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Software-only version of Garmin Mobile PC vs hardware version
Boyd
Now that Mobile PC is discontinued, it's getting harder to find. Amazon has the software version, but I'm still a little confused by the limitations of the different versions.

If I purchase the software version, can I use it with different GPS receivers? I have the paid version of GPSGate running, so if I use this, will Mobile PC just see "GPSGate" as my receiver, regardless of which unit I use?

Since it's discontinued, I assume the included maps will be out of date. After registering the product at MyGarmin, will I be able to update them? I saw another thread on this topic, but it was a bit confusing since the topic was a bundled version. I gather that the software version isn't eligible for lifetime map updates, but that doesn't bother me.

Sorry, I know these have questions have probably been covered already but I am getting a bit cross-eyed from reading old threads.
tcassidy
The software version of Mobile PC will work with any NMEA GPS up to 38,400 bps; No extra software such as GPS Gate is required. The limitation is it is only allowed to be installed on one computer.

You will not be able to update your maps as you will have no product to register them against. The software version of Mobile PC cannot be registered on the mygarmin site. If you were to buy locked Garmin maps for another product, even a GPS that you used with Mobile PC, those maps would not be usable with Mobile PC. Maps that are not locked such as Topo ones can be transferred to Mobile PC using MapSource and will work fine.

If you buy the product, don't upgrade to 5.00.70 even if you can as it has issues. 5.00.60 is solid.

Terry
Boyd
Thanks for the quick response Terry. I guess that makes sense in Garmin's world, since maps are registered to specific GPS devices, and none is included with MobilePC.

I went ahead and ordered anyway, will be interested to see if I can get it working properly with my own maps. Was experimenting earlier and it works inconsistently. I think one of the problems is that the amount of data is just more that the software was designed to handle. The landcover data at 12k resolution results in a LOT of polygons, and I have been experimenting with LIDAR DEM data (2 meter resolution) for creating elevation contours which creates lots of line segments.

nRoute handles all of this like a champ, although a bit sluggish when moving the map. My guess is that Garmin optimized Mobile PC for map drawing speed as opposed to image quality.
tcassidy
Mobile PC includes a base map and map set with it, in you case it will be CNNA NT 20xx. I am not sure what the last version included was but suspect one of the 2011 sets.

Terry
Ken in Regina
Hi Boyd,

Let us know when you get Mobile PC and what you want to do vis. maps.

Terry and I have different recollections of our testing with the software-only version. For instance, Backroad Mapbooks GPS maps are locked. I have an unlock code for them my software-only version of Mobile PC that I got using the Software Unit ID (or whatever it's called) in Mobile PC. The maps work perfectly with it. I did this as part of the initial testing of that map product for the vendor specifically because of the differences between the hardware bundles and the software-only version. Terry tested with his hardware bundle which I don't have.

Terry is correct that you cannot use any of the automated online methods of obtaining an unlock code. You have to actually phone Garmin to acquire the unlock code and manually enter it into Mapsource. But it should work just fine that way.

...ken...
tcassidy
nRoute can do DEM? I've never seen that. Mobile PC can to varying degrees and the base map does include DEM data.

Terry
tcassidy
I beg to differ with Ken on this one but nobody has actually tried it. You would have to provide Garmin with the Software Unit ID of your copy of Mobile PC (as Backroad Mapbooks uses) to generate an unlock. Whether Garmin would provide an unlock with that code is an untested proposition as far as I know!

Terry
popej
Unlock Wizard from Mapsource 6.13 was capable to unlock maps for unit ID. Probably it is not working any more but some years ago I was able to unlock City Navigator for SD card.
Ken in Regina
Let me be absolutely clear:

1. Backroad Mapbooks GPS maps are locked and require an unlock code to use.

2. Backroad Mapbooks (the company) are using Garmin's professional map development tools and unlock code generator.

3. As a result of a comment by POPEJ I gave the Software Unit ID of my Mobile PC software-only version to the Backroad Mapbooks developer who used the standard Garmin unlock code generator to create an unlock code for me.

4. I used Mapsource to unlock the Backroad Mapbooks GPS maps for my Mobile PC by manually entering that unlock code.

5. Mobile PC refused to use Backroad Mapbooks compiled before using that unlock code.

6. Mobile PC is happy to use Backroad Mapbooks compiled since adding the new unlock code.

7. Unlocking those maps was done with a version of Mapsource that is much newer than 6.13.x. It was at least 6.15.x. That unlock code continues to work with Mapsource 6.16.3.

I documented all of this in the applicable discussion in here at the time.

I'll ask the same thing I've asked before when this issue has come up: what makes anyone think this was some sort of fluke (e.g. is not repeatable)?

...ken...
tcassidy
I am not arguing with what you did or didn't do with Backroad Mapbooks. However, before I recommend that others can use locked Garmin map products with Mobile PC by providing Garmin with the Software Unit ID, I'd want to know that someone has done it! We don't know how Garmin would respond and can't make decisions based on what they would or wouldn't do.

Terry
Boyd
nRoute cannot display DEM. And nobody but Garmin knows how to insert DEM in their maps either. But I take this source LIDAR dem data and use Globalmapper to generate very accurate elevation contours at 5 foot intervals. So the result is just contour lines, but they consist of a lot more line segments than most Garmin maps.
Ken in Regina
Terry,

We've had that discussion previously, too. I don't disagree with advising caution. But you usually just say it doesn't work when I've demonstrated that it does.

Your issue is, What will Garmin's response be if you ask for an unlock code for a Software Unit ID? Of course we don't know that until someone asks.

My recommendation is: Don't ask. Also don't even mention that it's for Mobile PC because you are likely to get the reponse that it is no longer supported, which is completely irrelevant.

Simply specify the "Unit ID" you want the unlock code for.

When I did this testing, the Backroad Mapbooks developer confirmed that the unlock code generator does NOT distinguish between software or hardware unit IDs. You simply feed it a unit ID and a map product ID and it gives you back an unlock code that will work for that map product when used on that unit.

...ken ...
Ken in Regina
Boyd,

Any authorized developer using Garmin's developer tools knows how to do DEM. The initial version of Backroad Mapbooks GPS maps has DEM. They are quite lovely on units that display DEM. Not all handhelds display it and not everyone who can display it finds it useful.

They have removed it from version 2 to reduce the size of the download.

...ken...
tcassidy
As I went through the same tests both with the hardware and software versions and Backroad Mapbooks, I certainly have no problem with the procedure or that it works. I am just not willing to buy a product from Garmin and then call them for a code based on something I don't know they support. It might prove fruitful or a total waste of money. 50-50 is not good enough for the cost of the maps. If I won't do it, why would I suggest others do?

Terry
Ken in Regina
Quote:
Originally Posted by tcassidy
If I won't do it, why would I suggest others do?
Fair question. But they can't even consider the option if they are simply told it doesn't work (and yes, I understand that it saves a lot of typing ).

It just seems better to say that we know it can work technically but there may be an issue trying to get the code from Garmin.

...ken...
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