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Old 09-01-2011, 03:14   #76
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Haven't read the whole thread so I'm not sure if this is needed, but here's some troubleshooting results.

Win7 Starter on netbook with seaclear and OpenCPN, and two GPS. Earthmate and the 353.

seaclear => 353... works indefinitely
OpenCPN => 353... 5 minutes, then dead with COM port locked out even after close.
OpenCPN => DeLorme Earthmate ... works indefinitely.

So by swapping out the software and the hardware, I think it's clear that OpenCPN doesn't get along with the driver or the 353 itself. But SeaClear (and the GPSinfo app) has no issue with it.

I'm going to try xport next because I think with that in the middle, whatever OpenCPN does to crash things won't happen.

Note: Delorme Earthmate has an old COM port emulator like xport, but no separate driver. The GPS doesn't take on a COM port on it's own. So I have high hopes that the 353 will be fine if xport is playing middle man. Looks like a couple others have had success with that. My guess is that OpenCPN is sending stuff that 353 can't handle (or driver can't handle). SeaClear being more basic probably only reads that port. Xport should block any outgoing messages to the GPS.
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Old 09-01-2011, 12:57   #77
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I'm calling that a fix. OpenCPN with xport and the 353 ran for 4 hours, went to hibernate, came back without issue.

So that's a good workaround until some brilliant developer can figure out what OpenCPN is sending to the GPS that makes it crash. Probably the driver's fault, but perhaps it's a signal that can be opted out in the config for gps units that can' handle it. (Assuming the signal or call is sent on purpose.)
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Old 21-07-2011, 08:06   #78
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Re: GPS Dropping Out

I have had the same problem with the BU 353 puck GPS and have now finally solved the issue of signal dropping out, rebooting before trying again, etc.
It is in the cable supplied by Prolific. I had the same problem with another Prolific USB to serial converter cable when I tested this on my Garmin GPS instead of the puck GPS.
I have wasted so much time setting up my new Windows 7 Eee box because of this issue.
I found a different brand cable that uses an FTDI chipset. These don't suffer drop out after a period of logging like the Prolific cables have done.
See USB RS232 Cables
I purchased mine from Dontronics in Australia see EasySync Premium GOLD USB-RS232 Adapter cable (1 Meter cable) - Dontronics
It is nice to read the reviews of their satisfied customers over the cable issues they have had.
I just plugged the cable in to the computer, while online, it searched for the drivers automatically, found them and bingo no more problems everything now works flawlessly.
I will hang on to the puck GPS as it worked well with my old XP laptop I use for deliveries.
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Old 10-08-2011, 13:49   #79
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Re: GPS Dropping Out

Bump, does anyone have an updates resolution to this problem?

OpenCPN 2.5.0
BSB4 plugin 1.0
Globalsat BU 353
Windows 7 Starter on Acer netbook

BU 353 GPS drops out randomly... sometimes it happens in 5 minutes, sometimes it doesn't happen for hours. When it drops out, sometimes I can unplug and plug back the GPS and it catches again without restarting OpenCPN. Sometimes I need to do a cold boot.

I've been working with Jesse at UsGlobalsat on this problem .... so far, it seems their GPSutility.exe test tool is able to remain connected to the BU 353. I'm not sure how to interpret that information ... its only been 3 hours, testing continues at the time of this writing.

Any other resolutions other than Xport?
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Old 09-09-2011, 08:23   #80
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Re: GPS Dropping Out

I too have seen the same problem of GPS dropping out using a 'mouse' gps with an inbuilt Prolific converter and WIN 7, it's most frustrating to say the least. The GPS still has power, and the indicator LEDs show a fix, but it has disappeared from OpenCPN and can be a real problem to restore, usually requiring unplugging the GPS and restarting OpenCPN.

It may be a complete red herring but there appears to be something a little different in the way OpenCPN recognises com ports i.e. If I create a virtual com port with say VSPE all my other GPS programs 'see' the virtual com port and show it in the list of ports available to connect to, but OpenCPN doesn't, I have to type in the com port number in the GPS settings in OpenCPN to connect, whereas the other 'real' ports are shown and can be selected by hi-lighting in the dialogue by OpenCPN.

As a valid GPS fix is crucial to the accuracy of any nav program I'd second an alarm function if the GPS drops out...a chime would be useful to get attention for a serious problem, much more noticeable than just an icon changing colour.
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Old 09-09-2011, 09:28   #81
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Re: GPS Dropping Out

Quote:
I'm sure you're right!! But long words like "ubuntu" and short words like "Linux" frighten me a little bit......oh well!
It is a learning experience and was fun to learn something other than windows.
I bought a used Delorme LT-20 and run that with Ubuntu 11.04 and use gpsd daemon (set opencpn to libgps and run the config wizard for gpsd is all you have to do) to handle the gps data. It never shuts down. Has no trouble plugging or unplugging the gps.

You can also run virtualbox copy of win7 under ubuntu. So you can have the base stable ubuntu install and with virtualbox, a saved copy of windows or multiple snapshots that is EASILY restored if it corrupts itself. To do that enjoyably your PC has to have enough memory and be powerful enough like a core2 duo.

all for free except your time
http://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloads
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Old 19-09-2011, 00:12   #82
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Re: GPS Dropping Out

It may or may not help find the issue but I haven't seen the problem on any of about four different laptops running XP or Win7 where the GPS with an in-built Prolific converter was being run through a VSPE splitter port, but have seen the problem on all of three laptops running WIN 7 where the GPS (in reality the Prolific chip/driver via serial) was connected directly to OpenCPN. Changing that to using a VPSE port seems to fix the issue, which is OK as a dix, but annoying as it means another prog has to be run each time -not so bad as that can be a batch file that runs when OpenCPN starts, and stopped before disconnecting the GPS.

So the question is, what's different about OpenCPN handling the Prolific com port interface directly, as compared to VPSE handling it, and presenting a virtual port to OpenCPN?
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Old 19-09-2011, 04:18   #83
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Re: GPS Dropping Out

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Originally Posted by kiwiradical View Post
So the question is, what's different about OpenCPN handling the Prolific com port interface directly, as compared to VPSE handling it, and presenting a virtual port to OpenCPN?
No problem with OpenCPN.
It is a Prolific problem with Windows 7. As I had issues with their chipset in another cable using my Garmin GPS and Memory-map charting program, as well as the puck GPS with this program!
About time prolific resolved their issues with Win 7.
I gave up and now use different brand cable
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Old 27-09-2011, 05:45   #84
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Re: GPS Dropping Out

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Originally Posted by Ambler View Post
No problem with OpenCPN.
It is a Prolific problem with Windows 7. As I had issues with their chipset in another cable using my Garmin GPS and Memory-map charting program, as well as the puck GPS with this program!
About time prolific resolved their issues with Win 7.
I gave up and now use different brand cable
it's not quite that simple for some, and the problem does appear to be specific to OpenCPN in some circumstances. It's not just a 'cable' issue, some GPS units have inbuilt Prolific serial to USB converters and therefore the 'cable' can't be changed.
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Old 23-04-2012, 13:41   #85
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Re: GPS Dropping Out

I am the OP to this old thread. A year or so ago I purchased a TranSystem hockey puck gps which has a different chipset and driver which solved the connection problem. But some &*^%$% stole my TranSystem gps from my boat (and left a very nice pair of binoculars behind- go figure!!!).

TranSystem is apparantly out of business and I couldn't find one on the net. So I bought a new USGlobalsat BU-353, hoping that after a year they had fixed their driver. I downloaded the lates driver and tried it. Same thing happened- it dropped out after 15-20 minutes.

So being somewhat desparate I tried downloading XPort which was recommended early on in this thread but I originally thought it was kind of a kludge. I mapped the gps to a virtual Com 1 port, and fired up OpenCpn. It works great!!

So XPort- XPort seems to be a great solution to anyone having gps drop out problems.

David
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Old 14-07-2012, 06:40   #86
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Re: GPS Dropping Out

Is anyone aware of a program like XPort that works on 64-bit Windows 7 systems?

Thanks,

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Old 02-08-2012, 09:18   #87
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Re: GPS Dropping Out

I got 2 PC
1. Acer net book, Model 255E, 250 Harddrive, 2G RAM, Win 7 Starters (32 bits): install OpenPCN and run, the GPS drop after 15 min, and so on.
2. Acer net book Model 722, 250 Harddrive, 4G RAM, Win 7 (64 bits)
After install software and run, The GPS no more drop out.
Let's wait and see.
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Old 06-08-2012, 05:48   #88
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Re: GPS Dropping Out

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Originally Posted by paulvu75 View Post
I got 2 PC
1. Acer net book, Model 255E, 250 Harddrive, 2G RAM, Win 7 Starters (32 bits): install OpenPCN and run, the GPS drop after 15 min, and so on.
2. Acer net book Model 722, 250 Harddrive, 4G RAM, Win 7 (64 bits)
After install software and run, The GPS no more drop out.
Let's wait and see.
I left the netbook on with GPS running over night and in the morning, the PC got reboot by itself. I don't know why.
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Old 06-08-2012, 08:57   #89
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Re: GPS Dropping Out

"the PC got reboot by itself. I don't know why. "
You'll need to explore the settings on your PC. Win7 should have the same option as other versions of Windows, to either shut down or restart when certain errors occur. Default used to be to restart, so if you got a bluescreen error from a bad driver or a memory problem, the computer would have logged it, shut down, and restarted automatically. And there will be an error log file telling you what happened.
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