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Everything posted by R_S

  1. I'd be delighted to be proved wrong! It's a long time since I checked this out, and I may have identified this as a problem with the eTrex C models rather than the Cx models, and misremembered which it applied to.
  2. I too can (not always) pick up one of the EGNOS satellites from darkest Gloucestershire and, with a bit of patience, get "D"s in the bars for the ordinary satellites. It doesn't, hoever, seem to make any difference to the accuracy. I'm a few miles from Chargy Hill passive station, whose coordinates are available to millimetric precison, so when I have time I'll go and do some proper tests there.
  3. I'm afraid you may find that the explanation is all too simple: the colour eTrex models do not produce real-time positional output at all, which is why it's not mentioned in the manual and why you are getting a message about device capability. There is of course no serial interface, and the USB interface is used only to upload or download static material like mapsets. Using Spanner will achieve nothing, and you cannot use the device with nRoute. This is one of the many reasons why, when upgrading from my Vista, I chose the 60CSx. The Vista has real-time output over its serial interface using either Garmin or NMEA protocol, and doesn't have USB at all. The 60CSx has both interfaces, with Garmin-only on the USB interface and Garmin or NMEA on the serial interface. Spanner will convert Garmin on the USB interface to NMEA on one OR MORE virtual serial interfaces, so you can if you wish drive multiple NMEA applications simultaneously.
  4. It'll provide routing on the device, but small handhelds like this are pretty useless if you are driving on your own. It's fine for a passenger to use, or can be an alternative to stopping and asking the way / reading a map, but the driver can't use it effectively while in motion. By the way, don't even think about loading GB of data onto the card through the GPSr. Your microSD card will come with an SD adapter (at least, it will if you buy Sandisk, standard NOT Ultra). Put that into a USB 2.0 High Speed card reader, connect to your PC, and you will find that Mapsource has an option to download to it. Fast and convenient, although it is still quite a long process.
  5. Topo GB obviously lacks the European coverage of Metroguide, but has two major advantages: it allows routing on the device; and it has the topographcal information. I have both, and only ever use Topo on my 60CSx unless I am abroad. However, on the PC, Topo has an infuriating limitation about the area that it can display in detail - I don't think Garmin gor a very good deal from the Ordnance Survey! You can get the whole of Topo GB on a 2GB microSD card (very convenient, works fine).
  6. Bluetooth (for example, the Garmin Mobile 10) is an obvious way to go, but most general-purpose GPSr do not have Bluetooth output, and have to be hooked up with a cable. Don't expect to make a USB connection - your PDA would need a driver for the specific GPSr, and I have never come across any. Serial connection is easy in principle, but unfortunately the standard serial cables of your GPSr and your PDA are both designed to plug into a PC, and will accordingly not plug into one another. You can either use a NULL MODEM (not straight-through) connector to link them, or buy a serial host cable (usually off-brand) for the GPSr and plug the PDA serial cable into that. In the Garmin range, old GPSrs (like the eTrex Vista) and current high-end GPSrs (like the GPSMap 60CSx) have serial connectors, but current mid range models like the colour eTrex do not, indeed they do not have any data output, just a USB interface for loading maps.
  7. The actual mapping in MG is almost identical to that in CN (you can check this on the Garmin website) and unless you need routing MG is fine.
  8. Some misunderstanding here. The ONLY protocol available over the USB connection of the 60CSx is GARMIN (although of course USB also supports MSD mode). The GARMIN/NMEA/Text protocol setting applies only to serial output. I have used serial output with both GARMIN and NMEA protocols a great deal, mainly to a Pocket PC, and found it completely reliable. I have tested Garmin Spanner with a 60CSx on a PC but not used it extensively, and certainly did not see any problem, but intermittent dropping of a connection is just the kind of problem that may show up only under intensive use. There are all sorts of ways that kind of thing can happen at the software level, as I well remember from writing some X.25 software under Unix many years ago, but of course there is also the possibility of a faulty connection.
  9. muso, I am aware of the existence of the rechargeable CR-V3 battery. In some devices this can indeed replace a pair of AA cells, but I do not think it will fit the 60CSx battery compartment. I would be happy to be proved wrong.
  10. I have just tested my 60CSx (3.0/2.7) outside with a 360-degree clear sky view, location near Gloucester, UK. I had 10 satellites at or close to full strength and a further one on the NNE horizon at up to half strength intermittently. These were acquired almost immediately. After a few minutes the 60CSx also acquired EGNOS satellite 33 with a hollow bar, and a few minutes later was showing a solid bar for it and a D on the solid bar for all other satellites including the one on the horizon whenever signal was being received from it. Displayed accuracy was 3m before the differential correction was acquired, then 2m with it. Maybe the receiver firmware does need a bit more tweaking to update it fully about EGNOS, but on the basis of this test it is certainly picking something up! I was interested to see that the receiver chose an 11/1 split. Am I right in thinking that, provided signal strength is good, there is no benefit in picking up the differential corrections from more than one satellite if those are differential-only satellites? No D appeared on the bar for satellite 33.
  11. EMHS, something else you may discover is that even with the correct USB drivers installed, there are many generic applications that still cannot talk to your 60CSx, either because they can only handle serial ports or because they cannot understand GARMIN protocol, which is the only option over USB. There is a Garmin solution to this called Garmin Spanner which can be dowloaded from the GPS18 section of the Garmin website. It allows Administrator to create virtual COM ports, and then converts the GARMIN-protocol signal from the 60CSx to NMEA and hands it to the COM ports that have been created. Apart from the possibility of feeding multiple COM ports, it is the equivalent of connecting your 60CSx over a serial cable and setting the interface on the 60CSx to NMEA.
  12. The "Lithium Ion" setting appeared silently at a recent firmware upgrade, and is not mentioned in the manual (unless they have updated it on-line). "Lithium ion" is NOT THE SAME as "Lithium". LiION batteries are rechargeable and have a voltage of a bit over 3v per cell, so a single-cell LiION battery can replace a pair of alkaline, NiMH, or lithium batteries. Since there is apparently no LiION battery that fits the Garmin 2-AA battery compartments, the purpose of the setting is a mystery. Some other Garmin units (such as the eTrex Vista) did have a "Lithium" setting added during a firmware upgrade, and that works with lithium AA cells. The 60CSx appears to work with lithiums if you use the NiMH setting.
  13. DB9M serial cable for Palm (see earlier posting) and DB9F (standard) serial cable for 60CSx or DB9F (standard) serial cable for Palm and DB9M (off-brand) serial cable for 60CSx or standard DB9F cables for both devices and a DB9M-to-DB9M NULL MODEM connector or a pair of cables from PC-Mobile with their very neat connector. You will probably need to run the 60CSx with the NMEA interface.
  14. Howard, compared to connecting to a PDA, connecting a GPSr to a PC is easy. Method 1: just plug the serial cable of the GPS into the PC hardware serial port if it still has one, or into a USB-to-serial converter if not, or if that is more convenient anyhow. This method will allow either NMEA or GARMIN protocol to be used, accodring to what is set on the GPSr. Method 2: with a Garmin USB GPSr, connect the GPSr as a USB client of the PC (that's the only way round you will be able to connect it) and use Garmin Spanner to provide one or more virtual COM ports on which the GARMIN-protocol USB output from the GPSr will be handed to the application as NMEA. Method 3: with a Garmin USB GPSr, talk to the application over USB, using (only option) GARMIN protocol. Method 1 is completely generic and requires no drivers (except for any USB-to-serial converter), but of course your GPSr must be able to produce serial GPS data output. Methods 2 and 3 are Garmin-specific, although there may be equivalent approaches with other makes, and require the appropriate Garmin USB drivers to be installed. Again, the GPSr must be able to output GPS data. Generic PC applications usually use NMEA, and either method 1 with the GPSr set to NMEA, or method 2 with a Garmin GPSr that outputs over USB will work fine. Microsoft stuff should be in this category, but I've no personal experience. Fugawi and Anquet work in this mode. Some generic PC applications also understand GARMIN protocol and can work with a Garmin GPSr set to GARMIN using method 1, but may not yet work properly with method 3. Mapsource is very happy with a USB connection, method 3, and I assume this is also true of nRoute although I haven't checked. Downloading large mapsets to a microSD card is not a realistic prospect over a serial connection, better over a USB connection, better still if you can put the GPSr into MSD mode and treat it as a card reader, and probably fastest of all to a conventional USB 2.0 High Speed card reader. In the other direction, only a very modest bandwidth is required to transmit data from a GPSr to a PC, and any method will do.
  15. Couch Eagle,the short answer to your question about connecting to a PDA is YES. The longer answer is as follows. First, you need a GPSr with serial output. AFAIK just about all old GRSr units have a serial connection over which they can and will send serial GPS data output. High-end new units like the 60CSx have both USB and serial. But some of the newer colour eTrex units have only USB, and may not even produce a data output over USB. Forget about USB for a PDA to GPSr connection at present. Secondly you need a PDA with a serial interface. That's just about any PDA. Thirdly, you need to solve the cabling problem. A serial interface is symmetric, unlike a USB interface where one device is host and one is client. However, connecting plugs aren't, and come in M and F versions. Since the PC uses DB9M connectors, all devices that connect to it are equipped with DB9F serial cables. So if you use the supplied or standard serial cables, you need a DB9M to DB9M NULL MODEM (NOT straight through) connector to plug them into. A neater solution is to buy an off-brand DB9M serial cable for the GPSr (usually only a few inches long) which will already be wired correctly. Or, even neater if they make one for your PDA, you can buy a pair of PC-Mobile cables. If you have a GPSr and PDA both with Bluetooth, you can also make a serial wireless connection that is equivalent to a cabled connection. The application on the PDA needs to know the number of the real or virtual COM port on which to look for the GPSr, and will have a dialogue to allow that to be set. Finally, the GPSr needs to be set to the correct protocol. Usually this is NMEA for generic applications, but for Garmin's Que software on the PDA the correct protocol is GARMIN. That's it, really. I have been doing this for a couple of years with first an eTrex Vista and now a 60CSx, and a Toshiba e800 Pocket PC PDA (I assume it works the same way on Palm), using any of Anquet, Fugawi, or Garmin Que software on the PDA. You probably wouldn't want this sort of rather clumsy setup for walking, but it's fine for a car passenger, and can even be used to provide a better driver interface than a pocket GPS.
  16. I was faced with this decision when I decided to upgrade from my Vista. I chose the 60CSx for two main reasons: (i) the Vista series does not yet offer the new receiver chipset, which is a fantastic improvement, and (ii) the colour eTrex units have only a USB interface and cannot talk to a PDA, which for me is important. I have no doubt at all that I took the right decision.
  17. The SanDisk roadmap promises 2GB microSD cards this year. There's no obvious reason why they should not work on the x-series Garmins, but then, there's no obvious reason why the ultra microSD cards should be incompatible, yet this appears to be the case. 4GB SD cards are now becoming available, but I have as yet seen no advance indication that microSD will go beyond 2GB. Anything beyond 2GB requires the use of a filesystem other than FAT16, usually FAT32, and this brings its own compatibility problems. These have been solved in high-end digital cameras with CF cards. Back on the main topic, am I right that the feature sets of the 60CSx and 76CSx are identical except for one thing, which is that the 76CSx can handle tide tables? Apart from that, the decision just comes down to cost and case style preference.
  18. GPioltS: is this acually doing a FILE transfer, or is it, as I suspect, an "intelligent" transfer of information like waypoints to the device storage as distinct from a microSD card? A serial connection should certainly be fast enough for that purpose, and it is interesting to know that someone has implemented it. I can't see any reason why even file transfer should not be implementable over a serial connection, nor indeed any reason why it should not be possible to implement a Garmin USB driver under WM, but I'm not aware of anyone having done it.
  19. A serial connection is actually symmetric, although we usually think of one device (with a DB9M connector) as the host and the other (with a DB9F connector) as the client. PCs think of themselves as hosts, so have DB9M connectors, which means that devices like GPSrs and PDAs come with a DB9F connector on the cable. To connect a PDA to a GPSr over a serial connection accordingly requires one of the following: (a) a DB9M-to-DB9M NULL MODEM connector (NOT a straight-through connector) with the serial cable of each device plugged into it, or (b, neater) an off-brand, usually very short, DB9M serial cable for the GPSr, which will already be wired correctly to connect to the PDA serial cable, or (c, neatest if there is a cable for your PDA) a connected pair of cables from PC-mobile, one with the correct connector for the GPSr and one with the correct connector for the PDA. GPS-enabled applications on the PDA will then work fine with the live signal from the GPSr, provided that the GPSr is set to the protocol that the application expects (usually NMEA for generic applications), the application is told on which COM port to look for input, and possibly the port speeds (usually 4800baud for transmitting live GPS data) and flow control parameters are set correctly. Unfortunately even with the fastest available COM port speeds between a PC and a GPSr, a serial connection is very slow for file transfer, and this is not usually supported between a PDA and a GPSr. So even if you make a serial connection, you will not be able to transfer files over it. A USB connection is quite different. Although data can be transmitted in either direction, one device is the host and one device is the client. A GPSr is ALWAYS a client device. ALL PDAs are also client devices, but SOME PDAs can ALSO be set up as host devices. I think there may now be some PDAs that are USB 2.0 High Speed clients, but AFAIK those few PDAs that can operate as USB hosts do so over USB 1.1. This is much faster than serial but much slower than 2.0 High Speed (2.0 HS supports the slower protocols as well). Also AFAIK, all current USB GPSrs use 1.1, so in any event that is the fastest available connection option. The next problem is that to recognise a client USB device, the host device needs a client-specific driver, another difference from a serial connection which is completely generic. If you use a USB GPSr on a PC, you will have installed a driver for it. AFAIK there is no GPSr for which any PDA driver is available, so you cannot make a USB connection between a GPSr and a PDA that transmits a live GPS signal in the way that is possible over a serial connection. Some GPSrs, like the recently introduced Garmin 60 and 76 x-series models, can (with the latest firmware) be put into USB Mass Storage Device mode, which makes them look like a USB 1.1 card reader for the microSD card. MSD is a generic USB protocol whose driver is built in to Windows XP, so you don't need an additional driver on your PC. I do not know whether this protocol is built into Windows Mobile 5, but it is certainly not built into any earlier version of Windows Mobile. However, there are relatively hard-to-find third-party MSD drivers available at a modest cost for WM2002 and WM2003, and the driver that I use works on WM2003SE after one warning at installation time. Can't advise about Palm PDAs. To make all this work, you need the USB cable for your GPSr, and either a USB host cable or a cradle with a USB host port for your PDA (might be intended for a USB keyboard) into which you can plug it. Put the GPSr into USB MSD mode BEFORE you connect, and the microSD card in your GPSr will magically appear in File Explorer on the PDA as a USB Disk. You can then move files to and fro as normal. You probably would not want to do this with anything big like map files, but it is fine for waypoints and tracks. How useful it would be is a different matter. Finally, the new Garmins draw power from the USB connection if they have the chance, and this may drain your PDA battery rather quickly, although of course there is no problem if the PDA is externally powered. So the conclusion is that you can transfer live GPS data over a serial connection but not a USB connection, and you can transfer files over a USB connection but not over a serial connection. But (i) you will need a PDA that provides HOST USB - check the specifications very carefully (ii) you will need a USB MSD driver (except possibly for WM5) (iii) you will need a USB host cable or cradle for your PDA (iv) you will need to be able to put your GPSr into USB MSD mode. It is probably much simpler - and faster - just to remove the microSD card from your PDA, put into a microSD-to-SD adapter, put the whole lot into your PDA, and transfer files between the microSD card and either a second card in the PDA (if it takes both CF and SD) or Flash ROM or main memory, which can be used as temporary storage to bridge between the microSD card and an ordinary SD card. You will need no special cabling, USB host capability, or special drivers to do it that way!
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