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[aprssig] Really CHEAP Puck-type USB GPS Receiver

Stephen H. Smith wa8lmf2 at aol.com
Fri Jan 20 19:03:45 UTC 2012


On 1/20/2012 1:42 PM, Allan May wrote:
> Good afternoon!!
> I an going to purchase one but I have a question.. What type of computer based programs will run this? I want to get into APRS again. Are there any APRS programs out there? Thanks,
>                    Allan May, WD4ITE
>                   EC Mathews Co. Va

Any Windows, Linux or Mac-based mapping application that supports standard 
NMEA-0183 GPS data.

Virtually ALL mapping and APRS programs expect GPS and TNC data to appear on 
RS-232 serial COM ports. One way or another, ANY USB TNC or GPS device has to 
be made to "look like" a classic serial port before you even start the program.

The key is NOT the particular application, but rather the proper installation 
of the Prolific USB-to-serial driver software.   This driver, which is also 
used by many USB<-->serial converter cables a.k.a. "dongles",  intercepts the 
device's native USB data stream and creates a simulated (virtual) serial COM port.

Any APRS application like UIview, APRSice, APRSpoint, etc or mapping program 
like Street Atlas, MapPoint, Precision Mapping, Streets & Trips etc  then uses 
the virtual com port exactly the same way as as it would an actual physical 
serial port.

[The only difference between a so-called "USB GPS" and a serial GPS connected 
to a serial<-->USB cable dongle is that the serial<-->USB conversion chip is 
inside the GPS instead of in a lump in the middle of a cable. The real 
advantage of the "USB" GPS is that it can draw it's operating power from the 
host computer's USB port.  A serial GPS will always require some additional 
power source; usually either internal batteries or a 12VDC-->5 VDC lighter 
adapter similar to a cell phone charger.]



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Stephen H. Smith    wa8lmf (at) aol.com
Skype:        WA8LMF
Home Page:          http://wa8lmf.net

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