The GPS/Rangefinder Debug tool
GPS/Rangefinder Debug is a useful tool for troubleshooting GPS and rangefinder connection problems. The GPS/Rangefinder Debug tool is opened by tapping the arrow below the GPS Position Window button and then tapping GPS/Rangefinder Debug. The GPS/Rangefinder Debug tool is only opened when a GPS or rangefinder is currently active.
The GPS/Rangefinder Debug tool opens a window that displays data from either the GPS receiver or rangefinder, or both. Valid GPS data is displayed in green text, and valid rangefinder data is displayed in blue text. Invalid data is displayed in red text. Valid data is data that is constructed properly, in accordance with the selected GPS or rangefinder protocol, and has a valid checksum.
Connecting your GPS receiver includes a section on using the GPS/Rangefinder Debug tool for troubleshooting your GPS connection. This section will focus on using the tool for troubleshooting your rangefinder connection.
ArcPad uses the settings for the rangefinder Protocol and port communication parameters to parse, or interpret, the rangefinder data being received on the specified serial port of your device. ArcPad then displays information in the GPS/Rangefinder Debug window that indicates the status of the rangefinder connection.
No information displayed in the GPS\Rangefinder Debug window
Irrespective of which GPS protocol is being used, the first observation to make when opening the GPS/Rangefinder Debug window is whether any information is being displayed at all. No information displayed in the GPS/Rangefinder Debug window indicates a GPS connection or configuration problem. Problems are caused by any one of the following factors:
- Your rangefinder is not turned on or has not been configured to output data in the protocol specified in the Rangefinder Preferences.
- The cable connection between your rangefinder and the device running ArcPad may be incorrect. Add a null modem adapter if you are not using one, or remove the null modem adapter if you are using one.
- The rangefinder port communication parameters selected in the Rangefinder Preferences dialog box do not match the serial communication parameters set on your rangefinder. For example, your rangefinder may be set to output at a baud rate of 4800, while a baud rate of 9600 has been selected for the rangefinder port settings in ArcPad.
- If using Bluetooth, your Bluetooth connection to your rangefinder is not defined correctly. Make sure that you can connect to your rangefinder from the Bluetooth Manager on your mobile device.
Test each of these factors one by one to isolate the problem and determine why no information is being displayed in the GPS/ Rangefinder Debug window.
Illegible information displayed in the GPS\Rangefinder Debug window
In some instances, you may see illegible characters displayed in the GPS/Rangefinder Debug window. This is usually caused by rangefinder port communication parameters selected in the Rangefinder Preferences dialog box that do not match the serial communication parameters set on your rangefinder.
Rangefinder Debug information
Most rangefinders output data as ASCII text. Some rangefinders output data using the NMEA 0183 protocol, which is also an ASCII based protocol. In either case, you should see the data from the rangefinder displayed in the GPS/Rangefinder Debug window as ASCII text. Each data string or NMEA sentence that ArcPad reads from the serial port is displayed in the GPS/ Rangefinder Debug window. Valid rangefinder data is displayed using blue text, and invalid rangefinder data is displayed using red text.
The displayed data can be used to troubleshoot your rangefinder connection. In the example on the previous page, a number of NMEA 0183 sentences from a GPS and a LaserCraft Contour XLR rangefinder are displayed. For instance, the rangefinder $PLCI sentence is displayed in blue text as:
Using the documentation for the LaserCraft Contour XLR, we can determine that the bearing is 250.0 degrees, and the inclination, or pitch, is 057.4 degrees. The fields for distance, or range, are empty indicating a possible problem with the measurement taken with the rangefinder. In this case, the distance fields are empty because the target was within the minimum range.
Studying the rangefinder data displayed in the GPS/Rangefinder Debug window can help to explain why information is not displayed in the Offset dialog box when using a rangefinder.