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[aprssig] Garmin GPS-18-USB for $25 !

Stephen H. Smith wa8lmf2 at aol.com
Sat Dec 6 04:24:09 UTC 2008

This may be of interest to users of Windows-based APRS software.   I 
received an emailed flyer from CompUPlus, a US mail-order computer 
store.   They are currently offering the USB version of the Garmin 
GPS-18 for USD $24.99.     

The URL for this item on their website is:


The proprietary Garmin binary output from this device CAN NOT be used 
directly by any APRS program (or most mapping programs other than the 
included Garmin NRoute software).  However, either Garmin's own 
downloadable freeware driver, or Franson GPSgate can convert the 
proprietary data on USB to generic NMEA on one or more virtual COM ports 
usable by any APRS or mapping program.  

Note that this device WILL NOT work with standalone APRS hardware such 
as TinyTracks, Kenwood Radios, TNCS, etc (you need a GPS with a real 
serial output for these devices).    It would be a cheap solution for 
APRS applications running on computers, especially new ones that lack 
classic serial COM ports.  For computer use, a real convenience of using 
USB-interfaced GPS units is that they are powered by the USB port - no 
batteries or external power adapters required!

No connection with this enterprise (other than that I have bought stuff 
from them before with no problems).  Just thought this might be of 
interest to other APRS users.


Stephen H. Smith    wa8lmf (at) aol.com
EchoLink Node:      14400    [Think bottom of the 2M band]
Home Page:          http://wa8lmf.com  --OR--   http://wa8lmf.net

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