The personal sat-nav may have been the big consumer success story of GPS technology, but it's far from the only use of this empowering geo-location system. Even if you don't need to be told how to get where you're going, a GPS device can help record information about how the journey went, which has plenty of handy applications. One of these is for sporting activities and this is what the Qstarz BT-Q2000 GPS Sports Recorder Explore 2000 is aimed at.
The Explore 2000 is a simple device. It has just three controls - for powering the device on and off, for toggling the LED backlight behind the monochrome LCD, and a Tool button that performs a small selection of functions. The device itself really only does two main things. One is receiving the GPS signal and reading it out as latitude, longitude and elevation, as well as using this information to tell your current speed, average speed, and distance travelled. The other function is recording this information in its built-in memory when Log Mode has been enabled. Although there is just 4MB of memory built-in, that's enough for 260,000 waypoints, which should give you hours of recording. Qstarz also claims the battery will last as long as 20 hours on a single charge.
Logging mode is where the Explore 2000 starts becoming useful. To start logging, you need to press the power button for a short period each time you turn the device on. Then the odometer and averaging will be called into play. You can use this on its own, for example when out running or biking, to tell you how far you've travelled. To this end, the Qstarz comes with a strap and pouch for wearing on an arm, like an MP3 player. It also includes a mounting kit for a bike. However, this relies on two plastic ties for handlebar attachment, which probably won't last long if you keep moving the mount from bike to bike, so Qstarz has put two pairs in the box.