Question about Garmin eTrex GPS Receiver

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Timeout 254 'Unkown Garmin' error

Hi, My set up is: Garmin etrex memory mapo USB cable using virtual serial port. Windows XP Until yesterday, this was working. using memory map UK national parks section, i could download routes tracks etc to GPS in seconds. Then I purchased additional memory maps, loaded them onto the PC has failed to connect to GPS since that moment on. Re-loaded the software, drivers, checked all connections, licence numbers, port settings, rebooted everything several times over. Complete failure to connect to the GPS. At wits end...can anyone help ? I'd be eternally grateful as I'm stuck here with a whole load of disfunctional expensive kit. many thanks

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Re: Timeout 254 'Unkown Garmin' error

Was the add. memory in you alotted space or did you go over. What I would first do is delete and start over. Only if you have the orginal software. How long do you wait to get error mess? Is batt. charged all the way? Check before reloading.

Posted on Aug 26, 2007

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Re: Timeout 254 'Unkown Garmin' error

Try connecting it to a different USB port. Every time you switch the USB port a device is connected to, it will completely reinstall the drivers and reset.

Posted on Aug 19, 2007

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Cannopt download maps

Not surprised at that, don't know much about these units but from what i was able to find out they don't use a usb cable to load software they use a serial cable, and computer do not have a detection process for the serial cable, You need the cable as well as the software to load information up to or down from the unit. Quick check brought this to my attention and maybe something in here will help you.

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Have you tried using the cable with another device just to check it's working ok.. And try a different usb port also, they can be funny that way.
A Garmin rep I spoke to about this told me (off the record) to just go to my local electronics store to pick one up for app €15 as the same thing from Garmin would be about €75. So it's basically the same cable and should work. I tried it with a generic cable here in the shop and it worked in one usb port but not in the other two so a bit of trial and error is needed.
All that failing I'd bring it back to the shop and ask them if there is a different type you could try, possibly you need one with a higher data transfer capability.. But try the cheaper and easier options first..

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Check your bios (setup as you boot up) and make sure the serial port is not off.


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I had the same issue. I would plug it in and it would recognize the device then it would disappear.

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If it were doing this just on the Vista machine I would say it was Vista related but since you are getting it from an xp machine as well the problem is either cable or the gps unit. You don;t say if this just started happening or ? If you can try out the cable on something else to make sure so you can eliminate it. About the only thing you can do is to make sure the port settings in the pilot are set correctly. Generally the slower the better if you are having communication problems as this makes the signal timing not as critical. Try 9600 baud to start. Make sure that the data bits are also set roght. This is the 8n1 or 7n1 thing you see. I can;t think of what the default is on the garmin but as long as both pc and garmin have speed, bits, parity, and stop but set the same they should talk.

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This won;t solve it unless you luck out but it should let you know where the problem is.


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Change the interface setting to NMEA Out and see if that helps. That is what I did on my Legend, bought in 2003. It still crashes the computer every so often, however, and I haven't figured out why.

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Try posting the problem listing your virtual port software or the laptop itself as the product, you may get many more experts taking a look. Other than that, one thing to try would be to set it up on a machine with a serial port, and if you can get it working see what all the settings are - it may give you some clues. I used to use C-map years ago, so probably now much different, but we often had unrecognised port problems that usually meant two or three restarts before it would pick up the port (this was without changing any settings). Maybe they cured this in the last few years, but the best answer I got back then for why it happened was bad software code in c-map, never bothered to try the later versions. Hope this helps a bit :)

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