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Activation, Map Detail, USB Cable, & Other Garmin Mobile PC Issues
CruiserC5
Hi everyone!!!

My 1st post and yes, NEW as well.

I was googling an hour ago, skipped my brunch just so to get hold of someone with some "ggooood" answers that I had to patiently wait since last Thursday....

I am glad to arrive at this Review site resulting from googling on maps I need for Europe. From 1 header leading to another...

I have just received a Garmin Mobile PC with GPS 20x receiver that is CAN310. It was hand carried for me after purchasing it from Calgary last month by a dear friend on an Alaskan cruise.

And from one frustration leading to another...

When I finally got through sleeping it out coz "we operate Mon to Fri 9-5 bla, bla..." I eventually rang Kansas again and darn... to learn seconds after...they are closed as well due to July 4th!!!

Qikly, realizing this... minutes ticking away... or seconds rather, called UK and I missed the boat... it was 17:31 and their answer machine slapped me with theirs too...sigh...LoL.

OK, no good with Taiwan either, Mon to Fri as well and last night, before I hit my hammock, I got hold of Taiwan....

What an answer from them!!! "I'm sorry sir, we have not heard of this product, so cannot help you at all, try Europe Office, bla, bla...." Huh??? Hullooo!!! Not HEARD....oh blimey!!!

I gave up... I called my other Malaysian friend and Flashlight dealer about his latest intro with GPS and he can send me a 5m usb receiver cable for the Garmin laptop dilemma I'm facing...
No price mention yet, he's a biz friend so NAP on this.

Meanwhile, had Garmin UK after 4 long waitings that cost sometime at my expense... I gave up on that too...hung up their connection. Tried again the 5th time (my lucky dice#) and VOILA!!!
Had a kind and helpful Mr Luke and he eventually informed me to google 010-00685-01 which I found it to be the XT solution... so thats no good either for my situation... I just want the Maps to buy or download...phew...what an afternoon aggravation this is all getting to become...

Then google got me into here and after seeing some very excellent responses and tips (like that from Ken) I wanted to add mine but must 1st register, DID that and the pages disappeared and now, I can't find that thread addressing the maps, the extension cables, the types of receivers some were trying out etc....

Oh well, all in a days harrowing experience with this Garmin & googling for answers...I'll be getting gangrene at this pace...LoL.

Alright, enuf with the rant & humor.

I tried in the meantime last night, with the darn short cable, but all I can see at 300 m above are main roads and online weather feedbacks to camera sightings for some countries I preferred to have. Did all that but apart from the North American maps... no dice for satisfaction as yet.

Regarding the Activation Code... this is perhaps the worst part of it all that I too could not find or locate it anywhere to fill in during installation thus being deprived of a full download...I believe.

I finally obtained from Luke, thanks to his force out there, he quoted me the 7-digi/character code after I disclosed my S/N# found on the receiver... the one on the white sticker on the DvD box sucks... that is no good at all!!!

Now, on 2nd thought, I rang an online dealer from Portugal, lady was patient & polite and spoke excellent English and she requested I email my query instead for both items. I did soon after.

Meanwhile, I think I only needed an extension usb cable of 5m and if anyone has a good tip or can post to me after a PayPal transfer, please let me know, TQ. I almost went berserk not able to source such a cable thru Ebay...

I will soon go try that activation code, I just want to say hi and how glad I am 2B here and want to share this with you before you head for your siesta...hahaaa

Cheers to all and looking to more reading and I will soon add some pics I have regarding GPS in my cockpit.



Ps, sorry 4any typo errors... I loath typing frankly!!!
Ken in Regina
Welcome to the forum. An interesting intro post. I'm not sure I was able to figure out exactly what you need help with, but here goes.

Finding a USB extender cable. They should be readily available by the thousands on various internet electronics sites. Google should be your friend for this question, too. Or if you live in a larger centre just drop into your favorite local electronics/computer/audio-video shop and you should be able to get one.

Re: the activation code. There are two versions of Mobile PC.

1. The software-only version. This requires an activation code and there is an activation code on a large green sticky inside the DVD case. You must use the activation code that comes with it to activate it. I doubt if someone else's activation code will work. Once activated, you can use pretty much any GPS receiver with it. This is not the version you have.

2. The GPS-20x receiver version. This is the version you have. The software is locked to the receiver that it came with. You do not need an activation code so there is not one in the DVD case. You just need to attach the receiver to the computer and the software will activate to the receiver. The fact that you have been able to look at the detail maps for North America and the basemap for other areas of the world demonstrates that yours is already activated and working just fine. Or, at least as fine as you can expect it to. You can't use this version with any other receiver. Not even another GPS-20x with a different serial number. Not even another Garmin receiver of different model. But you can use it on as many PCs as you want, as long as you use it with that same GPS-20x receiver.

Re: the issue of maps. Here you have a major problem. So far the only version of Mobile PC available is the North American version. Mobile PC comes with maps "preloaded". That is, the North American version of Mobile PC is distinguished by the fact that it comes with North America detail maps. These maps unlock to the authorization code of the software-only version or to the serial number of the GPS-20x version. You can't use these maps with anything else; not another copy of Mobile PC, not with Mapsource, not with some other Garmin GPS device.

You will have to check with Garmin to see if their European map product will unlock to the GPS-20x version of Mobile PC. They definitely will not unlock to the software-only version. Anyone with the software-only version of Mobile PC is stuck with the maps that came with it and any non-locked Garmin-compatible maps they may be able to find.

How did I do? Anything I missed? If you aren't a fairly experienced Garmin user you may still have some confusion. I'll be happy to try to help clear it up. I'm a fairly literal person (very left-brain) so if you have a question now, you'll need to ask it as a very specific question. My wife will verify that implied questions pretty much just sail right by me.

...ken...
CruiserC5
:clap: and Hullo Ken!!!

...and thank YOU again for taking the time to come to my rescue...

I have read yr several posts to q'ns raised and I am glad you came to my assistance on this.

Since after I made contact, I have come to understand a weebit more and it now appears, either I purchase another European GMPC and respective default maps and have an extra receiver or, download the NRoute software as advised by Anthony from Garmin in Kansas.

His explanation is, the NRoute is an older version but stable and secure to support "ANY" maps that is installed, next to the 2009 that came with this GMPC 20x.

I wrote down the reference he gave for the NRoute but heck... I think he gave me a wrong link altogether...LoL. Check this out>>:



Quote:
Click on the link below to download our nRoute product.




http://www8.garmin.com/support/download_details.jsp?id=209

Now, is it true then? I must first download/install the preferred Euro maps of whatever source I could get hold of and with this NRoute software added thereafter, I'm on the right track until the bugs and updates anticipated to arrive unabated in the following months gets to improve the GMPC 20x's package & performance? Have you or are you in agreement to this feedback I heard today from Garmin itself?

Thus, a 5m length usb extension cable will do no harm as opposed to another 20x receiver albeit a Garmin or other brand, to support the current new software and maps of Nr America 2009 right?

Strangely enough, I was given an Activation code by Luke from the UK Garmin Center and it wasn't working but as you already mentioned, it wouldn't as it is unlocked and ready for use since it was released for the Retail stores.

Funny thing though, upon installation, it required me to fill in the Activation code and without it, I couldn't move further with the window staying blank.

In the desperation during the weekend, I decided to transfer the GMAPP-supp mas that are already in another separate Nuvi 650 folder I ahve, transferred to this GMPC Folder... but nothing works...LoL.

I also found, the current USA maps from as low as 30m max is really not at all spectacular to appreciate, even at 3D settings...

Pls let me know Ken, if there is anything more I need to consider apart from getting a new GMPC or just the maps and an ext cable only?

Oh another thing, is there any danger if I use an extension usb cable that comes with a booster? Garmin says it won't improve/enhance quality but may perhaps damage signal & performance in the long run... technically, is there any remote truth to that?

Cheers to you...
CruiserC5.
Ken in Regina
Here's the link to download nroute from Garmin's web site:

http://www8.garmin.com/support/agree.jsp?id=575

Just click on the "I agree" and go through to the download page.

When you purchase a Garmin map product like, say, City Navigator Europe, the maps come on a DVD. When you install the maps you will also install a program called MapSource that also comes on the DVD. (Have patience, I'll get to why this matters in a minute.)

The MapSource program allows you to do the same kinds of things you can do with Microsoft Streets&Trips or DeLorme Street Atlas. You can view the maps. You can create and save routes. You can create and save waypoints. You can search for addresses, points of interest (POIs), intersections, cities. You can load and view tracks from handheld personal navigation devices. You can view waypoints, routes and tracks that are saved in MapSource on Google Earth. And much more.

The only thing MapSource will not do is navigation. It doesn't take input from a GPS receiver.

So to do all of the above, plus navigation, you need nroute. nroute has all the features of MapSource. It even looks the same. But it also has the navigation functions added so you can connect a GPS receiver that outputs Garmin's proprietary protocol and use nroute for navigation on your laptop.

nroute will use any maps that have been installed and unlocked in MapSource. You don't need to do anything. nroute will see them immediately and let you use them. You can load any routes, waypoints and tracks into nroute that have been saved in MapSource.

So, if you buy Garmin's City Navigator Europe NT and install it, you will also install MapSource. Then you will use MapSource "Unlock Wizard" to unlock City Navigator Europe to the GPS-20x receiver. With nroute and the GPS-20x receiver you will be able to use your laptop to navigate.

Now comes the tricky part. With the City Navigator Europe NT maps unlocked to the GPS-20x receiver you should be able to use MapSource to transfer the City Navigator Europe NT maps to Mobile PC and they should work in Mobile PC with the same GPS-20x receiver. But I can't guarantee this. I have not tested it.

Transferring the gmapsupp.img file from the Nuvi was the right procedure, (eg. that's the right file to copy) but Mobile PC won't use those maps because they are unlocked only to the Nuvi. If they came on an SD card with the Nuvi or are loaded internally to the Nuvi, there is nothing you can do. If you originally created the gmapsupp.img file for the Nuvi using MapSource and Europe maps from a DVD distribution, you should be able to obtain another unlock code from Garmin (at a price) for the GPS-20x and unlock them for the Mobile PC with GPS-20x. Garmin can also tell you if this will work or not.

I would be concerned about using such a long USB extension cable as 5 metres. I have heard of problems with people using a normal length extension cable on their USB GPS receivers so I think one as long as 5 metres might be even bigger problems.

For a cable as long as 5 metres I would expect you might need a boosted cable to avoid a weak USB signal. I have no experience with cables with a booster so I don't know whether you might damage something. A good cable (designed well and manufactured carefully) should boost a clean signal. A bad cable will boost the noise as well as the signal so that will make things worse. There are probably lots of bad cables out there and few good ones and the Garmin tech has probably handled lots of support calls from people who have bought cheap junky cables and caused themselves problems.

...ken...
CruiserC5
A BIG TQ Ken... for your patience and esp. in typing out what you have explained to my situation... you are indeed a great help indeed of which I take my hats off!!!

I shall be looking into the download of that NRoute link you included.

As for the extension 5m cable... my PC table is abt 4 m away from the clear blue sky hence I prefer to stay away from the balcony. most of the time, I have another 5m TomTom ext cable from a gps receiver that is not usb but its hooked up to my TT GO 910 and next to it is the Nuvi 650 with its own ext antenna that receives signals from the TomTom ... (reception success is 90% constant and at 4-5 bars = 5-8 Sats).

I have looked around as best as I could on the Net, and learn more than over the counter at shops that does need some extra traveling and parking etc... a complete waste of costs & time for only over an item that costs around 10-15 Euros = +/- $17, so, I managed to source a specialized company that makes quality cables incl. usb that travels as far as 100km if needed...LoL and it is well protected as I came to understand and it costs abt 22 Euros only for the 5m cable, I'll be heading for that shop instead. It is handy esp when in a hotel suite or deluxe room in a resort during my travels abroad... always safer to be out of sight from surrounding viewers if one travels with a Mac and a PC laptop in other countries.

Cheers to you and if beer is yr fav. we have loads by us I invite you to booze with me when you plan to be by these parts...
Davidg
Hi Ken - I have been following your discussions with CruiserC5 and have to admit I am now confused! YOu stated in your post yesterday at 8.12 AM that the maps (supplied with Mobile PC GPS-20x) version can't be with anything else; not another copy of Mobile PC, not with Mapsource, not with some other Garmin GPS device.

My confusion stems from reading another thread in which you (Ithink) discussed using Mapsource in conjunction with Mobile PC as MapSource provides better planning and routing functions. But if the maps wont unlock to MapSource .....

What am I missing? Seems to me I should consider nroute and forget Mobile PC, especially since I already own a Garmin 72?
Thanks in anticipation - David
Ken in Regina
I'm sorry about the confusion, David. It stems from the fact that, although it's not especially easy to understand the different types of maps Garmin supplies, I have managed after four years of experience to arrive at that understanding. Unfortunately, without a long-winded explanation of the different types and the differences between them, I can see where I ended up sounding like I'm contradicting myself.

I'm going to try to write up an explanation of the different types of maps Garmin provides and their characteristics in a seperate post. Hopefully I'll get it done in the next day or so. Please watch for it. In the mean time, please take my word for it that both statements were true and they are not self-contradictory.

The simple answer is that the City Navigator North America NT2009 maps that come bundled with Mobile PC contain the same map data as the City Navigator North America NT2009 DVD that is sold seperately with the MapSource utility included. But the files are in a different physical format.

MapSource can create files with the same physical format as the detail map file that comes with Mobile PC. But it cannot open and read such a file to use itself.

...ken...
CruiserC5
A very interesting revelation Ken and we are indebted to you to this amazing finding that is baffling many as well with this outrageous outcome.


Yet, it isn't when one gets to understand the workings Garmin sets forth with the way Mapsource produces for its side of map availability. Mind boggling for me too... thats why, I want yet another perspective and angle to view maps both on & off the road with the GMPC's 20x recent purchase.
It is a thrill that my wife just can't cope at this increasing ridicule....!!! I started with GPS only as of 2005 with my 1st Streetpilot 320.

She once exclaimed:

"...Isn't just ONE GPS enough? Heyyy, we are all in this one solitary planet called earth, so why need more maps or screens to add more confusion?" ...LoL.
Davidg
Amazing stuff (as Cruiser states). Then I assume, Ken, that if I buy Mobile PC and no other maps, then I can not use the maps that come with Mobile PC with MapSource. If this is correct, what cant I do with Mobile PC that I can with MapSource? If MapSource is a "needed tool" then I assume one would have to buy maps that can be used with MapSource and use Map source to download them to the GPS - is this correct? Apologies for being such a goose but as you can see I am still confused
Ken in Regina
Quote:
Originally Posted by Davidg
Amazing stuff (as Cruiser states). Then I assume, Ken, that if I buy Mobile PC and no other maps, then I can not use the maps that come with Mobile PC with MapSource.
That's right. Well, partially right. Even if you buy other Garmin maps you still won't be able to use the maps that come with Mobile PC with MapSource.

Quote:
If this is correct, what cant I do with Mobile PC that I can with MapSource?
Not much, really. It's more an issue that some of us who are experienced with MapSource find it easier to do some things in MapSource than in Mobile PC. In really general terms, anything related to trip planning seems easier (to me) in MapSource.

There seem to be some tools that either exist only in MapSource or are more complete. In MapSource if you want to find the distance (road distance) between two points it's as simple as clicking on the measurement tool and clicking on the two points. The only way I can think of in Mobile PC would be to create a route between the two points and look at the distance in the resulting route. It also seems easier (to me) to mess around with tracks and routes in MapSource. In MapSource you can actually look at all the data points in a track (if you have to ask why, naturally it's nor relevant to you). Stuff like that.

If you don't want to do any of that stuff, of course it's a non-issue.

Quote:
If MapSource is a "needed tool" then I assume one would have to buy maps that can be used with MapSource and use Map source to download them to the GPS - is this correct? Apologies for being such a goose but as you can see I am still confused
If you have Mobile PC, don't have other Garmin maps and MapSource and have never used MapSource, MapSource is not a needed tool in my view.

It is a very nice supplementary tool if you already have it for other reasons and know how to use it. Those of us who have it and know how to use it and like to use it simply find it a little frustrating that we can't use the maps that come with Mobile PC in MapSource so we'll either have to live with that or buy another copy of City Navigator North America 2009. Those, like me, who have a Garmin handheld device will need to buy an update to City Navigator anyway (if we want to upgrade to 2009) but it would have been nice to load the ones from Mobile PC and just order an unlock code for the additional device.

...ken...
CruiserC5
Excellent elucidation there Ken and as much as for David and myseld in particular, I'm learning the steep crawl here with the ins & outs to navigate about both that is optional to my use.

I have suddenly experience a bit of hanging with browsing of the overview maps and thus, decided to uninstall late last night. I installed all over again this afternoon and took several snaps of the screens and will post the relevant ones relating to some more q'ns for you Ken. Perhaps I'll do that in a PM to save the bandwidth of the Forum??? Advice is welcome on this before I return, need to go to the dunes by the beach front to let my dog run crazy for her routine...LoL.

Oh btw, I managed to get a super 5m "repeater" usb cable from Sitecom yesterday...wow... was I delighted to work it from inside the PC room instead.

Cheers...
Ken in Regina
Quote:
Originally Posted by CruiserC5
I have suddenly experience a bit of hanging with browsing of the overview maps and thus, decided to uninstall late last night. I installed all over again this afternoon and took several snaps of the screens and will post the relevant ones relating to some more q'ns for you Ken. Perhaps I'll do that in a PM to save the bandwidth of the Forum???
Please post in the forum so others can also benefit from the discussion. Thanks.

...ken...
Marvin Hlavac
Davidg
Great Ken - since I last posted, I have downloaded and installed MapSource and have played around with it, albeit using the base map and one from Australia that includes inland tracks. I understand completely your comments regarding ease of use in trip planning. I am a sailor and have considerable experience using MaxSea - it is even richer than MapSource relative to "tools" - provided your car floats!

I am now communicating directly with 'ProductSupport@garmin.com' in regard to my queries re Australian and European maps. They have confirmed the following " At this time Mobile PC is only available in the North American version but we are planning updates. Mobile PC is designed to be loaded to one computer, however, it can be switched between computers every 6 months."

I have responded to them urging them to review this insane policy of installation on one PC and suggest perhaps if we all email them with the same message we may advance our cause - or am I being naive?
CruiserC5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Davidg
" At this time Mobile PC is only available in the North American version but we are planning updates. Mobile PC is designed to be loaded to one computer, however, it can be switched between computers every 6 months."

I have responded to them urging them to review this insane policy of installation on one PC and suggest perhaps if we all email them with the same message we may advance our cause - or am I being naive?
I will follow suit David as I see this as an incredulous policy which they do not disclose to the public and yet allow it to be made available for purchase with such restrictions and/or limitations.

I have WebUpdate, the NRoute installed too and the software that comes with the Quick Start DvD software and having to put up only with the BaseMaps that are outside the Nr Americas.
Just mentioning "planning updates" is rather vague isn't it? We EXPECT them to come out with updates as they move along but thats a level that is not answering to the immediate needs when one buys this GMPC 20x to navigate with maps that can be purchased or downloaded (even with online payment) for viewing like the default North American map provided.

CruiserC5
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