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Old 18-05-2013, 07:29   #1
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Alternative to BU 353

I have drop out problems with the BU 353 with both an XP and Windows 7 machines. I would like to find an alternative GPS, for instance a handheld with the proper cabling. Thanks,
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Old 18-05-2013, 08:36   #2
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Re: Alternative to BU 353

1) change drivers,
2) use a handheld/fixed with RS/USB chip,
3) link your smartphone or tablet to become a gps source,
4) use Garmin, or other, NMEA dome.

We have BU, Garmin 72, 76, (via RS/USB chip) also tablet cross-linked (TCP). All work as advertised (MaxSea, OpenCPN, Regatta, etc.). XP and Android 4.1.2 here. Instruments via SeaTalk and NMEA.

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Old 18-05-2013, 09:02   #3
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Re: Alternative to BU 353

I started a thread almost two years ago about this problem. The easy solution is to install the XPorts utility which will let your BU 353 work. This is a free serial port mapping utility. Google it and download it.

I don't know why US Globalsat or OpenCpn can't fix this, but they haven't.

David
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Old 18-05-2013, 09:26   #4
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Re: Alternative to BU 353

How does the BU issue manifest?

We have a BU and I did not notice this problem. We are on XP(SP3)/generic drivers.

What are the typical conditions when a drop out happens?

barnakiel
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Old 18-05-2013, 14:46   #5
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Re: Alternative to BU 353

The drop out is random, usually up for less than one hour. On The Win 7 machine my driver is 3.4.36.247 I downloaded a new driver and the machine responded that I am already using the best driver.
I just downloaded XPort on both machines and will report observations.
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Old 18-05-2013, 15:15   #6
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Re: Alternative to BU 353

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharki127 View Post
The drop out is random, usually up for less than one hour. On The Win 7 machine my driver is 3.4.36.247 I downloaded a new driver and the machine responded that I am already using the best driver.
I just downloaded XPort on both machines and will report observations.
We are on XP SP3 with driver 2.0.13.130 (labelled 'prolific', whatever this implies). No issues.

It may be I see nothing as I routinely switch off the machine between uses.

You can make windows use an older driver. Back up the driver in use, delete the driver, install an older one. At times older drivers are better than newer ones.

b.
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Old 18-05-2013, 15:49   #7
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Re: Alternative to BU 353

I downloaded XPort. Com5 was automatically placed in the Input Port (on the XPort screen)). Before installing XPort my Win 7 machine was reading the GPS (red boat). I enabled the Xport and the boat went to black.
I have always had this problem at start up with the system COULD NOT OPEN SERIAL PORT 'COM5'. I don't have any other applications running.
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Old 18-05-2013, 15:59   #8
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Re: Alternative to BU 353

Sharki...
You have to create a virtual serial port with XPort and connect OpenCPN to this new virtual port, not COM5 now exclusively used by XPort.

Pavel
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Old 18-05-2013, 16:04   #9
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Re: Alternative to BU 353

Xport allows the input of multiple ports. So I input 1 thru 6 and this gives me ports to choose from on the Open Cpn toolbox/gps. Selecting a port other than com5 seems to work.
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Old 18-05-2013, 17:40   #10
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Re: Alternative to BU 353

Yep. I think all software COM splitters work the same way: the physical device connects to the virtual splitter. Then the splitter software splits the signal on two or more virtual COMs. Then you plug your nav software(s) into the virtual COMs. Remember you can re-number COMs as long as they do not collide with other devices/ports. Check for free COMs, then use these.

I noticed some software creates its own issues by 'not letting go' a port. Then I restart. Sometimes removing the port from under the software helps too, but sometimes it does not - seems like a process hangs on to the device even after the nav software is turned off.

b.
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Old 19-05-2013, 11:03   #11
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Re: Alternative to BU 353

Moved the boat from Portobelo, Panama to Linton, about 18 miles and the gps worked perfectly. Cmap was accurate. All systems go.
Thanks for the advice to down load XPort, and the associated comments.
Cheers, Roger
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Old 19-05-2013, 13:52   #12
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Re: Alternative to BU 353

I use a USGlobalsat ND-100S GPS dongle. I works great. They are about $30.00
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Old 23-05-2013, 04:22   #13
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Re: Alternative to BU 353

Use BU 354
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