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Delorme Earthmate GPS Problem

I was ask to forward this to the Amsat-BB.

73 de Gary


Earthmate Warning

Attention fellow APRS enthusiasts and amateur balloon chasers: The new DeLorme Earthmate GPS unit is useless for our purposes. That's because the data from this unit comes out in a non-standard proprietary format-not the standard NMEA format.

I got 2 of these units about a week ago (which was the second week in December, 1998) to use for APRS only to find out that they are of no use to me. The Tripmate, which has been discontinued and has been replaced by the Earthmate, did sent its data out in the NMEA format.

The fact that this unit uses a non-standard data format isn't mentioned in the sales literature, or on DeLorme's web site (www.delorme.com). I only found out be reading a product review in the Dallas Morning News a couple of days after receiving my units. Then I called DeLorme's tech-support people just to be sure.

To their credit, DeLorme did agree to take the units back and refund my money when I explained that the units were useless to me. I'm sure the Earthmate is a good product to use for planning trips, it just can't be used for APRS. The mapping CD that comes with the Earthmate (Street Atlas 6.0) will work with both standard NMEA data and this proprietary format as well.

For more information, consult the DeLorme web site or call them at 1-800-452-5931. The technical support number is 207-846-8900.

Please forward this information on to as many clubs, amateur balloon groups, and individual APRS enthusiasts as you can.

And as for me, I'm still looking for an inexpensive and lightweight GPS engine that outputs data in the standard NMEA format. If anybody has suggestions, I would love to hear from you. E-mail me at james.alderman@ericsson.com.


James Alderman, KF5WT
3330 Country Square Drive #501
Carrollton, TX 75006


Please visit the Amsat web site.



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