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Thread: Boating help

  1. #1
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    Boating help

    I can't seem to get my gps and my computer to communicate with each other. Both the gps (Garmin GPS 75) and the computer software (Nobeltec, Visual Navigation, version 4.1.347) are semi-obsolete and are no longer supported by the respective manufacturers. Individually, both the gps and the computer software work great, but I can't get them married. User's manuals for both say that they're nmea-0183 compatible and I believe, hardware-wise, I've connected everything up correctly. Can anyone tell me how to tell if my gps is actually getting information into my computer ?? (I'm about a "medium" on computer literacy)

  2. #2
    Newbie Teknoledgi's Avatar
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    Hope this helps, if you are using a serial gps, then hyperterminal should be able to detect that you are receiving data:

    Performing the following test will provide an indication as to whether the GPS hardware is working outside of the GPS program you are using.

    1. Insert (or connect) the GPS receiver (in)to the laptop.

    2. Turn on the GPS and configure it to emit NMEA data out. (Note that if you are using TeleType GPS wireless cards, they are already configured as NMEA, no action is required by you regarding this issue, continue to #3 below).

    3. Click the Windows start bar, programs, accessories, communications (if you see it), and then HyperTerminal.

    4. An Explorer window with HyperTerminal files will appear.

    5. Double-click the HyperTerminal program (HYPERTRM.EXE) to make a new connection.

    6. If the computer’s configuration is lacking a modem, you will be prompted to setup a modem. Click NO.

    7. On the Connection description window, type GPS-TEST in the name field then click the OK button.

    8. On the Connect To window, use the drop down arrow on the fourth field, "Connect using," to select the
    COM port then click the OK button.

    9. On the COMx Properties window, use the drop down arrow to change the first field, "Baud Rate," to 4800.
    Click the OK button. A white "GPS-TEST – HyperTerminal" window will appear.


    Ideally, the "GPS-TEST – HyperTerminal" window will have text lines rapidly scrolling into it. In addition, it is hoped that some of these lines begin $GP or $II. Last, the NMEA sentences must contain position information. Look for sentences containing the following: GLL, GGA, or RMC. Without at least one of those sentences, the GPS software will not have the information necessary to track your position.

    If you find that no data is scrolling through the window, then there are two possibilities:

    (a) you have an IRQ conflict on your laptop which is preventing the serial port from being used by the GPS
    you may need to disable other serial ports so that only the comm port that is required by the GPS is active. Consult your laptop user manual for more detail.

    (b) You have a defective GPS, consult manufacturer for assistance.

    If you find that data is scrolling through the windows, then most likely you need to assign the correct comm port to the GPS software in use.
    Lilliput 8" Touchscreen LCD
    VIA EPIA MII-12000
    60GB 3.5" Hard Drive 5400
    512MB DDR PC2700
    DVD Drive
    802.11G Internal Wireless Card - External 5db Antenna
    100m USB Bluetooth Adapter
    Nokia N70 Phone
    GPS USB Receiver
    Centrafuse 1.6

  3. #3
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    Thanks for your assistance, Teknoledgi. I have one more question. My laptop is quite new and has no serial ports, only 4 usb ports, so I purchased a usb/serial port adapter. Will this affect any of the instructions you provided me???

  4. #4
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    gunboatbay,

    my laptop doesn't have serial either ( a mac) so I got a usb garmin. It's the software detecting the gps. However, on their manual I remember them saying that only certain serial2usb adapters would work. You might want to check garmin site for info.

    David

  5. #5
    Newbie Teknoledgi's Avatar
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    As long as the usb/serial adapter provides a virtual com port, should be shown under ports on hardware devices, then you should be ok.

    What is the make of the USB adapter?
    Lilliput 8" Touchscreen LCD
    VIA EPIA MII-12000
    60GB 3.5" Hard Drive 5400
    512MB DDR PC2700
    DVD Drive
    802.11G Internal Wireless Card - External 5db Antenna
    100m USB Bluetooth Adapter
    Nokia N70 Phone
    GPS USB Receiver
    Centrafuse 1.6

  6. #6
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    The adapter is a Belkin, F5U103, USB Serial adapter. Came with its own software (CD), and claims it doesn't require any IRQs or other system resources. Thanks again for your help, Teknoledgi.
    Davida, I did contact (email) Garmin and they advised me that they no longer provide technical support for the GPS-75 and suggested I upgrade to a newer unit. I don't plan on doing that, because my GPS has been so reliable over the years and has gotten me out of serious trouble on several occasions when I had to navigate in "IMC".

  7. #7
    Newbie Teknoledgi's Avatar
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    Can you list what ports are available from your device manager console?
    Lilliput 8" Touchscreen LCD
    VIA EPIA MII-12000
    60GB 3.5" Hard Drive 5400
    512MB DDR PC2700
    DVD Drive
    802.11G Internal Wireless Card - External 5db Antenna
    100m USB Bluetooth Adapter
    Nokia N70 Phone
    GPS USB Receiver
    Centrafuse 1.6

  8. #8
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    Device Manager lists two ports: Communications Port (COM2) & ECP Printer Port (LPT1). Answering your query triggered something in my feeble brain that may lead to a solution for the problem. Initially, when the GPS and computer failed to communicate, I searched around within the navigation software program and remember that in the Tools/Options dialog box there was a tab labeled "Ports: Configure". When I select this tab, it lists COM1 thru COM32, with a check-box next to each. COM4 had a check mark in the box. I assumed (probably erroneously) that the program would automatically select an available COM port in my computer. So, I'll change that and see if it solves my problem. Unfortunately, I won't be able to do that for a couple of weeks. I live in two places on the Northwest coast of North America. One in the state of Washington(U.S.) and the other in British Columbia (Canada). My boat is in British Columbia and I'm in Washington. I usually alternate spending about a month in each place. I'll be going back to B.C. in mid-June and will let you know what happens then. Should I email you off-forum, or will uou follow this thread? Thanks again for your assistance, Teknoledgi.

  9. #9
    Newbie Teknoledgi's Avatar
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    Your USB Serial Adapter should have a Com port listed, Com 2 is a general windows built in com port, your adapter is not showing up. You can try changing the com port but I don't think it will help. Can you use another adapter to see if it installs a virtual com port?
    Lilliput 8" Touchscreen LCD
    VIA EPIA MII-12000
    60GB 3.5" Hard Drive 5400
    512MB DDR PC2700
    DVD Drive
    802.11G Internal Wireless Card - External 5db Antenna
    100m USB Bluetooth Adapter
    Nokia N70 Phone
    GPS USB Receiver
    Centrafuse 1.6

  10. #10
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    I'm not sure that the serial port adapter doesn't install a "virtual com port", when it's plugged-in, Teknoledgi. A couple of posts ago, when you asked about ports, I booted up the computer and went to device manager, without the adapter connected. Unfortunately the adapter is in my boat, in B.C., so I'll have to wait 'til I go up there to check it out. If it's working, will the serial/usb adapter show up on device manager as a numbered com port, or something else??

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