GPS Software and GPS Hardware combination for laptop

Have been trawling through the various posts for a solution to my issue.

1: I have access to Garmin mapsource products City Navigator Australia 2008 and BlueChart Pacific V9.5 which would be handy going camping as well as going on the out-law's houseboat and navigating around the reefs etc. Both meet my needs perfectly

2. I have also bought from ebay an generic USB GPS receiver and antenna which my desktop with XP O/S recognises OK (via a receiver control tool supplied by the seller) and can detect satellites.

I am very happy with the data display and integrity of the software and want to be able to use the GPS receiver and antenna with my laptop. I am not wanting to connect a Garmin GPS to my laptop for the transfer of data, but to rather use the laptop as a stand alone GPS and to track my progress create waypoints and use other normal GPS features.

Can anyone provide any guidance on how to do this. I know what I should have done was to find a solution first before sourcing my software and hardware but have only found this forum after the fact.
Ken in Regina
Since you already have MapSource on your computer you can download and install Garmin's nRoute program. It looks just like MapSource but adds full navigation capabilities, complete with routing, voice instructions and everything.

The only issue with nroute is that it only works with Garmin's proprietary protocol. So to use it with your generic receiver, which outputs the NMEA protocol, you need to use the Franson GPSGate shareware program. It reads the NMEA data stream from your generic receiver and outputs the Garmin proprietary protocol on a different (virtual) COM port. You have a trial period for GPSGate so you can download it and nroute and try them out to see if this is a solution you could live with.

There is more info on nroute and help from other users here:

Thanks a heap

Obviously the right forum to be a member of.

I will try your solution to see if it works for me.


Your solution was absolutely spot on.

With mapsource products and nroute loaded as well as downloading and trialing GPSgate my generic GPS receiver and antenna is now being detected via GPSgate (as virtual port with Garmin emulation) and nroute is displaying my location.

You have made my day...many thanks. I only wished I had discovered this forum a while back and saved myself all the hassles and delay.

Many thanks

Ken in Regina
Y'er welcome, Stephen. Glad it works for you. There's so much to learn about things to do with GPS technology, now that it's really affordable. It's nice to help someone else shorten the learning curve. It's especially nice when you can help someone discover how close they are to a useful solution. You had 90% of it in the bag .. just needed a wee boost to find the last couple of pieces.

Obviously you can spend a lot more time and money on other options. We'll be most happy to help you spend both your time and your money, if you choose. :rofl"But now you have something to work from that will let you discover what specific improvements you might want.

...ken... About