[aprssig] Garmin and APRS

Michael J. Wolthuis wolthui3 at msu.edu
Wed Mar 4 07:45:58 EST 2009

I got this back from Garmin.  May be important to address the FMI group

Dear Mr Wolthuis, 
Thank you for contacting Garmin International. 
 The best way to have this request processed will be to send it to the
appropriate team. Our Fleet Management Team handles inquiries and support
through the form, so please contact them as a seperate entity for this
matter. Again here is the link directly to thier contact form: 

With Best Regards, 
Matthew L 
Product Support Specialist 
Automotive Team 
Garmin International 
913-440-8280 (fax) Att: Matthew L 

I will send my info on to them as well

-----Original Message-----
From: aprssig-bounces at tapr.org [mailto:aprssig-bounces at tapr.org] On Behalf
Of Scott Miller
Sent: Friday, February 27, 2009 8:47 PM
To: TAPR APRS Mailing List; tracker2 at yahoogroups.com;
opentracker at yahoogroups.com
Subject: [aprssig] Garmin and APRS

As I think just about everyone here knows, I've been working a lot with 
the Garmin nuvi 350 because through some fluke its fleet management 
interface allows real-time waypoint creation (it's not part of the 
documented protocol), and it works perfectly for APRS.  The Tracker2 and 
now the D700/D710 or any other NMEA-capable tracker (with the GTRANS 
translator cable) can use it.

I've been trying for a year or more to convince Garmin to add this 
capability to other models, but I really haven't had any luck.  I'm not 
sure I've even convinced them that I'm not just a lone nut, so it's time 
to let them know there are a lot of us nuts out there.

I'm calling on any APRS users who own Garmin automotive navigation 
systems (nuvi, zumo, StreetPilot), or would honestly buy one if their 
APRS support was better, to email Garmin and let them know that you want 
to see real-time waypoint creation through the fleet management 
interface like on the nuvi 350.

If you have a StreetPilot 7200 or 2720, a nuvi 600 series, or a nuvi 
360, these already create waypoints but they leave duplicates each time 
a station moves.  This is a legitimate mis-feature to open a support 
ticket for, and Garmin has changed waypoint behavior in the past at 
customer request.  It'd be a minor change and would give us several more 
APRS-capable models with larger screens and more features.

The Garmin support contact page is here, for those who already own 
Garmin products:


I'm really hoping to get across to them how important this feature is 
for emergency response, search and rescue, and related activities. 
Situational awareness is a big deal, and most SAR teams, Red Cross 
chapters, and so forth can't afford expensive mobile data terminals that 
probably won't interoperate with anyone else's equipment in a major 
disaster or mutual aid situation.

It'd also be nice to let them know that you appreciate their support for 
APRS with the enhanced NMEA input on the Colorado 300 and the new Oregon 
handhelds.  The outdoor products division gets it, apparently.

If you have APRS-related stories, testimonials, and so forth, you can 
send them to:

stories at garmin.com

The new models are coming out with no waypoint display capability at 
all, just a broken point of interest upload capability that won't work 
for APRS at all.  We need to let them know it's important before it 
disappears completely.

The Colorado 300's example shows that Garmin CAN pull this off, and that 
a tiny bit of work on their part opens up a lot of possibilities for us 
APRS users.

So please, let Garmin know what you think about this.  Be polite and 
constructive, and let them know that helping out the APRS community 
makes financial sense for them and provides a real benefit to our public 
service capabilities.  They're closed for the weekend, so this is a 
perfect time to get your messages in and get their attention on Monday 



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