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TrackLogs Digital MappingTrackLogs Digital Mapping

I can't connect to my GPS, what should I do?

TrackLogs Digital Mapping

If TrackLogs Digital Mapping can't find your GPS then there are a number of things which could be going wrong.

1. Check your TrackLogs software version.

Always run the latest version of TrackLogs. Software updates are free for all TrackLogs v3 users and are available to download from this website. It is especially important that you are running TrackLogs 3.14.10 or later as this was the first release to contain new GPS features which streamline the detection process.

2. Is the GPS switched on?

Starting with the basics, the GPS has to be switched on during data transfer. Some USB units may enter a data transfer mode automatically when attached to a PC, that's OK.

3. Check your GPS configuration.

This only applies to devices using the older serial 'RS232' connection. TrackLogs Digital Mapping uses the 'Garmin' interface protocol to communicate with Garmin GPS systems. This is the accepted method for data transfer and most GPS units are shipped with this correctly set by default. Check that the I/O interface format in your GPS unit is set to 'Garmin'. Other settings such as 'NMEA' or 'Garmin DPGS' will not work.

4. Check the Interface Cabling.

The GPS must be physically connected to your computer using the manufacturer's recommended cable (supplied with your unit or purchased as an accessory). Make sure all connectors are fully inserted and secure.

We have had no reported problems with Garmin's own brand cables. We have had some problems with non Garmin branded serial cables on the eTrex requiring some adjustment of the connector at the GPS end of the cable. If you are using USB then make sure you use the USB cable which was supplied with the GPS.

5. Is the port being used by other software?

This only applies to serial port devices where we've found that some programs lock out the COM ports preventing other software from gaining access. Try shutting down any other software applications currently active on your computer which communicate with peripherals via the COM ports. Pay particular attention to closing any software which synchronises automatically such as PDA's running HotSync, TrueSync or ActiveSync.

6. Are you using a laptop computer?

Some laptop computers disable their ports to conserve power and extend the battery life. A disabled port will prevent connection to your GPS. To check this you will need to refer to the power management software utilities supplied with your laptop.

7. Trying an alternative software setup?

If you've got this far and are still having problems then the next step is to try communicating with your GPS using a different piece of software. A convenient way of doing this is a firmware upgrade from the manufacturer.

All GPS units run internal software which is improved from time to time. You can update your GPS to the latest version using a free download from the manufacturer's website. Fetch the latest download for your GPS and attempt to update your GPS using their online instructions. If this works then the problem could be in the TrackLogs software. If this fails then there is still a hardware fault somewhere in your system.

Found something not on the list?

If you find out that your GPS communications are failing for some other reason not mentioned then please let us know and we will update the checklist to help other users.

Written by TrackLogs Digital Mapping. Copyright TrackLogs Digital Mapping 2002-2019. All rights reserved. Please send any comments, questions or feedback to support@tracklogs.co.uk

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