Anatomy of a Bad Elf GPS Receiver

As a field data collection professional, you want the best performance possible from your Bad Elf Bluetooth GNSS Receiver. Out of the box, you can expect the performance of the receiver to exceed a receiver embedded in a handheld device. However, you want to get the best performance from your Bad Elf, not just better performance than from your handheld. Understanding the anatomy of a Bad Elf receiver can help you get the desired performance.

The most important questions that an understanding of the receiver’s anatomy can answer include:

  • Where is the antenna, so I can position my receiver for optimal satellite reception?
  • If I am using my receiver outdoors, how can I best avoid water infiltration?
  • Where is the barometer that gets me barometric altitude instead of GPS altitude?


On the face of the Bad Elf Bluetooth GPS Receiver, you easily identify the placement of the LCD for feedback. Below the faceplate overlaying the LCD is a flat blank space just below the Bad Elf logo. That’s where you find the GPS antenna. The antenna achieves best reception when facing toward the sky with an unobstructed view. In other words, for best results you want the Bad Elf receiver on it’s back with its face skyward and perpendicular to the ground.

Barometric Altimeter

On the back of the Bad Elf GPS Receiver, you can find two pin holes toward the lower end of the unit. Behind those holes is the barometric sensor, which is protected by a waterproof layer that prevents water from entering the device, but allows air pressure to be monitored.


The Bad Elf receiver has three buttons to the left of the front LCD display. These are your main unit controls. The top button controls power and the LCD backlight, the middle button controls Bluetooth and barometer settings, while the bottom button controls general GPS functions. More extensive capabilities are available through the free, downloadable Bad Elf utility app available through iTunes.

  1. Power Button
    1. Press and hold this button for 3 seconds to toggle the Bad Elf GPS device ON or OFF.
    2. Press this button momentarily to toggle the LCD backlight ON or OFF.
  2. Bluetooth Button
    1. Press and hold this button for 3 seconds to toggle the Bluetooth radio ON or OFF.
    2. Press this button momentarily to move through the Bluetooth related screens.
  3. GPS Button
    1. Press and hold this button for 3 seconds to toggle the GPS Data Logging ON or OFF.
    2. Press this button momentarily to move through the GPS related screens. Each button can be used as a simple click or as a press and hold action. See the scenarios below for details of operation using the buttons in each context. Additional configuration and features are controlled wirelessly via the Bad Elf GPS utility app.


The Bad Elf GPS display is a standard backlit LCD screen which you can interact with via the three button controls along the left side of the unit. When initially powered on, you will first see a Bad Elf splash screen with the Bad Elf logo and device information (model and firmware version). Using the buttons along the left side, you will be able to navigate through the display. Further information concerning the quality of data and satellite usage is also available directly on the device. Additionally, users may check Bluetooth connection status, battery levels, barometer, thermometer, and data log storage usage at a glance. The display also has a backlight for readability at night.


At the very top if the GPS receiver is a small opening through which you can attach the supplied lanyard or any similar sized tether to restrain the Bad Elf GPS receiver. Some customers also attach high performance velcro to the flat backside of the unit in order to position it on a small platform or mount with the antenna facing in the optimal position.

USB Port

The USB port at the top of the back of the GPS receiver comes with a rubber cap. While the front and back of the enclosure fit together with an o-ring between them to keep out moisture, ensuring a tight seal of the USB cap will keep water from infiltrating the enclosure when splashed in rain or around water. Of course, the GPS receiver is only rated IPX-4, so it is never safe to submerge the unit.

Power Supply

The Bad Elf GPS includes a long life, embedded lithium ion battery. When both the Bluetooth® radio and the GPS are active, the battery offers more than 24 hours of continuous operation on a single charge. When operating in standalone data logging mode, that is, with the Bluetooth radio OFF, the Bad Elf GPS can operate for over 32 hours.