The GPS tab is used to specify the protocol, communication, and other settings of your GPS receiver.

GPS tab


Choose the protocol of your GPS receiver’s output: NMEA 0183, Earthmate, PLGR, SiRF, or TSIP.

The default is NMEA 0183.


Choose the COM port that your GPS receiver is connected to on your device.

The default is COM1.


Choose the baud rate of your GPS receiver’s output.

The default is 4800.

Advanced Serial Port Parameters

Tap Serial Port to open the Advanced Serial Port Parameters dialog box to specify additional communication settings for the serial port used to connect your GPS receiver. For most GPS receivers, it should not be necessary to specify these additional serial communication settings.

The advanced serial port parameters are described in the next section.

Find GPS

Tap Find GPS to search for a connected GPS if you do not know which port on your device your GPS is connected to. You need to make sure that your GPS is connected and turned on (if appropriate) so the Find GPS tool can detect your GPS. The Port and Baud drop-down lists will be updated as the Find GPS tool searches for a connected GPS. Once a GPS has been detected you will be prompted to choose the GPS and use the corresponding settings.

Automatically Activate

When checked, the GPS is automatically activated whenever an existing ArcPad map file (.apm) with a defined projection is opened.

The default is unchecked.

Show GPS Activity in System Tray

When checked, the ArcPad icon displayed in the system tray flashes to indicate that the GPS receiver is active.

The default is checked.

Automatically Pan View

When checked, ArcPad automatically pans the map to keep the GPS position centered when the GPS is active.

The default is checked.


When checked, the raw data output by your GPS receiver is logged to the GPS log file in the My Documents folder. The default name for the GPS log file is gps.log. Double-tapping Log opens the Save As dialog box for you to specify a different log file. The file name and location you choose will replace the default stored in the ArcPad preferences file (ArcPadPrefs.apx).

The contents of any existing GPS log file will be cleared. The Log check box must be checked before activating the GPS for the GPS log file to be used by ArcPad. Checking or unchecking the Log check box has no effect while the GPS is activated.

A GPS log file is useful for troubleshooting GPS issues, as it shows exactly what data ArcPad has received from the GPS.

The default is unchecked.