GPS Read Dysfunction in Windows 10 Pro

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arizonajon
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GPS Read Dysfunction in Windows 10 Pro

Post by arizonajon » Sat Dec 14, 2019 2:35 pm

Hi Andrew -
I recently upgraded the truck PC to a new MoBo (ASRock Q1900) and Windows 10 Pro. It's a 64-bit system. I installed Vistumbler, Franson GPSGate Splitter, and all my other usual software, like I had on the former truck computer, a Windows 7 box on a 32-bit machine.
For about 2 weeks, Vistumbler "seemed" to be working ok, and now I'm not really sure since what I'm seeing is invisible unless I'm watching the GPS readout (not easy while driving).
The setup uses the same GPS I've been using for years, a Skytraq Venus module with serial output to COM5 on the PC. GPSgate Splitter takes the data on COM5 and duplicates it on virtual COM7 and COM8. Vistumbler uses COM8 and my mapping s/w uses COM7. Originally, I was running the GPS in default mode at 19200 kbps, with all the usual sentences.
The issue appears to be that Vistumbler slowly loses the capability to read the GPS stream. I've turned on the debug COM port function, and even open the GPS Details display to watch what's going on. When I start the PC, I can use either the mapping s/w or the GPS configuration tool to watch the GPS stream over on COM8, and it looks absolutely reliable. However, Vistumbler appears to be having an issue processing the sentences, in GPS Details lots of the sentences are truncated, and even the ones that don't appear truncated, Vistumbler slowly seems to lose the ability to process and derive the location. I say slowly, but it's more unpredictable than that - often, when I start a log, it could take 5-20 seconds to update the lat/lon fields, sometimes 1 sec, sometimes never. But usually, the GPS status line is always showing 0/30 like the s/w thinks its getting packets. Other times, the GPS status line times out (10 sec), the GPS button goes red, and when I re-enable the GPS, it goes right back to green.
What will happen is that the GPS data no longer seems to be read successfully by Vistumbler, but it continues to record APs and auto-save the log file. This means that I could have entire logs with one GPS location (the first one) and every AP at the same location. That's why I say that I'm not sure when this started, as I don't normally watch the GPS coordinates to ensure that GPS is updating. And at the same time, the apps connected to the other vitrual com port are updating every GPS cycle, as they should.
This past week, I really started noticing the problem. There can be good times when everything works fine for several minutes, then there could be 30-60 seconds when, although I'm seeing the 0/30 status flash by every second or two, the lat/lon display values never update. I have GPS pinning turned off, but in any event I can be driving at any speed and there's not GPS update on Vistumbler while the other s/w is performing as expected.
I've switched the virtual com ports, I've re-installed the COM port splitter, I've modified the GPS output to reduce it to 9600 baud and just GGA and RMC sentences, thinking that maybe I was overloading a Vistumbler buffer, but no real difference. For years, I'd been running 19200 baud and all the sentences, and Vistumbler never appeared to suffer.
Once Vistumbler clearly stops processing GPS successfully (when I can see that after several minutes and miles that there's no change), the only solution that seems to work is to reboot the PC. I've tried rebooting Vistumbler, but that doesn't make a difference.
Any ideas? Have your heard of this happening before?
Cheers and 73 - Jon N7UV

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Re: GPS Read Dysfunction in Windows 10 Pro

Post by arizonajon » Mon Dec 23, 2019 11:00 pm

Pushed my Wi-Fi AP count to over 5 million now!

I eventually discovered that the Q1900 mobo didn't support Windows 10. It was weird, it could be just fine as a server or for web browsing, but as soon as I put demands on it for I/O stuff (GPS, camera, Wi-Fi sniffing, touch screen, etc) it would get all balky. I dropped a note to ASRock and they suggested that instead of the Q1900 I go with the J4105-ITX, so I ordered one of those and 8 GB RAM, and man, that thing smokes!

I'm getting about 6x the performance of the old truck PC (D2550 dual-core) and pulling barely 9 W at 12 vdc while driving. Runs beautifully. And I also got a new Xenarc 10" touch screen display which has really made it easy to see the screen in daylight.

Cheers and 73 - Jon N7UV

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Re: GPS Read Dysfunction in Windows 10 Pro

Post by ACalcutt » Tue Jan 07, 2020 7:35 pm

Hey Jon, Happy new year!

Sorry I haven't been around much lately. I actually had the same gps issue with the last tablet I tried to buy (I forget the model, but it was rugged with actual usb ports). everything would seem good when it started but it eventually would just not get a location (incomplete sentences like you said). I also concluded it was a hardware thing, because it couldn't even get a fix in the chipset manufactures software. I was actually thinking it was a overheating issue myself, but it sounds like the same issue. It stinks manufactures kind of dropped the ball on full tablets with gps...they are pretty rare it seems, and the few are either bad quality or high in price. these days I am mostly using my phone with the wigle's wifi scanner, but because I can just pull my phone out and use it, and the wifidb supports its format. if I go on a trip i usually run vistumbler on my old asus tablel with gps because it scans more frequently than android, but that tablet has seen better days.

Here I've been messing with home automation using hass.io lately. playing with wifi smart bulbs, plugs, alexa/ecobee,433mhz remotes. Initially I was just playing with some bulbs and the smart life app. Setting them up with the smart life app should take less than a minute, but it just would not detect them when using my old asus router. I eventually figured out it worked right away with a old WRT54G i had laying around, so initially i had to use that to set them up which was annoying. I ended up upgrading my wifi with a ubiquity ap, which I have been pretty happy with (I like the extra stats I can get with the unify management). I'm still not exactly sure why they wouldn't work with the asus. Now I'm not sure the initial wifi issue I had would matter much... I am flashing all my bulbs and plugs with tasmota firmware and connecting it to a local hass.io server over MQTT, so they no longer need that smart life app I had so much issue with....lol... but I enjoy the 802.11ac upgrade anyway

-Andrew

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Re: GPS Read Dysfunction in Windows 10 Pro

Post by arizonajon » Fri Jan 24, 2020 9:47 pm

hey Andrew - thanks for the info on hass.io. Had never heard of it, just spent the last 30 min at the site and checking on the buttload of features and additions that one can do. Looks like home automation can become a full-time occupation with that stuff!

UBNT stuff is generally pretty nice. I have one of their EdgeRouters as my router/firewall for the house, directly downstream of the cable modem. Mine is the 2 port version, so one port goes to the home network and the other will someday be to a VPN server so I can VPN into the house. I use their Nanobridges and Powerbeams to pull network connections 20-40 miles. Like u say, the UI is way more useful than a lot of the stuff on the market, and it's hard to beat the price.

In terms of regular routers, I only go with ones that I can flash to DD-WRT. I have a lot of trouble dealing with a bunch of different UIs depending on what router I use, and the dd-wrt stuff for me has been rock-solid for nearly a decade. In fact, last week I needed a new main AP for another location, bought one of the Linksys WRT-3200 router/AP devices, and in 30 min it was full dd-wrt.

Back to home automation - I'm not really comfortable with the idea of an Alexa or Google thingee in the house and monitoring everything. Is there a way with hass.io to set up everything so that it's all mostly localized, and let everything else stay behind firewall? I did play with a Nest thermostat about 7 years ago, it was really nice to be able to bump the house temp up or down as required when I was about to get on the flight home, and by the time I'd get home the house would usually be to a reasonable temp. I also had some Hue smart bulbs, but they must have gotten thrown out sometime. I still have the controller for that, the one that uses (I think) a Zigbee Home Lighting profile or something similar.

I just installed a IP PTZ camera on the carport, and got it running this afternoon. It's a no-name chinese camera, but the image quality is pretty decent and at about 2400x1300 (16x9) resolution, and 30x analog zoom, it's not bad for $150. I see that hass.io has some potential methods of interfacing to cameras like that, so maybe I'll do an experiment one of these days.

Anyway, good luck on that front, and if I start getting something together I'll let you know!

Cheers and 73 - Jon N7UV

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Re: GPS Read Dysfunction in Windows 10 Pro

Post by ACalcutt » Tue Feb 18, 2020 8:23 am

Back to home automation - I'm not really comfortable with the idea of an Alexa or Google thingee in the house and monitoring everything. Is there a way with hass.io to set up everything so that it's all mostly localized, and let everything else stay behind firewall? I did play with a Nest thermostat about 7 years ago, it was really nice to be able to bump the house temp up or down as required when I was about to get on the flight home, and by the time I'd get home the house would usually be to a reasonable temp. I also had some Hue smart bulbs, but they must have gotten thrown out sometime. I still have the controller for that, the one that uses (I think) a Zigbee Home Lighting profile or something similar.
That is the main reason I went with hass.io. I didn't want to rely on the cloud to control my local devices. Hass.io can mix local devices and ones that need the cloud. For all my smart bulbs and power monitoring plug switches I flashed a firmware called tasmota, which I can then control locally with the MQTT protocol. I think the only two devices I have that requires the internet are my ecobee thermostat and alexa (which are actually the same device)

check out this repository of devices that can be flashed with tasmota ( https://templates.blakadder.com/index.html ). I wrote down my steps to flash the bulbs I have over wifi with tuya-convert ( https://www.techidiots.net/notes/home-a ... -assistant )

Also, while I'm not much of a fan of having a device always listening, I have been liking the alexa integrations. its nice setting up routines the do certain actions. for example, " Alexa, Goodnight" I set up to turn of everything and turn on the bed lights to 50%" or Alexa, Hello turns on the lights i need when i get home.
Looks like home automation can become a full-time occupation with that stuff!
You really could. I've spent about two months and I'm finally pretty happy with the setup. I have pretty much all my stereos, tvs, and lights controlled by hass.io. I set up rf remotes around the house and control their actions with NodeRed, which is a nice visual flow diagram
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