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Old 01-08-2010, 07:56   #1
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Question for Garmin GPS Users

Hello...

Currently I am implementing the Garmin private protocol support for OpenCPN.

My questions are these:

1. Do you normally use your Garmin GPS receiver in GRMN/GRMN (Host) mode, or in NMEA0183 mode?

2. If you could use your Garmin in GRMN(Host) mode always, would that be a good thing? Or do you depend on NMEA0183 data from the GPS for applications and devices other than OpenCPN? Perhaps through a multiplexer?

3. Would you find it irritating or would it be no problem to need to switch the GPS receiver to GRMN(host) mode in order to upload waypoints and routes? And then back to NMEA0183 mode for normal navigation, of course.

4. Do you have a love/hate relationship with your Garmin receiver/plotter?

Thanks for the feedback.
Dave
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Old 01-08-2010, 08:12   #2
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For me, switching modes is about the only annoying part of using a Garmin.
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Old 01-08-2010, 08:35   #3
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Hi Dave,

1- I use my GPS 126 in GRMN/GRMN mode only to send or receive data and I keep it most of the time like that because I connect it to the computer only for the transfer of data.

2- For me, it is not a problem if I cannot use always my Garmin in GRMN(Host) mode because I prepare my navigation at the chart table (don't now if it is the right words) then I send all my route(s) in my Garmin and then I put it in the cockpit and as that I can follow my route without going back at the chart table. So it stays in GRMN mode. I have an other GPS plugged on my computer and I don't need to bring back my Garmin to follow my route on the computer.
But If I had only one GPS, the Garmin, I would like to keep it always in GRMN mode. That would be a "plus" but not essential.

3- With an other boat and with and other navigation soft I was obliged to switch to GRMN mode to upload routes in my Garmin and then come back in NMEA mode. It is not a problem for me.

4- Yes I love my Garmin. All the GPS I have had were Garmin but only walls do not move and a day perhaps...

Jean-Pierre
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Old 03-08-2010, 17:34   #4
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JP...

Thanks for the reply. One more question:

How do you specify the "Route NUMBER" for uploading routes to the Garmin.
My cheap old Garmin 38 can accept 20 routes, [0..19]. The number must be specified on upload.

Should this be part of the Route naming convention? Or another dialog box?

Are there Garmin GPS devices that do NOT use numbered waypoints? In this case the RouteName would be sufficient to distinguish routes.

Wondering
Dave
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Old 03-08-2010, 18:28   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bdbcat View Post
JP...

Thanks for the reply. One more question:

How do you specify the "Route NUMBER" for uploading routes to the Garmin.
My cheap old Garmin 38 can accept 20 routes, [0..19]. The number must be specified on upload.

Should this be part of the Route naming convention? Or another dialog box?

Are there Garmin GPS devices that do NOT use numbered waypoints? In this case the RouteName would be sufficient to distinguish routes.

Wondering
Dave
My Garmins (GPS III, GPS V and Garmin 185) all use the name. But they all truncate it. Sorry, I don't remember how many characters. I think it was either 10 or 12. But it is definitely truncation. If the next route has the same first n letters, it replaces it.

FYI: When sending routes from Nobeltec (which handles Garmin protocol) if the route has more waypoints than the GPS can handle, it automatically splits it into multiple routes. I think that is a function of the GPS and not Nobeltec.

-dan
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Old 03-08-2010, 21:36   #6
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Dave,

Before with Nobeltec, I didn't care of the route number. It always send in "a free number", never overwrites unless there was no more place.
With Opencpn and GPSbabel, I am obliged to open the route GPX file with Gedit and put it manually otherwise it overwrites the previous one.
So each time I want to send a route, I have to check which numbers are still free in the GPS before changing the number in the GPX file and then send it to the GPS.
I hope that the new function will be able to check for free numbers and sent the route there

Jean-Pierre
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Old 04-08-2010, 17:23   #7
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dacust....
Name clipping seems to be at 19 characters, at least from the spec I have. Seem reasonable?

JP: How many routes does your device support? I cannot find a definition/database anywhere which will tell me how many numbered routes are supported in each device.

For instance, my old GPS38 supports only 10 (!!) routes. So, if I want to upload a route, I first download all the routes currently in the device. Then I search, starting from 0, for a route number that is unoccupied. If I get up to 9, then there is no empty route, and I must overwrite an existing route. In this case I choose 0.

Does this make sense to you?
Dave
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Old 04-08-2010, 18:47   #8
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Dave,

The GPS 126 and 128 have the possibility to upload 20 routes (19 + 0 which is active route) with a maximum of 500 waypoints. I never use 20 routes.
I don't know if there is any database which could tell how many routes each device supported but I will have a look.

Now, with Opencpn and gebabbel or gpsbabel, when I upload a route I do quite the same as you : I seek in the GPS for a route number which is not occupied and as in both, gpsbabel or gebabbel, you cannot assign a route number when uploading the file, I edit the GPX file and I put the first number unoccupied I have found between <number>xx</number>.

It will be nice if it is possible to assign a route number without editing the GPX file.

jean-Pierre
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Old 04-08-2010, 19:07   #9
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dacust....
Name clipping seems to be at 19 characters, at least from the spec I have. Seem reasonable?

...

Dave
Hmmm, it's been a while, but I don't remember it being that many. Could be, though. The only Garmin I have left is the 185 (now that I think it, that may not be the right model) but it's on the boat. I think I'll make it down there this weekend. I'll check if I do.

Actually, I have the III and the V, but the V died and I'm not really sure where the III is... OK, and there's the Nuvi. And the Blackberry. But those don't count.

I gotta buy another GPS or two. A puck and a color plotter of some sort, maybe. No self-respecting geek should be without at least 5 working GPSs. Right?

-dan
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Old 04-08-2010, 20:37   #10
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Both work fine for me but I could only get WPTs from the unit to the PC by the proprietary protocol. The same applies for routes.

If you can make your software download WPTs and routes via NMEA than other than for software updates the proprietary thing can vanish altogether.

b.
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Old 04-08-2010, 21:33   #11
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Both work fine for me but I could only get WPTs from the unit to the PC by the proprietary protocol. The same applies for routes.

If you can make your software download WPTs and routes via NMEA than other than for software updates the proprietary thing can vanish altogether.

b.
Same for me.

I used Nobeltec for planning but navigated with the little Garmin 185.

Nobeltec has waypoints numbered sequentially. No way to name them yourself. It could send the routes directly to the Garmin (via Garmin mode), but the route would be named based on the waypoint numbers. Also, I could find no way to save the route and then open it with Mapsource.

So, my method was this:

Send the route to the Garmin. Then download them into Mapsource. Rename the waypoints to the mile marker numbers (Intracoastal), and rename the route to be the starting and ending mile marker. Next, delete the routes from the Garmin and finally upload the now renamed routes to the Garmin.

This was a bit of a pain, but I got good enough at it so that if I needed to update the route while underway, I'd update the route in Nobeltec, wait for us to be in between waypoints (at least a mile from the next waypoint), the helmsperson took a compass reading for their course and I grabbed the GPS and took it downstairs to do the update dance. I'd have it back well before the next waypoint.

OK, most of this has absolutely NOTHING to add to OpenCPN, but I got in a story telling mood. Sorry.

The one point is, supporting Garmin mode would be a good thing. Supporting naming the routes would also be a good thing. Naming the waypoints is another.

-dan
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Old 04-08-2010, 23:46   #12
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How many routes does your device support? I cannot find a definition/database anywhere which will tell me how many numbered routes are supported in each device.
Dave,
to make it more funny, my GPSMAP276C has a limit of 50 routes and clips the name at 24 characters

Pavel
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Old 05-08-2010, 08:16   #13
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Hello Garminators....

Sigh....
So, here is a proposal.

For those Garmin units that require unique route numbers on upload, we will do this:

1. Program will search for an empty route in the unit between the numbers [1..9]
2. If empty route found, use this number as the uploaded route number.
3. If [1..9] are all occupied, overwrite route #1.

4. Garmin units using symbolic route names are clipped. The route name comes from the ocpn route name. The maximum character count is again unit specific, but happens within the unit, so we get what we get. Non-alpha-num characters are typically dropped.

If we had a machine readable database of route and waypoint maximums, we would not have to clip the route search at 10. Maybe something will show up with further searching.

I have implemented this using the jeeps module from GPSBabel. It is an open source (GPL2) Garmin library that was never released formally as an object, but found its way into GPSBabel. Works well, good code, portable. Just what we needed.

Garmin GPS support will be released formally in the next Beta. Source compilers may find it in git now. Select the Garmin Host mode option in toolbox->GPS.
Test if you dare



Thanks for the feedback
Dave
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Old 05-08-2010, 09:39   #14
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Test if you dare
Dave,
not much success with 276C connected to USB
The unit is set to Garmin Host Protocol, I select GARMIN in the upload dialog and the upload progress is shown and ends with success message when the upload finishes, but GPS does nothing at all (not even showing the data transfer screen it shows when it receives data).
GPSBabel with the track exported to GPX works OK (it's debug log attached if it is of any use to you)
Not much in opencpn.log:
Code:
17:16:34: 


17:16:34: 2010-08-05
17:16:34:  -------Starting opencpn-------
17:16:34: Version 2.2 Build 805
17:16:34: SData_Locn is C:\Program Files\OpenCPN\
17:16:34: Using existing Config_File: C:\Users\nohal\AppData\Roaming\opencpn\opencpn.ini
17:16:34: Setting Viewpoint Lat/Lon 41.3136, 16.6617
17:16:34: Setting Ownship Lat/Lon 33.358, -79.282
17:16:34: System default Language:  cs_CZ
5:16:34 PM: Opencpn language set to:  en_US
5:16:34 PM: looking for catalog 'opencpn' in path './share/locale\en_US.WINDOWS-1250\LC_MESSAGES;./share/locale\;./share/locale\en_US.WINDOWS-1250;C:\Program Files\OpenCPN\en_US.WINDOWS-1250;./share/locale\en_US\LC_MESSAGES;./share/locale\;./share/locale\en_US;C:\Program Files\OpenCPN\en_US;./share/locale\en\LC_MESSAGES;./share/locale\;./share/locale\en;C:\Program Files\OpenCPN\en'.
5:16:34 PM: catalog file for domain 'opencpn' not found.
5:16:35 PM: Using s57data in C:\Program Files\OpenCPN\s57data
5:16:35 PM: Using Tide/Current data from:  C:\Program Files\OpenCPN\tcdata\
5:16:35 PM: Setting Viewpoint Lat/Lon 41.3136, 16.6617
5:16:35 PM: Setting Ownship Lat/Lon 33.358, -79.282
5:16:35 PM: NMEA Data Source is....AIS Port (Shared)
5:16:35 PM: AIS Data Source is....None
5:16:35 PM: Using WVSChart datafile: C:\Program Files\OpenCPN\wvsdata\wvs43.dat
5:16:35 PM: NMEA AutoPilot Port is....None
5:16:35 PM: PlugInManager: Loading PlugIn: C:\Program Files\OpenCPN\plugins/celestial_navigation_pi.dll
5:16:35 PM: PlugInManager: Loading PlugIn: C:\Program Files\OpenCPN\plugins/dashboard_pi.dll
5:16:35 PM: PlugInManager: Loading PlugIn: C:\Program Files\OpenCPN\plugins/demo_pi.dll
5:16:35 PM: PlugInManager: Loading PlugIn: C:\Program Files\OpenCPN\plugins/grib_pi.dll
5:16:35 PM: Chartlist file not found, config chart dir array is empty.  Chartlist target file is:C:\Users\nohal\AppData\Roaming\opencpn\CHRTLIST.DAT
5:16:36 PM: Found Garmin USB Driver.
5:16:36 PM: Found Garmin Device.
5:16:52 PM: GPS Watchdog Timeout is: 6 sec.
5:16:55 PM: Found Garmin USB Driver.
5:16:55 PM: Found Garmin Device.
5:17:15 PM: PlugInManager: Deactivating PlugIn: C:\Program Files\OpenCPN\plugins/celestial_navigation_pi.dll
5:17:15 PM: PlugInManager: Deactivating PlugIn: C:\Program Files\OpenCPN\plugins/dashboard_pi.dll
5:17:15 PM: PlugInManager: Deactivating PlugIn: C:\Program Files\OpenCPN\plugins/demo_pi.dll
5:17:15 PM: PlugInManager: Deactivating PlugIn: C:\Program Files\OpenCPN\plugins/grib_pi.dll
5:17:15 PM: opencpn::MyFrame exiting cleanly.
5:17:16 PM: PlugInManager: UnLoading PlugIn: C:\Program Files\OpenCPN\plugins/celestial_navigation_pi.dll
5:17:16 PM: PlugInManager: UnLoading PlugIn: C:\Program Files\OpenCPN\plugins/dashboard_pi.dll
5:17:16 PM: PlugInManager: UnLoading PlugIn: C:\Program Files\OpenCPN\plugins/demo_pi.dll
5:17:16 PM: PlugInManager: UnLoading PlugIn: C:\Program Files\OpenCPN\plugins/grib_pi.dll
5:17:16 PM: LOGBOOK:  2010-08-05 15:17:16 UTC OFF: Lat   33.35800 Lon  -79.28200
5:17:16 PM: opencpn::MyApp exiting cleanly...
Let me know if you want some more info.

Pavel
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Old 05-08-2010, 09:48   #15
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Pavel....

Garmin USB interface for route/wp upload is completely untested. I don't have such a beast. I do have a Garmin USB hockey puck. Not sure if it can accept uploaded routes. What good would that be without any UI?

I'm going to figure out how to turn on the copious debug messages in jeeps. I'll let you know how this goes.

Does the Garmin USB interface work for you otherwise in receive mode? Does it produce lat/lon, etc?

Dave
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