Note: This page describes an obsolete version of GPSBabel that may substantially differ from the current or development version.

MTK Logger (iBlue 747,Qstarz BT-1000,...) download (mtk)

This format can...

  • read waypoints

  • read tracks

This format has the following options: erase, erase_only, log_enable, csv, block_size_kb .

This format is the serial download protocol for the MTK chips. Mediatek's MT3301/3179 (MTKv1) and MT3318 (MTKv2) chips are used in a large number of products sold under different names.

Many GPS products, especially of the data logger variety, expose the Mediatek protocol to the user via USB. Some modify Mediatek's protocol in minor ways, but the core protocol is very commonly seen in loggers.

The Holux M-241 and GPSport 245 are examples of a device using an incompatible variation of the MTK protocol.

The following products are known or are expected to work with this module. As the products are typically very low cost, they tend to have a short product life cycle and are often imported to different areas under different names. Keeping track of the list is difficult. Often the "same" GPS is sold in different plastic or with different Windows software or different options such as compass or motion sensors or charging cables with different model numbers. If you can confirm success with others, please share with us.

Table 3.17. Devices supported by MTK module

ProductConfirmed to workNotes
iBlue 821YesAvailable from Semsons
iBlue 747, 747A+YesAvailable from Semsons
QStarz BT-1000, BT-Q1000X, BT-1000eXYes 
iTrek Z1  

The Mediatek chip offers a native serial port. Data logger designers frequently pair this with commodity USB/Serial converter internally. So these devices typically look like Prolific, FTDI, or Silab usb/serial devices to the host OS. You'll need drivers for that whatever chip your product uses for your operating system. For the "A+ GPS Recorder", the Silicon Labs CP210x chip is used. On OS/X, you'll get awesome device names like /dev/cu.usbmodem1d13410 - fortunately, our GUI makes that multiple choice so you don't have to guess.

Downloaded data will be stored in data.bin file in the current directory together with the chosen output format. This is a rather uncommon feature in GPSBabel's formats and is likely to change in future versions.

See mtk-bin on how trackpoints/waypoints are handled

Example 3.33. Command showing MTK download track and waypoints and erase on Linux

gpsbabel -t -w -i mtk,erase -f /dev/ttyUSB0 -o gpx -F out.gpx

For more info and tweaks on MTK based loggers: MTK Tips and Tweaks and iBlue 747 Logger For info about the used log format, see MTK binary format

Most of the loggers cannot receive bluetooth commands; they can only send data. Since GPSBabel needs to send commands to the GPS device it won't work. Download the data using the USB cable instead.

erase option

Erase device data after download.

This option erases the track log from the device after download.

erase_only option

Only erase device data, do not download anything.

This option will only erase the logger data. No data is downloaded.

This option is typically used as a second step after the data has been downloaded and verified.

log_enable option

Enable logging after download.

This option will enable the logger after download.

By default the logger is re-enabled when download is finished if previously were enabled. But if the download is aborted or failed the log functionality won't be enabled again.

csv option

MTK compatible CSV output file.

This option will create an additional CSV output file. The CSV file is compatible with the original MTK logger application.

block_size_kb option

Size of blocks in KB to request from device.