[aprssig] APRS Icons on Garmin Receivers

william.diaz at comcast.net william.diaz at comcast.net
Thu Feb 8 12:32:06 CST 2007

I recently purchased a Garmin 376C receiver and am quite impressed with it's capabilities.  It has RS232 serial i/o and a USB port for connection to an XM Satellite weather receiver.  The large color display is easily readable in daylight.  It also has audio output capability which is used for Next Turn alerting, and audible Tornado and Severe Thunderstorm warnings (with the XM Satellite Weather subscription).

Apparently, many of the newer Garmin receivers have the ability use custom waypoint icons which can be uploaded to the receiver.  The 376C can support up to 64 custom icons according to the manual.   Unfortunately, the only way to use the custom icons is via Garmin's published proprietary protocol.  

Sure would be nice if some talented PIC etc developer could create a device to interface between the Garmin receivers and  TNC/D7/D700's to convert APRS packets into Garmin's proprietary protocol.  It would be possible to use a mix of custom and regular Garmin icons to approximate almost all of the currently used APRS icons.  The only exceptions would be those icons that use overlay symbols.

The Garmin protocol also provides the ability to include a waypoint comment.  This could be used to include such things as Wx warnings, Wx station info, Voice repeater info, etc.   Most newer Garmin receivers allow the user to access the detailed comment info via a text search or directly via the map cursor.  

The result would be a smaller display which would include much of the functionality of Laptop based clients.  Add one of John Hansen's keyboard interfaces and you would have a super mobile package.

Any interested developers out there?  

Bill KC9XG
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