the battery door.. not a lot.. just keep it in mind. My 241 finally died when the metal conductor came off the inside of the battery door. I'll put a drop of epoxy under it when I buy my next one..

Screen. It does scratch. I'd advise putting a piece of clear tape over it.. when that gets scuffed up just take it off and put another one in its place.

Buy it as far in advance of a trip as piratical. You will get the chance to get to know it and what to expect from it.. if it turns out to not be your cup of tea you have time to return it and get something else..

Download your tracks and do your geotagging daily!!! Cannot stress this enough! If at all piratical upload your daily pics and track information to a cloud service like Windows Skydrive or Gmail.

In short ( bet you wish I said that 5 min ago ).. if you want a small device for logging and geotagging.. get it!
0Comment4 of 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on November 5, 2010
The Holux data logger is better than I expected. The battery life lasted a very long time considering I was using bluetooth. Even though the company is based in China, the M-241 feels solid and made of good materials. It is a breeze to lean how to use the controls, and I love the LCD screen.

I used this GPS in Upstate NY as we planned a few trails in the woods. I was then able to upload the data to Google Earth and see how it laid on our property.

The only con I have is the slight delay. I was using the GPS on my ATV and there was a 1-2 sec delay in the MPH reading, not a problem though.

The Holux website is an excellent place to find manuals and updated software for this GPS.

Pros:
-Ease of Use
-Battery Life
-Quality
-LCD screen.
-Good Website
-AA Battery (1)

Cons:
-Slight Delay in MPH readings

Overall,this GPS is perfect for either the everyday user or just for vacations. It's portability makes it easy to store, and the AA battery gives you the possibility to get more juice instantly.

I did much research on other GPS units before I bought this one, and I think it is great bang for your buck.

-Drew
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on July 30, 2010
What I wanted was a small device that can tag my photos with their location once I get back home from the zoo, hike, etc. This is one of several devices that at the 50-100$ range can do that. Where this device shines is it has a display that is actually useful. This gps locks on pretty fast, with bluetooth turned off the battery will easily last for 18+ hours, and in a pinch its Long/Lat display can tell you where you are within about 25ft (it may be more accurate than that, but my maps are not.) For time adjustment, every couple of days (definitely every time you change location by more than a timezone) Take a picture of the gps displayed time. This makes calibration easy, and accurate to 1-2seconds.

Other good uses for this - record paths around town, or hiking / jogging trails, spy on your kids (turn it to record every x feet, and tuck it in their backpack or toss it in their messy car.

Not only would I buy it again in a second, but anyone who asks what it is gets a 3-5 min sales pitch. This little thing was exactly what I was in the market for!
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