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Old 12-06-2024, 18:13   #1
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Having trouble getting GPS to work on my Dell Latitude Rugged tablet

Can someone please help me set up the GPS on my Dell Latitude 7220 Rugged tablet running Windows 11? I'm using version 5.8.4-0+1637c28 of OpenCPN.

I can go to the Rugged Control Center on the tablet and see that the GPS is installed. It's setup to run on Com1 @ 9600 baud (but I can change that). I see an area labeled "Select Sentences(s)" that gives me options of GGA, GLL, GNS, GSA, GST, GXV, RMA, RMB, RMC, VTG and ZDA. All are checked. There's another area labeled "Select Talker ID(s)" that give me options for GPS, GALILEO, NAVIC, GLONASS and BEIDOU. None of those are checked.

I've watched videos, read on-line help, and have perused CF threads that describe setting up GPS for OpenCPN. They haven't been too much help. I don't have external GPS dongles and whatnot. I don't have Ubuntu or any (to me) esoteric OSs.

I've tried configuring a new connection under the OpenCPN Settings/Connect tab. The new connection configuration is for a Serial port using COM1 as the DataPort with 9600 baudrate. Protocol is NMEA 0183; List Position 1. "Control checksum" is checked. "Receive Input on this Port" is checked, but greyed out. "Talker ID (blank = default ID)" is greyed out, but shows "EC" following the label. "Input Filtering" has "Accept only sentences" circle filled. "Output filtering" has "Transmit sentences" circle filled.

I have another connection - a Network connection configured. Using that connection I can get GPS information via WiFi from my Garmin chartplotter just fine. However, I'd like to be able to use the tablet and OpenCPN on other boats. I unchecked the "Enabled" box on the Network connection to see if that was somehow interfering with OpenCPN getting the Serial connection information - no joy.

I've opened various map apps on the tablet and they all show exactly where I am - so I have confidence that the GPS sensor on the tablet is working OK.

Thanks for any help you can give.
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Old 13-06-2024, 00:34   #2
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Re: Having trouble getting GPS to work on my Dell Latitude Rugged tablet

Just a guess but I believe NMEA 183 works with baud rates of 4800 or (38400 for AIS).
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Old 13-06-2024, 01:44   #3
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Re: Having trouble getting GPS to work on my Dell Latitude Rugged tablet

NMEA0183 will work on any baud rate - it does just depend on two devices in play.


If you are sure that the Dell creates a COM1 port that is accessable for other applications, then selecting the identical baud rate at Connections of OpenCPN should work.
(Internal GPS of Windows PCs do often use a propietary Windows protocol, not NMEA0183 - there has been a plug-in around to forward the Windows data stream to OpenCPN)



Make sure that the application used for the settings of the internal GPS is closed when trying to access the device by OCPN. A serial port is point to point, only one device can connect to it at a time.
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Old 13-06-2024, 08:50   #4
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Re: Having trouble getting GPS to work on my Dell Latitude Rugged tablet

Just a guess but I believe NMEA 183 works with baud rates of 4800 or (38400 for AIS).

I've tried setting the GPS to 4800 baud and 9600 baud - making sure that the baud rate for the GPS setup was the same as the Connection rate in OpenCPN - still no joy.

Make sure that the application used for the settings of the internal GPS is closed when trying to access the device by OCPN.

Yep - I've closed down the Dell Rugged Control Center after changing/setting the GPS settings.

. . . there has been a plug-in around to forward the Windows data stream to OpenCPN)

I've seen such a thing mentioned in several on-line articles and in a CF thread from 2013 - but I can't seem to find the plug-in. Hopefully, somebody can tell me what it's called, how to get it, how to install it, and then how to set up the OpenCPN connection.

Thanks!
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Old 13-06-2024, 09:01   #5
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Re: Having trouble getting GPS to work on my Dell Latitude Rugged tablet

"Select Talker ID(s)" that give me options for GPS, GALILEO, NAVIC, GLONASS and BEIDOU. None of those are checked.


I don't know your system, but have you tried changing these settings to "Checked"
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Old 13-06-2024, 10:01   #6
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Re: Having trouble getting GPS to work on my Dell Latitude Rugged tablet

And enable the Connections debug window......
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Old 13-06-2024, 10:26   #7
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Re: Having trouble getting GPS to work on my Dell Latitude Rugged tablet

Some wild guesses.

1. Are you outside with a clear view of the sky ?

2. Does the Dell Rugged Control Center app indicate the GPS is working and that it displays a valid position?

I think you may have to check at least one of the Talker ID's. I presume it means that if you have checked "GPS", it will use satellites from the Global Positioning System (GPS) and will generate position data from those and use the "GP" talker ID. If you select Galileo it will use those satellites and use the GA talker ID, GLONASS, the GN talker ID etc. You do not need to configure anything in OpenCPN to use GNSS data from any of these satellite systems.

3. Have you updated/installed the latest ublox drivers?

4. Have you turned on Location services in Windows ? Settings->Privacy->Location

5. Simple way to check output on a com port on Windows. Assuming your GPS is configured to use COM1 @ 9600 baud, open a Windows Powershell command prompt and copy the following command and press enter. If there is any data it will dump 10 lines of GPS data.
Code:
$port= new-Object System.IO.Ports.SerialPort COM1,9600,None,8,one; $port.open(); for ($i=0; $i -lt 10; $i++) {write-host $port.ReadLine()}; $port.Close();
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Old 13-06-2024, 11:59   #8
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Re: Having trouble getting GPS to work on my Dell Latitude Rugged tablet

I don't know your system, but have you tried changing these settings to "Checked"

Yes - doesn't make a difference.

And enable the Connections debug window......

I have no idea how to do that.

Are you outside with a clear view of the sky ?

Yes - beautiful sunny day with about 50% cumulus clouds.

Does the Dell Rugged Control Center app indicate the GPS is working and that it displays a valid position?

The Control Center says "Okay Connection" - but it doesn't show signal strength, date/time, or position location. It does, however, show which way I'm facing on a small compass. Another confusing thing is that the Control Center says, "You must exit the GPS setup for GPS data to be passed to other applications. Your settings will be saved when exiting." but when I exit - and then open a "Maps" app - it shows me exactly where I am and in which direction I'm facing on a compass. To make matters more confusing, the (undated) Dell Rugged Control Center on-line manual says, "NOTE: GPS enables you to discover your current location, but it does not support navigation." I have no idea what that means - but it seems very negative considering what I'm trying to do with that information.

Have you updated/installed the latest ublox drivers?

I have not. I know that because I have no idea what ublox drivers are.

Have you turned on Location services in Windows ? Settings->Privacy->Location

Yes, and that's another interesting thing. On my machine I have a "Privacy & security > Location" page on which I have turned on Location services. There is also a list of apps which I can choose to let access my location. However, OpenCPN is not on that list.

. . . open a Windows Powershell command prompt and copy the following command and press enter.

When I do that I get a message back saying, "'$port' is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file."
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Old 13-06-2024, 12:25   #9
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Re: Having trouble getting GPS to work on my Dell Latitude Rugged tablet

Quote:
Originally Posted by rls8r View Post

And enable the Connections debug window......

I have no idea how to do that.

A Another confusing thing is that the Control Center says, "You must exit the GPS setup for GPS data to be passed to other applications. Your settings will be saved when exiting." but when I exit - and then open a "Maps" app - it shows me exactly where I am and in which direction I'm facing on a compass. To make matters more confusing, the (undated) Dell Rugged Control Center on-line manual says, "NOTE: GPS enables you to discover your current location, but it does not support navigation."

One, the NMEA Debug Window - see below


Second, the Control Center wants to tell you that itself is not a mapping or navigation program. As you have discovered your "Map" application does do the job. The same shall do OCPN. Only one application can use the GPS at the same time...
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Old 13-06-2024, 13:09   #10
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Unhappy Re: Having trouble getting GPS to work on my Dell Latitude Rugged tablet

Update ...

Have you updated/installed the latest ublox drivers?

I have! I still don't know what they do - but at least I now know that they exist. I went to the Dell site and downloaded/installed the latest u-blox driver for my machine. While I was at it I used the Dell "Driver Update" app and updated all the drivers that (Dell thought) needed updating.

And enable the Connections debug window......

Yes, I've now enabled it - thanks! The NMEA Debug window is blank - no text in the text box. I see that there's a "Filter" text box - but I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do.

So far ... nothing's changed.
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Old 13-06-2024, 13:15   #11
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Re: Having trouble getting GPS to work on my Dell Latitude Rugged tablet

Quote:
I have not. I know that because I have no idea what ublox drivers are.
They are the device drivers for your GPS. Probably can be upgraded from either the Dell or Ublox web site.
Quote:
but it doesn't show signal strength, date/time, or position location.
At a rough guess, if the Dell Rugged Control Center does not show your position, I'd say your GPS is not working. Make sure you have the latest fixes/patches from Dell or ublox.
Quote:
then open a "Maps" app - it shows me exactly where I am and in which direction I'm facing on a compass.
Most built-in apps such as Maps use the Location Services which uses a combination of GPS, Cellular Mobile and Internet Geolocation to determine position. Regarding compass, your laptop probably includes a built-in compass sensor.
Quote:
There is also a list of apps which I can choose to let access my location. However, OpenCPN is not on that list.
That list only comprises Microsoft Store apps. It has no impact on the ability of OpenCPN to access NMEA GPS data.
Quote:
When I do that I get a message back saying, "'$port' is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file."
The command I gave you must be entered on one single line in a "Powershell Command Prompt", not the normal command prompt.

Just for the hell of it, maybe your laptop supports the Windows Sensor API. You could try the Windows Sensor Plugin that can be downloaded from the Cloudsmith repository. Downloaded the tarball indicated in the attached picture, and from OpenCPN->Settings->Plugins, select Import Plugin. However I fear that if the Dell Rugged Command Center doesn't display a valid position, neither will the plugin.
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Old 13-06-2024, 13:30   #12
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Re: Having trouble getting GPS to work on my Dell Latitude Rugged tablet

The command I gave you must be entered on one single line in a "Powershell Command Prompt", not the normal command prompt.

OK. This time I used the PowerShell command prompt. Various elements in the command string had different colors this time - made me feel better. I typed the command without a "Return" but the command line scrolled to a second line (my screen just isn't wide enough to make a large-enough PowerShell window). I checked the command line I typed in for punctuation, spelling and spacing. All good.

However, when I hit "Enter" the cursor just dropped down to the next line - and nothing.

I'll try the next thing that you suggest now.
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Old 13-06-2024, 13:39   #13
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Re: Having trouble getting GPS to work on my Dell Latitude Rugged tablet

Quote:
However, when I hit "Enter" the cursor just dropped down to the next line - and nothing.
That just means that the Powershell script is not receiving anything from the COM port and that your GPS is not tranmitting any NMEA sentences. It definitely doesn't have a position fix and it may not be working at all. Until you can get the Dell Rugged Command Center to indicate your GPS is working, nothing else matters.
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Old 13-06-2024, 13:51   #14
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Re: Having trouble getting GPS to work on my Dell Latitude Rugged tablet

OK. Thanks! I'll focus my attention on getting a position to display on the Dell Rugged Command Center GPS Setup tab. And I'll keep plugging away until that command prompt gives me some response.

I'll be back to let folks know my progress - and any resolution - in getting my OpenCPN to display location away from my chartplotter.

I certainly appreciate your, and everyone's help.
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Old 14-06-2024, 02:15   #15
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Re: Having trouble getting GPS to work on my Dell Latitude Rugged tablet

Suggestion could be to download PUTTY and check the a) availability of the COM port and b) Serial data arriving over the port.

Putty is a very simple (very good) program.
Just choose "Serial", the right COM port and the right Baud rate. Use your systems value: 9600.

And select "Open"
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