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[aprssig] APRS and Garmin Nuvi

Steve Noskowicz noskosteve at yahoo.com
Fri Feb 1 06:18:33 UTC 2008



  In case you didn't know, Garmin has the complete Nuvi interface protocol spec
on their web  site.  I got a 750 and saw reference to their interface 'cable'
and I downloaded the spec.  I was curious, but just glanced at it since I don't
plan to get into USB just yet.

73, Steve, K9DCI


--- "Greg D." <ko6th_greg at hotmail.com> wrote:

> 
> Wow, I wonder if this would work on the other Garmin USB-based GPS's?  I see
> it's not listed for their service, but I have a eTrek Vista HCx in the mail,
> due for delivery tomorrow.  I figured I would have to keep using my GPS-III
> (with the display going out), or pick up a simple serial GPS module and put
> it in a plastic box, for attachment to my Kenwood D7.  Instead, maybe this?
> 
> Does the cable have a standard mini-USB end on it (the small kind), or is it
> something special?  If standard, then they must be emulating a USB host in
> there, because there aren't any extra pins on the connector to do anything
> other than USB.
> 
> Greg  KO6TH
> 
> 
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: aprssig-bounces at lists.tapr.org
> > [mailto:aprssig-bounces at lists.tapr.org]On Behalf Of Scott Miller
> > Sent: Thursday, January 31, 2008 11:01 PM
> > To: TAPR APRS Mailing List
> > Subject: [aprssig] APRS and Garmin Nuvi
> > 
> > 
> > I discovered something interesting today.  Here I've been telling people
> > all along that the newer USB-only Garmin receivers like the Nuvi are
> > worthless for APRS.  Turns out I was wrong.
> > 
> > When I heard about Garmin's fleet management interface, I decided it'd
> > be worth checking out.  It needs a special cable, though - for the Nuvi
> > 350 I picked up, it's Garmin p/n 010-10813-00.  By the looks of it, it's
> > probably just got a level converter inside, but I'm not sure.
> > Apparently there's a serial interface of some sort that can share the
> > USB connector.
> > 
> > The fleet management protocol looked suspiciously like a subset of
> > Garmin's regular binary serial protocol, so (once I figured out the
> > cable pinouts and soldered on a DB9) I fired up the test program I'd
> > written, and sure enough, it spit out a list of supported protocols.
> > 
> > I plugged it straight into a stock Tracker2 and the activity light
> > started blinking green, showing a good fix.  I piped in some recorded
> > APRS traffic and the map screen started showing APRS stations.  Here are
> > some pictures I took (haven't tried the screen capture program yet):
> > 
> > Map screen (2D mode): http://n1vg.net/images/nuvi-map.jpg
> > Waypoint list: http://n1vg.net/images/nuvi-list.jpg
> > Station detail: http://n1vg.net/images/nuvi-detail.jpg
> > 
> > It's not perfect - the waypoint set is different, for one.  You can see
> > that all of the cars are now up on lifts with the hood up!  The digis do
> > show up as antenna towers, at least, and the houses are there.  I'll
> > have to find out if it'll take custom symbols.  Also, it seems to have
> > some quirks about showing waypoints at different zoom levels.
> > 
> > The Nuvi 350 has a USB port on the side and another one on the clip-on
> > base, so you can power it and plug it in to the tracker at the same
> > time.  When I find out how the serial interface adapter works, I'll see
> > if I can power it from the tracker, or maybe vice versa.  I'll also see
> > about a cheaper substitute for the cable - this one cost me $30 after
> > shipping.  It probably wouldn't be hard to build an equivalent circuit
> > into a DB9 shell.
> > 
> > The bad news is that the Tracker2 (at least the OT2m version) is totally
> > sold out right now.  My only two spares are going out for CE EMC
> > certification shortly.  The factory producing the boards is snowed in
> > right now and hasn't even been able to get the parts for the next batch
> > - DHL's had them sitting at the depot for days.  It'll probably be the
> > end of February before I have any more.  The T2-135 (for the Alinco
> > DR-135) is shipping, albeit slowly due to limited production capability
> > here.  (The Tracker2 page has moved to
> > http://www.argentdata.com/products/tracker2.html if you're looking for
> > more information.)
> > 
> > Hopefully by the time the boards come in I'll have figured out all of
> > the Nuvi's quirks and dealt with them.  I also hope to make some use of
> > the fleet management interface for some new features.  Most importantly
> > - it does text messaging.
> > 
> > Scott
> > N1VG
> > 
> > 
> > _______________________________________________
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> > https://lists.tapr.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/aprssig
> > 
> > 
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-- 
73, Steve, K9DCI


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