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XPort vs. GPSGate
igotafrigginjeep
Okay...

I have read through a lot of this forum (even though I only joined today - a few minutes ago to be exact) and I find lots of references to GPSGate, and a few to XPort...but I see no comparison information to help determine which one I will need.

I bought a Gateway LT3116h and have already loaded MapSource, nRoute, and the Ibycus Topo Canada maps.

I will be using this setup mainly for offroad driving in my Jeep and for tracking where I have been to be able to get back out of trails at the end of the day/weekend and then to potentially return to those same areas at later dates.

I still need to get a GPS Receiver and was thinking about just getting one through eBay that plugs in to a USB port.


I am also thinking of down the road using this netbook to run OBD2 scanning/graphing software and potentially some sort of weather radar/real time information software.

Thanks in advance, Jeff.
Ken in Regina
There is not really any standard of comparison to do between them, Jeff. Which one you need really depends on what you need to do. The only thing that is common is that they can both share a single incoming GPS signal onto multiple virtual COM ports. If that is your only requirement than just get Xport because it's free.

In your case you have no specific plans to do signal splitting but there's a good chance you might get around to it. You don't have a receiver yet so even if you decide to run two or more nav programs from the same GPS signal we can't guess if the receiver you select will affect whether Xport will work for you or if you will have to get GPSGate (the Express version is so cheap it's not an issue, especially with the Loonie at par).

The one thing that will probably matter to you at this time is this: you will probably buy a receiver that outputs the standard NMEA data protocol to the PC but nRoute requires the proprietary Garmin protocol.

You will need GPSGate to resolve this issue. GPSGate will allow you to take a standard NMEA data stream as input and create a special virtual COM port that it will convert and output the Garmin protocol on for nRoute to use.

Xport has no equivalent function.

...ken...
tcassidy
Also, GPS Gate can 'see' Garmin USB GPS units while xPort can't.

Terry
MisterMoonlight
GPSGate has also a nice gps simulation feature (allow to fetch a list of lat/lon coordinates at a specified speed). I doubt that not many users need that feature, but i have tried it one day... I got some crash with the last trial version, so if you want to use it, give it a test with the trial (14 days i guess).

The main benefit of Xport is that it is small, simple and free (usually reliable)
igotafrigginjeep
So, for clarification, with the current setup I do not NEED either one, but I still need a GPS receiver and considering I am going to be using nRoute I would need a Garmin branded receiver.

Or, if I go with a non-Garmin branded receiver, then I would need GPSGate regardless of whether I was running only nRoute or if I was wanting to run multiple software packages simultaneously. To go along with this, XPort will not allow me to run a non-Garmin branded GPS receiver for use with nRoute, but would give me the ability to run multiple software packages simultaneously.

So, if the above is true, then would the GPS receiver that comes with Microsoft Streets and Trips be capable of working with nRoute through the use of GPSGate? If so, then I would consider adding that to my setup and I could also use the netbook for on road navigation to get me to and from any events/trails that I was interested in with turn-by-turn navigation (something that nRoute can't do).

A side note/question...I also have an old Pioneer AVIC-S1, not the greatest device out there, but is there any way to somehow hook this thing up to the netbook and use it as a GPS receiver?
MrUmbra
I tried both with NMEA data using my BU-353 USB receiver.

I found GPSGate to work just fine as a port splitter but, generally, it's in excess of my needs.

An older version of XPort that showed its virtual ports as radio buttons worked OK but caused an occasional freeze. The newer version showing connected ports as LED's will not work on my computer (XP SP3). It finds the GPS just fine but the virtual XPorts do not work. Trying to connect to XPort with Hyperterminal causes a complete computer freeze requiring a power off reset.

I'm sure individual opinions and results will vary.

--- CHAS
tcassidy
xPort would not let you run nRoute with any GPS. xPort would not let you run any navigation program with a Garmin GPS. If you are planning at any time to use nRoute, don't bother with a Garmin GPS, get GPS Gate. The inexpensive Express version limits you to 2 COM ports but everything else you need is there.

Terry
Ken in Regina
Hi Jeff,

Yes, your analysis is pretty much spot on. A couple of notes...

The GPS receiver that comes bundled with Streets&Trips will work fine with nRoute through GPSGate.

nRoute is very capable of doing turn by turn navigation. What causes you to think it can't? Is there some specific feature/function you want that it doesn't have?

I'm not familiar with that Pioneer unit so I don't know if it can be connected.

...ken...
igotafrigginjeep
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken in Regina
nRoute is very capable of doing turn by turn navigation. What causes you to think it can't? Is there some specific feature/function you want that it doesn't have?

I guess it was just an incorrect assumption for some reason...even so, I have chosen to run Streets & Trips as I can get it for about $70 (CDN) and it will give me the GPS receiver as well as, from what I understand, a fairly decent "road map"...add to that the cost of GPSGate and I am in the same cost neighbourhood of Garmin Maps plus I get the receiver and the ability to multi-task the receiver to multiple programs simultaneously.
tcassidy
If you are not planning on running any other navigation program than S&T you do not need GPS Gate or xPort.

Terry
igotafrigginjeep
Hey Terry, I think you are misunderstanding...I will also be running nRoute with the Ibycus Topo Maps (I already have that stuff installed)


S&T is being added mainly for the GPS receiver as the cost of S&T at about $70 (CDN) will be only about $20 more than buying a receiver on it's own...plus the fact, by adding S&T I will also be getting fairly up to date "road maps" for any on road navigation that I might do...seeing as this setup will be used mainly for tracking off road trails, the S&T is not a huge concern, but is still cheaper than adding additional maps to nRoute and having to purchase a Garmin receiver as well...

Even adding the cost of GPSGate to S&T will still make it cheaper than just adding Garmin "road maps".
tcassidy
Then you will only need GPS Gate Express as it can provide 2 COM ports and one could be set up for nRoute data requirements.

Terry
igotafrigginjeep
^ thank you for your feedback. That is next on my list as I picked up Streets & Trips this morning.
Ken in Regina
Good analysis of your situation, Jeff. That should work well and is definitely the least-cost option. Which version of Ibycus Topo Canada are you using? 2.1 or 3.1?

...ken...
igotafrigginjeep
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken in Regina
Which version of Ibycus Topo Canada are you using? 2.1 or 3.1?
Looks like it is 2.1

Was not aware of a 3.1 how best could I go about getting 3.1?

Also, I downloaded the trial of GPSGate last night, but I have not yet purchased it as I haven't made the decision to go with the least expensive version or the $40 version...right now it seems like the Express will suit my current needs, but for $40 I could future proof for any upgrades and $40 is still not much money.

I am noticing something about Google Earth listed in the GPSGate settings, but every time I try to turn it on it just says something about not being able to find a Google Earth install when I clearly have Google Earth on my netbook.

Is GPSGate now set up to feed a signal to Google Earth without the use of something like Earthbridge? If so, how do I get it to work and find my install of Google Earth?

Last question for this thread. GPSGate also shows the ability of sharing a receiver through Bluetooth. Does this mean that if I had 2 netbooks within a very short distance of each other both with navigation software and my receiver is hooked to my netbook through USB that the second netbook could potentially connect to my receiver through Bluetooth and we both could use navigation software simultaneously through the single receiver?

Again, thank you to everyone who has had input in this thread it has been very helpful.
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