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» Online Classroom   » Inland and Coastal Navigation   » Public Discussion of Inland and Coastal Navigation   » stand-alone no-frills GPS device

Author Topic: stand-alone no-frills GPS device

 - posted February 22, 2024 02:05 PM      Profile for ES2023           Edit/Delete Post 
I've been looking for a small, simple, stand-alone GPS receiver and display. My phone has a GPS, my handheld VHF has one, all chart plotters have one, and Garmin makes small devices bundled with maps and satellite communication. However, I'm just looking for a simple stand-alone device.

I don't want to pay a subscription and I want exquisite battery life. Something that uses the free signal all around us. Something I can keep in a foil pouch or metal tin box as an emergency in the event of lightning strike. Something I could expose to the open sky twice a day (no SIM or VHF needed) to get a fix and correct my dead reckoning and check my Mark-1 Plastic Sextant work.

Do you know of such a device? Something simple that shows Lat & Lon and maybe Universal Time (obtained from the satellite signal) to correct my local-time watch. I'm envisioning something not much bigger than my Casio watch or an Altoids tin.

David Burch

 - posted February 22, 2024 02:24 PM      Profile for David Burch           Edit/Delete Post 
Here is part of a post on a similar question in our electronic nav course:

- posted January 18, 2024 05:40 PM

We have a couple others. I am checking these now and will let you know tomorrow.

bummer on the decline of those models.

We should find a USB version very inexpensive.

PS. we have one of these:


that should do the job for $12.99, with next day (prime) delivery. It says Windows, but we run it on qtVlm for Mac.

They say they have drivers. i will try it on a PC tomorrow... my guess is it will be ok on win 10 or 11

- posted January 18, 2024 06:31 PM

Yes, works fine in a PC. Note however, this USB stick still has to see some part of the sky to work, which means PC near a window or portlight or have a long USB cable, which is cheap.

* * * There are also a couple models there with cables and magnetic base for use in a car. Might be best choice for learning in a car.


is a sample for $20.


both of these need some app to read them. there are many, but we recommend qtVlm that we use in our weather course and electronic nav course. Will also work with OpenCPN, which is a simpler program.

From: Starpath, Seattle, WA

 - posted February 23, 2024 01:07 PM      Profile for ES2023           Edit/Delete Post 
Those both look great. I just wish they had a small screen to give the Lat & Lon without needing a secondary device. Maybe I'll have to cobble something together myself... now where is that soldering iron... ^_^

Fair winds.

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