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plug in gps/converts laptop to a gps?

Old 09-16-2002, 08:26 AM
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Mcollistn, I am not sure if my GPS actually takes mapping software. To be honest while I was boating inVA, I just used it for Speed readings. Now I am in FL I don't know the water and their is allot more of it. So either way I will be upgrading.

Thank you for the input

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Old 09-16-2002, 09:01 AM
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I recommend this software the Street Atlas USA 7.0 by: Delorme it works the best with my E-trex GPS (the GPS settings needed to be changed to an output device so it can talk to the computer) ... the program even talks to you and tells you when to turn.
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Old 09-16-2002, 09:17 AM
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I use the Lowrance gps and chartplotter on my laptop works awesome.You can use it for land or water.The Lowrance 160 comes with the software and everything for about 500.
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Old 09-16-2002, 10:39 AM
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If you are going to purchase a GPS with data output port, make sure the output is RS-232 protocol compatible. The NMEA standard for GPS bus systems is actually RS-422 protocol (isolated ground bus). The older GPS units had enough "slop" in the RS-422 voltage levels that they would work on an RS-232 port, but they have since tightened up the tolerances considerably and a lot of the newer GPS units will no longer simply plug into a lap top with proper voltage level converters.

I talked to a "Gauge Manufacturer" (president) about why he wasn't selling as many speedometers that hooked up to existing GPS receivers (that would save the buyer about $200). His claim was that the newer GPS receivers were incompatible with the older design. I asked him if he was using the 232 or 422 voltage levels and I got a rather blank look. I gotta feeling the designer just assumed it was an RS-232 and never converted the levels.

OK, enough techno babble. I recently wrote a little "virtual speedometer" program for a lap top. I only used it twice to log top speed runs. Very cool little program, but it was just too much of a pain in the ass to carry a lap top every time I wanted to use it.


(screen shot of virtual speedometer... e-mail me if anybody wants a free copy)
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Old 09-16-2002, 02:15 PM
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I've been doing this for a couple of years, ever since I got lost in Gary Indiana. A $5. copy of Microsoft Streets&Trips after rebate, a $99. Magellian 310 (I think) and the $20. cord to connect them. I also bought an 300 watt inverter at a truck stop to power the lap top computer. Streets and Trips is poor for water, but pretty darn good for land. It updates the gps signal every 15 seconds, and can center to screen to where you are.

Next, I want to pick up a laptop stand like troutly has in his work car.
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Old 09-16-2002, 04:02 PM
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Sony Sky Map. $100 Works great, fewest hassles.
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Old 09-17-2002, 09:20 PM
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Dont forget to get a ant so you can place the gps anywhere you want and not worry about loosing sync.
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