If your device comes with GPS support and you have a Navigation Application on your PC (such as Microsoft Autoroute), you can use your device as a GPS receiver for the application. Plus, it’s always cool to have a ten inch or more GPS display in your car. We’ll walk you through on how to set everything up so you can start navigating with your Netbook or Notebook in no time. Of course, you can always find other uses of having a GPS enabled PC, like social networking, Latitude, etc.
1. Setting up PC
1.1 Installing HW VSP Singleport
We have to create a virtual serial port on the PC in order to (later) accept connections to the computer via that port. To achieve that, you need to download HW VSP Singleport, a hardware virtual serial port emulator, and install it on your PC. After installation, run the application.
1.2 Configuring HW VSP Singleport
Go to the Settings Tab and check TCP Server Mode while unchecking NVT Enabled.
In the Virtual Serial Port tab, select the Port Name (on your PC) to be emulated. Make sure it’s a free or unexisting port (I’ve used COM9) and set Port to 31873. Finally, click Create port.
Along the setting up process, the application should automatically add the proper exceptions to Windows Firewall but later on, in case you are facing problems, double check to see that the port has no firewall restrictions.
2. Setting up Pocket PC
2.1. Installing GPS2Blue
We have to somehow be able to route the on device GPS to the PC. To achieve that, you will need to download and install GPS2Blue, currently at version 1.9, an application which can redirect your device’s GPS to either Bluetooth and TCP/IP via serial port. You have two options: installing directly on device via cab installation or installing with PC’s ActiveSync or Windows Mobile Device center via the exe installer. GPS2Blue will work on Windows Mobile 2003, Windows Mobile 5 and Windows Mobile 6 Classic (and Professional), powered by .NET Compact Framework 2.0.
2.2 Configuring GPS2Blue
Once installed, launch GPS2Blue from Start, Programs.
Now we need to configure GPS2Blue in order to access your device’s GPS and route it to the serial port created in step 1.2 via TCP/IP. While you can route your device’s GPS via Bluetooth, we will use COM port routing since Bluetooth drains battery in no time and thus it is not reliable for decent periods of time.
Select the port for GPS and speed (on my device, GPS uses COM9 and Speed (Baud) of 57600 you can check with your regular Navigation program in case you have doubts about your on device GPS COM port). Tick the TCP/IP box and select the COM port you’ve created on your PC (for me it’s COM9).
3. Testing your configuration
On your device, tap ON inside GPS2Blue. It could take a few seconds in order for you to see some activity so be patient a little bit. If everything works as expected, your GPS2Blue window will display information as seen below. Also, you should see activity in the HW Virtual Serial Port window on your PC.
Basically, you’ve successfully configured your PC to use your device’s GPS. From now on, your Netbook or Notebook is GPS enabled and ready to cope with applications which require GPS connection.
4. Example of Usage
We’ve used Microsoft’s Autoroute 2010 Trial available for free with a 60 days usage limit.
Inside Autoroute, we’ve selected Configure GPS Receiver from Tools, GPS. In the window that popped up, we’ve clicked Scan and the application found our GPS on COM9.
Double clicking COM9 configured the software to use the GPS provided by your device.