streets and trips with gps problems

| 20 Comments | 1 TrackBack

One of the reasons I bought the MS Streets & Trips with GPS for my tablet pc was to help me navigate around Seattle when we arrived. And it worked fine, for about a day.

Now when I start it up, it works for about 5 minutes, then dies. The software seems to be fine, but it claims that it's not receiving data from the COM port. When I run a device check, the GPS shows up and claims to be working. If I do a full reboot of the machine, it starts working again...for about 5 more minutes, tops. Then it stops again. If I unplug or replug the GPS receiver, the computer acknowledges it with a little sound, the way it usually does. So is it the GPS receiver itself? If so, since I've only had it for a few months, will MS replace it? How do I go about finding that out? Do I take it back to the MS store next week after I start work?

Can't find any information anywhere on how to isolate the problem. The documentation is next to worthless, and PC troubleshooting has so many different places to look--the application software, the drivers, the OS, the GPS manufacturer, the laptop manufacturer. Feh.

So much for the GPS helping me navigate Seattle. So much for me navigating Windows. Scoble, got any suggestions?

1 TrackBack

Videos of the presentations from the Second Annual Microsoft Social Computing Symposium are... Read More


Wanna borrow mine? At least then you'll know whether or not it's a hardware problem.

Thanks, Robert. Yes, I'll take you up on that next week. (I know you're swamped this week.)

The Google ad that appears on my browser at the top of this entry today:

Free Microsoft Streets
Get Streets '05 in Works Suite Free Guaranteed 100% Free - Act Now!

But it didn't say TROUBLE free.

Response to the GPS problem. Yep, I have the same problem with my pc & gps! I called microsoft, they told me to call Pharos (the Manufacturer). I called them and told them that the gps was working intermitantly so therefore it had to be a device problem. They told me to mail it to them and they will troubleshoot it and send me a new one or whatever... well the thing started working again right after I hung up! I cannot figure out if it really is a device problem. I know if I send it in that the stupid thing is gonna work and they will just send it back!

My com port is available according to the software but the error message indicates that it is not recieving a signal. I am just as frustrated!!!



I have a 2001 street and trips this one is the greates program that i have found for maps

It could be that the new one are not that good

I must say that this program has got from end of Cananda to the other Try and find a old copy.
Good Luck

I have been fighting with 2005 and GPS since May.When you engage GPS and create a trail and change the map size an error message comes up and says it will have to shut down and restart,losing the trail you made.Not good when you are covering a couple of hundred of kms of back road.M/S sent new software which won't connect with the GPS.Says device not rec signal.If I plug into my other laptop it works but gets error messages-orig program.I asked for face time but was told M/S only works by phone or online.Not happy. Fred.

Yes, I too have EXACTLY the same issue with MS Streets and Trips 2005. I am tempted to go back to Map Point.

I too am having the same problem. I've been using the 2005 with GPS for a month, worked great for 3 weeks then tells me it can't find the satellites. clear blue sky, I haven't moved the receiver. will not work.

I've had the exact same problem, but may have found a fix. I just downloaded the Pharos USB driver from here:

and so far so good. The satellite link has stayed up much longer than it was before.

It's simple to try. Let us know if it helps.

I do work for a major Texas based computer company. I've been using the GPS with 2005 with no issues. I got it last xmas as a gift. I loved it. I recently upgraded to the 2006 software. About a week or so ago there was a snow staorm in the Seattle Area. Yea! That day I could not get any siganals at all. I figured it had to be the weather. It started working the next day. Yeterday it stopped and yet to back. I have another program I sometimes use besides S&T2006
it was made for the Belkin Bluetooth. It shows that It is only getting 1 sat and it is very weak.

Any comments?

Hi, I just bought MS S&T 2006 with GPS for my Dell laptop, and it has the same problem. After setting it up with the correct COM port (COM3 in my case) with the "Configure GPS" selection, you'd then expect it to be up and running. Not so, however.

In the GPS Pane I clicked on "Start GPS tracking" and it says "Receiving data" but nothing happens. I clicked on the boldfaced "GPS Pane" words just above the GPS Pane itself, and then selected "Legend and Overview" and in the little GPS SENSOR box that then appeared, the Status says "Receiving data" but the Num Sats (number of satellites) stays a constant "0".

It times out after a few minutes stating that it couldn't find any satellites, HOWEVER -- not so!!

Taking a hint from a Microsoft S&T Help page, I found XP's HyperTerminal program (do a search in Help to easily locate it) and then I set up HyperTerminal to receive on the same COM port that Streets & Trips already found the GPS on. (Kill the S&T program, or it hogs the COM port.) Make sure the HyperTerminal Configuration is set for 4800 bits per second, 8 data bits, no parity, 1 stop bit, and set Flow Control to NONE.

Then hit the CALL button to connect, and viola, there's a TON of incoming GPS Satellite textual info. This cute little receiver really works!! It's a continuous data stream from what appears to be approx. a dozen satellites in my particular case, yet when MS S&T connects to that same data stream it recognizes the connection, COM port and so forth, but is blind to that same distinct data stream that is very plain for a human to read.

Fascinating. If you want to use the above for troubleshooting, save that HyperTerminal setup as an icon on the Desktop. (Hold down the CTRL key and drag & drop it to the desktop.)

Now anytime I want, I can hit that icon and up comes my GPS data stream, but when I close that program and bring up MS S&T 2006, reading that very same COM port and data stream, it sits there like a dummy, not doing anything.

I'm somewhat of an electronics geek, so the above doesn't describe several hours' worth of time-wasting uninstalling and re-installing anything in XP that uses a COM port, etc. just to isolate the problem.

So, my GPS receiver is quite reliably feeding Microsoft's HyperTerminal program with a standardly-formatted GPS textual data stream from numerous satellites, which then points a finger directly at Microsoft's S&T software. No way around it. It has access to that same data stream, and simply refuses to see it and act upon it.

I don't have a solution yet, but I just wanted to share with you, how you can use HyperTerminal to isolate this problem. It's pretty versatile.

I downloaded and installed the Pharos driver as mentioned above, but nothing changed. When I get this thing fixed, I'll let you know. This is too good of a product to not follow thru on it.


Tom S

Oooops, and oooops again. I owe y'all a sincere apology.

My above post is an excellent example of cockiness, ignorant prejudice, and not doing one's homework. Being new to how a GPS receiver works (but an old -- as in "ancient" -- hand at electronics and computers in general), I made a couple of wrong assumptions, the biggest of which was that if a receiver was outputting a data stream, then it was receiving valid signals which were feeding that data stream. Thus I badly mis-interpreted the data stream coming from my Pharos 360 GPS Receiver.

After learning a few basics about the NMEA (National Marine Electronics Association) codes which are output by a simple GPS receiver, I'm embarrassed to admit that the data stream as output by my receiver, plainly showed that it wasn't picking up any satellites after all, here in my wood-frame house in Anchorage.

So I took my laptop outside in the sub-freezing cold, and let it sit there searching the sky. I watched the HyperTerminal text output go scrolling up the screen, when suddenly a couple of satellites were recognized. I immediately killed HyperTerminal and started MS S&T, and when it finally found 3 satellites, a map of my immediate neighborhood popped up. (Precision was approx. 150 feet off.) That was enough for me, and besides, the receiver soon got cold and lost all three connections, so I trundled back inside.

This northern latitude, plus the slight signal attenuation caused by the wooden roof of my house, is enough to kill GPS satellite signals. I had a bit more faith in the receiver's ability than was warranted.

Not a biggie, though. My stepson is a roving account-exec in the "Lower 48" and this laptop is his Christmas present, so he shouldn't have a problem with the signal-strength issue.

The above HyperTerminal troubleshooting method is a valid one, without which I wouldn't have been able to check the data stream for valid inputs.

Here's how to decipher the NMEA codes on the data-line that you'll need to look at, if you want to troubleshoot your own GPS system using this method:

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


(NMEA: National Marine Electronics Association)

The "number of satellites being tracked" field is quite significant.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Meaning of each field (data fields are separated by commas):

$GP (Originator is a GPS unit)
GGA (Global Positioning System Fix Data
053243 (Universal Time Code of 05:32:43)
03010.041 ,N (Latitude 30 deg 10.041 N)
02543.000,E (Longitude 25 deg 43.000 E)
1 (Type of fix, as follows:)
--- (0 = invalid)
--- (1 = GPS fix (SPS))
--- (2 = DGPS fix)
--- (3 = PPS fix)
--- (4 = Real Time Kinematic)
--- (5 = Float RTK)
--- (6 = estimated (dead reckoning))
--- (7 = Manual input mode)
--- (8 = Simulation mode)
03 (Number of satellites being tracked)
0.8 (Horizontal dilution of position)
30.2, M (Altitude--in Meters--above mean sea level)
9.6, M (Height--in Meters--of geoid)
(empty field) (Time in seconds since last DGPS update)
(empty field) (DGPS station ID number)
*52 (Checksum calculation for the line--avoids scrambled data)

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Let HyperTerminal scroll thru your receiver's data lines for a few minutes. Then hit HyperTerminal's "Disconnect" button to pause the screen and look for the occasional $GPGGA line, so as to decode as above. If you see one or two satellites have become evident, then hit the "Connect" button and let it scroll for another 5-10 minutes. This is a lot more informative than the semi-blank screen offered by MS S&T.

Make sure that you fully exit from HyperTerminal when you go back to MS S&T, and vise-versa.

I hope this makes up for my above "fox-paw".....


Tom S.

Hey guys downloaded the drivers from the page mentioned above and it started to work. Hope this helps others get your S&T up and running

Same problem (S&T 2006) driver fixed it. Thanks for the info! Working fine....for now.

I just got Streets and Trips with GPS 2006 and couldn't keep a lock on the satellites much like many of you were describing. I tried the hyperterminal thing and discovered that I was not receiving any satellite data with the receiver on the dash of my minivan right next to the windshield. So I put the receiver on the roof and immediately started receiving data from seven satellites. I put it back on the dash and lost the satellites again. I then tried taping the receiver in the upper right-hand corner of the winshield flat against the glass. Streets and Trips now works flawlessly (so far) no matter which direction I drive.

There is not doubt that the microsoft streets and trips 2005 i have purchased is a sheer waste of money. I purchased this to help me in nevigation in my driving job, but it has only added more and more frustration after getting the error messages like " The communication port (com) is available, but no signal is received. Make sure the GPS receiver is turned on and connected to the correct port". I even reinstalled a fresh windos copy and installed only the streets and trips frist to rule out anything else, but to my frustration it was the same old message I have got. I even tried calling Pharos technical support ph. no. 1-888-742-7678. The message i get " pls. check the no. and dial again ". I would not advise anybody to waste their money on the 2006 version of Microsoft streets and trips.


I have been using MS S&T 2006 for 2 weeks with the Pharos 360 unit and am very pleased. I Purchased the '360 by itself as it came with the compact flash adaptor taped to it at Fry's. I then purchased the software by itself. Since I have used Pocket Streets for the Pocket PC for 5 yrs. I really enjoy being able to switch the GPS between the laptop and PocketPC. It works fine but yesterday found something interesting. It picks up the Sats almost instantly when the car is moving. Sitting still it has the same problem you are all describing. Another thing. Mini-Vans windshields are usually "doped" with a compound that blocks Infrared to reduce interior heat. This reduces signal to the GPS considerably. Overall this is a good unit that performs even better on the PPC. Good Luck

Iam a service technician. Would really like to have
M&S 2006 with GPS work on the road in a van.Can't seem to find info on proper placement of GPS Receiver device that came with M&S 2006. Do I want to see the logo microsoft or do I want it faceing out?
Read comment from Roger K in referance to Mini Van.
I use 1 ton gmc service Van HELP.

I;m having problems with a HP PDA (2495) accepting more than one map. The only map it will reconize is the first one downloaded. I can load additional maps but when I open each one seperately it converts back to the first one I loaded. I've tried a reboot and started over to experience the same problem. As it stands- I have several maps installed in my PDA but can only open the first one I transfered. Help!

Ever since I got S & T 2006 with GPS it hasn't worked properly. When it works it is great! But it whites out frequently, and, while working fades in and out partially. I tried another receiver with the same results. I bought a new ac/dc converter, but, no luck. In XP I moved hardware acceleration half left and then all left with no improvement. Please help! Thanks, Ted.

Leave a comment

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry published on June 27, 2005 10:24 PM.

we found a house! was the previous entry in this blog.

relocation blues is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.


Category Archives