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Dug an unused, uncharged Trimble Pathfinder Pro XH (XH) out of my companies junk closet. I have learned that this device is supposed to be able to collection GPS points with 30 cm resolution, exceeding the accuracy of the Bad Elf GPS Pro+ devices that we are using in the field currently (paired to an iPad through ESRI Collector App).

I have started trying to figure out how to use the XH, but I have run into several road blocks:

  • The XH cannot pair with an iPad through the collector App / iOS
  • The Juno SB and XH seem to connect over bluetooth, but there seems to be no easy way to confirm this - and as an answer below points out, this connection is spotty and weak.
  • Even if I get them to communicate, through bluetooth or serial cable or something else, and register a signal to collect a point (which hasn't happened successfully yet), I still have to figure out how to move the point from either the built in GPS software (GPS Controller) or an ancient ArcPad installation (8.0) into ArcMap Desktop 10.6

So, the question I am focusing on right now is:

  • For those who are using a Trimble GPS Pathfinder Pro XH and Juno SB currently to collect GPS points, how do you bring data from this into ArcMap or another GIS system?
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3 Answers 3

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I would just contact Trimble or a Trimble rep with the question to see if it is supported. They will likely answer the question even if you aren't a current customer.

I don't know how old yours is but the early versions of the ProXH were notorious for poor BT performance. Even pairing BT to the Windows mobile environments was intermittent. Our team used these in the mid-late 2000's and went back to hardwire. A consistent, stable BT connection could not extend further than about 18 inches from a compatible data collector.

I would start by updating the firmware of the ProXH, ensure iOS is up to date, then attempt to pair using the normal pairing process.

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  • These are great suggestions - I am having trouble updating the firmware due to my use of Windows 10. The Windows mobile center interface (which doesn't come pre-installed in Windows 10 it seems) seems to have trouble recognizing the Juno SB through the USB port .
    – traggatmot
    Apr 11, 2018 at 17:45
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The Pro XH will never pair with iOS - iOS requires special hardware in Bluetooth devices, this has been added to later Trimble devices (PG200/R1 and R2 have it, not sure what else) but earlier receivers like Pro XH or even the later Pro 6 do not.

Later versions of the Pro XH firmware do not improve the Bluetooth performance. From my distant memories of using a Pro XT / XH with a Nomad 800 or Juno S, you should get 5M Bluetooth range (as long as your don't put your body in the way). But depending on the GPS Controller version you use, you may need to update the firmware - I seem to remember 1.82 or 1.85 was a pretty stable Pro XH version.

Regarding accuracy, the Pro XH internal antenna is L1-only, so the best you can hope for is sub-meter. To get the sub-foot level you need an external dual-frequency antenna (Zephyr or Tornado etc.) And sub-foot may only be available with post-processing, not in the field - it's too long ago that I used this gear for me to remember details.

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To answer the question you're concentrating on (just re-read the O.P. and noticed it), GPS Controller is not a data collector so there's no way to save positions, you'd have to write down Lats and Longs and type them in manually. Not a nice workflow.

ArcPad 8 should work just fine with Juno S and Pro XH, here's a rough explanation from memory. After pairing the Juno with the Pro XH, run GPS Controller and connect to the Pro XH then set the Pro XH output to NMEA (Settings / GPS) on the Pro XH Bluetooth port. Once this is done (I think it GPS Controller automatically disconnects from the Pro XH), ArcPad should be able to connect to the Pro XH via Bluetooth and see the incoming NMEA. And open a project (very vague here, it's been years. . . ) The easiest way to get data off the Juno could be to use an SD card (under the battery on Juno 3, I think Juno S was the same).

I seem to remember that the Bluetooth output of the Pro XH can be turned off and on, sounds like yours is turned on which is lucky.

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