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Old 26-09-2009, 17:13   #1
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Sea Clear and GlobalSat BU 353

Hi

I've been trying to connect my GPS (GlobalSat BU 353) with SeaClear II, but I just can't!!!

I'm running a Windows XP on a HP mini 110.

The GPS info Software from Globalsat is reading the GPS sign on com3 (Sometimes 4) and I can see the data flowing on this window. Tha BAUD to 4800.

The Device Manager from Windows see on Ports, "Prolific USB to Serial " on com3 the BAUD to 4800

But no matter what I do the SeaClearII can NOT open port Com3, or any other one. I aways get the same message: "could not open communication port 3" or any other as I try different ports on Properties menu.

Where is the bug?!!! WHY CAN'T SEA CLEAR OPEN ANY PORTS?? I've read a lot on different sites but just can't find a solution.

Any new ideas???

Please help..
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Old 26-09-2009, 19:37   #2
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I've got pretty much that set up, my GPS unit is a generic one from ebay. I've installed it a couple of times on different machines with SeaClear. Each time I've had to hunt through the COM ports in the SeaClear config screen until I get the one that doesn't say "could not open communication port x". Then after a minute or two the GPS cranks up. I would be careful about running other software that accesses the GPS at the same time, as this might make the COM port unavailable to SeaClear. The other problem could be the USB to COM driver, as this is done with software. I can't remember if its part of the O/S or installs with the GPS drivers. All that's probably not much help.
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Old 26-09-2009, 19:38   #3
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Too bad don't have same unit around. Connected with garmin, ray, etc. never an issue.

Is your GPS unit talking NMEA? I don't know if this could be it but check out anyway. Garmins talk proprietary or nmea and if not nmea they become invisible to some plotting sofware. Could be the same thing.

You will get it working no worries.

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Old 26-09-2009, 20:59   #4
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Wait a minute--if the Globalsat BU 353 is a USB GPS, why are you looking on COM3, which your device manager says is a proloific USB to Serial converter?

Did you try hyperterminal to see if the Globalsat is talking to windows at all??

I just bought a cheapo USB GPS from Taiwan, and I can get it to talk to SeaClear, but not to CMAP93. A lot depends on the driver--you might download the latest one from the globalsat website.
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Old 27-09-2009, 07:08   #5
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If you are leaving the Globalsat GPS info software running while opening SeaClear then SeaClear will not be able to open the COM port because the info software is using the port.
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Old 27-09-2009, 08:08   #6
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^ ^ ^

See this. I went through an afternoon of trial and error before I figured this out. Do NOT open the supplied GPS software. Let SeaClear "find" the GPS unit WITHOUT initializing this software.

Once the string is available and the COM port established within SeaClear, you can initialize the Globalsat software (or any other software of this type) if you desire.

And yes, I went through a bunch of downloads and installations and variations before I figured this simple process out. Annoying, but it's the price of freeware.
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Old 27-09-2009, 12:11   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by W32PAMELA View Post
If you are leaving the Globalsat GPS info software running while opening SeaClear then SeaClear will not be able to open the COM port because the info software is using the port.
And in line with S/V Alchemy - if your other software is open then Sea Clear cannot re-open the same port. Had the same issue when tried to use one GPS/com to provide input to SOB and SeaClear at the same time.

BTW - if someone knows hot to tap one COM to two pieces of marine software I will be very glad to learn this trick too !!!

Regards,
b.
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Old 27-09-2009, 18:45   #8
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Hmmm, I though I pointed that out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tackdriver View Post
I would be careful about running other software that accesses the GPS at the same time, as this might make the COM port unavailable to SeaClear.
Oh yes, I did. Hope it works for you.
cheers
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Old 01-10-2009, 10:30   #9
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After having just set up one of these (except with an old Earthmate GPS), I can categorically say that the difficulties encountered can appear daunting, but are actually simple in hindsight (isn't everything?) First, you need to install the correct virtual USB drivers...usually supplied by the manufacturer of your GPS. Then you need to make sure that the GPS can be initialized by the manufacturer's provided 'test' software. If it can, good...you're almost there. If it can't, go back to the drivers as discussed previously. Now, simply because the computer and GPS software can see the GPS, it by no means means that SeaClear can see it....and in fact sometimes won't even when it can. Check to make sure the baud rate is at 4k. Check to make sure that the datum setting in SeaClear is set to whatever datum your GPS broadcasts in (NAD, WGS, etc). SeaClear will actually reset your GPS to 'generic' and 'comX' ('X' being whatever com your USB GPS can be 'virtually' assigned to.) You may need to go into your hardware profile and manually tell Windows to assign the GPS a com port if SeaClear is still not registering the GPS. And finaly, even when you get it all working, you still may not see the GPS recognized in the SeaClear 'GPS' menu. By the way, you can't have both SeaClear and your GPS manufacturer's test software running at the same time, as only one program can use the GPS at a time. Also note that the netbook is constantly trying to power the GPS down if its not in use, so when no software is using the GPS it may in fact be turned off by the hardware...hence the need for the manufacturer's 'test' or 'initialization' software.
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Old 06-10-2009, 08:51   #10
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Thanks for the support

Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
Too bad don't have same unit around. Connected with garmin, ray, etc. never an issue.

Is your GPS unit talking NMEA? I don't know if this could be it but check out anyway. Garmins talk proprietary or nmea and if not nmea they become invisible to some plotting sofware. Could be the same thing.

You will get it working no worries.

b.
Yes, Gamin is talking Nmea, the other one just talks nmea. GPStrackmaker can comunicate with the Garmin.

The 'nice thing is that a couple of times I just got the SEACLEAR to read the USB GPS, bus as suddenly as it worked it stopped working without any changes in configuration.

The problems is not anything so simple.

ANy new ideas?
regards

daniel
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Old 06-10-2009, 08:56   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donradcliffe View Post
Wait a minute--if the Globalsat BU 353 is a USB GPS, why are you looking on COM3, which your device manager says is a proloific USB to Serial converter?

Did you try hyperterminal to see if the Globalsat is talking to windows at all??

I just bought a cheapo USB GPS from Taiwan, and I can get it to talk to SeaClear, but not to CMAP93. A lot depends on the driver--you might download the latest one from the globalsat website.
Hey, thats something.

The BU353 has a USB-SERIAL soft, called GPSINFO that came with the GPS.
It chooses the com port number automatic. Usually 3 or 4 and it shows the gps positin and the nmea data flow on a window.

The driver is the latest.

How do I run this hyperterminal test?

The tricky thing is that they worked together a couple of times and then the 'ghost" got in the way and the communication as magically as it had begun, stopped . That kind of thing that just does not make any sense.!!!

Thanks

Daniel
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Old 06-10-2009, 08:59   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by W32PAMELA View Post
If you are leaving the Globalsat GPS info software running while opening SeaClear then SeaClear will not be able to open the COM port because the info software is using the port.
Hey Bob.

I wish it was that simple! I tried all combinations for sure.

Even without anything connected to the laptop the SEACLEAR 99% of time say it cannot open the com port, whichever tha is. 3, 4, 137...

Any new ideas?
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Old 06-10-2009, 09:04   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S/V Alchemy View Post
^ ^ ^

See this. I went through an afternoon of trial and error before I figured this out. Do NOT open the supplied GPS software. Let SeaClear "find" the GPS unit WITHOUT initializing this software.

Once the string is available and the COM port established within SeaClear, you can initialize the Globalsat software (or any other software of this type) if you desire.

And yes, I went through a bunch of downloads and installations and variations before I figured this simple process out. Annoying, but it's the price of freeware.

Hey, that looks interesting, I'm not sure I tried that already. But the main problem I have is that SEACLEAR cannot open the ports, almost never. Sometimes it just opens it, but then I close it and open again right away and ... it can;t!!! Go figure!!!

And, if the data is flowing without the GPSinfo USB-SERIAL converter, there would't be necessary to turn it on, right?

Thanks for the support, but the problem seems to be SEACLEAR opening ports anytime!!

Regards

Daniel
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Old 06-10-2009, 09:10   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
And in line with S/V Alchemy - if your other software is open then Sea Clear cannot re-open the same port. Had the same issue when tried to use one GPS/com to provide input to SOB and SeaClear at the same time.

BTW - if someone knows hot to tap one COM to two pieces of marine software I will be very glad to learn this trick too !!!

Regards,
b.
Humm, Maybe some other soft note related to navigation is using the port? Then there would be something like 2 drivers installed on the same port, right? And the device manager would show that. And then I should try and remove the other driver?

Unfotunnately I left the GPS on the boat, but I gonna try it, if it maker any sense.

thanks

daniel
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Old 06-10-2009, 09:27   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Not Sure View Post
After having just set up one of these (except with an old Earthmate GPS), I can categorically say that the difficulties encountered can appear daunting, but are actually simple in hindsight (isn't everything?) First, you need to install the correct virtual USB drivers...usually supplied by the manufacturer of your GPS. Then you need to make sure that the GPS can be initialized by the manufacturer's provided 'test' software. If it can, good...you're almost there. If it can't, go back to the drivers as discussed previously. Now, simply because the computer and GPS software can see the GPS, it by no means means that SeaClear can see it....and in fact sometimes won't even when it can. Check to make sure the baud rate is at 4k. Check to make sure that the datum setting in SeaClear is set to whatever datum your GPS broadcasts in (NAD, WGS, etc). SeaClear will actually reset your GPS to 'generic' and 'comX' ('X' being whatever com your USB GPS can be 'virtually' assigned to.) You may need to go into your hardware profile and manually tell Windows to assign the GPS a com port if SeaClear is still not registering the GPS. And finaly, even when you get it all working, you still may not see the GPS recognized in the SeaClear 'GPS' menu. By the way, you can't have both SeaClear and your GPS manufacturer's test software running at the same time, as only one program can use the GPS at a time. Also note that the netbook is constantly trying to power the GPS down if its not in use, so when no software is using the GPS it may in fact be turned off by the hardware...hence the need for the manufacturer's 'test' or 'initialization' software.
Daunting they are indeed!!

I've tried the solutions you propose and by now am quite aware of this issues when connecting this devices.

The problem, as I've stated on other post is that SEACLEAR cannot open ports!!! The device manager in windows does not even shows any ports if the isn't anything connected to the.

I need a insight!!

For me this is turning from daunting to haunting!!!

Why after a couple of hours trying different possibilities it just works and after I close and open it again it stops working?

Regards

Daniel
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