[aprssig] Garmin and APRS
scott at opentrac.org
Fri Feb 27 19:46:38 CST 2009
As I think just about everyone here knows, I've been working a lot with
the Garmin nuvi 350 because through some fluke its fleet management
interface allows real-time waypoint creation (it's not part of the
documented protocol), and it works perfectly for APRS. The Tracker2 and
now the D700/D710 or any other NMEA-capable tracker (with the GTRANS
translator cable) can use it.
I've been trying for a year or more to convince Garmin to add this
capability to other models, but I really haven't had any luck. I'm not
sure I've even convinced them that I'm not just a lone nut, so it's time
to let them know there are a lot of us nuts out there.
I'm calling on any APRS users who own Garmin automotive navigation
systems (nuvi, zumo, StreetPilot), or would honestly buy one if their
APRS support was better, to email Garmin and let them know that you want
to see real-time waypoint creation through the fleet management
interface like on the nuvi 350.
If you have a StreetPilot 7200 or 2720, a nuvi 600 series, or a nuvi
360, these already create waypoints but they leave duplicates each time
a station moves. This is a legitimate mis-feature to open a support
ticket for, and Garmin has changed waypoint behavior in the past at
customer request. It'd be a minor change and would give us several more
APRS-capable models with larger screens and more features.
The Garmin support contact page is here, for those who already own
I'm really hoping to get across to them how important this feature is
for emergency response, search and rescue, and related activities.
Situational awareness is a big deal, and most SAR teams, Red Cross
chapters, and so forth can't afford expensive mobile data terminals that
probably won't interoperate with anyone else's equipment in a major
disaster or mutual aid situation.
It'd also be nice to let them know that you appreciate their support for
APRS with the enhanced NMEA input on the Colorado 300 and the new Oregon
handhelds. The outdoor products division gets it, apparently.
If you have APRS-related stories, testimonials, and so forth, you can
send them to:
stories at garmin.com
The new models are coming out with no waypoint display capability at
all, just a broken point of interest upload capability that won't work
for APRS at all. We need to let them know it's important before it
The Colorado 300's example shows that Garmin CAN pull this off, and that
a tiny bit of work on their part opens up a lot of possibilities for us
So please, let Garmin know what you think about this. Be polite and
constructive, and let them know that helping out the APRS community
makes financial sense for them and provides a real benefit to our public
service capabilities. They're closed for the weekend, so this is a
perfect time to get your messages in and get their attention on Monday
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