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Embedded GPS in Lenovo ThinkPad not compatible with Garmin nRoute?
Turnip
Hi, Iím struggling to get the embedded GPS in our Lenovo ThinkPad to communicate with Garmin maps via nRoute.

The embedded GPS works just fine as designed to do with the supplied Lenovo software, feeding live data to either Google Maps or Bing Maps. Stable, strong signal, accurate positioning.

We have Garmin maps installed under Mapsource, and these work just fine for route planning and exchanging data with our Garmin Nuvi 710 GPSr.

Can also connect our Garmin (in diagnostic mode) to the laptop and feed the satellite data via Franson GPS Gate to nRoute. Again, this works perfectly.

But why is it that as soon as I select the embedded GPS in our laptop and feed that via Franson to nRoute, I get a monotonous message ďLost Satellite ReceptionĒ repeated over and over. The signal (as shown by Lenovoís GPS enabler) is great, as is the signal indication from Franson. The satellite strength as shown in nRoute also agrees with both the others, but still I get that error message.

I donít have any reason to think I have a COM port conflict but have tried outputting to alternative (high number) COM ports from Franson to check. No improvement or change.

What makes it more tough is that on just a couple of occasions in the last two weeks, it has worked faultlessly for perhaps an hour or so. Then itís back to he grumble again.

We bought the laptop new in December 2010, our drivers and software are up-to-date, all other functions are working reliably and I donít know what else to try. Or is there some reason why it should not work?

Any suggestions (or diagnostics) that I could try would be much appreciated.

Many thanks
Ken in Regina
Your Lenovo GPS is providing the GPS data using the NMEA protocol. nRoute only understands the proprietary Garmin protocol. So in GPSGate you need to tell the setup wizard that you want one of the virtual COM ports to provide the Garmin protocol for nRoute.

...ken...
Turnip
Hi Ken. Thanks for that. That seems to be just the way I have it set up. When I've tried using the embedded GPS, output settings were
GpsGate Direct
Virtual COM1/Garmin Emulator(Generic Device)
Virtual COM2
Virutal COM3

etc

Does that look right?

Regards - Turnip
Ken in Regina
Yes, that looks right. So if GPSGate is seeing the internal GPS signal and the icon in the system tray is green, meaning the GPS receiver says it's got a lock and is sending location data, nRoute should be seeing what it needs on COM1.

There are a couple of things that can mess that up. One is if you don't have the COM1 settings correct in nRoute, e.g. mismatched speed, parity, etc.

The other is if there is a conflict on COM1. In most computers COM1 is reserved for an internal (real) COM port. For example, if the laptop has a modem in it. Or if you have installed a USB-to-COM port driver that has been using COM1 and won't release it.

Have you checked to be sure that the speed is set the same in GPSGate for the Garmin virtual port and in nRoute?

What input port is GPSGate seeing the internal GPS on? What speed?

Does the software that came with the Lenovo tell you how fast the "refresh" is on the internal GPS? E.g. how many times per second (Hertz or HZ) is the GPS sending updated location data?

The update frequency of the GPS receiver can be an issue. If, for example, the COM port is set to 4800 and the GPS is sending updated location data faster than 1Hz, you can have problems because you can't stuff that much data through 4800 bits per second.

...ken...
Turnip
Ok let's see. GPS gate shows deep forest green, so signal seems good.

Haven't found anywhere on nRoute to check or change speed, parity or anything else. Am I missing something somewhere? Quite likely.

No modem on laptop, and have tried changing Franson output to COM14/garmin emulator etc, but with no change.

USB to com port driver? how would I tell? Speed settings? Where do I check and / or change?

Lenovo's GPS Enabler software allows me to set Fix Interval in 1 second increments from 1 - 60 seconds. Changing it from default 3 to 1 or 60 produces no change in frequency of message.

Sorry to be asking what are probably dumb questions, but I do appreciate your input.

Turnip
tcassidy
GPS Gate is pretty good about only assigning COM ports that are not in use by the computer so that shouldn't be an issue. From your listing of COM ports it assigned, I would assume whatever your computer has is on COM 2 so no big deal. Also, GPS Gate will take care of the refresh and data rate and make sure nRoute is provided with whatever it wants. Make sure the COM port in nRoute is the same as you have had GPS Gate assign for the Garmin emulator COM port (COM 1 in your example).

Terry
Ken in Regina
Ooops, you're right, you can't manually change the COM port speed, etc. in nRoute. If you poke the Autodetect button nRoute will find the port and speed itself. That's in UTILITIES menu >> "Select GPS..."

...ken...
Ken in Regina
Quote:
Originally Posted by Turnip
Lenovo's GPS Enabler software allows me to set Fix Interval in 1 second increments from 1 - 60 seconds. Changing it from default 3 to 1 or 60 produces no change in frequency of message.

Sorry to be asking what are probably dumb questions, but I do appreciate your input.
No such thing as dumb questions.

That's interesting about setting the fix interval. I haven't seen that before. For non-realtime uses it would be useful. For navigation, anything much longer than 1 second would make the map display really jumpy unless you are walking.

...ken...
Turnip
Thanks Terry. Yes, the output from Franson is exactly what nRoute locks on to. When I tried fiddling with COM ports, nRoute reported old one no longer available and found the new one. No problems.

Would any of the other utilities in nRoute be of any help in trying to debug the problem? NMEA Logger? Simulator? Never had any need to wonder what they did so far.

Just thinking - can anyone suggest any alternative programs worth trying in place of nRoute? Preferably free or at least trialware?

Someone suggested I tried Garmin's Basecamp, but as far as I can see that's much like Mapsource (with a few added frills) and won't accept live data or track positions.

I'm sure the problem is right in front of me, but to quote Goethe "The hardest thing to see is what is in front of your eyes"

Turnip
tcassidy
Trial Microsoft S&T 2011. Its a free download and I bet it will work directly with your internal GPS. If not, it will certainly work with GPS Gate.

Terry
Turnip
Great Terry. Will do and will let you know what transpires

Turnip
Turnip
Just struck me Terry - does MS S&T only work with their maps?

We're in Cape Town, South Africa, so not much good if I can't get it to work with our Garmin and Tracks 4 Africa mapsets. Will try it in any case, as a diagnostic, but good to know the limitations in advance...

Regards again and thanks for the prompt feedback and suggestion.

Turnip
tcassidy
No, sorry, it will only work with the included maps. I don't think Microsoft offers coverage for South Africa, even with AutoRoute.

Terry
tcassidy
I assume you are using the latest version of nRoute (2.76) if that might make a difference.

Terry
Turnip
Good question; yes, 2.7.6 it is. Think this was the last version they ever produced.

My Franson GPS Gate for the record is Release 2.6.0.340

Turnip
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