GPS Connection Troubleshooting

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If you are having trouble getting your GPS to connect to your PC, then this troubleshooter may help you.


Note that this procedure is for Windows XP or earlier. Windows Vista does not come with Hyperterminal installed.


Start with opening Hyperterminal. To do this, go to Start Menu, All Programs, Accessories, Communications. Under here you will find an icon called Hyperterminal.


Left Click on this icon. You may see a box like the one below


If you see this box, please choose if you want to make hyperterminal your default telnet program. Once you have done this, you will see a dialogue box like this

Enter a name for the connection (it doesn’t matter what you call it, but a meaningfull name is recommended, eg GPS Test)

Next you will see a dialogue box asking where the connection is going to


Please select the comm. port you wish to connect to and click ok. If you are using a comm. port which is on the back of your PC, next to your parallel port, the comm. port will generally be comm. 1. If you are using a USB serial adaptor, you will need to find out the comm. port number by going to Control Panel, System, Hardware, Device Manager, then Ports, which will give you a screen like this

Note that in this instance the USB adaptor is on comm. 4, which is identified by the description "Prolific USB-to-Serial Comm Port". Please note that this is for a USB serial adaptor. If you are trying to connect a GPS on a USB cable, then this will have the description "Silicon Labs CP210x USB to UART Bridge"

When you know the comm. port number, select it from the drop down list next to “Connect using” and click on OK.

Next you will see a box asking you for the comm. parameters

Set the Bits per second to 4800, the Data bits to 8, Parity to None, Stop bits to 1, and the Flow control to None. Now click on OK.

Connect your GPS using the data cable. Now you need to make sure that your GPS protocol is set to NMEA. If you are using a Garmin eTrex GPS, then this will typically be under “Setup” then “Interface”, as per the following screen shots

Select the "Setup" Icon

Then choose the "Interface" Icon

Set the Serial Data Format box and choose NMEA In/NMEA Out

Once you have done this, you should now see data coming into the hyperterminal window like this

If you are successful and get data on the screen, then you have verified that your GPS and the cable both work.

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