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USB GPS Devices


The Garmin GPSMAP 60C is part of a new line of Garmin GPS units that connects directly via USB. Why are they not supported by Link2GPS?


For an USB device to work with your computer you need a software driver written specifically for that device. With these new USB based Garmin GPS models the USB device connected to your Mac is the GPS itself, but Garmin refuses to support Apple Macintosh by making an OSX driver.

Recently the makers of GPSBabel have been able to reverse engineer the Garmin USB driver and have been able to add support for USB based Garmin GPS models to MacGPSBabel. Unfortunatly they haven't made a general purpose USB driver that would allow third party software developers to do the same.

So until Garmin changes it's policy and starts taking OSX serious or a suitable third party driver becomes available we won't be able to support USB gps' in our software.

Filed under: GPS

While laptops with integrated GPS are still a somewhat rare breed, USB devices that add GPS capabilities to plain old laptops are definitely not, with I-O Data only the latest to offer a product that does just that. From the looks of it, the company's Navi Clip device should get the job done nicely, with a standard SiFR Star III chipset concealed in its tiny 2 x 1 x 0.4-inch casing. You'll also get a USB extension cable (apparently to let you position it for better reception), and some "Supper Mapple" mapping software, which we're guessing will be of little use anywhere outside of Japan (or outside of Windows). If that suits you just fine, you'll be able to pick one up early next month for ¥24,200, or just over $200. [Via Akihabara News]

This is one very compact USB receiver that can be built in hours and for a small cost. What more it requires no batteries as is powered from the USB port on you PC or Laptop. This is the perfect companion for that trip to the country or a quick trip around the suburbs as your position can be plotted onto a map or street directory in real time. Just the thing for that laptop based in-car navigation system!

The heart of the unit is based on Trimble's Lassen SQ embedded GPS module. This postage stamp-sized GPS module is one of the lowest power units on the market and measures just 26x26x6mm in size. It supports both the standard NMEA 0183 format and the Trimble Standard Interface Protocol (TSIP). NMEA messages that are supported are GGA, VTG, GLL, ZDA, GSA, GSV and RMC. This module is designed to be used in a host of applications mainly portable handheld, battery-powered applications.

This is one very simple GPS to get running. Just connect the antenna and then the USB cable to your computer and it starts running. Drivers are required for this USB device and maps a virtual COM port to this GPS unit. With the virtual COM port drivers this module is made compatible with all the good mapping software and terminal programs. This great USB unit can be programmed to output NMEA 0183 or TSIP using Trimble's SQ_monitor shown below. Changes can be saved to internal Flash, so this unit automatically powers up in the right mode for your application.

An internal lithium coin battery (if fitted) saves the Almanac, last position and time so the unit can power up in just 45 seconds (Warm start). Without the battery this GPS unit can take around 3 minutes to get the first fix.


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Deep foliage, nor canyons phase the rugged eTrex Legend HCx. Its high-sensitivity GPS receiver GPS Tracker GPS Antenna GPS Logger holds a GPS signal in the toughest environments. Similar to the Legend Cx, this handheld navigator also has a bright color screen, microSD™ card slot and automatic routing for wherever adventure takes you.

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