gpstrans(1) communicate with Garmin GPS receiver


gpstrans [ options ] [ file ]


gpstrans allows the user with a Garmin GPS receiver to upload and download waypoints, routes, almanacs (satellite orbital elements) and trackroutes. If file is not supplied, data will be read from stdin (-ux switch) or written to stdout (-dx switch).


set serial I/O device
set datum, format, offset, and device interactively, and save them in $HOME/.gpstrans.
identify connected GPS
turn off GPS device
get time from GPS
get time from GPS and set system time on host
download data indicated by x: r=route, t=track, w=waypoint, a=almanac
With -dt, downloads track data in the format which can be displayed by Mayko mXmap(1). With -dr or -ur, downloads or uploads route data in a format compatible with Mayko mXmap.
upload data indicated by x: r=route, t=track, w=waypoint, a=almanac
print program version.
Increase verbosity.
Add debug printouts.
Print help text.


For a DB-25 connector, you may need to connect pin 4, 5 and 6, 8, 20 together. This sets handshake signals so that your workstation can use the serial port to communicate with the GPS.

                        1     ### #####
                        o o o # # # o # o o o o o
                         o o o o o o # o o o o o

Connect the Garmin cable as follows:

2 3 7 o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o Pin 2 goes to DATA IN (White) Pin 3 goes to DATA OUT (Brown) Pin 7 goes to GROUND (Black)

If it doesn't work in this way, try exchanging pins 2 and 3 at the connector.

The circular connector on a Garmin GPS II receiver can be wired to a DB-9 connector as follows:

_____ _____,-----, 3 / \ 4 | | | | o o | | | |_____ | < <- groove -> |=====| |----,| | o o | | | | || 2 \ _____ / 1 |_____| | || `-----' || || views are looking || into connector || at each end of cable || || || 5 3 2 ________ || o o o o o | \___________|| o o o o |_________,------------' DB-9 pin 2 goes to circular connector pin 2 DB-9 pin 3 goes to circular connector pin 4 DB-9 pin 5 goes to circular connector pin 3 other pins are not connected (Note: the pin numbers for the circular connector are arbitrary, and may not match the `official' numbers.)

 If your plug is more recent than the one above (ex: etrex) then you need DB-9 or DB-25 to be connected to your Garmin GPS like this:


                            POWER(+)  |     |     |
                           groove --> |=====|     |_____
                            DATA IN   |     |     |----,|
                            DATA OUT  |     |     |    ||
                            GROUND(-) |_____|     |    ||
                                            `-----'    ||
                                  ________             ||
                                 |        \___________||

DB-25 :

                         2 3       7
                        o o o o o o o o o o o o o
                         o o o o o o o o o o o o

        Pin 2 goes to DATA IN (White)
        Pin 3 goes to DATA OUT (Brown)
        Pin 7 goes to GROUND (Black)


                                                5   3 2                      

                                                o o o o o          

                                                 o o o o           

         pin 2 goes to DATA IN  (White)
         pin 3 goes to DATA OUT (Brown)
         pin 5 goes to GROUND   (Black)
         other pins are not connected

For testing, you might try setting the GPS to NMEA-Output and using a terminal emulator program like Kermit. The GPS will send a data record every 2 seconds. As long as you don't see any data on your computer, gpstrans won't work.

After finishing the test, be sure to set your GPS receiver to GRMN/GRMN.


Serial I/O device (overrides contents of $HOME/.gpstrans, and is overridden by -p switch).


Has user preferences for datum, format, offset, and serial I/O device (see -s switch, above).


GPStrans is Copyright 1995 by Carsten Tschach <[email protected]>. The datum translation routines are based on the program MacGPS from John F. Waers <[email protected]>. Mayko mXmap output format by Matthias Kattanek <[email protected]>. German Grid by Andreas Lange <[email protected]>. etrex support by Joao Seabra CT2GNL - <[email protected]>. Other Garmin formats added by Jim Van Zandt <[email protected]>.