HomeSoftware


Best Laptop GPS Software?
tcassidy
Mine lists 'Broadcom 2046 Bluetooth 2.1+EDR USB Dongle with First Connect' in Device Manager. I don't think I've tried the CD yet though. It was an 'ASUS USB-BT21 Mini USB Bluetooth Dongle Black' that I purchased.

Terry
corlando52
SO, if I get the GPS with the USB, can I later get the Bluetooth adapter or is the software keyed to whatever receiver it comes with?

Chris
tcassidy
No, Mobile PC comes as a package. The software you purchase will only work with the GPS that is included. The advantage of buying this is you are entitled to purchase map updates or other Garmin locked maps as you can unlock them with your GPS serial number. Also, you can install it on as many computers as you like provided you use the GPS included when using Mobile PC with one of those computers.

Conversely, the software version that does not come with a GPS will work with most GPS devices, USB or Bluetooth. It is limited to installation on one computer (every ~6 months). You can not register it, purchase map updates or install any other locked Garmin map product on it.

Although the Bluetooth 10x GPS is available for purchase as a separate entity, it will not work with an existing hardware version of Mobile PC, even one that came with a 10x.

Terry
corlando52
I see. So the bundled software package is locked to the receiver. Interesting. I asked because there is a Mobile PC package on ebay, reasonably priced (brand new, still in wrap), that is 18 months old. It has the USB GPS and my idea is to put the laptop underneath the passenger seat, and run the wire from there to the top of the dash and I'm afraid it won't be long enough. I'm guessing my best bet is probably Blue Tooth for that application, then.

Chris
corlando52
Oh, last question (for now). Does the USB port have to be 2.0? I think my laptop has the original 1.0 USB.

Chris
tcassidy
No, your talking dead slow data well below the threshold of USB 1.

Terry
corlando52
Great! Thanks. I think I'm going to get it. Sounds like what I need.

Chris
Ken in Regina
My ASUS dongle says BT-211 on the dongle. Yes, that's two-eleven, not twenty-one. I tossed the packaging junk so I can't identify it closer than that.

I just tested it on my laptop. The laptop has the MS stack installed from using my older dongle. When I plug the ASUS dongle into a USB port on the laptop it recognizes that there's a USB device just plugged in and says it's going to install the necessary driver. Then it pops an error window with the message "Device driver software was not successfully installed ...... Unidentified device ..... No driver found".

That's the same thing that happened on my netbook (which is what I bought it for) when I first tried it. The netbook also had just the MS Bluetooth stack installed for using the old dongle with my BT GPS receivers (Garmin 10x and i.Trek M7).

The only way I could get it to work on the netbook was to use the mini-CD that came with the dongle and install the proprietary ASUS BT application which includes the necessary driver.

My last test will be to plug it into the computer I just rebuilt for my shop. It has never had Bluetooth on it. That will eliminate any possibility of the MS stack getting in the way. I know it shouldn't but this way I can eliminate any possibility with a totally clean system.

So far I really can't recommend this particular Bluetooth dongle. If I had kept the packaging I would return it and get something else. Too bad because it's nice and tiny and affordable. It works fine once you install the ASUS software but I really dislike being forced to use proprietary software.

...ken...
tcassidy
That's strange! I haven't run across any dongles since that horrible Bluesoleil one, that don't support MS. Is this yet another stack?

It probably won't work with Mobile PC either as that only supports Microsoft, Broadcom and Toshiba stack (except hardware version which doesn't support Toshiba). I would assume GPS Gate wouldn't work with it either as it only supports the Microsoft and Broadcom stack.

Anyway, the ASUS BT21 is one sale at NCIX this week. No stores in Regina though but they did open a couple in Ontario.

Terry
tchiker
I didn't read the above replies yet but I recommend using a combination approach. I use GPS Gate which makes virtual USB ports. I mainly use Microsoft Mappoint 2006 (with AGPS add on) but also use iGuidance with it.

If I am in the mountains, I also use Delorme Topo 2008 which is fun to see how tall the mountains are around me.

I must admit I didn't buy any of this software, so can't really compare the prices but those are my three favorites.

And I use USB GPS "mouse" Globalsat BU-353...you can find them on ebay for about $35, I think...works great.
corlando52
Thanks, but if you read the original posts, one of my main concerns was the ability to use any voice as guidance. It was pointed out that Garmin Mobile PC was the best to use for this.

Chris
tchiker
Cool I will check out Garmin Mobile PC too...like I said, you can use multiple programs at once with that GPSGate program and I'm sure there are others that could create virtual COM ports as well.

I wish I had mobile Wifi/3G and I would add Google Earth into the mix as well.
corlando52
Yeah, all that is so cool. It seems they are forcing you to get a Data plan now by offering only Smart Phones. I hate giving the cell phone companies all that money.
I have CableVision's Optimum Online, which offers free WiFi, IF you're in an area that has it.

Chris
corlando52
Well, I Googled Garmin KITT voice and discovered that Navtones sells this:

Garmin Voices - Turn Your Garmin GPS into KITT from Knight Rider - Calls You By Name!

But when I wrote to them to make sure that I could install it in my Mobile PC, they wrote this:

Quote:
Thanks for checking out Navtones! Unfortunately, the Garmin Mobile PC does not allow for custom voice installation.

--
-NavTones Support
What do you think?

Chris
Ken in Regina
Quote:
Originally Posted by corlando52
Quote:
Thanks for checking out Navtones! Unfortunately, the Garmin Mobile PC does not allow for custom voice installation.

--
-NavTones Support
What do you think?

Chris
Translated, they've never looked at Mobile PC and don't have a clue. So they gave you the safe answer.

I've added custom voices to Mobile PC. It's not perfectly straightforward but neither is it rocket surgery. I have Jill, Cartman and Stewie from South Park, the Guvernator and a very sexy Sedara. They all work.

You need to place the custom ???.VPM file in the "C:\Program Files\Garmin\GarminMobilePC\Voice" folder (in Windows XP). Then you need to rename it to use the name of one of the existing voice files. Mobile PC will only recognize a default set of voice file names. So if you don't use, say, the European Spanish language, you could rename it to something else and use it's original name for your custom voice file.

The real question is whether the Navtones custom voice file will work with Mobile PC. I don't know if you can just plug in any Nuvi-compatible voice file or not. If there are some free .VPM voice files in the Garmin Garage, you could download one and test it.

...ken...
laptopgpsworld.com About