Martin Michlmayr

Qstarz BT-Q1000X in my hand

Qstarz BT-Q1000X and Debian

The Qstarz BT-Q1000X (Travel Recorder X) is a GPS device that can act as data logger and as receiver. That is, the device can record GPS data while you're moving around so you can later download this information to your PC, and it can also broadcast the GPS information via Bluetooth as you're moving around so you can receive the information on another device and do something with it immediately (for example, display maps of where you're going). The BT-Q1000X can also log and broadcast data at the same time.

The Qstarz BT-Q1000X ships with some software for Windows, but I'm using it with Linux (specifically, with Debian). On this page, I'll describe how to use the BT-Q1000X on Debian (and other Linux variants).

Connecting the Qstarz BT-Q1000X via USB

You can connect the Qstarz BT-Q1000X via USB to your PC in order to download the GPS information stored on the device. You have to load the cdc-acm module in order to access the Qstarz BT-Q1000X. On Debian and other modern distributions, the module should get loaded automatically when you plug in the device and turn it on (you can set the device either to navigate or log but I use navigate). The GPS chip used in the Qstarz BT-Q1000X is supported by the Linux kernel since 2.6.29; if you're using an older kernel, you have to apply this fix. On Debian, you can either use 2.6.29 or higher, or 2.6.26-16 or higher (Debian lenny 5.0.2 or newer will work). When you connect your BT-Q1000X via USB and turn it on, the device will show up as /dev/ttyACM0.

Qstarz BT-Q1000X and gpsbabel

gpsbabel can read data from the BT-Q1000X and store it as GPX information. You can read the information with this command:

gpsbabel -t -w -i mtk -f /dev/ttyACM0 -o gpx -F out.gpx

This will store the information in GPX format in the file out.gpx. After you've verified the information, you can erase it with the following command:

gpsbabel -t -w -i mtk,erase -f /dev/ttyACM0

Qstarz BT-Q1000X and mtkbabel

mtkbabel is a command line tool to manage devices that use MTK chips. I'm using mtkbabel just fine with the Qstarz BT-Q1000X which uses a MTK II chip. mtkbabel comes with a man page that explains the command line options. The most common commands are the following two. First, download the data and store it as the file "gpsdata":

mtkbabel -p /dev/ttyACM0 -f gpsdata -t -w -c

And then erase the data from the device:

mtkbabel -p /dev/ttyACM0 -E