Which phone / GPS receiver should I buy? Report your experiences here



  • edited March 2014
    I've have been testing Dual XGPS160 on a race car together with Garmin GLO. The Dual is on par with Garmin in precision, which is excellent. Dual has better build quality and keeps steady 10 Hz update rate with all phones I've tested, while the Garmin GLO suffers from slight flow control issue.
  • Anyone has compared the vbox sport compared to dual xgps160? Precision / number of satellites / updates dropped? I am considering updating my qstarz gps and looking into the alternatives.

    Also, if I understand correctly from the list on the top of this thread, one needs a fairly high end phone to get the 10hz xgps or the vbox to connect reliably, correct?

  • edited April 2014
    Hi spaparizos, I haven't really done 1:1 comparison from VBOX sport vs. XGPS160. The VBOX needs an external antenna when used inside a car, but otherwise both will produce very good data. The XGPS doesn't have external antenna connector, but is able to lock to more satellites due to it's GLONASS support. Not sure why VBOX sport doesn't support GLONASS...

    RaceChrono runs just fine on low end devices what comes to recording the data from these device. The app is much nicer to use with a higher end phone than low end, but so is every other app too. I consider Samsung S3 or similar already quite high end phone for RaceChrono use. High-end never hurts though :)

    And by low end phone I mean low end devices by big manufacturers like Samsung, HTC etc. If you buy cheap unbranded stuff from China, you will likely to have problems. These devices do not have proper Google branded Android, and therefore missing some maps apis etc. required by RaceChrono. Or Play Store app. Almost always the hardware itself is good enough to run RaceChrono, but the OS or firmware is broken ...
  • edited April 2014
    aol, thanks for the quick response. This is quite useful information.

    I prefer to mount the gps on my dashboard (as shown on the videos on the vbox site). If that does not work well with vbox, that could be an issue. So it is good to hear your feedback. Having an external antenna configuration can be tricky. Although this is a Bluetooth device that can perhaps be mounted outside the car. How many satellites did the vbox get? When I get 9 or above with my qstarz the data seem to be reliable, but at 6-7 the data is not very accurate.

    With regards my comment on high end vs low end devices. I think motorolla's moto g is more of a low-end device and a nexus 5 or a nexus 7 towards a high end device. The no-name phones from china are not low-end in my mind, rather borderline junk. So I am not considering any of that.

    Do you think a moto-g with a xgps-160 will work well? Or a nexus 7 instead of a moto-g?

    My current setup uses an obdkey, an old nokia n8 phone and a qstarz bt-818xt set at 5hz for dgps accuracy. I am thinking of upgrading the phone and the gps device and reusing my obdkey. Hence my questions.

  • edited April 2014
    As I do have video recording feature under works; I cannot recommend Nexus 5 because of the camera makes the videos unbearable when combined with vibrations of the car. It probably has something to do with the optical stabilisation feature in that phone. Nexus 7 is a great device, but not sure if you want to use a tablet in the car, as it's quite hard to mount.

    XGPS160 seems to work better than Garmin GLO, not because that it is better as GPS receiver, but because of the Bluetooth on Garmin GLO is buggy. I would expect Dual XGPS160 to work with almost any phone.
  • Hello from Canada! This morning I side-loaded RaceChrono onto my BB Z10 via the Snap program. It's something BB users have only recently been able to do [as of Feb 2014] with the update to BB OS 10.2 or later. Anyway, the program loads and seems to be functional - the only issue is when you go to pick a trap point on a map the program shuts down. I have yet to try it on a track [early May!] but I see all my favourite tracks are on there and I'm very much looking forward to trying this out!
  • Hello from Greece,

    I tested Dual XGPS160 on a 3 day trackday event, and it worked flawlessly. It was connected to a minimum of 15 satellites on all sessions, and the output data was always consistent (I had big problems in the past with the 818XT: http://www.racechrono.com/vanilla/discussion/585/nokia-e71-qstarz-bt-q818x-non-consistent-datalog-frequency/p1). The only problem I saw, is the output of acceleration data. The acceleration graph (lateral or longitudinal) is not smooth and shows many spikes:


    The red line is the XGPS graph, the blue line is an older Performancebox graph.
    You can see the "pulsation" of the acceleration on my onboard video also:

    Do you have any idea how to solve this?

  • looking for something cheap to use with my qstarz 818xt gps, will mount it in the car for racing only.
    Will a Huawei ascend Y300 do ? or maybe better a Ascend G510, or should I invest a bit more in a well known brand ?

  • I did an involuntary super long test on my setup.

    I had a small off on the bike that required that I go to the hospital. During said time no one remembered to turn off the logger. I recorded 12 hours of data.

    RaceChrono manages that crazy amount of data just fine which is great feat in itself.

    My setup is

    Qstarz 818xt.
    HTC G2 (Running 2.2)
  • edited May 2014
    blindstuff, yeah I've designed it to do minimum 24 hours on any device. Although the lap list has a performance issue on phones that have graphics acceleration, as it was originally written and tested on non accelerated phone. Needs rewrite before this years 24 hours Nurburgring which our team participates. Sorry to hear about the hospital visit!
  • Thanks Antii, I'm doing ok. A couple more weeks and back on the bike.

    Nurburgring, awesome! Best of luck.
  • I just downloaded RC Pro to my Samsung Galaxy Note 2. I had used the free version of RC which worked quite well. I have not had a chance to take RC Pro to the track yet. I use Garmin GLO GPS. As many users state, it vacillates between 10hz and 5hz. I don't know if the fix rate is actually changing or does it just appear that way. I'm not tech savvy enough to figure it out. I also have Harry's Laptimer on my Android phone also using the Garmin GLO and it does not have that problem, so I gather the problem resides in the app and not the phone. FWIW
  • edited May 2014
    Hi futurz, the competing product just reports the refresh rate differently, it gives an average over time, 7-8 Hz, where as RaceChrono reports the update rate between to latest updates which is 5-10 Hz. Garmin GLO has a problem with Android's Bluetooth Stack, probably a too small UART buffer, and therefore an update here an there is dropped. I think it cannot be fixed until there is some fix in Android's Bluetooth internals. Luckily the missed updates do not affect lap timing accuracy.
  • Does anyone know if GPS receiver named A+ GSP recorder works with Racechrono. Bought it from net 5 years ago. IF not which GPS device would you recommend.
  • kaartjo: No idea if it works but I'm currently recommending Dual XGPS 160. It's amazingly good.
  • Thanks aol. Here is what I have currently. a Nokia Symbian phone 603 and A+ GPS recorder. Plan is to buy a new GPS recorder and download the Racechrono software for S60 5th and 3rd edition from your website. Software seems to work with my phone but A+ GPS does not pair. Do you know if Dual XGPS has pairing problems. Thanks already.
  • Thanks AOL for your response. Now I need to figure out how to get the Pueblo Motorsports track into your library. Was there this weekend and RC could not find the track.
  • I just tested Garmin GLO and Qstarz 818XT. Both promises 10 Hz update rate, but unfortunately Garmin is lying in their specs at the moment.

    Garmin GLO BT connection is capabale only to about max 16 kbits data stream, and that is why updaterate jumps between 5 and 10 Hz.
    Qstarz 818XT BT datastream is 25-35 kbits, and update rate is rock solid 10 Hz.

    I hope that Garmin will fix the problem, if it could be fixed with firmware update.

    In the meanwhile, my opinion is:
    Do not buy Garmin GLO if you want/ need 10 Hz update rate.
  • edited June 2014
    deadslow: Actually the Garmin GLO accuracy is MUCH better than QSTARZ. Even though it loses at the Hz the lap timing accuracy is not that much about Hz, but about how accurate those updates are! I've run QSTARZ and Garmin in Nurburgring and the QSTARZ loses fix in every second corner, but Garmin has problems only in one corner or so.

    That said, I recommend looking at Dual XGPS 160 which is a GPS + GLONASS receiver like the Garmin GLO, but in addition it works reliably 10 Hz and has better build quality too (subjective).
  • aol: Nice info.

    I need 10 Hz data for braking, cornering and acceleration data. That is why 818XT is better than GLO in my use at the moment. Of course win-win situation would be if Garmin fixes the BT problem.

    Dual XGPS 160 will be my next one.
  • Well, I was riding with my bike at Jerez de la Frontera circuit (Spain) last June 14, and tested for first time the application Racechrono using the internal GPS of my mobile phone, a Sony Xperia U, and I have to say that with this GPS the application didn´t work well, but for sure the problem is the precision of my mobile GPS, so I think I will need an external bluetooth GPS next time, to achieve more precision.
  • caviedes55, yep, it's all about the GPS. Always use external for track day use!
  • Hello, I have an event at High Plains race track in Colorado, USA that I am planning to attend. I will be towing over 1000 km to the event and I was interested finding out if there is any way to get my one meter resolution georeferenced track images and or the track outline shapefile into RaceChrono before I get there.

    I also was collecting high resolution georeferenced images for most of the tracks in the Rocky Mountain region, Nebraska, Kansas, and Texas. Can you use them to update the track database with these tracks that are not in the database?

    Also, a table of current "best" equipment combinations of the day would have been helpful as a static forum posting. Yes I know this is "soure grapes" but this would have saved me a purchase of a BT-818X. Since I now see at the end of the forum the Dual 160 is now the positioning device of the day. Who knows, someday ... Galileo will be operational with even better location resolution.
  • k_crain: RaceChrono supports only Google's own map/satellite imagery, so you cannot add your own currently. Sorry for the missing reference devices, but I do have plans to add Amazon shop with a few recommended devices, to the website and to the app.
  • I recently got a moto g running android 4.4.3. Racechrono pro works great and connects without problems with my bluetooth components. I tried it successfully with an odbkey 1.40, qstarz 818xt gps and dual xgps 160. The dual xgps seems to get more satellites and have better precision than the qstarz. The video seems to also work fine.

    So I would recommend this combination to folks.
  • i tried Samsung Galaxy S3 with
    iBT/i-blue 737 bluetooth receiver and it works nice
  • Hello,
    Since three years , I use racechrono with a pocket PC ( HP travel companion RX5720 ) and a external GPS QSTARZ 818XT 10hz. It is ok for the time lap, sometimes it is necessary to reset the pocket pc for the bluethooth connection. I have bought the same package fora friend. We have had some trouble with his package , sometimes the time is very short ( direct line during a lap) . And we have made the export for google map, the line is not on the track and sometimes we see the lap with mistake ? Have you someinformation for this. However, it is a good product. kenavo Philippe
  • phil61, the problem is mainly a GPS reception related. Also the QSTARZ struggles on very tight circuits like very small kart circuits. I haven't tested the Dual XGPS 160 on WM nor Symbian, so I cannot recommend buying it, as it might not work. On Android devices it solves most of the accuracy problems that QSTARZ has.
  • edited August 2014
    I have a 818XT & a XGPS 160 currently. I have used the 818XT for about a year w/ RaceChrono on a Nexus 5 & LG L769. The XPGS 160 I just received and took to the track last weekend with RaceChrono Pro on a Nexus 5. I am having some accuracy issues with both. And planning to start a thread about it and post some screen shots of the data.

    Anyone else using a XGPS 160 and having issues? My issue seems to be positional, more so than timing. Its got pretty bad accuracy compared to the 818XT (when its working fine), but the laptimes match my video timing.

    Any advice? I couldn't find any thing to change settings for XGPS 160.
  • I've seen Dual XGPS160 data for well placed receiver (direct view to sky), that is few magnitudes better than QSTARZ. So I wonder if the receiver is broken or if the placement is suboptimal? Where did you have the receiver placed?
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