[Loadstone] Tools to drive receivers.

Rob Melchers rob at loadstone-gps.com
Thu Mar 22 02:41:17 GMT 2007

If you have messed up your receiver you can either wait until the internal 
battery (not the main battery) dies. Take out the main battery and give it 
a week or so. The other way is to lift the clamp off the internal battery. 
You'll need sighted help for this.

A .zip file with the SiRFDemo software including documentation can be 
downloaded from:


Warning: Only experienced computer users should use this software. It's 
essential that you read the documentation before activating the program and 
connecting it to a receiver. Below you'll find a short manual and tips to 
get you going.

Note: The Loadstone GPS team takes no responsibility whatsoever if you mess 
up your receiver using this software.

         Tutorial for using Sirfdemo with Holux slim 236 and Holux data cable.

by Aedan O'Meara.

Install mini disk that comes with Holux gps.
1. using data cable. Connect cable and attach Holux gps. Turn it on.
2. Open Sirfdemo and you will be put into the setup menu.
3. Select serial port option
Select the com number. This may be found in Device manager but will also be
displayed here with all other live com ports.
The connecting baud rate will be displayed
Untick "Use aux(auxillary) data source"
press ok
4. Under Setup choose Target s/w(software) version choose v3.0/3.1
Leave auto detect on.
press ok
5. Under Actions click on open data source.
Switch to nmea protocol will be greyed out and Switch to Sirf protocol will
be available.
Visually as you are in nmea protocol you should have data streaming only in
the Debug window. This is normal,
see note below.
Across the top of the screen using Jaws cursor you will read the Sirfdemo
title and beside that it will say
"Unknown software on com... at baud rate ...".
Now under Actions select synchronize protocol and baud rate.
Using Jaws cursor you should now have the Software version in the gps and
the baud rate of 57,600 displayed on the
top of the screen beside the Sirfdemo title.

6. Synchronizing will have put you into Sirf protocol automatically.

Data streams will change and all windows will be filled. Under actions the 
highlight should move to Switch to nmea protocol.
Switch to Sirf protocol should be greyed out. If this doesn't happen you 
have not successfully gone into Sirf protocol.

  Never play with user protocol because if you put the GPS into this 
without a third party protocol in the GPS you will loose all communication 
with the GPS. Lifting one leg of the backup battery within the unit is the 
only way to get
back the gps in this situation. Also never synchronize the protocol and 
baud rate when using bluetooth
connection as this might put the GPS baud rate out of reach as bluetooth is 
fixed at 38,400.
The only way to get the gps back in this case is to lift one leg of the 
backup battery within the unit, or use the Holux USB data cable.

         7. Now under Navigation go to Static Navigation.
Select disable and highlight and click send.

8. Now return gps to nmea protocol by clicking on this under Actions.
This will open a list box.
The default baud rate offered in here is 9600.
As Sirfdemo pulls the gps to its own baud you can change to nmea at 9600 
successfully but you will not then be able to use your bluetooth connection 
to Loadstone as this is at 38,400.
Alter baud rate here to 38,400 to restore the gps to Bluetooth rate, 
otherwise when you  connect to bluetooth gps in Loadstone you will get the 
message "gps clock has  stopped ticking, disconnecting" after about 5 secs.
( this is because the baud rate has been left at 9600 and the bluetooth 
baud rate is 38,400.). You will still be
able to connect repeatedly at the bluetooth level but keep timing out.
Finally click on the Send button to finish.

Exit Sirfdemo.

Your Holux slim 236 should now be working properly with the SN turned off.

Selected Notes from tutorial list:
Answer to question about the other settings in the switch to nmea list box:
The values you put there are the message output rates in seconds between 
outputs, and should be set to output the specific messages you require (or 
you mapping program needs). The default settings are 1 second for GGA, GSA and
RMC, and 5 seconds for GSV. If you want velocity and heading, you can put 1
second for VTG. GLL is available as an alternative to GGA. Set values only 
for the messages you want. Note that the ??? entries are for messages a 
manufacturer may add as an extra. Most do not add any, although some SiRF 
receivers support the ZDA (time and date) message in the middle of the 3 spots.
Note: For NMEA mode, SiRFDemo only displays the messages in the Debug View 
window and does not provide information in the other windows. That is 
normal for the program. The program is designed only to demonstrate 
receivers, so it has some features only implemented with SiRF binary 
format. And since NMEA protocol is a universal protocol, it does not define 
functions to do many settings that are unique to a specific receiver. We 
implemented a few features in NMEA (such as changing to SiRF protocol, 
changing message rates, etc.), but not the others. To make those changes 
you must switch to binary mode, make the changes and then switch back to NMEA.

Carl - SiRF Customer Support

I just bought a GlobalSat BT-338. When I connect it to my PC with a BT 
dongle and start the SiRFDemo 3.61 I get a lot of 'Bad parity from SV xx, 
subframe x'. For the rest the BT-338 seems to work.
Is this a software problem or is there really something wrong with the GPS?

Reply author: gpspassion
Replied on: 07/25/2005 15:26:04

Welcome to the forums.
Sounds like you're using the wrong baudrate, make sure you select 38,400bps.

Reply author: Carl at SiRF
Replied on: 07/26/2005 23:58:02

Actually, I think his baud rate was set just fine. That particular error 
message means that he probably locked onto the satellites in the middle of 
a word of the navigation message. As a result he found a parity error 
(since he received the correct parity bits, but not all the actual data 
bits). This is a very normal and common error when you see it at startup. 
Other than that, you generally only see it when you have an actual parity 
error (pretty rare) or when you have a blockage and come out of it (same 
reason as when you see it at startup).

(Happens when you go into invisible cursor or Jaws cursor and when 
switching back to nmea protocol, Aedan.)

Synchronize Protocol and Baud Rate actually only sends a command to the 
receiver to go to SiRF protocol, and it does it at every baud rate and in 
both SiRF and NMEA protocol. Then it switches to SiRF protocol at 57600 
where it
expects to find the receiver. If that doesn't work for you, it is probably 
because the receiver is set up to communicate at a different baud rate 
(e.g., 38400 for many Bluetooth receivers). If Synch doesn't work for you, 
after you have tried it scan each baud rate manually, starting at 4800 and 
working upwards to 115200. Assuming you find the receiver at one of them, 
remember that as your receiver is likely to go there whenever it is told to 
change protocol.

SiRFDemo is not a passive program like many monitors -- it often sends 
commands to the receiver when you aren't expecting it to. For example, if 
you open a log file, SiRFDemo sends a query for software version and 
navigation settings to the receiver and logs the results in the log file so 
that information is available when the file is reviewed. Likewise, if you 
try to issue a command to change some setting like static navigation, 
SiRFDemo queries the receiver to find the current setting, and if it is 
successful then the menu you see will have the option already set for you 
(I think that one sets the option so that if you just click "send" it will 
change the current setting -- for example, if static nav is off, it will 
show the default as "on" so if you click "send" it will change the setting).

For your current case, scan until you find where the receiver is talking, 
then command it back to NMEA at the right baud rate and you should be fine.

At 3/21/2007, you wrote:
>Well, I just tried it on my Holux GPSlim 236 which has the SIRF III chipset.
>It looks like I did something wrong and now my Holux is now disfunctional. I
>tried turning static navigation off resulting in my Holux being undetectable
>by any device. I tried connecting to it through my Nokia 6682 and it is able
>to connect but it will not report anything. I tried doing a factory reset by
>going through the actions>initialize source and selecting factory reset.
>That didn't seem to fix the issue.
>I was wondering if you have any ideas in fixing this issue.
>----- Original Message -----
>From: "Mikolaj Rotnicki" <mikolaj-rotnicki at o2.pl>
>To: <loadstone at loadstone-gps.com>
>Sent: Wednesday, March 21, 2007 4:07 PM
>Subject: Re: [Loadstone] Tools to drive receivers.
> > Hi
> >
> > If your GPS receiver is based on SiRFStar III (SiRFStar 3) chipset, then
> > SiRFDemo software might be useful. The "Demo" in its name might be
> > confusing - it is the name of the software - NOT the demo version (as you
> > might think).
> >
> > You can download it from here:
> > http://www.sirf.com/free_demo.html
> > Manual in PDF is also available.
> >
> > It is useful for checking, and changeing all the parameters of your
> > SiRFStar
> > III based GPS receiver. A specially turning off the so called "static
> > navigation" (SN).  It is recommended to turn the SN off for pedestrian use
> > of the GPS receiver.
> >
> > Do you have a SiRFStar III chipset based GPS receiver?
> >
> > Example SiRFStar III receivers:
> > Nokia LD-3W
> > G-Space GSR 238
> > Globalsat BT 359
> >
> > The hints on the following forum may help as Quick Start for SiRFDemo and
> > using it to turn off static navigation.
> > http://www.gpspassion.com/forumsen/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=25575
> >
> > -----
> > Mikolaj Rotnicki
> >
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: "Gabriel Battaglia" <gabriele.battaglia at gmail.com>
> > To: <loadstone at loadstone-gps.com>
> > Sent: Wednesday, March 21, 2007 10:49 PM
> > Subject: [Loadstone] Tools to drive receivers.
> >
> >
> >> Hello all.
> >> I remember was passed here several days ago a topic regarding some tool,
> >> usuful to connect GPS receivers via Bluetooth with computer in order to
> >> send
> >> them commands and read their output.
> >> I know that's kind of dangerous activity but I wish to investigate if my
> >> receiver does support the WAAS/EGNOS mode.
> >>
> >> In fact, I've never seen the differential GPS fix and I would like to do
> >> everything is possible to be sure that my receiver can use that protocol
> >> or
> >> not... guys, 3 meters of accuracy sounds so good!
> >>
> >> Can someone could suggest me where I should point my browser to looking
> >> for
> >> one of these tools?
> >>
> >> Thank you in advance.
> >> Gabriel.
> >>
> >> _______________________________________________
> >> Loadstone mailing list
> >> Loadstone at loadstone-gps.com
> >> http://www.loadstone-gps.com/mailman/listinfo/loadstone
> >>
> >>
> >> --
> >> No virus found in this incoming message.
> >> Checked by AVG Free Edition.
> >> Version: 7.5.446 / Virus Database: 268.18.16/729 - Release Date:
> >> 2007-03-21 07:52
> >>
> >>
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > Loadstone mailing list
> > Loadstone at loadstone-gps.com
> > http://www.loadstone-gps.com/mailman/listinfo/loadstone
> >
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