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Plugging a serial NMEA receiver into USB?
kAndy
O wise gurus, is there a solution to my problem?...

I've been using a laptop+NMEA receiver for awhile. The receiver is Rand McNally 1225B-R1 and is has a serial connector (for data) + PS/2 connector (for power supply). OK, originally, it's a serial connector only plus serial -> [serial+PS/2] Y-splitter.

The problem is, my new laptop does not have serial or PS/2 ports at all, only several USBs. Is there a way to somehow plug the serial GPS connector into it? Sure, there are USB->serial (and USB->PS/2) adapters in any RadioShack; but I have a suspicion an adapter is not sufficient... I.e., you need at least a software that would emulate a COM port

So: did anybody try to plug a serial GPS output into USB port through an adapter?

Thanks,
-andy
Marvin Hlavac
Andy, you are correct, an adapter would not be sufficient, and you would still need a software that would create a fake com port. My guess is that GPS Gate could help in that department. But I haven't tried it myself, so I'm just guessing.
kAndy
Yeah, GPSGate _might_ be a solution for a software part fo the problem... Though, I dunno... Its "Input" settings selector has nothing like "NMEA on USB" choice... And after all, we already have a NMEA data stream. So most probably, some generic COM port simulator software would be needed.

Thanks anyway,
-andy
Ken in Regina
Andy and Marvin,

All of the serial-to-USB adapter cables I've seen come with the necessary driver. Worst case you might have to download the driver from the manufacturer's web site but it will be free.

...ken...
kAndy
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken in Regina
Worst case you might have to download the driver from the manufacturer's web site but it will be free.

Ken,

I'm still looking for first-hand success stories 'Cause I've seen too much things that theoretically should have worked

-andy
PS. Sure, this is stupid 'cause buying a $50 USB GPS is much easier... But it's not fun, y'know
taoyue
I've found serial-to-USB adapters to be very touch-and-go. Too much variety when it comes to serial communications. Ultimately, it all depends on how many edge cases they've bothered to handle.

It's the same reason that PS/2 to USB adapters tend to work for keyboards, but fail on barcode scanners (or even drop characters if you type too fast).

In contrast, I've had a much better experience with parallel-to-USB adapters. Printers tend to be more standardized.

I wouldn't call this sort of stuff fun. First time may be fun. At some point, you'll probably get fed up with it and be more willing to trade money for time.
Ken in Regina
Quote:
Originally Posted by kAndy
Ken,

I'm still looking for first-hand success stories
I'm afraid I can't help you there. I have a serial-to-USB adapter cable. It works well with a dial-up modem at 57,600bps. It also works with my air quality monitor at 9600bps, which is what I bought it for. There was no driver with it but there was a URL in the installation instructions and the directions to download the driver.

Getting the driver to work was no picnic, especially because the laptop I was using it with has Vista on it and both the adapter and the driver were rather old stock. Like Tao says, not a lot of fun. If I had had any other option I would have taken it, even if it meant spending a few more dollars.

By the time you buy a serial-to-USB adapter you're already half way to a decent USB GPS receiver.

I do understand the fun factor of trying to get something working the first time but if you are looking for guarantees you're clearly not that interested in the fun factor.

...ken...
kAndy
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken in Regina
I do understand the fun factor of trying to get something working the first time but if you are looking for guarantees you're clearly not that interested in the fun factor.

...ken...
Ken, you're a bore. Fun isn't supposed to save you time or money
Besides (remember the parallel thread about standalone+USB GPS?), I feel that if I get a proper USB laptop GPS, I'll lose my motivation to do any research in that direction )

-andy
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