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Old 29-03-2012, 17:53   #16
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Re: GPS Receiver BU-353

Thanks. I'll have a go. Not sure what xport is or does but will look.
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Old 29-03-2012, 18:41   #17
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Re: GPS Receiver BU-353

I've down, loaded xport and now have the menu thing in front of me.

What do I do next to get it working? I tick enable ports, it then tells me I do not have proper rights? enter in the input port box?

Do I need OpnCpn to be running? Do I need the dongle to be connected and communicating with satellite?
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Old 29-03-2012, 20:10   #18
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Re: GPS Receiver BU-353

I can't help with your "Rights".That is a windows issue. Your computer is mothering you ...it sounds like you need grown-up "Administrative Rights". Google is your friend.Write the messages that are blocking you into google or Startpage or whatever...that will find you some help for that issue.

You need the gps plugged in.let it simmer awhile with a good view of the sky.

You don't need xport but it Might/Can help a lot, if only to detect what port# your gps is using...you can just use that port# in O ...or carry on to set up a virtual port.


start xport. It will try to find your gps if you click find gps. The left light will go from red to green when it finds one...also watch the bottom of xport....wait.wait till it says it has a fix.

Now, either CLOSE xport and start opencpn and goto toolbar, gps, and choose that port#...
OR don't start opencpn yet and
under enable ports, use the drop down to choose a port#.Choose one that isn't already in use. Then check enable...
Now,start opencpn and goto toolbar, gps, and choose that port#.

if Opencpn or xport thinks something else is using your gps and so they can't use it, that is probably another computer issue, possibly something that is running without being visible to you. Look up and use Windows "Task Manager", find the offender and kill it, for now anyways. A reboot will likely enable it again if this is what's happening but for now....
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Old 29-03-2012, 22:35   #19
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Re: GPS Receiver BU-353

Thanks Happy Seagull.

I managed to get OpnCpn working. It took a number of shutting downs, task manager terminates of other applications before it suddenly seemed to work again.

My PC suggests in the device manager that it only has one port and that is number 4 (prolific usb to serial). That is what its working with now.

I gave up with xport but may have another look when I'm comfortable with he way OpnCpn/CM93 is working.

You were right the rights thing was about working with xport as administrator.

Thanks again.
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Old 30-03-2012, 14:24   #20
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Re: GPS Receiver BU-353

Same problem, with BU353 and OpenCPN.
I used both for 3 months last year. Once I got it going, with lots of help,
it worked well, except that

Occasionally the gps would stop feeding the Nav software. I was able to
solve the problem each time by what seemed like irrelevant procedures,
mostly by changing back and forth between North up and Look ahead.
I laid up in Curacao and I am now in LA. I have the GPS working in the
GPSUtility and I have followed all the instructions. I am using a Macbook
with OS 10.6.8. Any suggestions would be very much appreciated.
Chris
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Old 30-03-2012, 16:32   #21
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Re: GPS Receiver BU-353

Kojiro, I'm glad you are persevering and making some progress. With these kind of troubles, it's very difficult to separate computer Operating system and hardware driver issues from OpenCPN....

Just a caution that is worth watching out for: I'm not sure about Win7 but in XP I know for sure that the port# will change if you plug the gps into a different usb slot. OpenCPn will need to be told what the new port# is...
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Old 30-03-2012, 21:53   #22
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Re: GPS Receiver BU-353

I got some good advice that solved the problem.
I removed the GPS and started over again from the beginning.
I cannot be sure what the problem was, but a simple conjecture
is this: that I was trying to run the GPS on OpenCPN when the
GPSUtility was turned on! That was not a problem in the past, I think,
but it may have been the problem this time.
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Old 30-03-2012, 23:30   #23
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Re: GPS Receiver BU-353

I fought with the Bu353 for a couple of months with W7--it would work for 10-30 min and crap out--until I gave up and installed XP. No problema.
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Old 31-03-2012, 10:11   #24
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Re: GPS Receiver BU-353

About a year ago I was working on a GPS app and grabbed a BU-353 to do some testing. I had it laying around because it was cheap.

Opening a COM port, then reading and parsing a NMEA stream is pretty easy. Dealing robustly with error conditions is harder, and the BU-353 COM port driver seemed to introduce a new wrinkle. One of my requirements was to deal reasonably with the USB cable being unplugged and then plugged back in. Ideally, things should just start working again when the cable is plugged back in.

What I found was that unplug/plug (in the same USB port) would SOMETIMES cause the COM port number to change. The app would than fail to find the new port. If the original port was the value specified in the driver config, the port number would increase by one. (e.g. COM4 to COM5). If the port was COM5, it would USUALLY revert back to COM4. I used Windows Device Manager to monitor the COM port status.

The behavior was not consistent, but I could always cause an error within a minute or so by repeated unplug/plug cycles.

With the BU-353 driver, when the USB GPS is unplugged, the COM port disappears. It's not like a physical COM port where the app just stops getting data but the port remains open. When the GPS is plugged back in, the driver tries to create the requested COM port. If the port already exists, it seems to create the next higher one. I guessed that somehow the app repeatedly trying to open the correct port was conflicting with the drivers ability to create it.

I finally ended up creating a custom Windows routine to test for a port without trying to open it. There is a way to do this but it is pretty obscure. It completely solved the problem. Note that most standard IO libraries do not contain such a routine. Even when they appear to, it is usually just a wrapper for a call to open(), followed by a close() if successful.

I'm not certain that my analysis is correct, though given the result it seems reasonable. Perhaps someone who really knows this stuff could chime in. Anyway, by the time I got it working, I had already wasted too much time and didn't want to dig deeper.

My experience with virtual COM port USB drivers (and Windows drivers in general) is that they vary widely in quality and robustness. I would rate the one for the BU-353 as mostly crap, even though I got it to work. The actual GPS unit works well and the price is great.

All of this work was done on XP and Vista but not Win7.

Charlie
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Old 31-03-2012, 11:47   #25
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Re: GPS Receiver BU-353

I think it's pretty standard that a gps usb or serial can only be used by one app at a time and that it's best if the device is plugged in before you start the app.
That's why I like the port emulators/splitters like xport or VSPE and others.

It's true in XP at least that port# can change especially if it is not routinely plugged in with any other ports already configured..for instance :installing a bluetooth dongle without the usb gps plugged into its usual place first will wreck havoc with the port numbers. Because your navigation app expects to find the GPS at the configured port#..because an app will remember, in the ini file or registry but Windows will not!
Another reason xport is handy. It can find the gps, whichever port, because it searches every port -likely, as Charlie is saying, by trying to turn on every port in order- and tasting it's output for NMEA.

So, I think,, with a plain serial port (Com1), or usb running through a virtual serial port it's the app that sends the start command, (unless it is a handheldgps running independently say a garmin xl or the like). So the gps needs time to acquire. Opencpn and other Nav apps often have a way to monitor the port's output even before a fix is found so you know there is at least a connection....
I guess the trouble with the bu353 and its Serial->usb type driver is that it must be going to sleep. It's not getting the old-fashioned " keep-alive" signal ? as an old fashioned Com1 serial port would need, even though it's apparently emulating an old fashioned serial port.
I don't have a BU353. It's not cheap enough and likely needs swimming lessons. I've never had these issues with my usb gps's, but I think I might be trying other drivers for it....ser2plm.sys and inf maybe?
Then there's the ol' sleep on suspend usb issue. yet another vote for xport...
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Old 31-03-2012, 11:58   #26
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Re: GPS Receiver BU-353

Quote:
Originally Posted by HappySeagull View Post
I think it's pretty standard that a gps usb or serial can only be used by one app at a time and that it's best if the device is plugged in before you start the app.
That's why I like the port emulators/splitters like xport or VSPE and others.
With Xport I use both a BU-353 and a serial connection for an AIS with few problems.
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Old 31-03-2012, 12:02   #27
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Re: GPS Receiver BU-353

Has anyone had any luck getting this device to work on a Mac Book Pro?
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Old 31-03-2012, 19:27   #28
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Re: GPS Receiver BU-353

Quote:
Originally Posted by charlie p View Post
About a year ago I was working on a GPS app and grabbed a BU-353 to do some testing. I had it laying around because it was cheap.

Opening a COM port, then reading and parsing a NMEA stream is pretty easy. Dealing robustly with error conditions is harder, and the BU-353 COM port driver seemed to introduce a new wrinkle. One of my requirements was to deal reasonably with the USB cable being unplugged and then plugged back in. Ideally, things should just start working again when the cable is plugged back in.

What I found was that unplug/plug (in the same USB port) would SOMETIMES cause the COM port number to change. The app would than fail to find the new port. If the original port was the value specified in the driver config, the port number would increase by one. (e.g. COM4 to COM5). If the port was COM5, it would USUALLY revert back to COM4. I used Windows Device Manager to monitor the COM port status.

The behavior was not consistent, but I could always cause an error within a minute or so by repeated unplug/plug cycles.

With the BU-353 driver, when the USB GPS is unplugged, the COM port disappears. It's not like a physical COM port where the app just stops getting data but the port remains open. When the GPS is plugged back in, the driver tries to create the requested COM port. If the port already exists, it seems to create the next higher one. I guessed that somehow the app repeatedly trying to open the correct port was conflicting with the drivers ability to create it.

I finally ended up creating a custom Windows routine to test for a port without trying to open it. There is a way to do this but it is pretty obscure. It completely solved the problem. Note that most standard IO libraries do not contain such a routine. Even when they appear to, it is usually just a wrapper for a call to open(), followed by a close() if successful.

I'm not certain that my analysis is correct, though given the result it seems reasonable. Perhaps someone who really knows this stuff could chime in. Anyway, by the time I got it working, I had already wasted too much time and didn't want to dig deeper.

My experience with virtual COM port USB drivers (and Windows drivers in general) is that they vary widely in quality and robustness. I would rate the one for the BU-353 as mostly crap, even though I got it to work. The actual GPS unit works well and the price is great.

All of this work was done on XP and Vista but not Win7.

Charlie
My experience seems similar to yours...I'm using W7.

The port number seemed to change mysteriously from 3 to 4 and then form 4 back to 3.

I also seemed to get the message when I started up OpnCpn that the port was not available, try closing all other applications.....even when there were none running according to Task Manager.

Without any real problem solving analysis I simply plugged the dongle into the second USB slot, started OpnCpn and then ignored the message referred to above and away it went perfectly. Even tho0ugh I was indoors it seemed according to the GPS feed utility it picked up a satellite immediately. I then took it for a ride in my car and all was fine.

So, in future I will plug and unplug the dongle, change the port number, ignore the message and see how that goes.

It shouldn't be this hard! Should it?
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Old 31-03-2012, 20:10   #29
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Re: GPS Receiver BU-353

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Originally Posted by neilsailingrn View Post
Has anyone had any luck getting this device to work on a Mac Book Pro?
Yes, for a couple of years now.

First on a mid 2010 MBPro with Snow Leopard and currently a mid 2011 MBAir with Lion 10.7.3. Works fine from below sitting on the dinette table.


Also the Global Sat bluetooth type (BT-359c?) works well with the Mac.

And the EarthMate LT40 is not compatible with the Mac.
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Old 31-03-2012, 20:41   #30
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Re: GPS Receiver BU-353

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kojiro View Post
My experience seems similar to yours...I'm using W7.

The port number seemed to change mysteriously from 3 to 4 and then form 4 back to 3.

I also seemed to get the message when I started up OpnCpn that the port was not available, try closing all other applications.....even when there were none running according to Task Manager.

Without any real problem solving analysis I simply plugged the dongle into the second USB slot, started OpnCpn and then ignored the message referred to above and away it went perfectly. Even tho0ugh I was indoors it seemed according to the GPS feed utility it picked up a satellite immediately. I then took it for a ride in my car and all was fine.

So, in future I will plug and unplug the dongle, change the port number, ignore the message and see how that goes.

It shouldn't be this hard! Should it?

Now I seem to have another problem.

The boat icon seems stuck to the spot where I went to yesterday when I took the whole thing for a ride in the car. As I mentioned earlier when I drove back the boat icon seemed to track back to where I started the trip.

Now the boat is stuck as mentioned above. The GPS seems to be working according to the stream information. But I cannot get the boat to jump to where I am actually located even though GPS dongle seems to be working!!!!!

Any help appreciated.



is
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