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How to get Acer Aspire One A150X with 3G Option GTM380 work as a GPS
loleva
Hello to all,

I own an Acer Aspire One A150X with 3G Option GTM380 module. How can I get it to work as a GPS?
Tmanisaur
Bump.

Surely there are more people out there with this card.

I'm in Canada and using the mobile broadband features of the card, which are really good, really fast.

cheers,
T.
Ken in Regina
The number of people with wireless broadband for their laptops is still rather small. The number of people with navigation software on their laptops is rather small. The intersection of those two groups is even smaller.

Only a portion of that group have wireless broadband cards which also contain a GPS receiver.

So the portion of those who also have the technical skills to be aware they have a GPS receiver in their broadband card AND to figure out how to enable the GPS function of the card AND who are in Canada are vanishingly small. Especially when you consider the cost of wireless broadband here in the Great White North.

I suspect the majority of wireless broadband users in Canada are business users whose companies are paying for it. Many of those folks likely don't know much more than how to turn the laptop on and off and run their email programs and browsers. Their IT departments set everything up for them. And shoot anyone who monkeys with the setup.

...ken...
Ken in Regina
Having said all of that, have you looked at this post?

http://www.laptopgpsworld.com/2828-gps-enabled-broadband-cards-microsoft-streets-trips#post21201

I don't know if it's directly helpful but it appears to be related. He might be able to get you pointed in a useful direction.

...ken...
Tmanisaur
Hi Ken,

Something like this is actually what got me started.

I'm a consultant and use my own laptop when I'm at client sites, but rarely am I allowed to connect it to their networks (good thing, too - security in action). but since I need web access I searched for and found the Option GTM380, which is terrific - fast and stable.

but I also use Microsoft Maps and other mapping software and was sold on the GPS and WWAN capability of the card. But none of the software sees the GPS module, so I can only assume that it is disable. In my experience, things that are diabled and be re-enabled...it's just a matter of knowledge.

thanks for the link...

cheers,
T.
Ken in Regina
The way the cellular companies in North America work I would be astonished if the GPS feature on your broadband card was enabled. When they sign an agreement with most manufacturers of phones or devices like the broadband cards they generally include a requirement that the cellular service provider must be able to control what features are enabled and when. It's a major ripoff in cases like this where you want to use an "offline" function but they may not let you.

Further, even if it turns out to be easy to enable it, you can bet the supplier of the card will not admit to it if they have signed such an agreement.

Perhaps you can gain some insight into how the other Ken was able to get his to work. Feel free to ask him for more details in that other thread if you need them.

...ken...
longjohn119
The problem doesn't have anything to do with the cellular companies, it has to do with the 3G connection manager Acer uses doesn't support the GPS API. HP is another that uses the exact same UNDP-1 Qualcomm Gobi 1000 and their connection doesn't support the GPS either.

On the other hand Lenovo, Panasonic Tough Books and Dell all use the UNDP-1 module but have a connection manager which can turn on the GPS. Sprint's proprietary connection manager can turn on the UNDP-1 GPS too but only on units in their 'whitelist' and Acer isn't included ... NONE of these UNDP-1 Gobi 1000's have the GPS hardware or firmware disabled, ALL are capable of GPS (S-GPS is part of the Gobi 1000 standard and it's forbidden by Qualcomm to disable it but they don't HAVE to enable it in the connection manager)

The only difference between all of these (And the Option 380 and Novatel's UNDP-1 models) is the vendor and model code burned into the unit which won't allow you to run Dell drivers on an Acer or Novatel drivers on an Acer even though the drivers are essentially the same other than the name and vendor/model code. This is nothing nefarious either, it's got to do with FCC rules and passing FCC testing for RF interference. In order to do the code loading thing in real time for the differing standards and frequencies the FCC placed this restriction on them as well as making each individual manufacturer/OEM have them FCC tested even though they are all made in the same factory and are all exactly the same

I'll be doing a complete workup on UNDP-1 Gobi 1000 module in a couple of days on my project blog Netbook To Chartplotter Project ... And no I haven't gotten the stock Acer UNDP-1 in my AO531h working with GPS yet, I can get it to turn on and lock through a (slightly hacked) 3rd party connection manager but I can't get it to pipe the NMEA data to the serial port ... yet
Ken in Regina
Thanks for the explanation, longjohn119. That's well worth knowing if a person wants to be able to use that capability. Since I have an Acer laptop and an Acer netbook I guess I won't be able to take advantage of any GPS capability in those broadband USB dongles.

...ken...
Tmanisaur
Folks,

I don't know if this helps or hurts us with an interest in the GTM380's GPS capabilities, but I've been communicating directly with Option on the matter. My question was directly on the matter of accessing the GTM380's GPS functions - here is the latest/last reply from Option.
Quote:
Dear Sir,

I was told by the business development team that no further development was done on GPS with GTM380.

Thank you for your comprehension.
Best regards,

[EDITED} firstname lastname

Internal Sales Assistant
Option nv, Gaston Geenslaan 14, B-3001 Leuven

T:+32 -- --- --
F:+32 -- --- ---

Website: www.option.com

Disclaimer:
E-mail Disclaimer | Option



longjohn119
Go to MWconn - mobiles Internet and check out his connection manager

Then download this file
MWconn - mobiles Internet

I believe it will run without installing the connection manager but you may need to put a copy of QCWWAN.dll (It's with your connection manager files) and this file in the same directory MWconn - mobiles Internet

Make sure the WWAN is on (you don't need to be connected) open a DOS box, go to the directory you put the files in and type

mwqcgps 1

And if you have GPS you should see a stream of 5 NMEA lines every second ... If you want to slow it down use 5 instead of 1 ... Hit the 'Q' key to stop ... Unfortunately this info isn't sent to the COM5 NMEA serial port, there is another API command you have to issue to turn on the port, right now it's a dummy port that exists only in the registry until it is turned on through the Qualcomm API

But since this is piped to a 'terminal' (making it available) what I am going to try to do (with my limited programming skills, I'm a Hardware Hacker) is redirect it to a 'virtual' serial port where I can 'hook' my mapping programs to. There is nothing magic about this part of a GPS system, it's just formatted strings of ASCII text at a very slow (by today's standards) 4800 baud ... All the heavy lifting is done by the GPS chip itself
Tmanisaur
I've had some success using Terminal to poke the GPS into life.

Look in Device Manager under Ports, you should see:
- Globetrotter Module HSxPA - Application Interface (COM A {where A is a number})
- Globetrotter Module HSxPA - Diagnostic Interface (COM B {where B is a number})
- Globetrotter Module HSxPA - GPS Interface (COM C {where C is a number})

Open a terminal window, connect to COM A using 115200,8,none,1,none

Type 'ATI' without the quotes
You should receive something like
Manufacturer: Option N.V.
Model: GTM380
Revision: 2.8.0Hd (Date: Oct 11 2007, Time: 10:20:29)

Type 'AT_OIFC?'
You should receive '_OIFC: w,x,y,z' where w,x,y,z are numbers. 'z' is the important one, as far as I can tell, and determines the power state of the of the GPS module ('0' is off, '2' is on).

If 'z'=0 (off) then open a second Terminal window and connect to COM C, where C is the number of the GPS Interface COM port

In the first Terminal window, type 'AT_OIFC=w,x,y,2', where 2 is the setting to turn on the GPS module.
Then type AT_OGPS=2 This tells the GPS module to send GPS data on COM port C.

Look at Terminal window 2 - you should see streaming data. Once you close this window then use this COM port for your GPS applications. This seems to work at 1 second intervals.

It's not an elegant method - if I know programming at all I would write my own IU for this, but it does get the job done.

Things I don't yet know how to do:
1. use the A-GPS mode of the GTM380 (no idea how to access this specifically)
2. adjust the COM port reporting frequency (don't know if I actually need to do this - a GPS might do this for me)
3. manage my frustration towards Option (heh heh)


All of this comes from a .pdf file I found on the Internet originally published internally at Option. Can't remember where I found it, but I'll try to find a fileshare site to post it to and put that link here...
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