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Can Nuvi 550 supply live GPS data to a Windows PC application?
kAndy
All,

Does anybody here have a Nuvi 550?
I'm planning to buy one, only that I need an experimental proof of it supporting a feature I need... OK, I'm 99% sure that it does (seems like all Nuvis do, at least 255 and 265 did) but I want to make 100% sure.
Basically, the feature is an ability to supply live GPS data to a Windows PC application. So if you have the 550, could you pls take a minute to do an experiment for me?

1. First, you have to install Franson GPSGate (they give you a 14-days trial license absolutely free, and I didn't hear anybody complaining of malware/trojans because of it). The software could be used to translate Garmin's proprietary proto into NMEA (the proto understood by all major PC mapping software suites like MS Streets and Trips etc.).
I suggest you plug the GPS unit into the PC during installation so it's detected on the fly. If it doesn't, try going to GPSGate's main screen -> Input, choose "Garmin USB" as input device.
Then, go to main screen -> Output and add a "Virtual COM port" as output.

2. The GPS device should be tricked into starting to supply the live data. To do so:
- plug the USB cable off
- turn GPS unit on (running on battery)
- press and hold battery icon for ~10 sec (now you're in Setup screen)
- plug USB cable in
- press Exit on the device.

3. Now go to GPSGate setup screen -> Input again. Look at the status message. If it reads some error (like "Not connected"), try clicking Close/Open.

If you see a message like "GPS present but no position" in status area, we've already succeeded Well, you might even see a "GPS data with valid position" if your GPS unit is picking up signal in your place

If you happen to have some NMEA-compliant software like Streets'n'Trips, StreetAtlas or whatever: does it pick up the NMEA data from the virtual port you've set up on step 1? (if you don't, no worries; we've already seen GPSGate recongizing the device)

Of course, I'm eager to hear even about negative experience, if the experiment failed for you.

Thanks in advance,
-andy
PS. If interested, there is a detailed thread on the matter on this forum: http://www.laptopgpsworld.com/2453-car-handheld-gps-device-laptop-gps-source
Ken in Regina
Quote:
Originally Posted by kAndy
... OK, I'm 99% sure that it does (seems like all Nuvis do, at least 255 and 265 did) but I want to make 100% sure.
Not all Nuvis do. There was a discussion here about the 650 just a few days ago and it does not output its GPS signal.

...ken...
kAndy
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken in Regina
Not all Nuvis do. There was a discussion here about the 650 just a few days ago and it does not output its GPS signal.
Ooops, then I definitely need the experiment
BTW, could you pls point me where this thread is? Site search does not give anything on the matter...

Thx,
-andy
Marvin Hlavac
Quote:
Site search does not give anything on the matter...
Sorry about that! The reason you were unable to find it via the "Google Site Search" is because while it searches the site perfectly, it doesn't search the "General Discussions" section. The "General Discussions" forum is only available to logged in members, and Google in unable to spider that one specific area of the forum.

However, you could use a search engine built into the forum software. This search engine searches even the "General Discussions" section. To use this search just append /search.php to the domain name, so it looks like this: laptopgpsworld.com/search.php . However, this search engine has it's own limitations. IIRC the searched words must be longer than 3 characters. If you search for "Nuvi 650", it would look up posts with "Nuvi", but it would ignore posts with "650".

Thanks for looking it up. I tried to look it up, too, but I failed.
tcassidy
I was wondering why I couldn't find it! I had to search under my posts as I could not remember what section it was in.

Terry
Ken in Regina
Terry, did you have a 550? Or a 750?

...ken...
tcassidy
I have a 750 and 5000. The 750 can output GPS data and I'm sure the 5000 could if it could be switched from power to computer without removing the USB connection. I had a 200c but did not test it properly. If I get a chance I will retest it.

Terry
kAndy
Guys,

Looks like 550 can do this! I've asked the similar question on another forum, and there was a guy with 550 who've confirmed this:
Nuvi 550, anyone? - Garmin Nuvi Forum


Thanks everybody nevertheless,
-andy
Ken in Regina
Hi Andy,

Thanks for sharing that with us so we'll know for next time.

...ken...
tcassidy
What is really interesting is the 550(?) showing a usable screen in the screen shot. This is not what I experienced with the 750 and the steps are the same.

Terry
Ken in Regina
That's the way my eTrex Legend HCx works, too. Even when it's connected to the laptop and feeding the GPS signal to it, it still has a fully functional display and I can use it normally. So, obviously Garmin can do it if they choose to.

That was how I tested to see if there might be a possible delay between the GPS receiver and the map software when we were originally discussing the jumpy map redrawing and positional delay that we were seeing.

Using the eTrex for the GPS receiver in that test made it clear that the delay was inside the receivers, not in the transmission from the receiver to the laptop. The map displays on the eTrex's screen and the laptop's screen were in perfect sync. It was kind of neat to see.

...ken...
tcassidy
However, all the Nuvis I've tested do not have this feature. Does this mean they dropped it part way through the Nuvi line?

Terry
Ken in Regina
Quote:
Originally Posted by tcassidy
However, all the Nuvis I've tested do not have this feature. Does this mean they dropped it part way through the Nuvi line?

Terry
With Garmin who can tell? Especially when there are already a gajillion or so Nuvi models and, it seems, one new model appearing each week.

...ken...
kAndy
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken in Regina
That's the way my eTrex Legend HCx works, too. Even when it's connected to the laptop and feeding the GPS signal to it, it still has a fully functional display and I can use it normally. So, obviously Garmin can do it if they choose to.
Well, I've also experimented with Nuvis 255W and 265T; both were able to feed data through GPSGate but only 265T was able to show the map on its screen... Looks like a bug'o'feature which Garmin fixes in some firmware releases (and doesn't, in other ones).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken in Regina
Using the eTrex for the GPS receiver in that test made it clear that the delay was inside the receivers, not in the transmission from the receiver to the laptop.
Hmm... I've tried the eTrex Venture HC (that's the cheapest one) but didn't notice any obvious lags when driving with a laptop+eTrex...

-andy
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