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[aprssig] Franson GPSgate Software Now Offering APRS/Findu-like Service

Stephen H. Smith wa8lmf2 at aol.com
Thu Jan 11 20:57:28 UTC 2007

In the past, I have posted about Franson Software's GPSgate software.  
This useful $15 shareware Windows utility splits a serial data stream 
from a physical serial port into multiple virtual serial ports. This 
allows more than one program can use a GPS at the same time.   For 
example, you can run UI-View, MapPoint and Topo from the same GPS 

Over time, the original GPSgate has added modes of input and output.  
The current versions can translate proprietary Garmin USB format into 
generic NMEA on virtual serial ports. It can redirect GPS data to or 
from TCP/IP so that a GPS receiver can be shared over a LAN. It can 
redirect GPS data into a log file in addition to routing it to a virtual 
serial port for later playback as a GPS simulator.

Version 2.5 was released today (Thursday 11 Jan 07) and has added yet 
another feature.  It can connect to a new website created by Franson <  
http://gpsgate.com > and upload your GPS readings to a 
previously-created free account.  In turn, previously-authorized other 
users of the site placed on your buddy list can then view your position 
on Google Maps ala Findu.     Since it forwards standard NMEA strings to 
it's website, presumably, one could use raw NMEA data received from a 
TNC, stripped of any packet headers also.

If you have a GPS-equipped PDA or laptop capable of running Windows, and 
capable of connecting to the Internet, you can have a findu-like service 
without a radio and without a ham license.    Note that unlike some of 
the findu-like GPS tracking services now being offfered by cellular 
carriers and others , Franson's service is free. 

Versions of GPSgate software that will work with this service are 
available for both standard "full-size" Windows and for WindowsCE (the 
version that works on PocketPCs) .   

< http://franson.com >  


Stephen H. Smith    wa8lmf (at) aol.com
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