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MKB
11th September 2005, 04:42 PM
When hooking a Garmin Etrex up to a Computer with the serial interface cable, is it safe to do so when the computer is on like when using USB cables or do you need to turn it and the Computer off?

Craigus
11th September 2005, 05:47 PM
You should be fine to connect it while the PC is on, though I cannot guarantee you the PC will detect it without restarting. :D

You could alway get you're self a serial to USB adaptor.

Pluto
11th September 2005, 07:50 PM
Thare shouldn't be a problem connecting the GPS to the serial port while the PC is running. However you will probably experience connection problems, if you run your interface software (MapSource, OxiExplorer, etc.) before you have connected up the GPS.

In this situation, you could create an error returned in the application because of non response and lock it up. It won't crash the computer, but you may have to restart the application.

Earlier versions of OziExplorer would do this, but it's been fixed for a long time, now.

arthurking83
11th September 2005, 08:05 PM
You should be fine to connect it while the PC is on, though I cannot guarantee you the PC will detect it without restarting. :D

You could alway get you're self a serial to USB adaptor.

I have a magellan meridian and I'm always connecting the serial cable while the computer is on :o
I know I shouldn't, and it could do some damage! But who has the time to restart a computer nowadays? :rolleyes:

With regards to the serial adapter.......Try to avoid those cheapie $20 translucent blue jobbies being flogged by the 'market vendors'
I got one and it lasted all of a day or two, with major headaches trying to connect(drivers??)
I ended up throwing it out after it stopped altogether (one internal wire came loose! The only benefit of it being translucent!)
I found an alternative 'cheap brand' on ebay for $10 more(about $20 +$10 postage) much better made, black solid moulding. This one had a link to a site with updated drivers(essential to get it to work).
Handy item for connecting a GPS on a regular basis.

Craigus
11th September 2005, 09:02 PM
We should have them available in the shop soon for arround $49!

Ozzie
11th September 2005, 09:35 PM
I
With regards to the serial adapter.......Try to avoid those cheapie $20 translucent blue jobbies being flogged by the 'market vendors'
I got one and it lasted all of a day or two, with major headaches trying to connect(drivers??)
.

Ive had one for over 12 months now, never missed a beat, but after saying that a mate of mine had the same problem you had.

The unwritten rule of computers is never plug anything in while the computer is still running. but I suppose im one of the biggest breakers of that rule. I normally have my seriel cable plugged in turn the computer on then if need be just plug the GPS cable in,, that way the computer has picked up the serial cable without the need to restart if problems accurr.

Ozzie

cmg
12th September 2005, 11:05 AM
I havent had any hassles as yet with mine, but I always have the software already started, then plug into GPS, then turn GPS on, Im also using the serial port.

michaeld
12th September 2005, 02:24 PM
with my old etrex and my magellan I always (at least 200 times) just connect it any time while the computer is on and no problems

festy
12th September 2005, 03:32 PM
You can't damage the PC's serial port by hot-plugging alone. There is protection against short circuits built in to the PC's serial port.
The only commonly used I/O port on a PC that is *not* hot pluggable is the PS/2 port. Although they will almost always work fine, the PS/2 standard does say the port is not required to detect a hot-plug.

MKB
13th September 2005, 11:59 AM
Thankyou for your replys. Ill conect now with confidence.

Art
14th September 2005, 11:36 AM
festy is right, although I wouldn't like to bet that every serial port is short tolerant.
It would be colpletely safe to plug in the GPS even after starting MapSource.
MapSource doesn't open any com ports until you tell it to by trying to
connect to a GPS. It makes the initial connection at 9600 baud before
negotiating a possible higher baud rate by asking:

"#10#FE#00#02#10#03" (Are you there??)

The eTrex replies with something like:
"#10#06#02#FE#00#FA#10#03#10#FF#5A#9B#01#72#01#65#5 4#72#65#78#20#4C#65#67#65#6E#64#20#53#6F#66#74#77# 61#72#65#20#56#65#72#73#69#6F#6E#20#33#2E#37#31#00 #56#45#52#42#4D#41#50#20#50#61#63#69#66#69#63#20#4 8#69#67#68#77#61#79#20#31#2E#30#30#00#56#45#52#53# 4D#41#50#20#42#61#72#6E#65#79#4E#50#20#30#2E#30#30 #00#00#10#03"
which identifies the model of the unit, and strangely enough, the maps that are currently loaded onto it (including basemap) complete with version numbers.
In this case the translation to ASCII is:
"eTrex Legend Software Version 3.71VERBMAP Pacific Highway 1.00VERSMAP Coral Sea 0.00"
Art.

jindydiver
16th September 2005, 08:31 AM
I have found that with my laptop that if I plug in the serial to usb with the gps already attached then the computor thinks I have aded a pointing device and I have to reboot.
As long as I don't get ahead of myself it works fine.

arthurking83
16th September 2005, 09:20 PM
I have found that with my laptop that if I plug in the serial to usb with the gps already attached then the computor thinks I have aded a pointing device and I have to reboot.
As long as I don't get ahead of myself it works fine.

I had a similar problem once and I found a fix where it said to add some lines to make boot.ini look like this.....

/fastdetect/NoSerialMouse /NoExecute=OptIn

I just added the line NoSerialMouse between fastdetect and NoExecute...
boot ini is located in the root drive.
This also stopped the mouse(pointer) going bonkers while the USB-serial adapter was connected.

jindydiver
17th September 2005, 07:55 AM
Thanks I might give that a try :)