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Commentator

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Rhode Island, USA
Posts: 56
Good Answers: 5

Laptop Problem - COM Port

10/01/2008 4:08 PM

I have a Dell Inspiron 1150 laptop. There is an optical mouse connected via a USB port.

I have a mapping program on the computer where I want to add a GPS signal for position. I have a Garmin GPS with a NEMA 0183 output, which I can connect via a USB connection.

When I connect the GPS, sometimes it works OK, but often the computer takes the GPS signal as a mouse input, and the cursor dances around, making everything unusable.

In the old days, you could assign input devices to a particular COM port, but now it is done automatically.

How do I resolve this problem?

Dave

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Power-User

Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 479
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#1

Re: Laptop COM port problem

10/01/2008 6:59 PM

You mean NMEA 0183, not NEMA 0183.

Configure this input within the program (i.e. Mapquest)

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Commentator

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Rhode Island, USA
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#2
In reply to #1

Re: Laptop COM port problem

10/01/2008 8:08 PM

I can change the COM port in the program (SeaClear II) with the same result. The problem occurs before the program runs. I tried not connecting the GPS until the laptop was up and running, and I had opened the map program. It still did the same thing.

Once in maybe five tries, it will work OK.

Could you give me a little more detail on what you think I should do?

Dave

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Power-User

Join Date: Aug 2007
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#3
In reply to #2

Re: Laptop COM port problem

10/01/2008 8:45 PM

Does LT have ps/2 port. Use it. Go to hardware manager. See what is going on for hardware. Resolve HW conflicts.

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Commentator

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Rhode Island, USA
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#4
In reply to #3

Re: Laptop COM port problem

10/01/2008 10:19 PM

There is no p/s2 port.

I checked for conflicts,and it didn't show any.

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Power-User

Join Date: Jul 2006
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#5

Re: Laptop COM port problem

10/02/2008 12:34 AM

I should get a good answer for this.

With your gps plugged in:

You have to right click my computer/properties/ then hardware - device manager; look under "mice and other pointing devices" and look for the pointing or mouse driver that does not apply to your computer (if you are not sure which one it is, unplug the gps and see which one is left on (if they both stay on, restart your computer and see which one is still on)) and right click on the one that does not apply and then disable. do not delete. No problem if you delete you will just have to do the exercise again.

I can't tell you how many professional computer people are mistified by this and haven't a clue

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Commentator

Join Date: Apr 2008
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#6
In reply to #5

Re: Laptop COM port problem

10/02/2008 8:05 PM

Thanks for the help. My problem isn't solved yet, but I have more information.

I left the device manager window open with the mouse and other pointing devices activated. it normally shows 2 open drivers, PS/2 compatible mouse" and "HID compatible mouse". The PS/2 one is the built in mouse pad, and cannot be disabled. The HID one is my optical mouse.

If I disable the HID driver, then neither the mouse or the GPS works. (each plugged in seperately)

If I start with only the optical mouse plugged in, it adds the HID driver when that is connected. If I then add the GPS, no other driver is added,but the curser goes unstable.

If I start with neither the optical mouse or the GPS plugged in, and then plug in just the GPS, it mounts a driver called "Microsoft Serial Ballpoint" and the curser goes unstable.

Does any of this help?

Dave

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Power-User

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#7
In reply to #6

Re: Laptop COM port problem

10/03/2008 12:12 AM

It is the microsoft serial ballpoint driver that you want to disable. Once you have done that your gps will work. The gps does not require a driver under the pointing defvices. Your optical mouse does.

Try adding the optical mouse after the gps and see if that works.

I don't have a seperate mouse. I just use that fingerpad and buttons that are installed on the laptop keyboard. I hope it works, there are not many options left. No mouse or maybe a blue tooth mouse, but i'm guessing.

PS Are you navigating on land or the ocean?

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Commentator

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Rhode Island, USA
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#8
In reply to #7

Re: Laptop COM port problem

10/03/2008 9:49 AM

I was digging around on the Germin site last night. One article I found says that "USB to serial converters" don't always work correctly. That may be my problem. I'm going to explore that next.

I intend to use it for nautical work.

Thanks for your help.

Dave

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Power-User

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#9
In reply to #8

Re: Laptop COM port problem

10/03/2008 10:24 AM

Did you get the gps to work? I gather the optical mouse did not.

With regard to I assume you mean serial to USB converters, I had a similar problem with NEXUS and the info from the Nexus server coming in and creating the above issue of jumping cursors. I was unable to disable the driver until I disconnected the server from the serial port converter leaving the serial port connector connected and then disabling the driver. When I reconnected the input from the server everything worked fine.

Since you mentioned converters I thought I would give you this extra little tid bit. I'm not sure if it was relavent.

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Commentator

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Rhode Island, USA
Posts: 56
Good Answers: 5
#10
In reply to #9

Re: Laptop COM port problem

10/05/2008 1:25 PM

OK, I got it to work!!!

Your last suggestion is what did it. I plugged in the converter without the GPS connected to it. The computer then correctly identified it as a COM port. Then when I plugged in the GPS, it didn't mess up the cursor, and properly sent the GPS signal to the map program.

I tried it both ways several times, and it behaved the same each time.

Thanks much.

DAve

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Power-User

Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 295
Good Answers: 4
#11
In reply to #10

Re: Laptop COM port problem

10/05/2008 3:46 PM

You didn't say initially that the gps was coming in through a converter or I would have jumped straight there with my experience. Glad it finally worked though.

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