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GPSGate Express for Windows

BluNextGPSOn a recent delivery trip from Liverpool I had the chance to use a small piece of software called GPSGate. This enabled my bluetooth GPS (BluNext 65 Channel Dongle ) top connect to my laptop correctly when all other attempts had failed. The problem was the useless bluetooth software built into Windows XP – it may be different with Windows 7 I haven’t tried. But I encountered all sorts of problems trying to get my MaxSea software to recognise the virtual comm port that the GPS data was streaming in to from the GPS dongle.

The built in communications port wizard in MaxSea was of no use either and I even had MaxSea tech support guiding me through editing various config files using notepad – all to no avail. Finally GPSGate fixed the problem and even allowed me to share the GPS data with two different chart plotting programs.

GpsGate Client Express lets multiple applications share GPS data simultaneously on a computer with a single GPS device. GpsGate Client Express supports built-in GPS devices, Bluetooth GPS devices and GPS devices connected via serial and USB ports. It also adds stability to the GPS connection, with automatic re-connection when required.

The free GpsGate Client Express can:

  • Split one GPS to two virtual COM ports
  • Handle most GPS devices, Bluetooth, Serial and USB
  • Stabilize Bluetooth GPS connections
  • Automatically re-connect lost connections
  • Support Garmin GPS devices
  • Connect standard GPS to nRoute with Garmin protocol
  • Show GPS position in Google Earth
  • Make GPS position available to web browser
  • Connect to a GpsGate Server for GPS tracking
  • Run on 32 and 64 bit Windows (7/Vista/XP/2k/NT/98)

Why not give it a go if you have problems connecting your GPS or any other bluetooth device with your laptop – its free – download here…


Connect to the Internet with dongle or a phone?

Instead of connecting your phone to your laptop, you can more easily connect a dongle. These little devices are amazing bits of technology when you consider that simply plugging them in and waiting a few minutes gets you connected to mobile broadband far quicker and easier than either configuring your phone or indeed connecting your PC, router and ADSL modem to a wired connection.

In my experience the maximum speed you can expect to connect to the internet using a dongle is about 2Mb/sec if you happen to be in a 3G area. While cruising along the coast or sitting in most marinas I would anticipate speeds of around 1Mb/sec.


Ovation MC930
Make Ovation MC930D
Max speed achieved 440k/sec
Average speed achieved in 3G area 318k/sec
Average speed achieved out of 3G area 348k/sec
Huawei E169G
Make Huawei E169G
Max speed achieved 2.6Mb/sec
Average speed achieved in 3G area 1.6Mb/sec
Average speed achieved out of 3G area 1.0Mb/sec
Option Icon 225
Make Option Icon 225
Max speed achieved 1.3Mb/sec
Average speed achieved in 3G area 650k/sec
Average speed achieved out of 3G area 320k/sec
Huawei E170
Make Huawei E170
Max speed achieved 2.1Mb/sec
Average speed achieved in 3G area 2Mb/sec
Average speed achieved out of 3G area 964k/sec
Huawei E172
Make Huawei E172
Max speed achieved 1.9Mb/sec
Average speed achieved in 3G area 1.3Mb/sec
Average speed achieved out of 3G area 890k/sec

So the installation is easy and the speeds are fine for down loading email, GRIB files, and even browsing the web – the real problem is the cost. Prices in the UK are coming down – you can get access for £10/month and you can get roaming across Europe for £10/day – elsewhere the prices are many times higher…well the Telecoms companies are so poor aren’t they?