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Old 31-07-2011, 14:51   #1
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BU-353 on Windows 7 GPSINFO

My Windows XP machine is dying and I'm being forced to Windows 7 by Microsoft.

I've been testing critical programs - Everything but tether and navigation seem to work on Windows 7.

I purchased a new BU-353 to get vendor support within warranty - already have two older units that work in XP.

Loaded the driver + GPSINFO and no data stream. A call to the vendor produced a URL to load the "real" Windows 7 version. No difference - both version show the GPS on COM4 - and GPSINFO shows drivel - words cut off, port names scrambled and so on - just as it did on Windows XP.

Another few e/mails back and forth and the vendor (actually a nice guy) told me my "DPI was set wrong" on both machines. Huh.

In any case, I let the BU-353 GPS run overnight - it never acquired - and moved it back to XP where it acquired in about 40 minutes after doing a GPSINFO Cold Start.

Does anyone have a Windows 7 program to replace GPSINFO? The vendor insists it is working correctly on Windows 7 - all I can say is it is garbeled on both 7 and XP.

In the meantime, I can initialize on Windows XP and run the nav software on Windows 7 OK - so I presume the drivers are OK.

Thanks! /Stu
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Old 01-08-2011, 04:57   #2
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I am using this device on windows 7 no problem. Never ever loaded GPSinfo, you don't need it. You can use the 'show data stream' window in OpenCPN to see the data from the device. Get to that in the toolbox GPS tab .

A couple of things to check. Look in the windows device manager to make sure that you are indeed trying to use the correct com port and that there are no driver problems.

Make sure you have the correct chipset drivers (FTDI If me memory serves me well today), in any case download and install the latest FTDI drivers from the manufacturers website. Not the GPS manufacturer but the serial chipset manufacturer.

HTH
Chris
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Old 01-08-2011, 06:25   #3
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Re: BU-353 on Windows 7 GPSINFO

Chris,

Your experience agrees with mine. Once the BU-353 was "STARTGPS" and "COLDSTART" on Windows XP, a data stream appeared immediately and GPSINFO indicated the BU-353 acquired in about 45 minutes. This agrees with the manual.

I have OpenCPN on the Windows 7 machine - and after the GPS acquired on XP, I was able to move it to Windows 7 OK. I don't think OpenCPN has the functionality to START the BU-353 or enable it for WAAS, but I'm not sure.

I believe the drivers were OK from the first load. It looks like the only problem is the "DPI" problem the vendors of GPSINFO have known about but refused fix for years and years. I don't understand either the problem or their refusal to fix the known problem.

In any case, if you initialize the BU-353 on Windows XP (and I presume don't move around much), it will work on Windows 7.

As with many good hardware products, I think the programmers are more hobby shop people than professionals. /Stu
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Old 01-08-2011, 06:55   #4
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Re: BU-353 on Windows 7 GPSINFO

The BU-353 works well with W7, but you need the driver. Originally it did not work in 64 bit mode but I e-mailed the manufacturer and they sent me the driver(free, thank you) Now it works fine.
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Old 01-08-2011, 06:59   #5
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Re: BU-353 on Windows 7 GPSINFO

Stu,

Is your Windows 7 computer 32-bit or 64-bit? Mine is 64-bit, so your experience may be different. By a happy coincidence I installed my BU-353 on my Windows 7 computer just yesterday. First I went to

USGlobalsat Corporate

and downloaded the Windows 7 64-bit driver. After I installed it I plugged in my BU-353. Windows reported it was searching for the driver so I let it find the driver automatically. I was connected to the Internet at the time so I don't know if Windows found the driver I installed or went out and got another one from somewhere. Once Windows reported the driver installation was complete I launched OpenCPN, selected the appropriate COM port, and I was up and running.

If you use the Dashboard plugin in OpenCPN and add GPS Status to the list of instruments you'll get everything GPS Info will tell you. I used GPS Info on my Vista computer but I never felt it did anything. If it has a clear view of the sky my BU-353 acquires satellites in under a minute. It's faster to lock on than my Garmin GPS 72.

Fabbian
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Old 01-08-2011, 07:04   #6
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Re: BU-353 on Windows 7 GPSINFO

Quote:
Originally Posted by captstu View Post
Another few e/mails back and forth and the vendor (actually a nice guy) told me my "DPI was set wrong" on both machines. Huh.
What is DPI in this context? I never had a problem with GPS Info on my Vista computer. I run it right from the ZIP archive. I didn't even bother to unpack it or install it. It seems to work fine.

Fabbian
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Old 01-08-2011, 07:12   #7
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Re: BU-353 on Windows 7 GPSINFO

Fabbian, I contacted the vendor and they pointed me to the Windows 7 (32 bit) version of the driver and GPSINFO.

Initially there was no data flow. GPSINFO did not work - the characters were unreadable.

Another contact to the vendor - they said the "DPI SETTING" had to be factory original. The only DPI setting I found was "dots per inch" for the monitor and it was untouched from initial Windows 7 setup.

I didn't know about the OpenCPN setup - I'll look at it today, but I moved the BU-353 back to XP, ran the old version of GPSINFO, turned on WAAS,Turned on WAAS, did a Start and a Coldstart, and the BU-353 acquired in a bit.

Moved it back to Windows 7 and all is OK.

Conclusion: Drivers OK, GPSINFO or some similar function needed to initialize the BU-353, and the vendor is in denial about GPSINFO.

/Stu
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