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Can the Garmin Mobile PC work with a GPS plugged in... like a Colorado or 60CSx?


Landsharkz
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Can the Garmin Mobile PC work with a GPS plugged in... like a Colorado or 60CSx?

That would be "Yes and No".

 

I have the software-only version. Here are my observations so far:

 

i.Trek M7 dual-mode Bluetooth and USB receiver -- works great

Globalsat BU353 USB receiver -- works great

Pharos 500 USB (Microsoft Streets&Trips bundled receiver) -- works great

Navation 168 USB (Microsoft Streets&Trips bundled receiver) -- works great

 

Garmin GPS10x Bluetooth -- Nope

Garmin eTrex Legend HCx USB -- Also Nope

 

It seems incredibly strange to me that Mobile PC works really well with non-Garmin receivers but not Garmin's own receivers. It works exceptionally well at automatically finding and using Bluetooth and USB receivers. But it refuses to use Garmin receivers, even though it's clear that it can see them just fine.

 

The versions that are bundled with the GPS10x Bluetooth or GPS20x USB will only work with the receivers that are bundled in the package.

 

That's the bad news.

 

The good news is that I can use the Garmin GPS receivers quite nicely with Mobile PC software-only version if I run GPSGate Express and let Mobile PC use one of the virtual COM ports that GPSGate creates. Works like a champ that way. It seems that by using GPSGate Express I'm stopping Mobile PC from detecting that it's a Garmin GPS unit. As long as it thinks it's working with a generic NMEA unit it seems happy.

 

So, my best guess is that if someone wanted to use a Colorado or 60Csx they would have to use GPSGate. The Express version has a 14-day free trial and costs $12.95 to buy.

 

...ken...

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The good news is that I can use the Garmin GPS receivers quite nicely with Mobile PC software-only version if I run GPSGate Express and let Mobile PC use one of the virtual COM ports that GPSGate creates. Works like a champ that way. It seems that by using GPSGate Express I'm stopping Mobile PC from detecting that it's a Garmin GPS unit. As long as it thinks it's working with a generic NMEA unit it seems happy.

 

So, my best guess is that if someone wanted to use a Colorado or 60Csx they would have to use GPSGate. The Express version has a 14-day free trial and costs $12.95 to buy.

 

...ken...

 

The Colorado/Oregon can be changed to report as Garmin protocol or generic NMEA Serial, so I suspect this can be fixed by changing a setting on the Colorado/Oregon.

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The Colorado/Oregon can be changed to report as Garmin protocol or generic NMEA Serial, so I suspect this can be fixed by changing a setting on the Colorado/Oregon.

 

I believe the NMEA only works with a serial cable.

 

Ah yes, I stand corrected. To use the Colorado/Oregon with non-Garmin software you need to set the device in Garmin Spanner mode, and then run Garmin Spanner on the PC to create the virtual COM port. Bad news for Microsoft Vista users -- Garmin spanner does not (will not) support Windows Vista. So.... if you run Windows XP or earlier you can get away without buying an additional cable / software (like GPSGate).

 

Never did have any luck sourcing a Power/NMEA cable (would love one for my Ham radio rig to connect to my Colorado).

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The Colorado/Oregon can be changed to report as Garmin protocol or generic NMEA Serial, so I suspect this can be fixed by changing a setting on the Colorado/Oregon.

 

I believe the NMEA only works with a serial cable.

 

Ah yes, I stand corrected. To use the Colorado/Oregon with non-Garmin software you need to set the device in Garmin Spanner mode, and then run Garmin Spanner on the PC to create the virtual COM port. Bad news for Microsoft Vista users -- Garmin spanner does not (will not) support Windows Vista. So.... if you run Windows XP or earlier you can get away without buying an additional cable / software (like GPSGate).

 

Never did have any luck sourcing a Power/NMEA cable (would love one for my Ham radio rig to connect to my Colorado).

 

As it was stated you can get Garmin Spanner for free... I've downloaded it and I can now hook my Colorado into programs such as Microsoft S&T... download the spanner software (link provided) and also set your gps to spanner as well... VOILA!!!! It works!

 

Garmin Spanner download

Edited by SYOTT
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The good news is that I can use the Garmin GPS receivers quite nicely with Mobile PC software-only version if I run GPSGate Express and let Mobile PC use one of the virtual COM ports that GPSGate creates. Works like a champ that way. It seems that by using GPSGate Express I'm stopping Mobile PC from detecting that it's a Garmin GPS unit. As long as it thinks it's working with a generic NMEA unit it seems happy.

 

So, my best guess is that if someone wanted to use a Colorado or 60Csx they would have to use GPSGate. The Express version has a 14-day free trial and costs $12.95 to buy.

 

...ken...

 

The Colorado/Oregon can be changed to report as Garmin protocol or generic NMEA Serial, so I suspect this can be fixed by changing a setting on the Colorado/Oregon.

Nope, this won't change anything. The Legend HCx and GPS10x Bluetooth receiver both send NMEA by default. Mobile PC still queries the receiver to see if it's a Garmin receiver. A Garmin receiver will switch into Garmin protocol and respond with things like it's make and model, Unit ID, software revision number and whether there are features on it that are software controllable, like "Power Down On Disconnect", etc.

 

Mobile PC behaves this way no matter whether you have a srial connection, a pure USB connection or a Bluetooth connection (all of which Mobile PC handles beautifully and automatically). The only way you can stop it is with something that's creating a one-way virtual COM port sending NMEA protocol to Mobile PC and not allowing any Garmin protocol queries to go from Mobile PC to the receiver.

 

...ken...

Edited by Ken in Regina
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