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[aprssig] Kenwood/Garmin adapter update

Scott Miller scott at opentrac.org
Tue Sep 9 02:57:50 UTC 2008

Right here:


I don't have a converter solution for the 18-pin (010-10865-00) cables 
yet.  I DO have a ton of the original Garmin cables on hand, though, if 
you're going to use it with a Tracker2.  I can give you a good deal on 
about 500 of them, in fact.

The converter should work fine with the round (or eTrex style) 
connectors, with two caveats.  First, you need power - it should be OK 
with 12 volts because there's a 3.3 volt regulator on the board, but I 
haven't tested it at more than 5 volts.  Second, the signal out to the 
Garmin side is only 0-3.3v.  All other signals in and out are proper 
RS-232 levels, but the nuvi needs 0-3.3 volts, so that's what it gets. 
All of the modern handheld models I've tested have worked fine with 5 
volt levels, not sure about 3.3 volt, but I suspect it'd be fine.


John Vause wrote:
> Is there a list of which Garmin nuvi models support "fleet management mode"?
> I'm looking to replace my Streetpilot 1 (the monochrome screen model 
> that DOESN'T support
> NMEA In mode).
> Otherwise, any way to adapt your cable to the round garmin plug and 
> serial interface?
> Scott Miller wrote:
>> I've got the first couple of prototypes of my Garmin <> NMEA converter 
>> board build and running - beta testing will be starting soon.  This 
>> board is intended to work with the nuvi and StreetPilot models that have 
>> a mini-B USB connector (and support fleet management mode.)  Here's a 
>> picture of my TH-D7A hooked up to a nuvi 350:
>> http://n1vg.net/images/nuvi_d7.jpg
>> So far only the nuvi 350 works right for waypoint display, but I think 
>> Garmin's going to have a solution for that soon.  Here's another shot of 
>> the converter circuit, this one with a DB9:
>> http://n1vg.net/images/nmea_converter.jpg
>> It'll probably get overmolded directly into the cable eventually, but 
>> for now it's just encapsulated in adhesive-lined heat shrink tubing. 
>> Here's the PCB itself:
>> http://n1vg.net/images/nmea_pcb.jpg
>> Afraid I only had my phone camera handy when I took that, so the quality 
>> is bad.  The whole thing is about 2mm thick.  I probably could have made 
>> it a little narrower, but I got tired of playing with the routing.  It's 
>> got a 20 MHz HCS08 processor on it, a clock crystal, ESD protection, and 
>> an RS-232 transceiver.  It's all powered by the nuvi (but not when the 
>> nuvi is on battery power).
>> I've only got a few prototypes, and I've already got beta testers lined 
>> up.  I'm afraid I can't build any more until I get more USB cables 
>> (they're non-standard 5-conductor cables with a custom right angle 
>> overmold, and the factory is just getting started on them) and soldering 
>> a 7mm, 48-contact QFN chip by hand is exceedingly tedious.  I also 
>> haven't built a programming fixture yet, so loading the firmware 
>> requires soldering wires to test pads and then removing them again when 
>> it's done.
>> But it works!  Plug it in to the nuvi and it starts spitting out GPGGA 
>> and GPRMC sentences.  It'll take GPWPL and PKWDWPL (D710) waypoint 
>> inputs, and in the case of the PKWDWPL format it'll pick an appropriate 
>> symbol as well.
>> I'm planning on a retail price of $48 for the converter cable.  I'll let 
>> everyone know when it's available.
>> Scott
>> N1VG
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