foxdie
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HTC Universal & GPSGate success, TomTom 5 problems

Fri Jul 27, 2007 2:02 pm

Hi all, thought I'd leave some feedback here for Johan and the rest of you.

Background
I have a HTC Universal (aka I-Mate JasJar / XDA Exec) running Crossbow (Windows Mobile 6), GPSgate ver. 2.5.0.210 works very well with it (and I have to say Johan, this is one of the best $20 I've ever spent!). I use it to update my own GPS tracking website and share my Bluetooth GPS mouse with all the other applications. There is however one small problem...

On the same PDA I'm also running TomTom ver. 5. If I connect TomTom directly to the GPS mouse's COM port it works 100%, looking at the GPS status page pinwheel in TomTom the updates are regular and precise (at 1Hz).

The problem
If I try and use GPSGate as the "piggy in the middle", TomTom freaks out, when I set TomTom to the Virtual COM port it picks up the GPS fix for about 5 seconds, then about 2 second later it loses it. About 15 seconds later, it'll get the GPS fix again, and then lose it again. This happens in a loop, and as such it makes navigation impossible. The problem? GPSGate is sending too many updates per second (at least 5Hz) over its Virtual COM Port.

The real issue
My Bluetooth GPS mouse, the Qstarz BT-Q810 (http://www.gpspassion.com/forumsen/topi ... C_ID=81990) is capable of getting 5 fixes per second (5Hz), whereas it's currently set to only spew data out at 1Hz (if you read that page you'll see a set of custom commands has to be issued) I think maybe GPSgate is either enabling 5Hz mode somehow OR it's just spamming it's Virtual COM port with the current GPS data as many times as it can generate it.

The (suggested) fix
Would it be possible to code in a feature that when adding a Virtual COM port you can specify how many updates per second it sends out? That would fix this issue and provide greater control for the more advanced users out there. Personally I would recommend it defaults to 1Hz as that seems to be what most GPS receivers function at.

Jason "Foxdie" Gaunt

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johan
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RE: HTC Universal & GPSGate success, TomTom 5 problems

Fri Jul 27, 2007 2:28 pm

GpsGate just passes on the data from the GPS, this means that 5Hz mode for some reason is enabled on your GPS, GpsGate does not duplicate or re-send the data over the VPort.

GpsGate does not write any data back to the GPS itself, but it will pass on data written by the applications.

This means that the 5Hz mode is either activated by one of the connected application, or it is on by default on the GPS device.

Two possible workarounds for this.

Theory A Let's first assume that one of your connected apps enables 5Hz mode.
1. Make sure you have enabled "Show more options" in the Advanced tab
2. Remove the Virtual Port in Output
3. Select "Virtual Port" again in the drop down, but make sure you check "Block data from output" before you click add.

In this way you block any data the application writes back to the GPS.

Theory B Let's assume it is something else that triggers the 5Hz mode, and we simply want to reduce the amount of data.
1. Remove the Virtual Port you currently have.
2. Add "Virtual COM Port / NMEA Filter"
3. Select the COm port number you want to create and click "OK"
4. Now a "NMEA Filter" dialog shows up, and here we can filter the data stream.
5. Click "block everything but..."
6. Select "$GPRMC" in "Command filter". Set "Time interval" to 1 (second)
7. Click "Save"
8. Repeat 6 & 7 for "$GPGSA" and "$GPGSV".

You should now have a list of filters in the list box under the "Save" button.

9. Click OK on the dialog.

Now you have you can try to connect TomTom to the new Virtual Port.

If you have problems you can also enable "$GPGGA", "$GPGLL" and "$GPVTG", but it should not be necessary. You need "$GPGGA" for altitude information.

Here is a FAQ relating to the same issue:
http://franson.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=4236

--

Sending GPS data to your web site

Just out of curiosity, which method did you use to send data to your own site? did you try the new http-send feature? Or did you use some other way?

Send GPS data to your web site using HTTP:
http://franson.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=5637



Regards,
Johan

Franson Support

foxdie
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RE: HTC Universal & GPSGate success, TomTom 5 problems

Fri Jul 27, 2007 3:00 pm

Thankyou for your fast reply Johan.

I honestly don't know whats enabling 5Hz mode, I'm thinking perhaps TomTom itself might do it, or maybe GPSTuner. I tried Theory A but it made no difference oddly.

Theory B however worked well thankyou, but TomTom doesn't seem to get satellite strengths now (despite adding each entry with a 1 second update rate) but I can live with that.

And yes, I am using the new HTTP SEND function (it works perfectly), feel free to take a look: http://trackmygps.co.uk/foxdie - I developed that as a personal learning project on how to work with PHP / MySQL / AJAX with live-content websites.

One further question, is there a way to get GPSGate to send custom commands to a GPS receiver on connect? If GPSGate can now filter GPS updates on a seperate COM port, I would like to permanently leave it running in 5Hz for other applications that can make use of the faster speed.

Jason "Foxdie" Gaunt

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johan
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RE: HTC Universal & GPSGate success, TomTom 5 problems

Fri Jul 27, 2007 3:17 pm

Yes, sounds like a good idea to add the possibility to send a custom file or similar to the GPS at startup. Would probably be a great thing, we could have a library of such files here :-)

The current way to automatically enable 5Hz mode will require some programming, so it is a developer thing only.

You can write a GpsGate PlugIn, which sends this data. Will require C++ programming. More info here:
http://franson.com/gpsgate/reference_manual.asp?comp=gateapi&class=IGatePlugIn&platform=ppc

Or you can use GpsGate API to send data to GpsGate "_output", this data will be written back to the GPS itself. Will require some .NET, C++ or ActiveX programming. More info:
http://franson.com/gpsgate/reference_manual.asp?class=Simple&item=Open&platform=ppc

Do you have some info on which data is required to enable and disable 5Hz mode?

Regards,
Johan

Franson Support

foxdie
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RE: HTC Universal & GPSGate success, TomTom 5 problems

Fri Jul 27, 2007 3:21 pm

As each GPS receiver is different, I don't think there is one set way to enable faster updates. For my model and a couple of others it requires sending some $PMTK* commands to the GPS receiver, and in some cases (including mine), a hardware hack (soldering in a resistor to enable transferring information to GPS receiver, otherwise its in read only mode).

More info on what I did can be found at http://www.gpspassion.com/forumsen/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=81990&whichpage=5 and scroll down until you see the photo of a resistor :)

As for writing a plugin, I don't think I'm capable of doing that, I do however think you have a good idea there for custom GPS init string database on this forum, it may bring even more people to visit.

Jason "Foxdie" Gaunt

foxdie
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RE: HTC Universal & GPSGate success, TomTom 5 problems

Mon Aug 06, 2007 1:52 pm

Bah its started doing it again Johan,

I've tried everything I can think of now, using both a NMEA-filtered COM Port and a normal Virtual COM port,

I sat down and studied the input for longer and found out that it's not just sending the data at a faster rate, it's somehow actually just skipping and trying to catch up.

A better description would be that it's stalling and gets a backlog of data, then when it can get it through it sends the backlog through as quickly as it can to catch up. This is totally messing up TomTom and now I can only navigate with it by closing GPSGate and setting TomTom to connect directly to the real GPS COM port.

Could it be that TomTom is using so much CPU that it's not giving GPSGate enough CPU to process GPS data in real time?

Jason "Foxdie" Gaunt

richardhula
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RE: HTC Universal & GPSGate success, TomTom 5 problems

Mon Aug 06, 2007 2:55 pm

I am using GpsGate to feed several other progs including TomTom6 on hw6915 running Windows Mobile 5. I believe if you leave internal GPS set to manage automatically it alternates between trying to connect TomTom directly with Windows Intermediate driver & via the virtual COM port output from GpsGate.

For my device there is a forum entry describing how to reveal the hidden GPS control & suggesting automatic control needs to be unticked.

Although you have different hardware/software/OS, this is the direction I would be looking in. I don't think its a TomTom problem.

Regards - Richard

foxdie
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RE: HTC Universal & GPSGate success, TomTom 5 problems

Mon Aug 06, 2007 3:03 pm

The Windows GPS server is set to connect to the NMEA Filtered Virtual COM port in GPSGate, and TomTom is set to connect to the same port. TomTom is not connecting to the Windows GPS server.



Jason "Foxdie" Gaunt

richardhula
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RE: HTC Universal & GPSGate success, TomTom 5 problems

Mon Aug 06, 2007 5:41 pm

Hi Jason

Working in the dark here as don't have WM6 device. Assuming the 5Hz issue is a dead end, it seems your problems are maybe caused by howl-round. This would explain the higher rate of NMEA transmissions.

Not sure why you have GpsGate feeding the Windows GPS server. If this is similar to the WM5 GPS Intermediate driver, its a service to distribute GPS data. As GpsGate is already doing this, is it neccessary to feed its output back to the (now reduntant?) GPS server giving potential for howl-round?

Suggest removing it as output with GpsGate & seeing via TomTom status or other Gps monitoring application just what is being output.

If that fixes problem you can remove the filtering from output which is probably taking out some of the GSA/GSV (satellite status) sentences.

Regards - Richard

foxdie
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RE: HTC Universal & GPSGate success, TomTom 5 problems

Mon Aug 06, 2007 6:08 pm

Originally posted by richardhula
Working in the dark here as don't have WM6 device. Assuming the 5Hz issue is a dead end, it seems your problems are maybe caused by howl-round. This would explain the higher rate of NMEA transmissions.

I should have said something, when 5Hz mode wasn't working I set it back to 1Hz mode, I found that in 5Hz mode GPSGate was using a lot more CPU.

Originally posted by richardhulaNot sure why you have GpsGate feeding the Windows GPS server. If this is similar to the WM5 GPS Intermediate driver, its a service to distribute GPS data. As GpsGate is already doing this, is it neccessary to feed its output back to the (now reduntant?) GPS server giving potential for howl-round?

Sorry, I should have been more clear on this one, the Windows GPS server that I mention IS the GPS Intermediate Driver (the one in the Settings / Control Panel). My reasons for using this is that Google Maps Mobile seemed to have issues connecting to GPSGate's COM port and would only connect to the Intermediate Driver. It's a legacy thing of sorts.

Originally posted by richardhulaSuggest removing it as output with GpsGate & seeing via TomTom status or other Gps monitoring application just what is being output.

If that fixes problem you can remove the filtering from output which is probably taking out some of the GSA/GSV (satellite status) sentences.

I've just configured this and will let you know later (can't really tell until the end of the work day when I can navigate home :))

Jason "Foxdie" Gaunt

foxdie
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RE: HTC Universal & GPSGate success, TomTom 5 problems

Thu Aug 09, 2007 12:49 pm

Okay I gave that a try, it's still the same issue, I believe that TomTom and GPSGate are fighting for CPU resources. Maybe Johan could code in something to set GPSGate's priority slightly higher so it can process all the GPS data? Somehow I think TomTom would be more resistant to slower / less CPU resources because it runs on anything from a 200MHz CPU upwards.

Jason "Foxdie" Gaunt

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johan
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RE: HTC Universal & GPSGate success, TomTom 5 problems

Thu Aug 09, 2007 3:01 pm

Ok, thanks for your feedback on this. I will report this into our feature/bugtracking system. I cannot give you a quick fix right now. But I am aware of your problems.

If any other user reading this has similar problems, please make a post!

Regards,
Johan

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foxdie
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RE: HTC Universal & GPSGate success, TomTom 5 problems

Mon Aug 13, 2007 12:51 pm

I was toying with the settings and I found the cause and a workaround!

The problem is caused by the HTTP update output plugin. If I remove that and let GPSgate do its thing, TomTom plays nice with it and it all works fine, the second I add the plugin back it starts to skip and become unreliable.

Workaround? I created a new instance of GPSgate, added the HTTP output to it and then told it to connect to the virtual COM port of the first instance, this seems to work very well, so what I'm guessing is there's some kind of delay / loop thats happening waiting for the HTTP update to go through successfully and this is causing the data to freeze up as it gets sent to TomTom.

Hope this helps with future updates Johan :)



Jason "Foxdie" Gaunt

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johan
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RE: HTC Universal & GPSGate success, TomTom 5 problems

Mon Aug 13, 2007 8:18 pm

Ok, thanks. We'll take a look at this.

Regards,
Johan

Franson Support

foxdie
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RE: HTC Universal & GPSGate success, TomTom 5 problems

Sat Sep 22, 2007 10:31 pm

Okay, the problem is still present in the new RC, 2.5.0.224, sorry for bad news Johan. I have double checked by testing with and without HTTP update output plugin, and as output plugin running on seperate instance, both the same problem; GPS data gets queued up and fed too slow to TomTom.

I still think that GPSGate needs a high priority option for Windows Mobile PDA's.

Jason "Foxdie" Gaunt

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