Knowledge Base

Category: Carlson Survey
Topic ID: 449
Title: Carlson Field and Garmin 18 USB support
Created: 0000-00-00Last modified: 0000-00-00

You need to install the Garmin Spanner utility to be able to use the Garmin 18 USB model with Carlson Field.  Details below:

Goto the Garmin webpage for the Garmin 18:

Goto the "Updates & Downloads" link on the leftmost column menu.  On the downloads page, under the 'Additional Software' section, click the download link for 'Spanner Ver 2.0'.
Note: The Spanner software only works with GPS 18 software (firmare) version 2.90 or later.  This can be found on the "Updates & Downloads" page under the 'Unit Software' section.
The combination of the Spanner software and the updated Unit software (Garmin 18 firmware) allows NMEA formatted output from the Garmin 18.

Install the Spanner software on your computer.  Then plug-in the Garmin 18 USB unit.  Depending on the OS you are using, there are multiple options to install the USB driver for the Garmin unit.  Windows XP will search and install the Windows XP driver for the Garmin USB unit.  The other option is to download the USB drivers for the Garmin 18 from the Garmin website.  Again, this can be downloaded from the "Updates & Downloads" webpage.

Next, start the Spanner software up. Use the Search button to find your connected GPS unit.  Add the COM port number you wish to use as your virtual COM port.  The NMEA strings from the Garmin unit will be on this port.  (the default virtual COM port on this computer was COM2)

Finally, open Carlson Field. Browse through the menu Field->Configure Field.  Select "NMEA GPS Reciever" as the Equipment Type.  Next, go into Communication Settings and set the 'Serial COM Port' to your Spanner virtual COM port (COM2 on this computer).  The default baud rate is 9600, Parity None, Char Length 8, and Stop Bits 1.  Press 'Ok' and 'Exit' to get back to the Field screen.

At this point, you should be able to click the large "Start Field" button and use the Garmin GPS 18 USB unit.

Change your GPS Settings to allow Store Points without Locked positions (uncheck the "Store Locked Only" box in the GPS Settings). Since there is no base gps transmitting corrections, a locked position is unlikely.

Garmin Webpage for the GPS 18: