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Serial To Usb Cable


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I have a Garmin Venture and cannot connect it to my PC since it has no Serial Ports. I tried hooking the PC Interface Cable to my Palm III USB adapter but my PC refuses to recognize my GPS (says it cannot locate it) even after I installed the Palm USB driver.

Anybody got any suggestions on how to do this if it can be done? If not, is there another Serial to USB cable someone definitely knows works (like at Radio Shack, Best Buy, etc.)?

Thanks, canderson33

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So your GPS has only a serial interface, and your computer(s) have ony USB, right? Sorry I don't know much about serial to USB connectors. In my limited experience, they are prone to be difficult.

 

In the Venture specs in the interface section, it says "RS232 with NMEA 0183". So I assume there are multiple RS232 standards, and whatever converter cable you use, would have to support the NMEA 0183 specs.

 

I suggest you buy a cable that you can return, like from Radio Shack. Make sure you keep the packaging and the receipt. They are pretty good with accepting returns. And then if it does not work, just bring it back and try another one.

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Go to local Radio Shack or Circuit City or computer store, get generic SERIAL/USB adapter cable...

 

Read instructions on adapter, usually you load drivers first before pluging in cable....

 

Finding Com Port

 

It’s quite possible your lap top or desk top machine can not "find" correct COM port!...

 

Or your computer does not have traditional serial port. (they are slowly going away in favor of USB). A USB/Serial adapter may be the answer for you.

 

If you have Serial/USB adapter and are not getting it to work, suggest you delve into what COM ports or USB/adapter ports your "systems" have available or are configured for....

 

Major problem is usually identifying what COM port number the USB/RS-232 (serial) adapter was assigned by WINDOWS system. This is also valid for locating available hardwired serial ports. Port numbers can be verified in the "control panel" under "system" under "hardware" under "device manager". Scroll down to “ports” and it will tell you the port number and at what speed (baud) port is configured at. This info is necessary to get EasyGPS and GSAK and “other” programs to communicate with GPS unit. Yes you do need to set baud rate on GPS to match computer COM port which may be set with whatever software computer is running.

 

Most software applications and hardware (modems) like to work with COM 1 ... Also if you have any "synchronize” software running for a Palm or other hand held, it grabs COM 1 and will not let any other applications use it. You may need to disable any synchronization software it you have it as a running application to release COM 1 if you have to use that specific COM port.

 

Also just plugging in a USB/Serial adapter to USB port may not trigger system to assign COM port number. In some cases you must have a valid device (GPS) on end of data cable from USB/Serial adapter and the device must be turned on for system to respond and assign a COM port number. Also having a loop back plug in USB/Serial adapter will trigger adapter/system to assign com port number if serial adapter requires a "valid" device on end of cable.

 

 

Hyper Link Test

 

Here is procedure to test COM/SERIAL/USB port. It will work with both hardwired serial port (COM) on older computers or with USB/SERIAL adapters if proper drivers are loaded. This test will require a “loop back” plug for serial connector that has pins 2 and 3 connected (shorted) back to each other.

 

1. Determine COM port number using the process above to find the port number (Finding Com Port).

 

2. Open HYPER-TERM the communications terminal program that is standard part of Windows supplied utilities. If installed it may be found under “Communications” on main menus. (or any other terminal program you are familiar with)

 

3. Establish a “new connection” file name something like “serialtest” or “loopbacktest”. Specifying the specific COM port number (found in above procedure). Set ASCII options to NOT echo characters locally (Uncheck – Echo Characters Locally).

 

4. Plug in USB/SERIAL adapter and install “loop back” plug on serial connector plug ( if using hardwired port on computer that is where loop back plug goes also) . IF you can now type characters on key board and see them appear on screen the com port and path (and USB adapter) are good. If you unplug loop back plug and then type and characters do not appear on screen this further verifies port is working properly and adapter is working. If you type and get double characters (aa-bb-cc) for each key stroke with loop back plug in place it means “local echo” is turned on. If you only get single characters when loop back plug is removed then it still proves serial path is good.

 

Hyper Terminal setup.

 

Start Hyper Terminal and when “New Connection” window box is presented enter your file name (“looptest” or whatever) Click ok.

 

Next box should say “Connect To:”

In this box, at bottom it should say “Connect Using“and there should be a com port number ( mine comes up COM 4 – Yours may be different). Click OK.

Note: Hyper Terminal should only show you any valid COM ports available by system. IF you don’t see and COM ports your adapter is not configured ( drivers?). Your computers MODEM should also be listed if computer is so equipped and modem is “active”.

 

With loop back plug in place try typing. Do you get characters? Answer should be yes.

Remove loop back plug, do you get characters? Answer should be no.

 

If you need to change “echo” settings. Go to File drop down menu and click on Properties. In properties box, click on Settings Tab. In setting box select ASCII Setup. Either check or uncheck “ Echo typed characters locally” (what ever you prefer).

 

 

Dale

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I have a Garmin Venture and cannot connect it to my PC since it has no Serial Ports. I tried hooking the PC Interface Cable to my Palm III USB adapter but my PC refuses to recognize my GPS (says it cannot locate it) even after I installed the Palm USB driver.

Anybody got any suggestions on how to do this if it can be done? If not, is there another Serial to USB cable someone definitely knows works (like at Radio Shack, Best Buy, etc.)?

Thanks, canderson33

I think the Venture has the same 4-pin serial/power connector as the Legend b/w, right?

 

I used a Belkin F5S409 USB/Serial adapter with several notebooks more or less successfully. The Belkin drivers add a virtual serial port (usually COM4 or higher) to the system. This combination didn't like the full 115Kbps serial speed. After upgrading the firmware on the Legend it was able to transfer maps reliable at 57600.

 

Jan

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eBay. That's where I got mine. I visited every computer and electronics store in the area and they simply don't carry them. Prices online weren't great, but I found one on eBay for only about $7 and it works like a charm. Be careful, though, of ordering these online, because most I found were from overseas and had outrageous shipping, upwards of $20 just for shipping it. Luckily my uber cheap cable was from a US store and they shipped it for only a few dollars.

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I had the same problem with my Legend to computer. After some painstaking searches, I found this site www.pfranc.com where the guy sells Garmin related products.

Although the website is ultra cluttered, if you look for a while, you will find a USB to serial converter. I got that one and it worked first time without any effort. Scroll through tons of junk to the bottom for pricing.

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OK- After playing around with all the cables I had and downloading tons of USB drivers, I tokk your advice and finally broke down and went to Radio Shack and bought a cable for $35.00 (ouch!- and yes, I'm cheap). It worked like a charm on the first try. Thanks for all your help!

canderson33

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... and went to Radio Shack and bought a cable for $35.00 (ouch!- and yes, I'm cheap).

Try Fry's or CompUSA or even Wal-Mart. I just bought a crossover cable to link two computers and Best Buy wanted $25 for a cable I only paid $10 for in CompUSA.

 

So look around a bit before shelling out the big bucks at such high priced stores as Best Buy and Radio Shack. I'm betting you can find your adapter elsewhere at a cheaper price. Then you can return the one you just bought at Radio Shack.

 

Good luck.

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OK- After playing around with all the cables I had and downloading tons of USB drivers, I tokk your advice and finally broke down and went to Radio Shack and bought a cable for $35.00 (ouch!- and yes, I'm cheap). It worked like a charm on the first try. Thanks for all your help!

canderson33

OUCH.... Have seem many cables in various stores usually averaging about $15 per adapter.

 

Dale

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