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Old 16-01-2012, 11:13   #1
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GPS/Chart Software Communication Problem

I am having a difficult time trying to get a GPS to talk to a computer which is going to be used to run chart software.

What I have is a mini-ITX form factor computer that I built from scratch. It works fine. Windows7 64 bit is updated and Nobeltec Trident is updated and works fine as well, other than of course not getting GPS data. The GPS is a Garmin 17x NMEA 0183 HVS. https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?pID=13191

The computers motherboard does not have a db9 connector (9 pin serial port). The motherboard has only one slot (PCI-e x16) which is occupied by the graphics card. Therefore a db9 card is not an option.

I have tried three different USB to db9 adapters now. I have installed each of the Windows 7 drivers from the respective manufacturers websites.

It seems to be a driver issue. Device Manager has the cable adapter as yellowed out. When I direct Device Manager under Browse to the driver, I cannot find the drivers location. Neither can Search find the drivers installed location. I can of course find the uninstalled driver in the Download folder.

I am pretty certain I have the correct pins on the db9 connector. They are the same pins that I used for the previous nav computer to talk. Meaning for the GPS to talk to the nav computer and for the nav computer to talk to the auto pilot.

I am using the following serial port pins: Pin 2, Data In. Pin 3, Data Out. Pin 5, Ground.

Any ideas would be most appreciated, thanks.
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Old 16-01-2012, 11:23   #2
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Re: GPS/Chart Software Communication Problem

David, were any of the USB/Serial adapters that you tried Windows Logo Certified? That usually adds about $5 to their price, but without the logo certification matching your version of Windows, there's less reaosn to expect them to actually work.

Pins 2/3 are "relative", that is, whether they are input or output depends on which side of the cable you are looking at. When in doubt, reverse them to make sure of this.

Then there's the usual RS-232 nonsense, you need to make sure the hardware settings (speed, parity, stop bits) are set to match the GPS, and if the GPS is a Garmin, make sure the output is in NMEA not GARMIN mode. With other brands there may be similar choices.

If you can take the GPS to an older computer that has a real RS-232 port and troubleshoot the rest of the issues there, that at least eliminates or pinponts whether the adapter is an issue. Divide and conquer.
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Old 16-01-2012, 11:32   #3
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Re: GPS/Chart Software Communication Problem

One of the cables has a Windows label on the front of the packaging. I don't know if this is the equivalent of a certification, but either way, it should work with Windows, since you can download Windows drivers from IOGears website for this adapter.

This adapter....
IOGEAR - GUC232A - USB to Serial RS-232 Adapter

This is actually the cable I prefer to get working but the driver download from their website does not have an installation file that I can find. All I see are four files (unzipped), none of which seem to be an installation file.

The driver for Win7 64/32
http://www.iogear.com/support/dm/driver/GUC232A#display

Unfortunately, I don't have an older computer with a serial port and I have already registered the software to the other computer. Nobeltec Trident has copy protection.

The baud rate for the software is at 4800 and it is coming through COM port 3. I do not know what baud rate the GPS is set at, it of course has no screen with which to make those settings. The GPS processor is built into the antenna unit. All it does is output NMEA 0183 data. https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?pID=13191
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Old 16-01-2012, 12:29   #4
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Re: GPS/Chart Software Communication Problem

David, since iogear doesn't mention any approval certificiation, and that approval requires paying for te$ting, I'd expect their adapter is untested and uncertified. When you load the driver for it, does Windows complain about an unregistered driver and possible risks?

The approvals vary with the version of Windows but usually under the OS logo it will say something like "Designed for use with..." and a specific version of Windows. Multiple versions can mean multiple tests, so sometimes mfrs just don't resubmit for later versions.

COM3 can also be problematic. I don't know what Nobeltec supports on that, but "older" software sometimes didn't play well except on COM1 and COM2. Or sometimes, 1-2-3-4 but no higher. "New" NT-compliant software should actually support up to COM255 but there's still a lot that has problems counting above 2, or 4.

I'd suggest page 30 in their installation manual download at http://static.garmincdn.com/pumac/24...tilingual_.pdf

to see if the old bogus serial mouse problem, or device configuration, is an issue. You know what they say about the squeaky wheel getting the grease? If there was an RS-232 "wheel", it would be too dumb to squeak. It would work very nicely, but just be too dumb to squeak.

This will be something equally simple, I'm sure.
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Old 16-01-2012, 13:18   #5
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Re: GPS/Chart Software Communication Problem

I cannot load the driver because of the four files in the driver, none seem to be the file that loads the driver. I have tried clicking on all four files.
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Old 16-01-2012, 13:35   #6
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Re: GPS/Chart Software Communication Problem

That's odd, usually Windows will pop up something to ask you about drivers right after you plug in the new hardware, i.e. the adapter. I'd suggest asking iogear about that one.
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Old 16-01-2012, 13:52   #7
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Re: GPS/Chart Software Communication Problem

you can try some of these drivers

USB to Serial Adapter driver downloads and documentation
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Old 16-01-2012, 23:38   #8
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Re: GPS/Chart Software Communication Problem

David, are you running Win7 64-bit? [Oh, I see that you are.] I've got a bunch of old USB/serial adaptors that work fine with WinXP. but have no available drivers for Win7. There are also some serial port drivers that work with Win7 32-bit, but not 64-bit.

I recently got some adaptors from Edgeport, and from "coolgear" (their USBG-232), and was able to install these on a Win7-64 system. I ran the coolgear install disc and it loaded the proper drivers. I forget how I installed the Edgeport drivers.

So make sure you have a USB/serial adaptor that is designed for Win7-64. It could be just that simple...
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Old 17-01-2012, 17:29   #9
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Re: GPS/Chart Software Communication Problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by David M View Post
I cannot load the driver because of the four files in the driver, none seem to be the file that loads the driver. I have tried clicking on all four files.
David,I'm an XP guy,but it's usually the "inf " file is the one that installs the drivers.Often you can just right-click and choose "install".Then reboot.You probably need to be the "Administrator" to do this.The Priveledged user that can do anything anywhere on the computer.
If you have the device showing in device manager wanting a driver (or you can even choose "Update"), just browse to the folder that has the inf file...
You can force installation in various ways too.As in Look for new device or whatever passes for it in Win7
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Old 17-01-2012, 17:54   #10
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Re: GPS/Chart Software Communication Problem

I figured out the problem.

I figured out how to load the Windows 7 32/64 bit drivers for the IOGear adapter and then I had to set the software to 4800 baud. There was also another problem where I had to connect the GPS's ACC wire to ground...which the instructions erroneously said to not connect to anything.

All is well...thanks everyone.
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