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powaybob

Usb To Serial For Aprs

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:laughing: This is a two way problem. I have a couple of GPS units that connect directly to a PC using USB. And my new Explorist uses USB. But Tiny track, Tiger Track, and Kantronics all use serial interfaces. I have not found any converter that will take a USB signal and convert it into serial for these receivers, so I am wondering if someone smarter than I am has found the trick.

 

Path A: GPS with USB connector to serial TNC

 

HAs anyone successfully used USB to serial to load a GPS, that is:

 

Path B: PC with USB to GPS with Serial connector

 

Thanks in advance for your ideas.

 

Powaybob

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Recently on the APRS list there was mention of a new software package called Franson GPSGate (http://franson.com/gpsgate).

 

I'm not aware of who's actually tried this, but one of the claimed features is that you can plug a USB GPS into your PC, and this software will create one (or more) virtual serial ports for use by software that's looking for a serial GPS.

 

I *believe* (but you'll want to confirm) that you can even redirect the virtual port out a real serial port and thus into your TNC.

 

Of course, that means you need a PC between your GPS & TNC which is a bit of a pain. I'd love to find a gizmo that would allow you to plug in a USB GPS and output RS-232. For me though, I'd need something that reads in Garmin proprietary format and outputs NMEA as well (which this software claims to do, but I'd like PC-less as well).

 

Brad.

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I use a Belkin F5U109, bought it at Office Depot for like $40. I use it with my Sport Trak Pro for uploading waypoints via easygps and also to upload maps from Mapsend and transfer waypoints thru mapsend.

 

I have also used it on a Southwest flight connected to my laptop using NMEA for real time mapping and data gathering.

 

Works Great for me!

 

edit - $30 Belkin Direct

Edited by Family O Foxes

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Ah, but you're thinking the exact opposite of what we need. What you have (and I have one too) allows you to plug a serial device into a PC's USB port.

 

What we need is something to allow you to plug a USB device into a serial port (not necessarily a PC though).

 

Someday somebody will invent such a beast and make a fortune. I can see some sort of PIC-based thing. I just wish my skills leaned in that direction. :-(

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I was thinking of hooking up my Garmin Legend to my Tungsten E2 using serial cables attached with a null modem. When I got home this evening, I found that the E2 uses a USB cable. (I use bluetooth network to synchronize). Now I find I also need a USB to Serial converter.

Any ideas? :D

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I am trying to get started in APRS and have run into the same problem. Spent half a day yesterday looking on the net for a usb to db9 converter. Don't believe any exist. The Franson GPSGate cost $1500.00 and I don't think it will output db9.

 

Ironic, I took Garmin to task over only having db9 cables when most portable computers only had usb ports. If it comes down to it I think I'll use Old Yeller to front my tiny track 3.

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There's a bit of soldering involved, but this webpage documents a method to build a device for just such a thing. I have a Kenwood TH-D7A and I've also got an eXplorist 600. I haven't tried it yet, but this is the method I'm going to attempt to get these to talk to each other without using a computer in the middle....

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NP,

 

Thanks, this looks promising. I too have an Explorist 600, but all my radio gear is ICOM so I use Tiny Track when mobile.

 

Bob KE6WYG

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I use a Belkin F5U109, bought it at Office Depot for like $40.  I use it with my Sport Trak Pro for uploading waypoints via easygps and also to upload maps from Mapsend and transfer waypoints thru mapsend.

 

I have also used it on a Southwest flight connected to my laptop using NMEA for real time mapping and data gathering.

 

Works Great for me!

 

edit - $30 Belkin Direct

I bought one of those a while back and it worked well for my VX-7R, but not for my eTrex Vista, until I slowed down the data speed and some of the buffer settings (heck, serial is slow anyway so this did not add much to the transfer time!). The Belkin is one heck of a great converter and the price is definitely right. Also, Belkin guarantees their stuff to the hilt.

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The problem is that USB makes a distinction between a "host" device and the "slave" devices. 99.9% of the time, the PC is the host and any other device is a slave (GPS, radio, memory card reader etc). In order for this to work, your GPS unit would need to have a host chipset, which it doesn't. AFAIK, nobody has made a slave to slave interface cable (they do exist for host to host, used in PC to PC transfers). There was a rumor that one of the Tungsten pdas would have a host chipset, but I don't remember if it ever was put into production.

 

All of the simple (a few transistors or MAX232 chip) converters are designed to convert low level logic (+3V/0V) used by battery operated devices (like HTs) to the proper RS232 levels of +/-5 to +/-12 V.

 

Dave AA3EE

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