12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on March 13, 2008
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!
27 of 36 people found the following review helpful
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.
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.
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.
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.
RBT : 180 days worth data or approx half million way points
Holux : 130,000
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.
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.
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.
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.
[b]RBT-2300 is a clear winner[/b] compared to the Holux M-241.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
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!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 27, 2011
This is for me the best GPS data logging device, I use it wherever I can make long walks and afterwards study on a map the distance, height, speed / etc that I used. You can also use it driving your car and print the track you used.
Although supplied software only runs on windows, you can download a Java driven software as BT747, this communicates under Linux (Ubuntu) or Mac, and needs Java JRE to be installed on your computer.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on April 5, 2010
I have two of these units, and have used them for over a year. This review is based on the Holux m241 with firmware v1.13.
If you need a data logger or track/distance measurer or want to geotagging digital photos, then take my advice and avoid this unit. Multiple failures resulting in data loss have lead me to start looking for something else. If you just want something to display your coordinates, or connect to a computer then it works well, but you can probably find other units more geared towards those purposes. As a GPS data logger, it is horribly unreliable. My advice, if you already have the unit, is to simply take photos of the Long/Lat screen so you have a sure record. And don't expect its logging feature to work every time.
- The satellite signal is good. Doesn't usually lose its signal when in a car or backpack
- Battery life is good (but not enough for a whole day.)
- Can be powered by USB, so you can get a USB phone charger (2xAA) to extend the logging time to over 24 hours, or use a USB car charger and not worry about batteries while you're in a car. (These are third party accessories, and don't come with the unit)
- Has Bluetooth connectivity if you need it. Can even download your data via Bluetooth.
- Will start logging automatically as soon as it receives signal, but only if you set it to do so (Note: was not available in original firmware. Also note: like the device in general, it's unreliable.)
- When set to "Dist By: Point", the distance measure mode can be used for simple navigating (e.g. finding your car), although not reliably. See bottom of the review for details.
- No Lock: There's no way to "Lock" the device. If you keep this in your bag or pocket you can accidentally switch it off or press a button, which could stop recording, lose your distance waypoint, or change settings, etc. The buttons are fairly difficult to press accidentally but it's still not something you want to rely on.
- No accuracy display. Can never be sure how accurate the coordinates are.
- Sometimes needs to be "jump started": power it via USB to turn it on (after that the inserted battery might start working by itself). This has been required at times on both my m241 devices. I tried multiple batteries (they weren't the issue)
- Firmware / software is not reliable: The data format stored internally on the device changed between firmware versions (they increased its accuracy, which is good). All well and good, but if you use mismatched software+firmware when you download your coordinates you can end up with corrupted data, and think it was successfully downloaded. Too bad if you wiped your device after downloading the data from it, because your download is corrupt and there's nothing you can do. This happened to me after I used newer software to download the coordinate data from a device with older firmware. Note that I couldn't update the firmware without losing the data on there either, so it would have been a catch-22 even if I had known in advance that it was corrupting my data. I lost several days worth of logs because of this. Really wouldn't have been difficult for Holux's PC software to check the firmware version and deal with both cases. Instead they chose to have the software show success but silently fail. This is really lazy (or stupid) programming. Even if the issue is unlikely to affect me a second time, it increases my distrust in this unit, and I won't be buying anything with "Holux" stamped on it again.
- Buggy firmware: certain settings change other un-related settings. To reproduce this bug: Set the device to log by time (15 seconds). Then go into the settings menu and choose "Log Rcd" -> "Full Stop" (which is the default setting, and probably selected already). For no particular reason it will now have now changed back from logging by time (15 seconds) to logging by distance (every 100m). Note also due to the two-button menu system, once you enter the "Log Rcd" menu (e.g. to see what it's set to) then you can't escape out of it without choosing an option. Even by re-selecting the already selected option you end up changing the unrelated "Log by" setting. This makes for a very undependable device, as you can never be sure what your settings are and checking them changes others. I'm not sure if this is an isolated bug or if there are others like it.
- Sometimes it simply fails to record coordinates, even though the little "running man" logging icon is shown. I went camping for 4 days, and despite always keeping the thing powered during the day, and supposedly logging, the end result was exactly 0 records recorded. I've been using this thing for well over a year, but since this trip it rarely seems to keep logging (it didn't get wet or damaged in any way). There is no indication as to whether it is working or not unless you keep an eye on the free space screen. By the time you realize that it's not actually doing anything then it's too late.
- The distance measure is lost when you switch it off and on or press the right button ("enter"). So forget changing batteries if you want to use this feature and be careful not to knock it. (although the rubber buttons are fairly difficult to press accidentally)
- Distance measure ("ruler" mode) doesn't tell you the direction of the reference waypoint. If it did, the device could almost be USEFUL for simple navigation e.g. finding your car (See bottom of review for details on how to do this anyway) As is, this gps is not even as good as an XKCD-407 for navigating, although in a pinch you can use it as such.
- Frequent firmware upgrades have been required to fix bugs (e.g. the original firmware gave Northern hemisphere coordinates for the Southern hemisphere). Thank you Holux for fixing the bugs, but it still has a few.
- Software is Windows only.
- Windows software is not so user friendly. E.g. it forgets the last folder you downloaded to. Another issue is that to upgrade the firmware you have to hit the "disconnect device" button first. This really isn't so intuitive. (And it's very likely that you WILL have to upgrade the firmware, in case you're wondering)
- The "Menu" button is also the backlight button. So to turn the backlight on for the current menu/screen, first you have to cycle through ALL the other menus/screens. This is a mere annoyance. (They could have solved the issue by making the first press ONLY turn on the backlight, and the next presses cycle the menu, rather than combine the two)
Summary: It can do what it says it does, but don't rely on it to do so, and don't expect a pleasant user experience.
How to navigate with this device: When you're at your car/bike/home/campsite, go the "ruler" mode and press "start", then you always know how far away you are. If the distance is going down, then you're getting closer. Up means further. However, this is really unreliable: You can't be sure if a fluctuating distance is just random or genuine (there's no accuracy display). The smallest unit is 10 meters (0.01 km). Also you have to hawkishly watch the display. If the device is switched off even momentarily or if the "enter" button is (accidentally) pressed then the location of your car is forgotten and you're on your own. I do not enjoy navigating with this device, but it's saved me in the past.
Note you must have "Dist By: Point" in your settings, and there is no way to tell if that's the mode you're using without going into settings and changing it. Fortunately, it seems you can swap between the two modes at will (by point, by path) without resetting either measurement.
I have never been desperate enough to try using triangulation to calculate the direction of my waypoint, although in theory you could do it too. How to do triangulation? This is an exercise for the reader.
on June 1, 2010
Not a bad little data logger and even better with the new firmware (adds a feature or two to the GPS). If I had to knock this, it's the software and the battery door. The battery door appears flimsy and a bit of care is needed when replacing batteries so you don't break it, once in place, I think it's fine. The software is laggy at best, a lot of features, but just not quiet there. I use the software to load the waypoints, then save the data into KMZ format so I can use it on Google Earth which works much smoother. The stock software lets you convert to KMZ, so no need to hunt down something to do it. Would have been nice to have a larger LCD to see things like Speed from a distance and a better antenna or the ability to add one, but all in all, I like the logger pretty much the way it is and only have the heart to ding it one star, which really, I shouldn't do that since I got a great deal on a nice little GPS. Oh, and the blue-tooth does work, but have yet to figure out how to turn the BT off (new firmware suppose to let you). Battery life is about 16-20 hours of continuous use on one AA battery, not too bad, but make sure you have spare batteries with you, better with Name brand and not rechargeables (Somewhere I read about the battery meter misreading and will shut unit off with rechargeable, haven't tried it to find out). Good luck everyone and have fun with your GPS's, I know we do!
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on September 1, 2009
Product worked perfectly under very adverse conditions well north of Winnipeg, MB. Acquired satellites quickly and battery life worked out well. 6 Lithium AA's lasted for 10 days of canoeing. Unit operated well inside a small waterproof camera pouch even when the operator managed to dump the entire contents of the canoe in a very cold lake. Software works well for my needs and allowed some editing of photo tag and track. Took a day or two to get used to but I liked it.
on May 9, 2012
Good product for gps data login. The software is an excelent plus and let you review the info in a very easy way.