Trying to remote GPS receiver to laptop in a camper van

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DonJuane
Trying to remote GPS receiver to laptop in a camper van

I have a small wi-fi network in my camper van that is supplied with a cell modem/router setup and that's where Internet access comes from. What I wished to do was to place a GPS (USB) receiver on the dash board of the vehicle (where GPS signals are strongest) and the GPS connected to some type of palm size travel router and have that router connect over my existing "camper wi-fi" to my laptop to give access to the GPS on the dashboard to be used by my PC navigation software. I was hoping that VirtualHere could seamlessly access the GPS by remote connecting the palm-router it was plugged into and that would be accessible as a virtual laptop COM port for the software to nab. I took a test GL-AR150 and installed the CloudHub firmware in hopes that would provide what I am looking for but I found that the LAN cable went dead and the device is transmitting a wifi signal CloudHub_4xxxxx but I have no password and I can't figure out how to use what I have, nor can I determine why I lost wired LAN to this device or don't see how to configure this from any documentation here.

If anyone can help, it's appreciated.

DonJuane
Made more progress

I used the instructions on this page: https://www.virtualhere.com/hardware and the password cloudhub66 and this now connects me. However the user interface never shows any devices. When I right-click and select Autofind Hubs it keeps telling me that I need to install Bonjure and I allow it to install and then I get options to remove or repair the interface and I click repair. But it never seems to utilize the Bonjur (for whatever good that is supposed to do). Again wi-fi now direct connected to the router with CloudHub but no CloudHub showing up in the user interface, Bonjur must indicate it's not installed and I don't know how to connect to the router and USB GPS device even through I have connected to the GL-AR150's ssid.

OS= Window 7

DonJuane
Made more progress

I used the instructions on this page: https://www.virtualhere.com/hardware and the password cloudhub66 and this now connects me. However the user interface never shows any devices. When I right-click and select Autofind Hubs it keeps telling me that I need to install Bonjure and I allow it to install and then I get options to remove or repair the interface and I click repair. But it never seems to utilize the Bonjur (for whatever good that is supposed to do). Again wi-fi now direct connected to the router with CloudHub but no CloudHub showing up in the user interface, Bonjur must indicate it's not installed and I don't know how to connect to the router and USB GPS device even through I have connected to the GL-AR150's ssid.

OS= Window 7

DonJuane
Working

Found the original problem which is the firewall was blocking the VirtualHere client. Once I resolved that, it worked as expected. Note that what I was trying to do was use a decommissioned Netgear/Sierra Wireless Aircard 340U (with imbedded GPS receiver) on my camper's front dashboard and then use the PC Navigator software on the PC to access the Modem.s GPS via the COM port for NMEA. I was finally able to do this by following all the setup instructions and adding to that some quirkish tweeks. Then I don't know if this initial step is necessary or not but I added the aircard watcher software and set up the GPS to start automatically.

With VirtualHere I realized that the Modem/GPS was not behaving the same way it did with the modem/GPS plugged directly in the PC USB port. When the AC340U was plugged directly in the PC, the PC Navigator software had no problem accessing the USB port and utilizing the GPS from the NMEA USB port at the same time the SierraWireless AirCard Watcher software was displaying statistics from the GPS. However, when using VirtualHere I was not able to get both devices sharing the GPS signal like when the 340U was direct connected. After a little tweaking of procedures, I finally came up with something that works.

a) follow instructions to set up the CloudHub on the firmware you load into the GL-AR150 or other small router. Place the small router and AC340U GPS/modem on the dashboard or where it can get a good GPS signal (none of the modem function has to work except for the GPS signal and no SIM card is needed.)
b) once you see the normal VirtualHere window and it has discovered the remote cloudhub (GL-AR150 router) either direct connected or shared via the camper wifi router or access point, then you should see the modem listed in the VirtualHere Windows screen.
c) if the VirtualHere client window is not displayed on screen, in the system tray you should see the blue H icon, double click to open it if not already and you'll see listed under USB Hubs, CloudHub_xxxxxx, AirCard 340U.
d) now double click the "Aircard 340U" and it should show (in use by you) or it may come up from a previous use of it as already connected;
e) the trick here to make PC Navigator able to use the remote dashboard GPS is to first double click on "AirCard 340U" to delete the (in use by you) and then double click again to add (in use by you) back again. You should hear the PC make a "ka-loonk" sound just like when the modem is being inserted and removed when you insert the modem into the computer's interface
f) now the procedure just outlines is a reset for the USB interface and it must be done prior to each time you wish to access the GPS receiver via PC Navigator. (Note that closing PC Navigator and re-opening it requires the reset which was just outlined prior to every use of PC Navigator.

Note that Sierra Wireless "Aircard Watcher" which gives modem functions does not seem to need the reset in order to use the modem/GPS. These tests were conducted using the free PC Navigator with free Open Street Maps and once I shut down PC Navigator I know I must always toggle the modem in the VirtualHere small screen just before launching PC Navigator.

Note that once the VirtualHere menu is displayed, the AirCard 340U is toggled not-in-use / in-use, then the VirtualHere small window can be closed and then PC Navigator can be launched and will be communicating with the GPS on the remotely mounted AC340U modem.

Note that is a lot of effort to put into remotely mounting a GPS receiver where it communicates over wifi, when a long USB cord and USB GPS receiver can be used on the dash instead of this. However in practice a corded USB GPS receiver placed on the dashboard will get yanked, tossed and jerked as the PC is moved from area to area during a normal navigation process.

Michael
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Hi Don Juan, thanks for the detailed info. Im glad you got it all working. i didnt respond earlier as it seems you were already trying things and i didnt know your network setup , and you would figure it out...

DonJuane
One more thing about PC Navigator software

Thanks a lot Michael but I decided to share what I have found in case anyone else needs this.

Note there is another issue if you are trying to use an Aircard 340U for a GPS. You may have to assign the Port manually to PC Navigator because I changed modems this morning testing another 340U that had a bad imei number that I had gotten from a bargain bin to see if the GPS in it would work also. The new modem plugged in the remote GL-AR150 provided a different port number for the NMEA Port on the laptop which is seen in Windows Device Manager my opening the Ports (COM & LPT) and seeing the Sierra Wirless names and functions. Remember what the NMEA Port number is listed here and then start PC Navigator and allow it to auto scan for GPS ports. If it does not find the port automatically, then after PC Navigator goes through all the open ports and at different speeds, then it fails to find the NMEA port and allows you to set up GPS manually.

Now this is where you enter the port number that you found from Device Manager. Set the port number to the same number seen under Device, Manager, Ports (COM & LPT), and look at the list to see Sierra Wireless NMEA and use the port number. Set the BAUD to 57600 and then save that value. Now close PC Navigator and go to the open VirtualHere client on Windows and use the method I ouylinrf before by double clicking the entry for AirCard 340U to first to disable (in use by you) and then again double click to turn (in use by you) on again. At the moment this is toggled off and on, then you can start PC Navigator again and it should pick up the GSP NMEA port this time. Remember to toggle the 340U each time on the VirtualHere menu before you start PC Navigator.

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