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Old 12-05-2011, 15:54   #1
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OpenCPN to old Garmin GPS72

The search engine was a dud. There's so much on this topic that I was overloaded with results.

All I've done so far is load up charts and overlay GPS tracks after the fact from sailing for record purposes. Today, I created 2 routes and uploaded them into my GPS for my sail tomorrow, successfully.

I'm using a Garmin GPS72 that uses a proprietary 4-pin serial cable in the back, and the other end of the cable is a standard 9-pin serial cable. I bought a serial-to-USB converter so the GPS can communicate with my laptop.

The problem is, the Garmin GPS72 won't communicate directly with OpenCPN. I have to import/export .gpx files (tracks or routes) to a cheezy, free program called EasyGPS. I can then open them with OpenCPN and vs. versa.

I want to try chart plotting and I can't do this until I can cut out the middle-man and make OpenCPN see the Garmin GPS72 directly. I reviewed the manual that was posted and it was not very helpful.

Just as for EasyGPS, I have OpenCPN set for 4800bps, 8N1, flow control off, COM port 4. On my laptop, I have the Prolific serial-USB bridge in the Control Panel set for the same thing as per the manual. I tried 9600bps also, with no success.

The only difference I can see, is that I had to tell EasyGPS that it was talking to a Garmin brand GPS. There is no such provision in OpenCPN.

Anyone have a clue on how to get OpenCPN to talk to my GPS directly so I can chart plot? Or does OpenCPN not support talking to the GPS72 model?

Thanks.
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Old 12-05-2011, 16:40   #2
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Re: OpenCPN to old Garmin GPS72?

I haven't used OpenCPN (yet), but have you verified that the GPS is communicating through the COM port? Depending on the operating system, you might have a telnet client that communicates with the COM ports or you can use Putty (PuTTY: a free telnet/ssh client). If the GPS is communicating through the COM port, you should see the NMEA or Garmin sentences. Good luck!
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Old 12-05-2011, 16:45   #3
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Re: OpenCPN to old Garmin GPS72?

Bubblehead....

Some ideas:

1. Have you set your Garmin72 to NMEA mode?
2. Does OpenCPN receive any NMEA data at all?
3. Try toolbox->GPS->Show data stream window. Anything?

To upload routes and waypoints to Garmin devices, set Toolbox->GPS->User Garmin GRMN Host mode for......

Good Luck
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Old 12-05-2011, 18:26   #4
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Re: OpenCPN to old Garmin GPS72?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BubbleHeadMd View Post
I'm using a Garmin GPS72 that uses a proprietary 4-pin serial cable in the back, and the other end of the cable is a standard 9-pin serial cable. I bought a serial-to-USB converter so the GPS can communicate with my laptop.

The problem is, the Garmin GPS72 won't communicate directly with OpenCPN.
I haven't tried it with GPS72, but OpenCPN works fine with GPSMAP76, which is very similar to 72.
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Old 12-05-2011, 19:41   #5
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Re: OpenCPN to old Garmin GPS72?

Good job guys. The GPS was set to talk in it's native Garmin tounge. The EasyGPS program is capable of understanding that. OpenCPN is not, and looks for the NMEA format. I changed the GPS to communicate in NMEA.

When I open that data stream window, you can see the Garmin chattering like an excited child. It looks like I can now chart plot.

Uh, now that the GPS can talk directly to OpenCPN, I can't seem to remember how to import tracks from the GPS without using EasyGPS as an intermediary. How do I select the GPS as the source to get the tracks from?

bdbcat, I don't seem to have that feature. I'm using 1.3.6. Do I need to upgrade?
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Old 12-05-2011, 19:48   #6
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Re: OpenCPN to old Garmin GPS72?

BubbleheadMd...

I'd suggest most definitely to upgrade to 2.3.1, available on the opencpn.org site.

Dave
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Old 12-05-2011, 20:36   #7
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Re: OpenCPN to old Garmin GPS72?

Ok, I've upgraded. There is a datastream and I can probably chart log, but I can't upload routes into the Garmin. It errors out and says to check the logfiles. Where the heck are they?
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Old 12-05-2011, 21:00   #8
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Re: OpenCPN to old Garmin GPS72?

Nevermind, I'm totally sorted now.

I have to toggle the Garmin to Garmin format in order to upload routes and waypoints, and back to NMEA in order to perform chart logging.

I can now do everything I want to do. Thanks very much for the assist.
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Old 12-05-2011, 21:13   #9
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Re: OpenCPN to old Garmin GPS72?

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Originally Posted by BubbleHeadMd View Post
Ok, I've upgraded. There is a datastream and I can probably chart log, but I can't upload routes into the Garmin. It errors out and says to check the logfiles. Where the heck are they?
I'm using OpenCPN 2.4.506 with Windows Vista. I use a Garmin GPS72 with it. OpenCPN is set (by the GPS tab in the toolbox) to "Use Garmin GRMN/GRMN (Host) Mode for Waypoint and Route uploads." When you want to upload a route you must change the GPS72 interface to GRMN mode. Then select the desired route in Route Manager and click the "Send to GPS" button.

To use OpenCPN as a chart plotter you must set your GPS72 interface back to NMEA.

You can locate the log files by clicking on the help button (the question mark at the right end of the toolbar (when it's horizontal--in build 506 the toolbar can be rotated, in which case the help button is at the bottom). The path to the log files is shown in the "About OpenCPN" window.

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Old 15-05-2011, 06:35   #10
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Re: OpenCPN to old Garmin GPS72?

I'm trying to setup my GPSMAP 76cx. I've set to NMEA mode. Do I also have to select USB Mass Storage as well, so it uses the USB interface? Need some help configuring.

Are you using the USB cable to connect to your computer?
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Old 15-05-2011, 09:43   #11
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Re: OpenCPN to old Garmin GPS72?

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I'm trying to setup my GPSMAP 76cx. I've set to NMEA mode. Do I also have to select USB Mass Storage as well, so it uses the USB interface? Need some help configuring.

Are you using the USB cable to connect to your computer?
No, my GPS 72 doesn't have a USB port. I use a USB to serial converter.

I looked at the GPSMAP76Cx owners manual. It's pretty cryptic, but I believe the USB Mass Storage option is only for transferring files between the GPS's memory card and the computer.

I would expect that the Garmin drivers make the USB connection look like a com port to Windows. Once you connect your GPS to the computer you'll need to discover what com port was assigned to it. I'm not sure how you go about that, but looking in Device Manager might be the answer. Once you know the com port assigned to the GPS you select that port in OpenCPN and the connection is automatic.

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Old 15-05-2011, 10:09   #12
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Re: OpenCPN to old Garmin GPS72?

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...I would expect that the Garmin drivers make the USB connection look like a com port to Windows. Once you connect your GPS to the computer you'll need to discover what com port was assigned to it....
For my Garmin handheld (Oregon 400c), which connects via USB, the COM port emulation is done using Garmin's Spanner software, which is available for free download. You also need to set the handheld into "Spanner" mode, but in my case I do that once and leave it that way. In the Spanner software, you can set what COM port it emulates.

For serial connections with a USB-serial adapter, it's the adapter driver that sets the COM port, and you can find out which one it is from Device Manager (if using Windows).
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Old 15-05-2011, 10:57   #13
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Re: OpenCPN to old Garmin GPS72?

Well, here's another kicker for you. I'm trying to use it on my mac. I could use the PC version using parallels, but trying to get the mac side working.
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Old 15-05-2011, 11:12   #14
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Re: OpenCPN to old Garmin GPS72?

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Well, here's another kicker for you. I'm trying to use it on my mac. I could use the PC version using parallels, but trying to get the mac side working.
I do not know if there is a version of Spanner for the Mac. In your case, I would keep it in Garmin mode, and set OpenCPN to Garmin input. Click here for more details. This is more likely to work, though not guaranteed because I don't know anything about the Mac version of OpenCPN.
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