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[aprssig] Nuvi GPS blast

Scott Miller scott at opentrac.org
Sun Dec 13 20:02:52 UTC 2009

Bob Bruninga wrote:
> While I thoroughly love my NUVI350 with Argent Systems interface cable for Mobile APRS applications, I saw this rant about the NUVI 500 from a highly respected hacker over on the Electric Vehicle sig.
> He laments the overall DECLINE in usefulness of GPS units (NUVI as an example) as they are dumbed down to one-app fits all mentality.  He mentions the same useless attempts at Garmin customer service that Scott frquently mentinos.  THey are just too big to listen anymore to cusomers..

Don't give up on Garmin just yet.  It took a long time, but apparently 
someone's listening after all - the beta FMI 2.5 software just released 
for the nuvi 1200/1300/1400 series has some features that are exactly 
what I asked for.  Not quite implemented perfectly yet, which is why I 
haven't said anything, but there's still hope.

FMI 2.5 explicitly includes a waypoint creation protocol - it's not an 
accidental leftover like on the nuvi 350.  Also, for the first time ever 
in any Garmin product (to my knowledge) it's got a waypoint delete message.

Ideally I'd have liked the ability to have waypoints expire 
automatically, since the T2 doesn't have enough memory to keep track of 
every received station - and it'd need to be nonvolatile memory, too. 
But that's a little too APRS specific, so I suggested another solution. 
  Either they took that suggestion, or someone there came up with the 
same thing independently, but in any case it's there - when you create a 
waypoint it can be assigned to any combination of up to 16 categories, 
represented by a bitmap.  Those categories can optionally be assigned 
labels that'll show up in the favorites menu - this part's not done yet.

Aside from the obvious use of keeping APRS waypoints separate, it also 
lets me expire old waypoints by using a 'delete waypoints by category' 
command.  The T2 uses a number of hidden categories, and every waypoint 
created or updated for the first n minutes of the day goes into one 
category.  The next n minutes go into the next category.  When it rolls 
over to the next category, it sends a delete command.  The result is 
that every waypoint older than n*c, where c is the number of categories, 
gets deleted.

The bad news is that so far, waypoints don't get automatically updated 
on the map and they don't show labels.  You've got to exit back to the 
menu and then select the map again to see where everyone is.  They DO 
display a name, and a link taking you to the waypoint detail screen 
(comments aren't working yet) when you tap them.

If you have a Tracker2 and a nuvi 1200/1300/1400 series and want to try 
it out, get the FMI 2.5 update here:


You'll also need the latest T2 development build - just click the 'web' 
button in the config program, I think it's at the very bottom of the 
list.  Hookup requires a Garmin 010-11232-00 (FMI 10) cable or 
equivalent (there's one that includes a traffic receiver) that I'm out 
of for a few days.  I'd ramped up my stock of them in anticipation of 
the FMI 2.5 software, and some commercial AVL company bought up every 
one I had.

CC'ing this to the Tracker2 group because I haven't announced it there yet.


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