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Topic: I need a good handheld GPS with data cable, to use in Greenland.< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 25 2013, 8:58 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I have a gear request.

I'm going to the Greenland Ice Sheet this spring for 5-weeks, mid April thru May.  I'll be spending considerable time driving a snowmobile and pulling a GPR (ground-penetrating radar) to survey sub-surface snow and ice layers.  The laptop and software (which processes/collects the GPR data in real-time) can interface with a GPS unit to tag location and time along the radar track, which is obviously useful.  With post-processing at home I'll link the data with a higher-precision dGPS we'll operate seperately, but having the tracks pre-tagged with a handheld GPS unit will be extremely helpful to us in the field, not to mention just for staying on our intended survey tracks while driving the snowmobile.

I need a high-end handheld GPS unit that has a Serial data cable (not a USB cable).  Something like the Garmin GPSmap 60CSx would be perfect: that's what they currently use, but other models would work if they have a serial cable.  I'd buy one (I'm in charge of this campaign, including the budget), but my budget is quickly maxing out so I need to cut costs where possible.  Having 2 along (1 hooked to the GPR, the other for the snowmobile driver) would be even better.

Does anyone have a good GPS that they can lend to a Greenland science team for a couple months this Spring?  Purrrty please? :D  You'd literally be helping cutting-edge polar science, I don't say that facetiously.

PM me or reply here if you have anything to offer and we could chat about details.  Just thought I'd ask!

- Mike


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 27 2013, 12:30 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

WildlifeNate may be the guy to talk to about capabilities. Based on what I read, I lean towards Delorme for features, but honestly, my iPhone 3GS is pretty versatile, and there are cases available that add battery life, GPS accuracy, and protection from water. A friend that does field geology is very fond of his Garmin, Oregan. I've helped him drag a ground penetrating radar around. I could send you contact info. He is the expert on water levels/shore lines of the Great Lakes over the last 10,000 years so you would have plenty to talk about.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 27 2013, 2:28 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Eco, it's the real-time data linking with the software that puts GBH's use requirements squarely into the serial data connection area.  and a phone DEFINITELY wouldn't work.  I believe the communications protocol is called NMEA.

Unfortunately, I can't help.  All I have is an Oregon 450 and while it can communicate using the NMEA protocol, it does so using the USB interface, which is the only data port it has.  It also does not have capability to link to an external antenna (not sure if that's part of the plan or not).


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 27 2013, 4:24 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

If the serial interface was the biggest hurdle for this project what about something like this?

Garmin usb to serial adapter
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 27 2013, 4:40 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(cuester @ Jan. 27 2013, 3:24 pm)
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If the serial interface was the biggest hurdle for this project what about something like this?

Garmin usb to serial adapter

something tells me that a program that wants NMEA communication via a serial connection might not get what it wants converting a high speed USB 2.0 connection (a la Garmin Oregon) to a serial port.

I've had issues in the past using USB/serial converter cables with certain devices.  they just don't work through the conversion.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 27 2013, 5:48 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I think the 60csx or later is what he needs.  I have a 60csx but with a USB connector.  My original connector was a serial.  Maybe a 76 series.  I'd get on Garmins website and check, probably under the OLD models.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 27 2013, 6:24 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(bbobb169 @ Jan. 27 2013, 4:48 pm)
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I think the 60csx or later is what he needs.  I have a 60csx but with a USB connector.  My original connector was a serial.  Maybe a 76 series.  I'd get on Garmins website and check, probably under the OLD models.

if you look on the back, you've actually got both connectors.  it's probably under a different rubber gasket you've never bothered to mess with.

I would suggest checking on the groundspeak forums.  There's a GPS in education section there and some might have extras they'd be willing to loan for this sort of project.  the classifieds section over there will also have some of these listed for sale.



also worth noting is that the serial port on the back also supplies external power to the GPS, which can be important when using it over a long period of time.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 27 2013, 8:34 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Nate's right... I need the serial cable, and an adapter won't work for it.  They've tried every adapter possible but the radar system only seems to interface with a native serial cable for the real-time logging.

I've gotten a couple of offers (offline) now, so I think I'm set. :)  I am constantly reminded why this community is so awesome.  Thanks everyone!

- Mike


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 27 2013, 8:36 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I have a cable for the old-style four-pin serial connector, if that's any help.  (it goes in the port on the right in Nate's picture.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 27 2013, 8:43 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

GoBlue,I have a 60 Cx that I would love for you to take to Greenland, but, there is a small hitch.  I can't be without it so you will have to take me with you.  All you have to cover is all transportation, lodging and food.  I have my own gear.   I'm not a scientist but I know Holiday Inn Express when I see one.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 27 2013, 10:21 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(wildlifenate @ Jan. 27 2013, 4:24 pm)
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(bbobb169 @ Jan. 27 2013, 4:48 pm)
QUOTE
I think the 60csx or later is what he needs.  I have a 60csx but with a USB connector.  My original connector was a serial.  Maybe a 76 series.  I'd get on Garmins website and check, probably under the OLD models.

if you look on the back, you've actually got both connectors.  it's probably under a different rubber gasket you've never bothered to mess with.

I would suggest checking on the groundspeak forums.  There's a GPS in education section there and some might have extras they'd be willing to loan for this sort of project.  the classifieds section over there will also have some of these listed for sale.



also worth noting is that the serial port on the back also supplies external power to the GPS, which can be important when using it over a long period of time.

I know there is a USB and a 4 pin on the back of the GPSr.  I was assuming he wanted the serial connector for the computer end.  Mine goes to USB.....don't even think my computer would run a serial port.  You are correct may have luck at the geocaching forum.... : http://forums.groundspeak.com/GC/
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 27 2013, 10:36 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Here is the cable.  It's 8 ft long, with standard female DB-9 connector.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 27 2013, 11:21 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Hey GBH, I've got a Garmin eTrex Legend that I would be happy to loan you if it would work for you.  It's definitely not "high end" but it does have a serial cable and I also have a USB adapter with it.



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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 28 2013, 4:33 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(wildlifenate @ Jan. 27 2013, 1:40 pm)
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I've had issues in the past using USB/serial converter cables with certain devices.  they just don't work through the conversion.

Some of the cheaper USB to serial converters (and even a few of the more expensive ones) don't supply enough voltage for the com port to function correctly. One that should work for sure, with perhaps anything, will be the one used for the automotive "ready or not" tester. Do a search on the "Ready or Not Scan tool pdf user guide" and the PDF file will mention which one they use where the proper com port voltages are a must. I didn't provide the link here because it will download as soon as it's clicked on, so just do a search of above with Google and it should take you right to it.

-Don-  Reno, NV


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 28 2013, 9:31 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

You know, even the cheapest Garman eTrex units have a port that will accept a serial cable.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 28 2013, 10:43 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Maybe talk with a local surveyor?

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 28 2013, 12:13 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 28 2013, 12:25 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Cloudwalker @ Jan. 27 2013, 9:21 pm)
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Hey GBH, I've got a Garmin eTrex Legend that I would be happy to loan you if it would work for you.  It's definitely not "high end" but it does have a serial cable and I also have a USB adapter with it.

Cloudy,

I'll let you know.  I think I'm set for now.  However, if I decide we need another one for redundancy, I might take you up on that.  But I think we're good at this point.

Thanks though!

- Mike


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