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Old 20-08-2013, 18:35   #1
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nmea0183 to win8

Hi Guys
I need some help with my windows 8 laptop. I have a dedicated tv to use as a display which I can connect with hdmi or vga. I am planning to use Admiralty electronic chart plotter for my navigation (I am based in the UK and have already bought this at 44.95 uk pounds and I have ordered a usb cd/dvd read/write as I have been told the software won't work without the cd in the drive and my laptop doesn't have a cd drive). At present I have a gps mouse type gps receiver that has an external 5v supply and this connects to my VHF via nmea0183 connection to provide the 'fix' for the VHF. I have been told that I can use this same GPS mouse in parallel to provide the nmea0183 input for the navigation software via a serial input, however the laptop doesn't have a serial connector only USB, I have some spare USB cables and have opened a couple up to see what's inside and basically there are 4 wires 1 = 5v supply, 1 = ground and the other 2, I suppose are the data wires can I just connect these to the GPS, and which wire to where? I didn't think I'd be able to do this so I have ordered a serial to USB connector that is supposed to work with windows 8. Can someone tell me which wires from the GPS mouse go to which terminals on the serial connector bearing in mind I don't need the 5v power supply. I had thought of just getting a gps dongle but all the ones I can find will only work with win 7 not 8. Any advice from someone who has actually used windows 8 would be appreciated (I have even contemplated getting a windows 7 operating system but that seems an expensive (I'm on a tight budget) step backward).
I am fairly computer literate but I get a little lost when people talk of Baud rates and com ports, so if someone could talk me through it in logical steps I'd be most grateful.
Thanks for any advice you may wish to add.
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Old 20-08-2013, 19:07   #2
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Re: nmea0183 to win8

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(...) At present I have a gps mouse type gps receiver that has an external 5v supply and this connects to my VHF via nmea0183 connection to provide the 'fix' for the VHF. I have been told that I can use this same GPS mouse in parallel to provide the nmea0183 input for the navigation software via a serial input, however the laptop doesn't have a serial connector (...)
You take the nmea signal off that VHF nmea connection you already have and feed it into what is called a serial to usb cable. This cable you must get one with Win 8 drivers (the cable will have a small chip inside and it will require a driver).

Then plug this cable into your Win 8 machine and set up the data stream with your navigation software.

In older Win (XP here) this kind of cable pops up as a COM. Once the cable is plugged in you can see it in devices list. Use its COM number to configure your nmea data in within your nav software.

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Old 20-08-2013, 20:43   #3
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Re: nmea0183 to win8

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In older Win (XP here) this kind of cable pops up as a COM. Once the cable is plugged in you can see it in devices list. Use its COM number to configure your nmea data in within your nav software.
When you go the the devices in the Win 8 version I have it appears to identify the Port by the driver installed for the device you plug in. For example when I plug in my Holux USB GPS it comes up as "Prolific usb - serial Commxx, does the same with a BU-353 USB GPS.

If you have enough USB ports on the computer another USB GPS is probably the cheapest and least complex way to do it.
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Old 21-08-2013, 00:24   #4
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Re: nmea0183 to win8

You want to connect the NMEA+ wire from the GPS to Pin 2 of the RS232/USB adaptor, and the 12V ground wire to Pin 5 of the RS232/USB adaptor.

Here is a link to some good information about the RS232 connector: DB9 Pinout

You will want to buy a female DB9 connector and solder the GPS wires to that, then plug the female connector into the male connector on the RS232/USB adaptor. Don't try to solder directly to the pins on the RS232/USB adaptor.
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Old 21-08-2013, 03:34   #5
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Re: nmea0183 to win8

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You will want to buy a female DB9 connector and solder the GPS wires to that, then plug the female connector into the male connector on the RS232/USB adaptor.
Just to add (as the OP is based in the UK) you can buy DB9 connectors and shells to house them in (if you want to be neat) from maplin. Probably obvious but do think carefully about the pinout view you're using vs. what you're looking at. All too easy to confuse back view vs. front view and confuse pin 5 with pin 1 etc.
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Old 21-08-2013, 06:54   #6
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Re: nmea0183 to win8

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(...) and I have ordered a usb cd/dvd read/write as I have been told the software won't work without the cd in the drive and my laptop doesn't have a cd drive (...)
Browse PC freak forums. CD/DVD content can often be mounted on your hard drive in a way emulating a CD/DVD drive.

As some said an USB GPS puck could be your best bet. Just make sure Win 8 drivers come with yours.

Your Win 8 is either 32 or 64 and respective drivers are required for each.

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Old 21-08-2013, 14:59   #7
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Re: nmea0183 to win8

Thanks for the advice guys especially the note about the pinout view and the required drivers. I will be trying it out this weekend.
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