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Old 11-12-2009, 07:25   #1
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Garmin Serial Port to USB Cable and Driver

I've just updated to Windows 7 and managed to get various nav progs over to the new one (not without difficulty I might add).

BUT - my garmin gps which always talked to WinXP will not talk to Win7. I asked Garmin for an updated driver and they come back saying that there were no plans to update drivers for Vista or 7.

So now what do I do???
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Old 11-12-2009, 07:31   #2
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You could divide the hard dive into two and run both operating systems, when you need the computer for Nav use boot to WinXP.

Hope this helps.

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Old 11-12-2009, 07:39   #3
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Oh Lord!! How do I do that (treat me gently - I might be a blonde airhostess)
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Old 11-12-2009, 07:44   #4
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If you are not that good with computers then find a frend to do it for you and teach you how.

If you took it to a computer shop they could set it up for you but you would still need to know how to change the Boot setup.

Ask a frend is best. Its not hard at all.


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Old 11-12-2009, 08:05   #5
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I don't think it needs to be that drastic. It communicates over a standard com port. No special drivers should be needed for the Garmin. It's the driver for the serial to USB adapter you need. Either search for that, or you might need to get a new adapter.

Note: The most common problem when hooking up this way is actually a combination of two problems.

The USB adapter is assigned to a random high-numbered com port. If you always plug it into the same USB port, it will NORMALLY get the same port each time.

Most navigation packages only scan the low number ports. So most nav programs will not automatically find it.

You'll need to go to your device manager, look at what com ports are assigned. Then plug in the GPS. If another port comes active, you now know which one it is. Go to your nav program an manually type in that port number.

If you had it working before, you probably already know this, but the Garmin defaults to communicating via Garmin mode. Make sure it hasn't reverted to that. It should be set to NMEA.

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Old 11-12-2009, 08:33   #6
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I've had that same problem, when I switched laptops to Vista. I'm using Maptech's Offshore. I've gone back and forth with tech support via email - but I quit trying and decided to try again after upgrading to Win 7 in the next couple of weeks.

All that said, I think the problem is that my antenna is not Vista/Win 7 compatible - even though it will pick up a location. Not sure though...
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Old 11-12-2009, 08:54   #7
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I think Dacust is on to it. My Garmin works fine with Vista but I did have to change the output from propriatary garmin to NEMA. Vista has been nothing but a pain in the butt. Win7 any better? Anyone running Nobeltec on Win7?
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Old 11-12-2009, 09:05   #8
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If the GPS connects directly via USB cable, it could be that there is no driver for it for Win7.

If the GPS has a serial cable and you are using a serial-USB adapter, it is possible that there is no driver for the adapter.

But I don't think there is anything about a serially connected GPS that could be incompatible with Win7. Should just need to sort out the adapter driver or replace it with a newer one that is supported on Win7. Could be wrong, but I don't think so.

Just for clarification: they call them serial-USB adapters. That's actually a misnomer. USB is also serial. What they mean is a DB9 plug serial connection converted to a USB connection. But above I followed what the manufacturers say, so, when I said "serial" I meant a DB9 connection. And from the title of the thread, I think that's how they are doing it.

EDIT: S/V Antares, you posted while I was composing. I have Nobeltec running on Win7, but only armchair here at the house. I haven't hooked up a GPS, yet. My little Garmin GPS IV I use for that died, and the only other thing I have here is a Nuvi. I'll have to wait a while. The laptop for the boat is XP. On recommendations, I never went to Vista. But Win7 has been very good with everything I've thrown at it so far.

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Old 11-12-2009, 09:21   #9
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Dan, and others: Yes its the 9pin serial port - USB connector cable driver that is the problem. I think the history of this connection is that garmin had to cobble (and sell - natch) these cables together in the days that computers were stopping using 9 pin serials in favour of USB connections?

I havent looked yet - but is there such a thing as a "straight through" connector cable for a handheld garmin: In other words, one end has the 4pin garmin plug and the other a USB? Tony
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Old 11-12-2009, 09:44   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bvimatelot View Post
Dan, and others: Yes its the 9pin serial port - USB connector cable driver that is the problem. I think the history of this connection is that garmin had to cobble (and sell - natch) these cables together in the days that computers were stopping using 9 pin serials in favour of USB connections?

I havent looked yet - but is there such a thing as a "straight through" connector cable for a handheld garmin: In other words, one end has the 4pin garmin plug and the other a USB? Tony
Not that I am aware of. But I think what you need is the regular 9pin cable, then just buy a generic "serial-USB adapter". That's what I use.

Just install the adapter according to the manufacturers instructions, then follow the steps I posted to find the virtual port it creates when you plug the adapter in. Make sure the adapter states that it will work with Win7.

-dan
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Old 11-12-2009, 09:47   #11
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Dacust hit it right on. I am running Vista (which I hate) and have the same problem. Doing what he states fixed it.
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Old 11-12-2009, 10:44   #12
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I had the same problem with an adapter (Sabre) that I bought from Tiger Direct for $14. But then when onto the manufactures website for an updated driver and know it works fine, heres the driver download, unfortunately I can't remember the model number of the driver.

PL-2303 Driver Setup Installer, Prolific Edition
Setup Installer Revision Note History
=================================================
System Requirement:
. Supports the following Windows OSes:
- Windows 98SE
- Windows ME
- Windows 2000 SP4
- Windows XP SP2 and above (32 & 64 bit)
- Windows Server 2003 (32 & 64 bit)
- Windows Server 2008 (32 & 64 bit)
- Windows Vista (32 & 64 bit)
- Windows 7 (32 & 64 bit)
NOTE: For Windows 7, please use RC build 7100 or above.
. USB host controller
. Device using PL-2303H/HX/X version chip

Supported device ID and product strings:
. VID_067B&PID_2303 for "Prolific USB-to-Serial Comm Port"

Release Notes:
---------------
PL2303 Driver Installer v1.0.5.18
Changes from Installer v1.0.3.11:
. XP/2K/2003 (WDM Driver) v2.0.9.122:
- supports both 32 and 64 bit OS
- pass Microsoft XP Windows Logo Test (WLK 1.4)
. Vista/7/2008 (WDF Driver) v3.3.5.122:
- pass Microsoft Vista/Win7 Logo Test (WLK 1.4)

Installer & Build date: 1.0.5.18_20090723

Language Support:
- English (default)
- Chinese (Traditional)
- Chinese (Simplified)
- Japanese

========================================
Prolific Technology Inc.
index
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Old 11-12-2009, 10:49   #13
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I had similar issues with my GPSmap76; my DB9-USB converter didn't support Vista on my newer laptop. I had to bite the $40 or-so bullet and purchase the adaptor cable from Garmin, then, with the help of Garmin Tech Service, download the Vista driver - a pain. I'm "fairly dumb blond" with 'puters but what I hate is the bulky, 2-part cable setup being bulky and ugly. Too bad Garmin can't offer a one-piece cable for the GPSmap76 (even if it is a discontinued product). Windows 7? - rhetorically, how many driver updates will I need for that?
My 2-cents :-)
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Old 11-12-2009, 20:38   #14
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All the USB-Serial adaptors are available on line for only a few dollars and they include the drivers to convert serial to USB format. You can get cables in any computer store or discount store for real cheap - just be sure that the driver disc includes Win7 compatible drivers.
- - Comm port assignments are normally what is keeping the signals from your nav program. As Dacust posts you have an option of finding the virtual comm port and entering that into your nav program - or - with older nav programs that only accept comm ports 1-4, you can actually re-assign the GPS's IRQ port to a lower comm port number in whatever is the device manager for Win7.
- - It important to find the USB-1 physical connector amongst the array on your computer and use it for the GPS and you need to mark the physical port so you can remember to plug the GPS only into that specific physical USB connector on your computer. If you try to plug it into any other physical connector you will get a unknown device message and nothing will be passed from the GPS to the nav program.
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Old 11-12-2009, 21:00   #15
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If you can find out who's chipset is in the adapter, you could try going directly to the manufacturer for the driver. It's extremely unlikely to be something Garmin specific, though it is possible. I've never used anything on the Windows side newer than XP, but if it has the same sort of device manager take a look in there and find the device and see what info you can find about it.

If know someone with Linux, plug it into their computer and have them give you info from 'dmesg' and 'lsusb' - Linux is very good about giving you the nitty gritty device details.

Otherwise, just go buy one, readily available for around US$10 from places like Newegg.com - usb serial db-9 sorry though - no idea on vista/7 compatibility for you...
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