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GPSOut and Garmin iQue 3600a


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Hi Peter,

I am extremely happy with the Garmin iQue 3600a (Aviation Version) and I am going to give it a shot hooking it up to Flight Simulator through a serial cable. I've been doing some tests and I have FS communicating on the COM port and I also have the iQue communicating as well.

I've not had any luck with it yet, and I've contacted Garmin to see if I can input NMEA sentences into it. They said I could and recommended that I purchase the Serial cable, so it's on the way and should be here tomorrow. It's basically a sync cable, so I'm not sure if it's the "null modem" cable with the transmit and receive crossed over.

I know you said in one of your posts, you have an iQue 3600. Have you had any luck connecting that with GPSOut? From what I'm gathering, the iQue is very reliant on the position of the antenna (open or closed). Their QMap programs appear to rely on that as well. I'm just wondering if there is any way we can trick the Qmap programs into thinking the antena is open and read the NMEA sentences.

I'm very determined to get this to work. If I have to sleep on Garmin's doorstep, I'll do that! I would love to be able to hook my iQue up and practice flying with it so that when I'm in the air, it won't be so task saturating to deal with all the popups, and management of the GPS.

I fully understand your concept behind the GPSOut is to have two com ports, one for output and one for input. I've done my homework on this module and I've read everything I can find before posting here. I've been attempting to slowly figure this out for the past two weeks and I'm at a stopping point for now.

Sincerely,

Eric Rosebrock

http://www.cessnasim.com

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I am extremely happy with the Garmin iQue 3600a (Aviation Version) and I am going to give it a shot hooking it up to Flight Simulator through a serial cable. I've been doing some tests and I have FS communicating on the COM port and I also have the iQue communicating as well.

I have an iQue 3600 (not the 'a' though). It's got a USB sync cable. How do you configure it to send/receive serially as a COM port?

I've not had any luck with it yet, and I've contacted Garmin to see if I can input NMEA sentences into it. They said I could

I assume its maps and so on are for aviation, and that it comes with some other menu items to set it for NMEA input?

... and recommended that I purchase the Serial cable, so it's on the way and should be here tomorrow.

Oh, I see. I thought you said you "have the iQue communicating as well."? What was that communicating as/through/to, then?

It's basically a sync cable, so I'm not sure if it's the "null modem" cable with the transmit and receive crossed over.

Well, since the socket on the iQue doesn't really have the usual D-type pins 1-9 or 1-25 to "crossover, and since it would be pointless of them to make a cable which connected Receive on the iQue to Receive on the PC, and Transmit on the iQue to Transmit on the PC, it jolly well must be, really. :wink:

The only reason I am careful to tell folks to get a null modem or crossover cable is that there are lots of serial cables designed to connect PCs to other devices, and devices which aren't "originators" of signals (DCEs) usually have their serial ports wired as terminals (DTEs), so cables aren't crossed-over. PC to PC links need crossing over because they are both DCEs. (At least I *think* I have these acronyms right -- it's been a long time! :wink: ).

Also, many cables which may look right could be designed to be extension cables, and they won't be crossovers either.

But a cable with a PC type serial plug at one end and some proprietary thing on the other, as the iQue cable must be, doesn't really have terms like "crossover" applicable to it.

I know you said in one of your posts, you have an iQue 3600. Have you had any luck connecting that with GPSOut? From what I'm gathering, the iQue is very reliant on the position of the antenna (open or closed). Their QMap programs appear to rely on that as well. I'm just wondering if there is any way we can trick the Qmap programs into thinking the antena is open and read the NMEA sentences.

Not that I've found. That's why I was asking you -- I assumed it must be something special in the "a" version. The options on the satellite reception screen on mine are only "New location, New Elevation, Preferences, and About". Preferences only contains "WAAS enabled" and "Battery Saver". Maybe yours has more?

If Garmin says you can do it, maybe they can tell us how?

Regards

Pete

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Hi Peter,

Right after posting this, I was able to have some success, however not with the default Que applications.

Here's what I did. I went to CompUSA and purchased sync cable, while I await the Garmin cable to come in tomorrow. It has both inputs for the computer for USB and Serial. It cost about $30 USD. Here's the link for it: http://www.compusa.com/products/product&pfp=srch1 Even though the cable does not say iQue, it does work just fine.

You can get the Garmin cable on Garmin's website:

http://shop.garmin.com/accessory.jsp?sk10410%2D00

The garmin cable has a power input on it, but no USB (which is pointless anyway).

Now, I went to http://www.gpspilot.com and grabbed the demo version of Fly and used that.

Based on the inputs from another user on this thread: http://forums.simflight.com/viewtopic.php?p=106046 I used the following settings in my GPSOut.ini

Sentences=RMC,GGA
Port=COM1
Interval=1000
Speed=4800

In the Fly application on my palm, I clicked the GPS icon, then above the connection icon, you'll see the word "GPS". Click on that and a drop-down menu will appear and it will show you a list of sources. I selected NMEA and then started up flight sim. The application beeped at me and then displayed 5 available satelites and started pumping out coordinates, heading, altitude and everything. So, it's working.

Now, the trick is going to be to build an input emulator or figure out how to pump this data into the Que applications such asMAP, Terrain and etc. I think the possiblity is definately there if we can get Garmin to fess up some type of application to do this or make an update to the Que apps. The Fly program, althought it does work, just isn't doing it for me, especially when the Garmin applications can do this:

ique1.jpg

And:

ique3.jpg

After taking a real life cross country flight the other day with the iQue, I am simply amazed. This is the BEST GPS I've used yet. I've played with many of the newer moving maps on the new Cessna models and this GPS does it all, except weather and traffic avoidance.

I feel very excited about this and I hope we can get it to work!

Sincerely,

Eric Rosebrock

http://www.cessnasim.com

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You can get the Garmin cableSo, it's working.

Great! I'm in the UK. I'll see if I can find a source here.

Now, the trick is going to be to build an input emulator or figure out how to pump this data into the Que applications such asMAP, Terrain and etc.

Of course, not having the 'a' version, I haven't got any of those, only the road maps (MapSource / City Select).

I think the possiblity is definately there if we can get Garmin to fess up some type of application to do this or make an update to the Que apps.

Well, good luck! Let us know when you get anything out of them!

Regards,

Pete

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Peter,

I'll definately keep you posted on it. If I could afford to donate the 3600a to you for development, I definately would, but I'm over budget on simulator as it is!

If you're pondering purchasing a good GPS for flying, I definately recommend this one. I like the grafiti inputs. I can simply write out the ICAO of the airport I want and get information or go directly to it. The 3600a also comes with a really nice yoke mount cradle with all the buttons a standard GPS has.

I'm not sure if Garmin will help us or not, but we can only hope. Something else worth looking at is the information found here: http://www.mobilegeographics.com/iqbooster/

There's tons of information on that site about the iQue and it was written for the 3600 version like you have. However, I don't think the iQBooster program takes input, rather than just output. Also, you'll need to set your iQue clock back about a year to test the applicatoin because it was set to expire and it was never updated. The guy has some great documentation on his site, so you can find more info by diggng a little.

Thanks again for all your efforts Peter. You've really enhanced Flight Simulation in more ways than anyone could imagine with all of your software.

Sincerely,

Eric Rosebrock

http://www.cessnasim.com

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Great! I'm in the UK. I'll see if I can find a source here.

If you can't find one, let me know. I'll have two as of tomorrow and I'll be happy to mail you my other one that I got at CompUSA. I won't be needing two cables, so it's yours if you want it. Just PM me the information on where to send it.

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If you can't find one ...

Ah, thanks for the offer -- but I got one straight-away at my usual GPS suppliers! :wink:

Does the "Fly" demo come with any maps? Looks like you have to buy a subscription for maps on top? Difficult to tell what sort of European coverage they have from that web site.

Regards,

Pete

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If you're pondering purchasing a good GPS for flying

No, not real flying. I did learn to fly for real years back never got a license -- got stopped by my failing eyesight (hereditary retinitis pigmentosa, gradually killing all my rods, or is it cones? Anyway, the peripheral & night vision goes). That's why I do simulation.

Something else worth looking at is the information found here: http://www.mobilegeographics.com/iqbooster/

I'll have a look. Thanks.

Regards,

Pete

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Peter,

I'm glad you've found one!

I don't know much about the Fly program honestly. I really don't want to switch to using it, and I was basically using it to test my setup out.

I have found a nicer GPS program called PathAway and it has methods to import maps. However, I didn't have much luck connecting it to GPSOut, but then again, I did not use the settings I mentioned above. I'd be willing to bet it will connect just fine. http://www.pathaway.com/

One other nice GPS application suite for flying that I found was this one: http://www.hangarb17.com/ however, the pricing is kind of expensive. I sent their sales staff an email and got no response after about 4 days, so that's kind of discouraging to me to purchase the software.

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No, not real flying. I did learn to fly for real years back never got a license -- got stopped by my failing eyesight (hereditary retinitis pigmentosa, gradually killing all my rods, or is it cones? Anyway, the peripheral & night vision goes). That's why I do simulation.

Pete

Well, if that was your primary inspiration for getting into simulation, it was a blessing for all of the simulator users out there. // end ego rub.

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Not that I've found. That's why I was asking you -- I assumed it must be something special in the "a" version. The options on the satellite reception screen on mine are only "New location, New Elevation, Preferences, and About". Preferences only contains "WAAS enabled" and "Battery Saver". Maybe yours has more?

Pete,

Just to follow up on that question, my iQue 3600a has the exact same options. In addition, it has two modes of Navigation: Air and Land (for streets, etc).

From my understanding, it's the exact same unit with the exception of the software installed on it. This version just has the aviation programs in addition to the street navigation.

- Eric

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I had a talk with Garmin Aviation support today. It was interesting. The person I was talking to assured me that the Garmin iQue could not accept NMEA data in, he also mentioned that none of the garmin aviation products could do this. I politely disagreed with him and told him about how many Flight Sim users are doing it through COM ports and serial cables. It was an interesting discussion. I was also told that it was not possible to do this with the PDA style GPS that Garmin puts out. I also told him that's not true and gave him proof of how I did it.

I asked him for his email address and then I typed up a long email pointing towards numerous threads where users such as Tuomas have Garmin 296's and etc plugged in using the AV400 protocols.

Anyways... long story short, I believe the discussion is being pushed to the development department (who originally replied back to me about the serial cable). Garmin isn't the quickest at providing support, and I imagine we'll definately be of lowest priority since we're just a bunch of simulator users. We can only hope they'll provide some direction or support for this kind of usage.

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The person I was talking to assured me that the Garmin iQue could not accept NMEA data in, he also mentioned that none of the garmin aviation products could do this.users such as Tuomas have Garmin 296's and etc plugged in using the AV400 protocols.

Of course AV400 is not actually an NMEA protocol. :wink:

Garmin isn't the quickest at providing support, and I imagine we'll definately be of lowest priority since we're just a bunch of simulator users. We can only hope they'll provide some direction or support for this kind of usage.

Okay, thanks for the update!

Regards,

Pete

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I'm building my Simkits simulator and it's about ready for use.

Peter, I've just ordered a license for your FSUIPC.

Eric, because of your comments I am leaning heavily toward the iQue 3600a.

BUT - I think I might have to find someone at Garmin and say I won't buy one if I can't drive it from flight sim.

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I'm building my Simkits simulator and it's about ready for use.

Peter, I've just ordered a license for your FSUIPC.

Eric, because of your comments I am leaning heavily toward the iQue 3600a.

BUT - I think I might have to find someone at Garmin and say I won't buy one if I can't drive it from flight sim.

stele,

Good luck with Garmin. I don't know if they really care honestly. They're such a huge corporation that one "little simulator user" probably wouldn't hurt them if you didn't buy an iQue. I hate to have a negative outlook, but I know what it's like to be a small fish in a big sea.

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Yeah. iQue seems radically different from their other gps'es since it's a PDA with a GPS device and just PDA software that makes it a GPS. So I guess there is no global "Use Aviation IN protocol" -setting?

The GPSMap 196 I have works great, but its black and white and doesnt make the gizmo-nintendo-factor that high :) - it's still a great GPS though. And makes a good training method to use it on the sim rather than poking it in the air when I should be looking out of the windows for traffic :)

//Tuomas

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Hi guys!

I´m not really sure I follow you, but can you use an "ordinary" Ique 3600 and load it with aviationmaps and program for use in real flights, or do I need to buy that new more expensive Ique 3600a to be able to use it in flight?

I really would like some GPS/Map-funtion to something like a pda. Today I have a Garmin Extrex Vista but I can not load it with aviationmaps.

And do you have any other suggestions and sollutions to my wishes?

Regards:

/Johan

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