How to turn Garmin nRoute/MapSource/GPS 72 into a functional live chart plotter?
Hello, I just joined the forum in hopes that I can learn more about using my laptop as an addition navigation tool. We are currently cruising in our sail boat south from Cancun Mexico all the way to Brazil.

So far I have unlocked Americas 2008.5 and Atlantic 2008.5 Garmin MapSource, nRoute and a Garmin USB GPS 72. Unfortunately I have been unable to turn this combo into a functional live chart plotter.

nRoute has all of the detail I need but as soon as it connects to the GPS and notifies "Ready to Navigate" all of the map detail disappears

One note that may or may not have anything to do with this, nRoute will only find the the GPS through a serial port, not as a USB device. when the GPS is plugged in nRoute says no USB device found.. But, as mentioned It is seeing the GPS.

Can anyone shed some light on this issue? I have been trying for a couple of days to resolve and since we don't have consistent WIFI it's tough to get er done if you know what I mean..

If you plug the 72 into a USB port, why can't nRoute find it on a USB port? There is no USB to serial driver normally supplied with Garmin GPS devices so the data shouldn't appear on a COM port unless you are running some other software to allow this. If so, remove it as it prevents nRoute from verifying the GPS serial number the maps are unlocked to. Maybe try the GPS on a different USB port.

If you can't find the program or driver that is causing this issue, try GPS Gate. It can locate the 72 on a USB port, provide a COM port signal in Garmin PVT format for nRoute and hide the serial ID.

However, if that errant driver is using the USB port, GPS Gate won't be able to find the GPS.

Does the GPS 72 actually come in a USB model? Or are you using an external serial to USB converter? If that is the case, GPS Gate should solve your issues.

Thanks Terry, you seem to know what you're talking about.

I do indeed have a USB to serial cable hooked up and I did install software for it. Is this why nRoute will not see a USB device?

I have spent some time in Device Manager looking and messing with the various ports and I can't figure out what is preventing nRoute from seeing the USB GPS device.

Do you still feel that GPS Gate will sort this problem out?

Thanks again,
The serial to USB converter does not actually present data on a USB port. It comes with a USB to serial driver which puts the data on a COM port.The original intention of the device was to emulate a serial port to the software. I suspect the device ID of the 76 cannot be passed to nRoute by this method and therefore it won't unlock the maps.

We do know that GPS Gate can find that data from any GPS in NMEA or Garmin format and present it to nRoute in Garmin (PVT) format. nRoute will show the maps as if it was seeing the correct device as long as they were previously unlocked. Why this is different, I don't know but it is probably that nRoute can not even tell the GPS is Garmin.

So, yes, I expect GPS Gate will resolve your issues. It's a free trial download so you can confirm that before purchasing. If it does the job, consider GPS Gate Express, a light duty low price version that only provides 2 COM ports for output. The full product does have some great extra features but you may not have any use for them.

One thing you might try is temporarily disabling the USB to serial driver associated with your serial to USB hardware (you can tell which one it is by monitoring Device Manager-Ports (COM&LPT) while connecting the adapter). See if nRoute can find the USB port data in this situation. Don't remove the driver, just disable it in case it doesn't work. I've never tried it but who knows.

Ken in Regina
I agree with Terry's assessment. If nRoute thinks it sees a Garmin device it wants to be able to query it to ask for the device's serial number in order to compare it to the unlock code in the maps. With your setup, it's likely seeing that it's a Garmin device but can't get a response to the query.

If you use GPSGate, nRoute will see the Garmin proprietary protocol data stream, which it needs, but it will see none of the indicators that it's a Garmin device and so it will ignore the unlock code. As long as the maps have been unlocked it will use the maps.

In this case, where you are using Garmin's maps and Garmin's GPS device and it's the device the maps are unlocked for, I can't think Garmin would have any objection to this workaround.

Hey Guys, thanks a lot for the information. GPSgate seems to have done the trick.

I would like to figure out how to keep the program (GPSgate) from shutting down when I close the lid on the laptop.

When I close the lid and reopen the program say it has "quit working" and I have to shut down and restart and re-search for the GPS unit. Any suggestions on a setting that would keep everything connected when putting the computer on standby?

Thanks again!
I can't duplicate your setup but running a similar driver with a different GPS, I tested it. The problem appears to be a driver issue and closing and reopening the COM port in GPS Gate restarted it. to test this approach, right click on the GPS Gate icon in the notification area (bottom right) and choose settings. On the input tab, click on the Close button next to the COM port listing. Then click on the open button and see if the icon restores to orange or green.

Otherwise, try unplugging the adapter from the USB port and plugging it back in the same port.

I don't mean to imply either of these approaches will actually resolve the problem permanently. The issue is common to some serial drivers and some GPS devices. However, if either approach works it is faster than restarting the computer.

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