Over the years we have been reviewing quite a few GPS units from Qstarz. Often they were of the Bluetooth variety, necessary in the age before every smart phone had a built-in GPS. However, there is a good market for GPS tracking recorders and the CR-Q1100P is touted by Qstarz as the world’s first commercial unit of that kind. I am not quite sure if that is correct and much depends on your definition of “commercial”, I suppose, but this model has certainly all the features to be a good commercial unit.
Let’s go for a drive.
The CR-Q1100P is a relatively small package and not much bigger than the standard Bluetooth GPS receivers. There is a small on/off button for the power and a larger one that functions as a MOB button. In the olden days this would be the “man over board” button that you would punch in case of an emergency but these days this POI button can be used very well to geo-tag a location where we have taken a photo or any other Point of Interest that you want to remember. For instance, on a recent trip I just used it to remember my stopping places. In a moment more about what you can do with all this information. The unit has also four LED indicators for device status. The most interesting one of these is the “Working/Non-Working” light. How simple is that? No nonsense about Bluetooth connections or GPS acquisitions but a simple yes it works or it doesn’t….
One thing that surprised me quite pleasantly was how fast the unit is! And how sensitive. I had the CR-Q1100P on my desk away from the window and open sky when I first powered it on and within half a minute the red light turned into a green “working” indicator. It certainly helps to have the latest MTK II chipset with high sensitivity -165dBm with 66-Channel tracking. It supports DGPS (WAAS + EGNOS + MSAS) and has a fast 15 sec AGPS fix. We have tested the battery life several times and indeed it comes close to the touted 40 hours endurance. This would be sufficient for most applications.
Talking about applications: what can you use this device for? Probably one of the better uses is that of a black box recorder in your vehicle. You have a record of all the trips you have made and more importantly, if you ever lend your vehicle out, you know where it has been, how fast it has been going and how long it has stopped in certain places…. And it probably doesn’t hurt to tell your teenager that all these functions will be logged! It’s better to prevent certain driving behaviour rather than confront someone with it afterwards…
Another excellent use would be as a black box in light aircraft, particularly if an aeroclub or flight school is renting out aircraft. There are heaps of other applications in the commercial sector, such as delivery validation, GIS data collection, and in the research sector you can think of animal tracking or environmental data collection.
In order to be effective it has to be in view of the open sky so you can’t hide it away very easily. The unit is designed with rugged materials and is IPX-3 water resistant. It also has a USB A type connector for greater durability.
How to make use of the logged information?
The CR-Q1000P has two types of data management software: DataViewer and QTravel
DataViewer provides the raw log data (400.000 records!) which you can analyse to your heart’s content with the proper software while QTravel is a lot more useful for the average user. You can download the recorded data straight into Google maps so that you have a good view of the tracks, speeds plus the function of GeoTagging with digital photos. We have played with Qtravel before and it is a great utility to record all your trips.
The Qstartz CR-Q1100P is a very capable device to log 40 hours worth of data continuously or spread out over many days as it switches itself off through motion sensors if the vehicle is not moving any longer. It is of course also possible to have it continuously powered through the USB cable. The interface with Google maps works perfectly and with the price of USD $139.99 it is pretty good value for money.