Teletype World Navigator Hardware Review

The World Navigator product from Teletype arrives with 2 CDROMS and lots of hardware including a mount for the pocketpc, a case, a battery pack to recharge the batteries, a pen with a screen point, a CF/PCMCIA adapter, a 12/24V power adapter, and a GPS with an external antenna. The hardware is reviewed on this page. The software review is here.

The 1651 CF receiver

The model 1651 is the newest CF receiver from Teletype and has totally replaced the earlier model 1358. It offers increase sensitivity and uses a different antenna setup that provides superior performance.

This receiver is a slightly modified version of the PocketTrack made by Fortuna. I have a separate review of this product. The receiver I tested included WAAS/EGNOS support but still had the 2D/3D bug mentioned in the revew. (This has been corrected in later shipments.) You cannot use a standard PocketTrack with Teletype software although you can use the Teletype 1651 with any NMEA compatible software package. It is an excellent CF unit and will work in a car using the internal antenna if mounted near the windshield. It can use an external antenna for easier mounting choices or for cars that have a metalized sun screen embedded in their windshield.

Teletype is also offering the model in a LP (lower power) version called the LP 1651. This version is similar to the standard 1651 and has the same performance specifications. It uses an SiRF LP chipset that reduces the power consumption from 160 mA to 90 mA.

The 1358 CF receiver

This is an older unit from Teletype and is no longer sold but it will still work with all of the latest software. It uses the SiRF chipset.

Since this product is older I will only offer a mini-review. This receiver comes with a small case to hold it when it is not plugged in and is fairly compact. The unit is always on when plugged into the CF slot and a small led on the side indicates power on status and will also indicate if you have a gps lock. It flashes when a lock is obtained. The external antenna connection is on the side and interferes slightly with removing the stylus. An external antenna is always recommended for car use with this unit since the built in antenna is pointing in an unfavorable direction. For hiking the unit could be held horizontally which is optimum for the antenna.

This unit does have a backup battery and will find a gps solution in about a minute when started in a similar location to where it was last time (TTFF), assuming a current almanac and a charged battery.

Other GPS receivers

Teletype offers other models of GPS receivers including a new bluetooth model (#1758) made by Emtac but I have not reviewed them.

External Antenna

The external antenna supplied with the 1651 for World Navigator (extra cost if the 1651 is purchased separately) is a small (1.75" x 1.75") black mouse like antenna with a 2 meter cable terminated in an MCX connector. The Teletype p/n is 1309. It is very light weight (under 2 oz including the cable) and has a strong magnet built into the base. It is easy to just stick on the roof of a car and snake the cable in through the door jam. It does increase the reception and is especially useful when using WAAS to avoid any blocked signals caused by the roof of the car. With its light weight it is also suitable for use while hiking. Just place in on top of your cap with a metal washer inside. The magnet will hold well to the washer in this configuration and permit the iPAQ to remain protected in a belt case or comfortably in your hand without worrying about reception. The antenna is waterproof.

There is also a 1329 antenna available for the older 1358 unit. It is a similar design except that it uses an MMCX connector (basically the reverse of the MCX). This is the same connector as is used on the Pharos CF gps but I haven't seen any other models that use this particular configuration.

Vehicle mount

The image at the left shows the vehicle mount from teletype. (Sorry about the poor picture). It is shown attached to the bay where I keep my cassette tapes in my Thunderbird. It is intended to work attached to an air conditioner vent but when I tried to install in to my air conditioner vent it pulled the vent right out of the mounting which upset me a bit since some parts fell down into the air conditioner. Be careful if you use this on your airconditioner vent as there is no warning about this potential problem. I suggest you close the vent opening before trying to mount this unit so you won't lose any parts.

The mount is well made but depends on pressure against the airconditioner duct to hold it well. There are two metal tangs that slip through the airconditioner duct work and clip to the back. You then tighten a knob (shown in the center) until sufficient pressure is applied to hold it to the vent. The knob threads are very fine and it is easy to over tighten. Once you get it mounted then the is a ball joint up near the end that provides for adjusting the iPAQ to the desired viewing angle. The V shaped piece mates with a V piece that is permanently attached to the back of the iPAQ expansion sleeve. Placing the iPAQ in the holder is easy since it just drops in place but the V on the back of the iPAQ does get in the way if you try to lay the unit on its back.

The metal tangs are narrow enough that you may find other good places to attach this mount. I am sure that for many users it will work just find attached to a vent.

Once I got it mounted it worked fairly well. The iPAQ are pretty stable in the mount although pressure near the left or right side would cause some give. The iPAQ removed and installed easily being held in place by the V and the weight of the unit.

External Power

The power cable has the standard barrel cable so it needed an adapter for my 3970. It has a very small well made spiral cable and will work from 12V or 24V systems (up to 28V). There is a replaceable fuse in the tip and an led lamp to show that you have power to the connector.

External battery pack

There is a battery pack included that can be used to recharge the iPAQ when you take it hiking. It is a small box that holds 4 AA batteries with a switch and a power on lamp. With alkaline batteries you should be able to recharge the main battery at least twice and you can use the unit with the battery pack plugged in. Note that many folks use 4 rechargeable NiMH batteries in the pack which works fine for recharging the main system.

Other stuff

In addition to all of the items listed above my copy of Teletype World Navigator included CF/PCMCIA adapter, a pen, and a case. The pen has a two way switch and provides a ball point in one direction and a stylus in the other. The stylus works well with my iPAQ and can even reach the soft reset button.

The case is simulated leather and is a fairly large zippered case that protects the iPAQ well for storage use. It is big enough to include my expansion pack as well. It is intended to be able to attach the iPAQ with velcro on the inside but unfortunately this won't work if you use the supplied car mount. The outside has a pocket on each side to store the GPS receiver but the new GPS receiver is a little thick and is a tight fit. The case has a place for the ppc on one side and pockets for credit cards on the other.

There is also a pc CF to PCMCIA adapter included. This permits the CF card to work in a PCMCIA slot that is available on most laptops. The user will probably need to download the driver setup from the Teletype web site to get this to work.

Final Note

I have obtained comments on this review from Teletype to ensure that it is technically accurate, but the opinions and ideas are mine.

By Dale DePriest - All rights reserved.