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Old 12-05-2007, 05:08 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Thumbs up Review: Freedom Input Keychain GPS 2000 Bluetooth Receiver

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I just received my Freedom Keychain GPS 2000 Bluetooth Reciever by Royal Mail today! Woot!! Wow! It's tiny! It looks about the size of one of those package of Listerine breath freshener strips. I don't even know how they can get all that into such a small package. Anyway, beyond my first impressions (which are quite good) here is what we have:

Technical Data:
Bluetooth MTK 6601 Bluetooth V.2.0, Class II
10 Meters range
SPP Serial Port Profile

GPS Specification
Chipset: MTK
51 channels "All-In-View Tracking
Processor Built-in ARM7TDMI
Protocol: NMEA 0183/V3.01 GGA, GSA, GSV, RMC, and RTCM
Baud Rate: 57,600 to 115,200 depending on mobile
Frequency L1, 1,575.42 Mhz
Tracking Sensitivity: -158dBM
WAAS/EGNOS/MSAS Enabled
Positon deviation: 10 Meters 90% 2D RMS 1-5 Meters
Velocity: 0,1 m/sec
Cold/Warm/Hot Start: 36/33/1 sec.
Rechargeable 350mAh
Lithium Polymer Akku
Storage temperature: -20C +60C
Working temperature: -10C +60C
Air humidity: 5-90%
Internal Ceramic Patch antenna
Size: 46 x 32 x 14.7 mm / 1.81 x 1.26 x 0.58 inches
Weight: 22g / 0.77 oz.

Below is the Retail Packaging:





Included in the Package are:
1) The Keychain GPS 2000 Receiver w/keychain clip
2) Car Charger
3) Short 21" USB Cable (the short USB cable will come in handy for my BB too--I hate long cables when I'm at my desk)
4) Instruction Manual

As with the Original Freedom Keychain (Mini) GPS the receiver does not come with an AC charger. However, most of us with BB's have several anyway.






Once again, Freedom has excelled in regards to the size of this GPS. It's even smaller than their original.

The closeup photo below is much larger than actual size.















I must say I'm very impressed with this unit. This came direct from the UK and it locked on to satellites within just about a minute while sitting just inside my kitchen window. I turned it off for a few minutes and it was back up within 5 seconds. Much faster than the older Freedom Keychain (Mini.) The reason for this, I'm told, is the MTK chipset being used in this new unit. It should provide quicker starts from Cold, Warm and Hot. I can have this unit turned on in the middle of my house and it will lock on to satellites within 5 seconds.

So far I have tried this with Google Maps, BB Maps, Live Search and TeleNav and they all work well for me. For me, this GPS tracks and keeps up quite nicely using those apps. It will work with others but those are the ones I've tested it with so far.

The LED on the Freedom Keychain GPS 2000 has been GREATLY improved. Instead of one lens with 3 different lights underneath it, this new model has individual LED's and are easily recognizable as to what they are and are not even visible from the outside unless they are illuminated. The LED's will shine through the black casing when they are lit up or flashing. A very nice clean look. Nice job there, Freedom!

LED Status:

1. Bluetooth LED (Blue "B" icon)
The blue LED stays illuminated = Device ready for connection.
The blue LED blinks 1 time/sec = Transmitting data to your device (however, I've noticed it flashing after a whihle even when it's not connected to my device.)

2. GPS LED (Orange "signal" icon)
The orange LED shines permanently = Satellite signal searching.
The orange LED blinks 1 time/sec = Satellite signal received.

3. Battery LED (Red "Battery" icon)
The red LED shines permanently = Battery requires charing

4. Charging LED (Green "plug" icon)
The green LED shines permanently = Battery on charge
The green LED goes out = Battery finished charging


Again, this LED configuration was my only gripe with the original Freedom Keychain (Mini) GPS and now that has been much improved.


Overall, I give this GPS unit 5 out of 5 stars. I gave the original Freedom Keychain 4.5 out of 5 stars because of the LED's. However, with the quick starts of the new chipset, the nice icon type led's and the even smaller size, there's no reason that this device shouldn't get 5 out 5 stars. If I had to find one thing wrong with the Freedom GPS units it would be the small rubber USB covers that come with them. Over time they start to crack and will eventually fall off. However, I've had the original Keychain (Mini) GPS since July 2007 and it is getting close to coming off but hasn't yet. Keep in mind though, that our BB's don't even come with a rubber cover for the USB port so this is just a nice added feature that Freedom has added. Personally, I don't think it detracts from the device if it were to come off.

In summary, I've been a big fan of the original Freedom Keychain (Mini) since I got it back in July (I retired my GS BT-359 for it.) This new Keychain 2000 GPS is even better. Well done, Freedom!


This would make a great Christmas gift (or anytime gift) for anyone with a Blackberry (or any device capable of using bluetooth GPS.)

Freedom is running a special for Christmas on this new GPS receiver. Click here for more information on this limited time offer.



Freedom Keychain 2000 GPS BlueTooth Receiver

Freedom Input Ltd - Home
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Old 12-05-2007, 05:35 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Nice review JC, thanks.

It is so, so ... small!

Last edited by JSanders : 12-05-2007 at 10:30 PM.
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Old 12-05-2007, 05:44 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Excellent and informative, Mr. Clark!
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Old 12-05-2007, 06:38 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Nice table JC. Where can I get one of those? What kinda wax you got on that? Slick.
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Old 12-05-2007, 07:34 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks for the review. I wonder how it works with the Google Maps. I am very temped to get one for my BB which I can use it anywhere (not necessary to use it in the car).

By the way, would this GPS receiver work with Google Maps in Asia countries?
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Old 12-05-2007, 07:44 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I posted in the review that it works great with Google Maps. The GPS receiver doesn't care where in the world it is. It will pick up the lat/long info and send it to the device. As to whether Google Maps works in Asian countries is a totally different subject.

I also just used it a few minutes ago in the car with the latest version of bbtracker 0.5 and it works excellent.

I'm liking this GPS.
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Old 12-06-2007, 04:05 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Glad your liking the new GPS unit

For anyone that is interested there is a special forum only offer running until Christmas.

Continuing on the success of the Freedom Keychain GPS receiver we are now launching our second Bluetooth keychain GPS receiver, the Freedom Keychain GPS 2000 using the MTK chipset.

The offer is:
The Freedom Keychain GPS 2000 Receiver for $89.99 with no shipping charges.

If you would like to take this offer up, please email [email address] with your email address. You can PM chrismacsween or post here too but she will need your email address if you want to buy the Freedom Keychain GPS 2000 Receiver.

In case you are worried, we only need your email address to send you a paypal button for the reduced payment of $89.99 per piece. You don't need to have a paypal account with the button. When you click the button, it will take you to a secure payment website where you can pay with your credit card.

We will be shipping from the end of November and this offer will run until Christmas eve.


For anyone that is curious I did a quick test the other day on both our Original Keychain GPS (which is still available) and the Keychain GPS 2000.

It must be said that this is not a very scientific test. It only gives a rough idea of performance from a cold start and satellite acquisition from a static location. Also neither unit was charged prior to testing so was running from whatever charge they had out of the box.

It should also be mentioned that this as done from my office next to the window.

Freedom Keychain GPS 2000 (MTK):
Cold start Time: 37 seconds

Satellites in view at 1 minute: 10
Satellites being tracked at 1 minute: 7

Satellites in view at 2 minutes: 10
Satellites being tracked at 2 minutes: 7

Satellites in view at 3 minutes: 10
Satellites being tracked at 3 minutes: 7

Freedom Keychain GPS (original SirfStarIII):
Cold start Time: 50 seconds

Satellites in view at 1 minute: 9
Satellites being tracked at 1 minute: 4

Satellites in view at 2 minutes: 9
Satellites being tracked at 2 minutes: 5

Satellites in view at 3 minutes: 9
Satellites being tracked at 3 minutes: 5

So the MTK based GPS unit had a slightly quicker cold start time and "saw" and tracked slightly more satellites. However just to reiterate that this was from a static location and in terms of actual use they both gave me exactly the same co-ordinates. Also the GPS signal quality in this area isn't great.

Comparison of signal strength:

Last edited by Paul Bowles : 12-06-2007 at 04:06 AM.
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Old 12-06-2007, 10:31 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Does anyone know if this unit will be compatible v4.3 and if the battery is replaceable?
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Old 12-06-2007, 11:19 AM   #9 (permalink)
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when did yours ship and to where?

i got mine shipped last tuesday sent to nj....

still waiting for it.
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Old 12-06-2007, 11:24 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Yeah it will work with 4.3 (working on a curve with 4.3 here and will work with pretty much everything that supports SPP profiles via bluetooth and can run navigation software).

Realistically you will probably never need to replace the battery (unless you use the GPS units for 10 hours a day, every day for a few years). If you do ever need to replace it though it is attached with a connector/plug rather than be soldiered so it is fairly easy to replace.
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Old 12-06-2007, 11:26 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dietcoke View Post
when did yours ship and to where?

i got mine shipped last tuesday sent to nj....

still waiting for it.
Did you get a tracking number if so go to www.royalmail.com and check where it is? If not drop Chris an email and we can check it for you (chris@freedominput.com).
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Old 12-12-2007, 01:04 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Wirelessly posted (BlackBerry8320/4.2.2 Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/100)

I placed an order on Nov. 27th and received it on Dec 5th, California.Very good service!

Does the Bluetooth status light on your BB Curve shows yellow, as if the connection is not all there?

I've never seen mine turn green.All my other BT devices show green when being in used. I was wondering if that's why I get drop connections every once in a while.
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Old 12-12-2007, 01:11 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Flexo,
Welcome to the forums. The dropped connections every once in a while is not a problem with your GPS receiver but rather with the OS on the Blackberry. OS's from 4.2.1 and up have had issues with the Bluetooth programming in the OS. The same Pearl with OS 4.2.0 does not have any issues. It's something RIM did to the OS that hasn't been fixed yet. Hopefully, we'll see this fixed soon.

I don't quite understand your question about the led status light on the Curve. It should flash blue (unless you disabled the bluetooth led in bluetooth options) when the GPS is connected. Also, it will only flash blue when you are using an application that asks for the GPS info.
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Old 12-12-2007, 09:32 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Clark View Post
Flexo,
Welcome to the forums. The dropped connections every once in a while is not a problem with your GPS receiver but rather with the OS on the Blackberry. OS's from 4.2.1 and up have had issues with the Bluetooth programming in the OS. The same Pearl with OS 4.2.0 does not have any issues. It's something RIM did to the OS that hasn't been fixed yet. Hopefully, we'll see this fixed soon.

I don't quite understand your question about the led status light on the Curve. It should flash blue (unless you disabled the bluetooth led in bluetooth options) when the GPS is connected. Also, it will only flash blue when you are using an application that asks for the GPS info.
This is what I hear....

I got my Keychain GPS 2000 last week. It is a spectacular device. I do not want to detract or stop anyone from buying it. It is a great price and an awesome product.

However I am having some difficulties with it. I have been in contact with Chris at Freedom and they are just about ready to send me a replacement...

here are my issues... please let me know if you experience this so I know it is not the receiver but the os like suggested above.

I have a alittle bit over an hour's commute to and from work. That is about 2 hours a day in the car. I have been testing out the gps keychain on every trip.

Here is what happens like clockwork...

-turn on unit and connect to either blackberry maps, google maps, or amazegps.
-device works perfectly for 20-45 minutes.
-the keychain then goes black (no lights) it will stay that way for about a minute and then all of a sudden the bluetooth light will flash... My 8320 has lost the bluetooth link and does not reconnect.
- I then power cycle off the keychain and power cycle it back on.... I get a lock instantly to a satellite.....

On Blackberry maps, i have to exit out and restart it again to get the gps working again with the bluetooth link.

On Google Maps, upon keychain restart, Google then finds me again to within 20 meters and continues on its merry way.

Amazegps does the same thing as Blackberry maps and just doesn't work after the device goes dark, unless I restart the application.

I have been told by Chris, as well as the post above, that they personally went to rim and asked them to fix this "bug". They say it is a known bug in the bluetooth stack.

Am I experiencing this bug? or is my keychain defective?

I have a globalstat gps puck, that I will try using today on my way home. If that disconnects after 20-45 minutes then i will know for sure if it is the blackberry or the keychain....

IS this what others are experiencing? maybe with other devices as well?
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Old 12-12-2007, 04:25 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Clark View Post
Flexo,
Welcome to the forums. The dropped connections every once in a while is not a problem with your GPS receiver but rather with the OS on the Blackberry. OS's from 4.2.1 and up have had issues with the Bluetooth programming in the OS. The same Pearl with OS 4.2.0 does not have any issues. It's something RIM did to the OS that hasn't been fixed yet. Hopefully, we'll see this fixed soon.

I don't quite understand your question about the led status light on the Curve. It should flash blue (unless you disabled the bluetooth led in bluetooth options) when the GPS is connected. Also, it will only flash blue when you are using an application that asks for the GPS info.
On the Blackberry OS, Home Screen, under the icon "Manage Connections" is where the status of the Bluetooth connection I was talking about. I'm sorry, I shouldn't have used the word "status light" in my previous post. It's more like status icon.

I checked again today. I pulled the battery in the Curve and turned the GPS on after it restarted. The Bluetooth status icon in the Manage Connections was green until I experienced another drop connection, it turned yellow - and did not turn green even after the connection was re-established with GPS. I don't know if that means anything.

Last edited by flexo : 12-12-2007 at 04:44 PM.
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Old 12-12-2007, 11:59 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I played with mine today and it was great. I am very impressed. VZNav is headed for the trash!!!

Now I have two GPS devices for my VZW 8830, one excellent, the other - barely functional...
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Old 12-14-2007, 02:53 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Ordered one last night...now I have to explain to my wife why the free Sony gps unit she brought home wasn't good enough...

Wish me luck.
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Old 12-18-2007, 08:51 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I received mine last week and I have been using it ever since. Once I figured out the bluetooth problems I was having I can get it to work very well. I have used it successfully with Beyond 411, Google Maps, and since it worked so well with Google Maps I signed up for TeleNav and it works awesome with that as well. The only program I could not get to work is Infospace (which I researched on the forums here and found it did not support external GPS pucks).

The only problem I have is cosmetic. The case seems to have a thin clear coating on it that is peeling off; probably from the keys rubbing up against it. It is not a big deal as it does not affect the operation.
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Old 12-20-2007, 11:08 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Just a brief reminder that the offer is only running for 4 more days. We will not be in the office from the 22nd until the 27th so if you don't get a reply right away do not panic
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Old 12-20-2007, 02:27 PM   #20 (permalink)
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So happy! Just checked tracking and mine should arrive today or tomorrow from USPS!

Merry Christmas! (...to me...)
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