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Tweaking and Testing your GPS Receiver
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pello
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Joined: 25/01/2003 18:43:46
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Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2003 8:04 am    Post subject: Tweaking and Testing your GPS Receiver Reply with quote

Hi Dave

Very helpful article but the link to the downloads page has a typo in it & the link from the downloads page is broken.

Cheers
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Peter
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DavidW
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2003 8:04 am    Post subject: Tweaking and Testing your GPS Receiver Reply with quote

There's no need for the hit and miss approach to finding the baud rate and protocol using Winfast Navigator. So long as you've selected the right COM port, tap on the first icon to connect, then tap on the second icon as well (the one that looks like a couple of arrows).



That will then attempt to set the right protocol (NMEA or SiRF) and baud rate automatically.





I think it's also worth saying that the Winfast Navigator software is primarily aimed at SiRF based GPSes (and the configuration commands will only work with SiRF based GPSes) - though the NMEA mode display facilities (including the Navigation and Singal [sic] Level screens) will work with just about any GPS.







What would be really nice is if someone produced a tool like Winfast Navigator that also allowed the setting of SBAS (Space Based Augmentation System) settings on SiRF based receivers. I'm talking here about WAAS and EGNOS settings.



Certainly in SiRF firmware 2.30 and above (which is what the most recent SiRF based GPSes use - my Haicom HI-303MMF has 231.000.000ES on it), as well as choosing whether or not to use SBAS, you can choose whether to use SBAS corrections if the SBAS data is sent in testing mode or only if the SBAS signal is in 'integrity' mode (the latter is when the data is marked as suitable for aeronatical use - EGNOS certainly isn't that far along and I don't think WAAS is either).



Even more useful, you can also choose auto-search of SBAS satellites or to select a satellite by PRN. The latter function is very useful, as, when playing with ESTB, I sometimes found I lost reception of AOR-E (PRN 120) and finished up with my GPS locked onto WAAS data from AOR-W (PRN 122), which doesn't contain IONO corrections for Europe, which is the most major source of error corrected by SBAS.



So far as I'm aware, the only tool that allows you to control these settings is SiRFdemo 3.40 on the PC - which can, if misused, do something catastrophic to your GPS (if you reconfigure the internal serial port A, you could be left with no way of communicating with your GPS!).





A Pocket PC based tool would be nice so that you could choose appropriate settings based on where you are in the world.





Emtac users already have the ability to select a particular PRN for SBAS in Crux-View - but that doesn't work with generic SiRF receivers.





Just one warning - if you get access to a setup that allows you to configure a particular PRN for SBAS on your GPS now, make sure you'll have access when, later this year, AOR-E stops transmitting ESTB data (scheduled to be the end of next month). Eventually Artemis will take over ESTB and eventually EGNOS transmissions from the two Inmarsat satellites; Artemis, apparently, will use PRN 124. It is likely there will be a break in service with no geostationary signal available in western Europe between the end of AOR-E transmissions next month and the beginning of service from Artemis, likely to be in October.







David
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pello
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Joined: 25/01/2003 18:43:46
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2003 8:04 am    Post subject: Tweaking and Testing your GPS Receiver Reply with quote

Hi Dave

Here is a link to the software, both the PC & CE versions are here;



ftp://203.66.138.20/gps/Tools/WinFast GPS-Install.zip
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Peter
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Dave
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2003 8:04 am    Post subject: Tweaking and Testing your GPS Receiver Reply with quote

Something we find ourselves explaining time and time again in the forums is how to run diagnostic software against your GPS Receiver to check to see if it's working, has a problem, or if you just have it configured wrongly. These instructions help to walk you through the diagnostic software of choice that we use (Leadtek WinFast Navigator) on the Pocket PC. The is a version available for the PC also, but this article will specialise in the Pocket PC version. We will also detail how to test Time To First Fixes (TTFF) with your GPS Receiver which will show you how to reset the receiver into a Factory, Cold, Warm and Hot state.



The full article can be read here
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MountainGoat
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Joined: Jan 09, 2004
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2004 2:11 pm    Post subject: Plug-in CF GPS Failure to connect Reply with quote

Regarding the initial connection -

When I plug in my CF GPS Card A pop up appears stating that a device has plugged into COM7:, you OK that box and, guess what, COM& is missing from the list. Confused

I can see every port from 'Serial COM1:' to 'Serial USB COM9:' but NO COM7:.

I would be very interested in how I might proceed.

Thanks
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MountainGoat
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2004 2:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oops typo- the missing port is, of course, COM7:
Embarassed
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DavidW
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2004 5:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have you tried the latest 1.1 version of WinFast Navigator for Windows CE? Amongst other improvements, it now has a proper PC installer that works through ActiveSync. Be aware that this version installs itself in Programs as Navigator.

At the moment, Leadtek's US FTP server isn't working. Their Taiwanese server will give you the program at ftp://ftp.winfast.com.tw/gps/Tools/WinCEMonitor.zip - though unfortunately this server is a little slow.


If that doesn't get you going, try inserting the card, exiting WinFast Navigator (not just minimising it - you can use the Exit option on the Tools menu), then restart WinFast Navigator and see if you can select your GPS then.



David
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lbendlin
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2004 6:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have an interesting (well i hope so) observation to add. I have tried to use the WinFast Navigator with my CoPilot BT receiver. It does connect and get the first position read, but then it freezes. This is consistent and repeatable. No other program is exposing that behaviour (Crux_View and others wirk fine). Since the CoPilot GPS is "similiar" to the Emtac I'd be interested to know if anyone else has experienced these lockups.
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Dave
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2004 7:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You also have to be careful with the latest WinFast Navigator because you'll see a couple of differences with icons in the application on the toolbar (WinCE version). You'll also find that if you go into the COMMAND menu option and try and switch baud rate, all the NMEA strings reset to a default, they don't stick, which can be a problem if you had the NMEA strings set to something else, so you have to be a bit careful in using the new version.
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MountainGoat
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2004 10:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lutz,

Not sure how relevent this is but the CF GPS I am trying to connect using WinFast is supplied by Copilot.

I will report back if I get any further with the latest version.
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MountainGoat
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2004 2:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK - now I am really confused (but happy Laughing ) I downloaded the GPSInfo program from Pretec and now I can get a signal and a 3D lock with 8-10 satellites.... must have been the weather.

BTW I connected via COM7:

Laughing Laughing
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Uugly2
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2004 7:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This review is the first real help on my problem that I've found on the internet in over 2 weeks of searching and wading through forums. Thank you very much.

Having said that, I've been a programmer for over 25 years on a variety of platforms, operating systems, and languages. Fortunately for me none of that experience has been with Windows systems so even with your excellent instructions I managed to prove my intelligence by screwing everything up.

The long running history of my problem is below but I'll jump to the current situation. I'm trying to get my Toshiba e755 with usb host cable working with my Earthmate usb GPS but they're not speaking to each other. I downloaded and installed the Winfast Navigator following your instructions. Unfortunately I'm new to pocket pcs and since the download didn't include an xscale cab or driver I grabbed the one that looked best. Everything installed ok on the PPC but I couldn't connect to the Earthmate. I read a bit more and finally concluded that I shouldn't have installed your driver so I tried to uninstall it. No can do. I've tried the remove program option on the PPC, it shows the Prolific PL-2303 Driver but when I select it and click remove, and answer ok to the prompt, nothing happens. It's still there. I fumbled with MS activesynce and found the add/remove programs option under tools but that doesn't do it either. The Prolific driver is show with the selection box checked but grayed out, I'm not sure what that means. When I highlight the Prolific driver and click remove, then respond ok, it's removed from the list but when I close the window and then reopen it the driver is back. What do I do now? If I can get this straightened out I might be able to get something to actually work since I stumbled across one of your posts that said I should disable the IR receive function, which I did.

My Toshiba e755 is running Windows Mobile 2003 1st edition. I bought a usb host cable from Toshiba thinking that I could use my Earthmate usb gps device with it. I even shelled out an extra $40 for Delorme Street Atlas 2004 Handheld edition. I didn't find out until weeks after buying the software that it's not compatible with the e755. The mapping functions work just fine but the Delorme GPS driver will not work with my PXA255 processor. I really appreciated finding that in the small print on the back of the box, weeks after buying the software and long after there was any hope of me getting a refund. The Earthmate usb GPS works just fine in my laptop but the main reason why I bought the e755 was that it came with a usb host driver and I could buy the host cable adaptor.

At this point I'm stumped since I can't remove the Prolific driver. I apologize for the wordiness of this but we all know how madenning the old "it's broke - it won't do what I want it to" is.

Thank you,

Wayne
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Pc-Mobile
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 24, 2004 4:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Apart from doing a hard reset, you need a registry editor to remove the Prolific driver.

Delorme USB Earthmate will not work with a PPC through USB because there is no driver (I do not think Delorme has it).

It is not anyone's fault. It just would not work and it should not even be in the small print. There are so many things that do not work with each other and you could have asked before you bought it.

There is one way that e755 and Delorme USB Earthmate will work:

Get a USB>Serial converter which can be found quite cheaply nowadays.
AND a SERIAL cable from Delorme (about $30). That needs to be plugged into cigar socket or you need the Delorme power pack as well!

If you have these and the USB>serial converter use Prolific controler, you do not have to remove the driver!

A small note: USB>serial converter with Prolific controler has better compatibility with PPC as the driver is proven and available.
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barrowfordred
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2004 10:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I couldn't get this to work at all. Nothing, tried every setting nothing.
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Pc-Mobile
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2004 5:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Did you have EXACTLY the correct parts?
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