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How to connect Garmin GPS 12CX to a laptop with Microsoft Streets and Trips?
william wixon
Apologies for starting a new thread, I searched for "gps12cx" and got no hits.

I've got an old GPS I was hoping to hook up to my laptop and use Streets and Trips for ****s 'n grins. I know it's an old GPS, was hoping "there'd be no reason why it wouldn't work anyhow even though it's old".

My laptop won't recognize the GPS 12CX. The "Help" says I need to install a driver. I went to the Garmin site GPS12CX, only a software reload. My computer, through Streets and Trips scans through COM port 1 and 3 and cannot find the GPS12CX that I have plugged into the back of the laptop with the data transfer cable.

I went in the "setup menu" > "interface"> GRMN/GRMN HOST, but that's all I could do/find, and that ain't working.

Can anyone help me.
Sorry if this is a dumb question.
Ken in Regina
Not a dumb question, just too little information.

Before we spend too much time on this, especially if it's just for ****s 'n grins, please be aware that your GPS might not output the GPS signal.

What kind of cable connection does it have to the PC? Is it a serial cable or a USB cable? E.g. is it plugged into a 9-pin COM port or is it plugged into a USB port?

Are you able to do any other things with it, like transfer waypoints and maps using Mapsource or other PC software that might have come with the unit?

...ken..
william wixon
Hi Ken,

Thanks for the help.

Yeah, I was being modest, this isn't actually for ****s 'n grins, I am totally hoping to use this laptop/GPS combo in my truck, I've been in numerous situations where I WISHED I had a GPS with a LARGE screen. I got this laptop with this use specifically in mind.

I've had this GPS hooked up to my desktop and it communicated fine with the desktop and the desktop communicated find with the GPS.

You're much more well versed with the nomenclature than me. It's got a 9 pin plug (I counted 'em), not a usb plug. (Nine pin plug on both the laptop I'm trying to hook it up to (that it's not communicating with) and the same 9 pin plug to the desktop that I had previously had success with.)

No, the laptop totally doesn't recognize the GPS at all, I can't transfer waypoints, etc. to the laptop, but I had (a couple years ago) been able to transfer waypoints to my desktop.

The software DID NOT come with either unit, the GPS or the desktop. I downloaded some free software off the Internet. It's been so long since i've used it I can't remember what it was called, and I just looked and I don't even see it any longer on my computer, I might've uninstalled it, all I can remember was I think it was written in Brazil.

I would like to supply you all with any information you might need to diagnose this problem, but I don't know what you'd need, that's all I can think of.

Thanks.
Ken in Regina
If you are not fairly literate in computers and GPS technology you'll probably be better off just buying a GPS receiver that is properly designed to work with laptop navigation programs like Streets & Trips. You will also have the advantage of having a GPS with modern technology which will give you more reliable and quicker location fixes.

The Globalsat BU-353 is one that many people like. I have one and it works really well. It has excellent performance and it's plug and play for pretty much any laptop navigation program, including Streets&Trips. It plugs directly into a USB port as any modern receiver will. They are typically priced between $30 and $40. I just did a quick check on eBay and the lowest price was $27.

If you really want to try to get the 12CX to work with Streets&Trips, you need to find out what COM port it is connected to on the laptop, make sure that COM port is set to run at 4800 and then tell Streets&Trips to use that COM port. Since you are connecting the 12CX to the computer using a proper serial (COM) connection, it should be fairly easy.

Getting the 12CX to output NMEA GPS data to the laptop should also be pretty easy. Here's a link to the manual for the 12CX. Look on pages 42-43 for the Interface Setup instructions. You will need it to be in NMEA/NMEA mode to use with Streets&Trips.

https://buy.garmin.com/support/manuals/manuals.htm?partNo=010-00179-00

...ken...
william wixon
Hey Ken,

I see you're a resident guru, but that was absolutely of no help to me. You basically just ran me around in a circle, you didn't answer my question just diverted the topic by suggesting I buy another GPS.

I don't want to buy another GPS.

I already configured it to nmea/nmea.

I said in my original post the laptop is not recognizing the GPS. This laptop has COM ports 1 and 3. When I click "scan" in "Configure GPS receiver..." it says "No GPS device found" on both ports 1 and 3.

How do I find out which com port it's connected to? I selected, one after the other, a couple times, both COM 1 and then COM 3, no response.

How do I set it to run at 4800?

I have the owner's manual sitting here in front of me, there is no information on how to get my laptop and Streets and Trips to recognize my GPS.

If it's fairly easy why didn't you just tell me how to do those things or at least direct me to a place where i can read how to do those things?

Basically you're saying "sorry, I don't know."

bill wixon
tcassidy
Does your laptop have serial ports? You need one to connect the Garmin with the cable.

Terry
william wixon
Yeah, it has one serial port and two USB ports.
tcassidy
When you connect the Garmin via cable to the serial port, Windows is unlikely to give any message. Do you have some form of software that you can query the COM ports as to which is receiving data? Something like Earthbridge Earth Bridge - Bridge the gap between Google Earth and your GPS receiver. if you don't already have S&T. It could be set to check for GPS data on each of the COM ports as you only have 2. The other one listed is probably an internal modem.

If you already have S&T, have you checked each of the COM ports to see if it has usable data?

Terry
william wixon
I downloaded (free!) "GPS Track Maker" http://www.gpstm.com/ and installed it, hooked up my Garmin GPS 12cx to the laptop through the data cable I bought for it to the laptop's serial port, and the GPS uploaded my waypoints and my tracklogs *with NO problem* to my computer through COM 1. As you suggested, thanks Terry, I "queried" my COM ports. :-) (hey, btw, if I knew Google had that feature I probably wouldn't've bought the new updated S&T (I already had an old version on my desktop!). As it was, (though thanks for the tip and the suggestion) I didn't want to have to download the "microsoft.net 2.0" to be able to use Earth Bridge. I just tried to connect the laptop with the GPS through COM 3, and the laptop didn't seem to want to recognize it.

Well, so, after having queried the GPS with "GPS Track Maker", it seems the laptop CAN recognize the GPS and I am able to upload waypoints through COM 1.

Wondering if anyone can help me figure out why Streets & Trips won't recognize my CX12.

Thanks Terry.

bill wixon
tcassidy
It has nothing to do with the laptop 'recognizing' the GPS - it is just another source of serial data.

It is possible the data rate from the 12Cx is 9600bps rather than 4800 (the only speed that S&T recognizes). This can be fixed with GPS Gate, also available as a free trial download. However, Earthbridge can use that data rate directly.


Terry
Ken in Regina
Quote:
Originally Posted by william wixon
Hey Ken,

I see you're a resident guru, but that was absolutely of no help to me.
No, but it was a huge help to me. You finally answered my first question for details about what you've tried and what results you got.

So now I have an idea what you've tried so I won't waste your time telling you to do those things again. And I learned something else I needed to know ...

Quote:
You basically just ran me around in a circle, you didn't answer my question just diverted the topic by suggesting I buy another GPS.
I answered your question. I told you the two things you needed to know to get it working. What I discovered by doing that is that you don't yet have sufficient basic knowledge to understand those answers. So that now gives us a useful starting point.

That wasn't a head game. I literally had no idea where to start with you because you had provided so little information up to this point. So I had to toss something out to see if you could use it or not.

Also, I didn't divert the topic. I gave you a useful bit of advice; that if you don't have sufficient basic knowledge to get this working with the answers I gave you, you could consider getting a GPS that's plug and play and, as a bonus, one that's much newer and better technology.

Quote:
I have the owner's manual sitting here in front of me, there is no information on how to get my laptop and Streets and Trips to recognize my GPS.
Of course not. It's a Garmin manual. I would hardly expect them to give you a tutorial on how to use a competitor's product.

What astonished me was finding a Garmin manual with such an excellent description of how to get the GPS data out of the unit (Interface Settings). You won't find such information in any of their newer manuals. In fact with their newer products you won't even find the information about whether they have such an interface or not (many of them don't).

Sometimes there is an advantage to working with the old stuff.

Quote:
Basically you're saying "sorry, I don't know."
....well .... sort of. ... What I was saying is that I don't know where to start you from. So I had to toss some useful information at you and see if you are at a point where you could use it.

Quote:
I already configured it to nmea/nmea.

I said in my original post the laptop is not recognizing the GPS. This laptop has COM ports 1 and 3. When I click "scan" in "Configure GPS receiver..." it says "No GPS device found" on both ports 1 and 3.

How do I find out which com port it's connected to? I selected, one after the other, a couple times, both COM 1 and then COM 3, no response.

How do I set it to run at 4800?
Unless you've jiggered with the COM port settings, it's connected to COM1.

That is, as Terry already said, the 9-pin serial connector should be COM1 and COM3 is most likely the internal modem. You can help verify this by looking for something on the laptop that looks like a phone jack. It's the narrow phone jack (RJ11) like on the walls for your phone to plug into, not the fairly wide one that connects you to an ethernet network (RJ45). If it has a phone jack plug, that's the connection to the internal modem. Your laptop manual should describe each of the connectors on it.

Does the laptop have an RJ11 telephone jack on it?

If you check the device manager, it should also give you clues about the COM ports.

- Right-click My Computer
- click Properties
- click the Hardware tab
- click the Device Manager button
- click the + sign beside Ports (COM & LPT)

- How many Communications Ports (COM) does it show?
- What numbers are they (e.g. COM1, COM3)?

- Right-click Communications Port (COM1)
- click Properties
- click the Port Settings tab

- What is the Bits per second box set to? (Probably defaults to 9600)

Are you beginning to get some idea why I was hoping you could use the answers I gave you in my previous message rather than going back to this level if it wasn't necessary?

As Terry mentioned, trying to use Streets&Trips to figure out what's not set correctly is a tough battle. Streets&Trips wants things to be set one way and it is essentially useless in helping you figure out what needs to be changed if the settings aren't already perfect. Other laptop navigation programs are way more flexible at what settings they will use and way more helpful at finding where the GPS data is coming in.

As Terry suggested, you can use Earthbridge (free) to try to find out if data is coming in on the COM port and what speed, etc. I haven't used it much and the last time was many months ago so I can't help much there. A bonus with Earthbridge is that once you get it to see the incoming GPS data, it will make it fairly easy for you to also use the data to get Google Earth to do realtime navigation just like Streets&Trips. It's kinda neat.

If you want to download the free trial version of GPSGate, I can help you use it to find out what's going on with the COM port. GPSGate will automatically scan everything to find a GPS signal. It not only knows how to recognize a generic NMEA signal, it also knows how to recognize a GARMIN signal. So even if you don't get the interface set correctly on the 12CX, GPSGate will probably find the signal.

It will tell you what COM port it finds the signal on. It will also tell you what speed the signal is coming in at. If the signal from the 12CX is coming in at the wrong speed for Streets&Trips, GPSGate will let you set up a virtual COM port (say, COM4) at the correct speed so you can point Streets&Trips at it.

GPSGate has a free 14-day trial. We should be able to get things running in less time than that so you can just use it as a debugging tool and then forget about it.

Let us know whether you're going to try to use Earthbridge or GPSGate to help trace the GPS data and one of us will help you get it going.

...ken...
Ken in Regina
Quote:
Originally Posted by william wixon
I downloaded (free!) "GPS Track Maker" http://www.gpstm.com/ and installed it, hooked up my Garmin GPS 12cx to the laptop through the data cable I bought for it to the laptop's serial port, and the GPS uploaded my waypoints and my tracklogs *with NO problem* to my computer through COM 1.
I'm glad you've got it working that far.

Quote:
Well, so, after having queried the GPS with "GPS Track Maker", it seems the laptop CAN recognize the GPS and I am able to upload waypoints through COM 1.

Wondering if anyone can help me figure out why Streets & Trips won't recognize my CX12.
A couple of things to understand:

1. Just to review what Terry and I have already said, the COM3 that some of your programs are seeing is most likely the internal modem in the laptop. The only way to connect to it will be with a phone cord. You would use a phone cord and that connector on the laptop to connect the laptop to a wall jack so you could make a dial-up connection to the internet. This is not useful for what you are trying to do, so you can ignore it.

2. There are two types of interfaces in your 12CX and they talk two very different languages.

- You've already got one of the interfaces working with Track Maker. It's the interface that lets a PC program and the 12CX transfer static data, like waypoints and track files, back and forth between them. That's not what you need to use the 12CX as a GPS receiver with a laptop navigation program.

- The other interface is what the 12CX manual is referring to as the NMEA interface. This is the interface that sends the realtime GPS satellite data to a connected device, like your laptop. This is a totally different language for a totally different use.

To get the 12CX working with any navigation program on the laptop you need to make sure that the 12CX is in this mode and is transferring the satellite data with the correct protocol (e.g. GARMIN/GARMIN, NMEA/NMEA)

For it to work with most nav programs, it has to be in NMEA/NMEA. Most nav programs will only understand the NMEA data language.

I am not familiar with Track Master. If it is not a realtime navigation program, it probably only understands the one interface with a GPS unit: the one that allows it to ask for track and waypoint data and receive it and send it back. It probably doesn't have any clue about the other interface needed for navigation. If it's not, it won't be helpful in getting that part working.

...ken...
william wixon
Hey, I humbly apologize for all the rigmarole. I'm going to have to be able to use the laptop as a GPS soon and decided I don't have the time, energy, desire to mess around with trying to get the 12CX to work with my laptop and so did as Ken suggested, I ordered the Globalsat BU-353. Let's see how that'll work.

Thanks so very much all you guys for taking the time to try to help me. I'm very sorry I came across as so arrogant.
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