mtkbabel - Tool for managing GPS data loggers based on the MTK chip
is a command line program to operate GPS data loggers based on the MediaTek MTK chip.
It was tested on the i-Blue 747, Qstarz BT-Q1000 and on the Holux M-241, it should
work also with other GPS devices based on the same chip.
The main features are:
- Command line interface
- Save data log in GPX and raw binary format
- If required retrieve all the data, also the old one being overlapped
- Change logging criteria: time, distance, speed
- Change log format
- START/STOP logging
- Set OVERLAP or STOP method on memory full
- Erase the internal memory
In order to use mtkbabel, please follow these instructions:
1. Attach the GPS data logger device to your computer
2. Now you have to switch the GPS device (at least the i-Blue 747) into
LOG or NAV mode,
otherwise the device will not be powered on, and no connection will
be possible. Beware that in NAV mode the device goes into sleep mode if
not connected to any Bluetooth device.
3. In order to use mtkbabel you have to either be root (not recommended)
and/or you must have read/write permissions for the USB device file, usually
This device usually has permissions
'crw-rw---- 1 root dialout',
so you can either add your user to the
group (in this example) by doing
$ adduser USERNAME dialout
or (not recommended) make the device world-readable/-writable by doing:
$ chmod 666 /dev/ttyUSB0
Another option is to write a udev rules file to change the owner and
permissions of /dev/ttyUSB0 according to your requirements.
4. You can now run mtkbabel. For example, if you want to download the
track log and the list of waypoints you captured on the device, run:
$ mtkbabel -s 115200 -l off -f foo -w -t
The default speed of
baud should work in most cases and you can omit it, for the Holux M-241 you
This will turn off the autolog function, which is always turned on when you
switch on the device. The track log will be in the file
the waypoints in the file
(both in GPX format). The file
will contain the binary log file. Downloading the data from the GPS device
can take several minutes, depending on how much data has to be transferred.
In order to delete all data from the GPS device, run:
$ mtkbabel -s 115200 -E
Read all the log memory (overlapped data).
Do not read data from a GPS device, but rather read a previously
saved .bin file. Ignore -f option.
Create a GPX file with both tracks and waypoints.
Debug level: 0..7.
Erase data log memory.
Base name for saved files (.bin and .gpx). If you, for example, use
mtkbabel will create files which are called
Show a help text and exit.
Ignore some error conditions and try to extract as much data as possible from GPS.
Recover from disabled log: erase data and reset recording criteria.
Set logging criteria (zero to disable): every 0.10-9999999.90 seconds,
every 0.10-9999999.90 meters, over 0.10-9999999.90 km/h. Not all the devices
support such wide ranges, more reasonable values are 1-999 seconds,
10-9999 meters and 10-999 km/h.
Serial port speed, default
Create a GPX file with tracks.
Show version information and exit.
Create a GPX file with waypoints.
Force reading Holux format. This is required to read-back the binary data
produced by some Holux devices, which do not embed into the data itself the
Holux identifier string.