Qstarz BT-Q1000XT

A while ago I was searching for a GPS-logger to tag my photo’s with geolocation-data. Because I only use Ubuntu on my laptop the GPS-logger needed to be compatible with Linux. After doing some research I decided to buy the Qstarz BT-Q1000XT.

Device specs

  • Chipset: MTK II
  • GPS Channels: 66
  • Storage for 400.000 waypoints
  • 42hrs operation time
  • Vibration sensor for smart power saving
  • A-GPS support

Reasons to buy

  • Large storage (400.000 waypoints)
  • Large battery capacity
  • Standard mini-USB connector for charging and data-connection
  • Linux support!

Linux compatibility

To find a GPS-logger that’s compatible with Linux I had two options;

  1. Find a GPS-logger that writes GPX files to a (micro-) SD-card.
  2. Find a GPS-logger that is compatible with mtkbabel

Because the Qstarz BT-Q1000XT has a MTK-II chipset, it’s compatible with mtkbabel. That means you can retrieve the GPS logs, but also change the logging criteria, erase the internal memory, set overlap on/off when the memory is full and more.

Using mtkbabel

Using mtkbabel is very easy, you only have to know which port the GPS-logger is on;

  1. Watch the syslog with `tail -f /var/log/syslog`
  2. Connect the GPS-logger to your computer with the mini-USB cable.
  3. Switch the GPS-logger on by choosing log or nav mode.
  4. Look at the log, you should see something like ‘cdc_acm 2-1.1:1.1: >ttyACM3: USB ACM device’
  5. If you don’t see anything try to search the log with: `cat /var/log/syslog | grep ttyACM`

After that you should know on which /dev/ path the GPS-logger is connected, in my case it’s /dev/ttyACM3.

Now you can use mtkbabel, for example to download the GPS logs and store them as gpslog.gpx and gpslog.bin (raw data):

mtkbabel -p /dev/ttyACM3 -f gpslog -c

Or set change the logging interval to once every 5 seconds:

mtkbabel -p /dev/ttyACM3 -r 5:0:0

See the manpage of mtkbabel for more options

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