Are USB GPS sensors interchangeable between manufacturers?
Are usb GPS sensors interchangeable between manufacturers? (ie will any sensor work with any software, or should one always use the software manufacturers sensor?)

Would the Garmin GPS20x work with iNav iGuidance software. Similarly would Delorme LT40 work with iNav iGuidance or Garmin Mobile PC
Garmin USB GPS units such as the GPS20x and GPS18USB are limited in their output to proprietary Garmin-only signals. Other GPS devices such as the LT-40, iTrek M7, S&T Pharos 500 and others output a standard NMEA signal that will work with virtually any GPS software.

However, the Garmin Mobile PC package that ships with the GPS20x will only work with that GPS for licensing reasons.

Garmin GPS20x will not support iGuidance or Delorme software. Delorme LT-40 will support iGuidance and Mobile PC (software only) navigation software.

Each USB GPS receiver (except the 20x) ships with a driver which assigns it as a COM port. Once you know the COM port number, you can direct the navigation software to obtain a signal from it.

To further complicate matters, there are helper applications which can overcome these issues. Garmin has a free appliction called Spanner that provides NMEA output from the 20x and 18USB. Unfortunately it in't supported by Vista. Franson makes a product called GPS Gate which can output Garmin and/ or NMEA signals from either type of input. However, it costs extra and does not directly support Mobile PC.

Marvin Hlavac

All of the above laptop GPS programs (and more) can be used with pretty much any laptop GPS receiver, as long as the GPS receiver is a standard NMEA receiver.

As Terry said, the only exception is Garmin Mobile PC. You will have no compatibility problems if you buy the software-only version of Garmin Mobile PC, as that version works with NMEA standard GPS receivers. However, the Garmin Mobile PC version sold with GPS20x receiver will only work with that one GPS20x receiver.
I have CoPiot Laptop 11 and Microsoft Streets and trips 2007 and 2008 that I run on my mobile laptop - the GPS recievers for CoPilot will not work with MS & Trips and vice versa. They only work with the software that is designed for their specific programs - at least that what appears to be happening with mine.

What I really need right now is to find out where, and if, I can get a new cable and gps receiver for my MS&Trips software without having to purchase the whole program and hardware over again. That's what I did last time but it is so expensive I can't afford to do that again. I can't find a place at Microsoft website where I can find the gps cable with receiver separately from that whole program. Can anyone tell me where I might be able to find this? I use gps everyday for my work as I am a long distance transport hauler between US and Canada. This is the greatest tool for this kind of work and is being used more everyday by drivers.

Another problem is the lack of accurately updated maps where new construction is continually occuring in most major cities in both Canada and the US. Most of the software updates that I have now are still two to three years behind in this respect.

Thanks for any help you may be able to provide - much appreciated.

If you are choosing the correct COM port, I can't see why CoPilot 11 wouldn't work with an S&T USB GPS receiver. It is a standard NMEA 4800bps signal. Make sure CoPilot is looking at the correct COM port (not USB).

Unfortunately I am not familiar with the CoPilot GPS unit and specs are not easily available on line. I don't know if it comes with software to give COM port output.

Marvin Hlavac
Jocelyn, tell us if you can see a model number on the GPS receiver, or if you can find a link to the exact package of ALK CoPilot Laptop 11 w/GPS.

If indeed the Alk CoPilot GPS receiver is not compatible with Microsoft Streets and Trips for some reason, then you can buy one of several USB GPS receivers on the market today. GlobalSat BU-353 costs only about $35, and will likely work even slightly better than the Microsoft GPS Locator you had.
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