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

Stephen H. Smith wa8lmf2 at aol.com
Tue Dec 9 22:01:58 CST 2008

Chuck Gooden wrote:
> Because they are different models of the GPS18.  Go to the Garmin 
> website and download the manual and you will see that Argent is selling 
> the LVC model which has a serial interface.  The other model is USB with 
> the Garmin protocol.  Garmin has some software on their site that may be 
> able to change the output protocol.  At least I believe that this works 
> on the LVC model, not sure about the USB model

The free Garmin utility "Spanner" converts the proprietary Garmin binary 
format on USB to generic NMEA on a virtual serial port for use by 
virtually ANY APRS or mapping program.   Info and download here:


Note that this is strictly Windows software.     Quoting from the web 
page above:


    * Spanner allows you to use your GPS 18 USB with most NMEA
      0183-compliant mapping programs. It adds a virtual com port
      interface to your GPS 18 so that you can send NMEA data to other
    * Spanner works only with GPS 18 firmware version 2.90 or later. Be
      sure to load the latest GPS 18 firmware before using this program.
    * WARNING: Windows Vista is not supported by the Spanner software.
      For more information please search about this topic on Garmin's
      Customer Support site

Franson GPSgate ($15 purchase) can also do this, and additionally can 
create MULTIPLE virtual serial COM ports so that more than one program 
can use the GPS18 at the same time.   Further, it can send/receive the 
GPS data via TCP/IP so you can share the GPS data stream with multiple 
computers on a LAN.


More information about the aprssig mailing list