HomeHardware


Can a Garmin PND (personal navigation device) be used as a laptop GPS receiver?
RedShoeRider
Good Morning, All:

Yup, a newbie! Though I've been a lurker for a little while now. Terrific wealth of information on here. But, of course, I have a problem that I can't quite figure out.

I have a Garmin C340 (streetpilot series) and a Windows XP laptop with Garmin's USB drivers installed so the two can talk to each other.

My problem is this: This coming weekend I'm supporting a long-distance bicycle ride. Someone was nice enough to make waypointed map on Bikely.com, but it has nearly 800 waypoints! The GPS unit itself can only handle 250, so I can't just take the waypoints and upload them.

I figured I'd just attach the Garmin to the laptop and use some software to have the laptop do the mapping; I'd use the Garmin just as the GPS receiver. Therein lies my problem.

I've tried both MS Streets and Trips 2009 and DeLorme Street Atlas, but neither will recognise the Garmin! S&T won't detect the fact that it's on a USB port (it will only look at the COM port), and DeLorme just says that I have no GPS device attached.

So, my question: Am I doing something simple wrong, or with the C340 just not work with these software packages. And if it won't, what might work? I don't really care what software I use, as this is sort of a one-off thing, so even if it's a bit cumbersome, so long as it tells me where to turn, I'm happy with it! (I'm comfortable with converting .kml's to whatever they need to be changed into, so map format limitations aren't a huge concern of mine)

Thank you all for your input!
-Red
tcassidy
The C340 does not output GPS data to an external connector. So it cannot be used as a GPS receiver with any PC navigation program. This is common to most Garmin automotive GPS units such as the Nuvi series.

For Garmin units that can perform this function (some handhelds), a driver on the PC would convert the USB input to a COM port. That would be where SA and S&T could find the data, not the USB setting.

Terry
Ken in Regina
The newer Garmin eTrex Legend and Vista series do. I have a Legend HCx and it outputs standard NMEA GPS data to the PC. It works great with all of the popular GPS programs, including Streets&Trips and Street Atlas.

..... BUT......

It's not cheap. It would be much much cheaper to go down to your local big box 'lectronics store and grab a copy of Microsoft Streets&Trips bundled with a GPS receiver. The 2009 version should be available at good prices. Even at full retail it's a small fraction of the price of a Garmin receiver that will work on the PC. Besides, you need to buy some GPS software for the PC anyway.

If you're comfortable that you can translate that waypoint file into either Streets&Trips or Street Atlas, you have a choice because there's also a version of Street Atlas that comes bundled with a GPS receiver and it's often available just as cheap or cheaper than the Streets&Trips bundle. You can often find one or the other for $50 or less.

Both receivers are decent USB units that can be used with other programs if you decide you want to explore other possibilities on the PC later.

...ken...
tcassidy
The S&T USB GPS has an edge over the SA one in sharing as it will work directly with other navigation programs. The Delorme (LT-40) requires a helper program to talk to any other navigation program than Delorme's products.

Terry
mr2
Terry said:

Quote:
For Garmin units that can perform this function (some handhelds), a driver on the PC would convert the USB input to a COM port. That would be where SA and S&T could find the data, not the USB setting.
Hi all,

I have been browsing this site for awhile now and have a question along the lines of RedShoeRider in that, is there a way for me to use my Garmin Colorado 400t reciever linked to Garmin Mobile PC via the usb on my Dell Mini 9 netbook?

Please forgive me if I seem to be hi-jacking RedShoeRider's thread. Not my intention, just seemed Terry made mention of some handhelds and I would like to know if I have one of them?

To date Mobile PC says "no GPS devise located" when I link my 400t to the netbook.

Any help in this area would be appreciated. BTW, I do have the bundled 2009 edition of Mobile PC w/gps reciever.

This is a great site BTW, enjoy the wealth of info.

mr2
mr2
Quote:
Originally Posted by tcassidy
The S&T USB GPS has an edge over the SA one in sharing as it will work directly with other navigation programs. The Delorme (LT-40) requires a helper program to talk to any other navigation program than Delorme's products.

Terry
Terry,

You are a mindreader and don't even know it...I'm sure!

In addition to my question (1st post in this forum by me; above, which appears not to have posted...at least not yet), I was wondering about the S&T GPS as well as the SA LT-40 working with ea. other's sofware in addition to Garmin's Mobile PC software. Then also the garmin with each of the former.

You mentioned a "helper sotware". What might that be?

Thanks,

mr2
tcassidy
Delorme offers a free download program that allows the LT-40 to output GPS data to a COM port. Nothing wrong with that except that means another program must be running before the LT-40 can be used with programs such as S&T. The problem I have with it is these programs generally don't survive a sleep or hibernate cycle.

The S&T Pharos 500 comes with a driver which assigns a COM port to the USB input. The driver is automatically loaded each time the GPS is connected to the computer.It will survive a sleep/ hibernate cycle.

Terry
mr2
Terry,

Thanks for the info. Can I assume that Delorme Street Atlas coupled w/ LT-40 will survive sleep/hibernate cycle?

Also, it looks like my 1st post made it onto the post, thus The question on coupling my Garmin 400t to Mobile PC still stands.
tcassidy
I don't have an LT-40 so I can't say.

The 400t question brings up a separate issue. Generally Mobile PC will reject the serial number of Garmin GPS products (why, we don't know). The solution is to insert xPort or GPS Gate between the GPS and Mobile PC to hide the serial number. I personally don't appreciate this solution but I appear to be one of the lucky ones. My Garmin GPS10x works flawlessly with all my Mobile PC installations.

Terry
Ken in Regina
Hi mr2,

You won't ever get any other receiver working with the copy of Mobile PC that you have. If it came bundled with a receiver, as you said in your original post, it's married to that receiver until death they do part. And beyond.

That is, the versions of Mobile PC that come bundled with a receiver are locked to that receiver and that receiver only. I don't mean just that model. I mean that exact unit and no other.

In order to be able to use Mobile PC with other receivers you must get the software-only version. But that has another downside. It won't work with Garmin receivers. DOH!!!!

So, even if the Colorado will output GPS data on its USB connection (and we haven't yet established whether it will or not) it's not going to ever work with any current version of Mobile PC. The only exception will be, as Terry said, if:

A. You have the software-only version of Mobile PC, and

B. You run GPSGate or Xport so that Mobile PC cannot see that it's getting data from a Garmin receiver.

...ken...
mr2
That's not the answer I wanted to hear! More $$

I can see this gps/map stuff is like a cat chasing it's own tail/s!

Thanks Terry.

My interest with recievers and mixing software is mostly just that, interest.

I'm trying to decide what might be the best "planning" software. Esp. the best to force a route "my way", as in scenic, ect. and if so, will the gps bring me back to said route in the event a tree decided to take a nap across the route, ect.
mr2
Ken,

Thanks for that info.

I guess I better protect my reciever as based on the info, if it gets damaged, I'm simply out of luck.

I knew I should have gone with the bundled S&T.

In all fairness, I do like the Garmin Mobile PC/GPS combo in my netbook for navigation. Not happy with the restrictions as to hardware.

BTW, I'm new to both the forum and have only just gotten into this GPS/Map gadgetry, thus a real newbie getting real life wake up call.

Thanks all for the info, speedy replies and patience.
tcassidy
You'll be interested to know that the GPS20x was the other GPS I had that could not survive a sleep/ hibernate cycle. If things are still the same, you have to physically disconnect/ reconnect it after sleep or Mobile PC will be unable to find it. I gave up on it a while ago but the relatives I gave it to were very happy with it as they did not use that function.

Terry
Ken in Regina
I like Garmin's Mapsource for trip planning. It's dead simple to force a route with multiple points anywhere you want to go because it's a simple point-and-click tool. You just click on your starting point then start clicking on the points you want to go to along the way. When you're done and click on the ending point of the route, it will calculate how to follow it. Then you can save it or toss it and try something different.

The catch? (There's always a catch, isn't there... )

The catch is that you need Garmin maps to use with Mapsource. Actually, to be perfectly correct, Mapsource comes bundled with Garmin maps. So, for instance, if you buy the same City Navigator maps that came preloaded in Mobile PC but buy them as a DVD set, when you install the maps on your PC you will also be installing Mapsource. Without the maps Mapsource isn't terribly useful.

But wait, it gets worse... You can't use the preloaded Mobile PC maps with Mapsource because they are in a different format.

Here... let me do that for you....

...ken...
skywalka
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken in Regina
Hi mr2,
That is, the versions of Mobile PC that come bundled with a receiver are locked to that receiver and that receiver only. I don't mean just that model. I mean that exact unit and no other.

In order to be able to use Mobile PC with other receivers you must get the software-only version. But that has another downside. It won't work with Garmin receivers. DOH!!!!
Today I noticed a hacked version on another forum. It appears that the hackers have made it possible to use any GPS receiver.
laptopgpsworld.com About