Interfacing A Kenwood D700 With A Garmin StreetPilot C340 Using The GTRANS Cable
Hello all. I just wanted to see if I could do a write up to help other people out there that may have this same setup. I will start by saying that unless you already own a C340 or were given one or got one cheaply they are not the ideal candidate for this use. Now, don't think all is lost because it is not. They just aren't the most "user friendly" GPS units for this application. I got mine very cheaply and mainly wanted it for navigation use to be able to get the netbook and mount out of the truck and free up some leg room for my passengers. I will try my best at providing you with comprehensive setup and operation instructions. I have never written a "User Guide" before so please bear with me. If you find any wrong statements or have more information to add just give me a shout or you are more than welcome to add it yourself.
Setup & Installation
First of course you will need a Kenwood D700, Garmin StreetPilot C340, and the GTRANS cable from Argent Data Systems. Once you have these you will be ready to continue. To get started just use the simple instructions provided by Scott on Argent's GTRANS Cable Product Page. And so you don't have to click over there right now here they are.
"Set your radio's waypoint name length to 9 characters, and set the format to NMEA for the D7 or D700, and Kenwood for the D710. Symbol, altitude, and course/speed information for waypoints is available only from the D710. You must have the GPS receiver powered through its cradle for the cable to function."
These instructions alone will get you up and running if all you want is to provide your D700 with a GPS signal. This is the simplest part of the whole operation. And I want to stress that you absolutely MUST power the C340 through the cradle or you will get no communication between the radio and GPS. Now moving on to the operations section of the write up.
Viewing Waypoints On The Garmin StreetPilot C340
The first thing I would recommend for you to do at this point if you haven't already is become very familiar with your owner's manual and quick reference guide that came with your C340. If you didn't receive one or you bought your unit used and it didn't have one you can view or download them in .pdf format from Garmin's website. And here is a link to the page you need: Manuals. Second would be to update at least your device software to the latest version. This is a free download offered through Garmin. The link to that page is: Device Software Update. If you would like to do so this would be a good time to update your maps since you'll already have the unit at the computer. However, this is not a free download, but here is a link to that page: Map Updates. The map updates run $100 for a lifetime, and $70 for a onetime update. Map updates are not required, and it is entirely up to you if you wish to update them. Now, we can continue on. The way the C340 handles waypoints and displays them is a bit odd. Unless you are actively navigating to a waypoint you are not able to see them in "Show Map" mode. This has nothing to do with the D700 or the GTRANS Cable. It's just the way the C340 handles waypoints. I know what most of you are thinking now, and yes, it does kind of bite the big one, but its not a total loss. One more point to make before continuing is that the C340 is one of the GPS units that makes duplicate waypoints for moving stations. I don't find it to be a big deal personally, but you might. The way it does this is by assigning each new waypoint for a moving station with a consecutive number. For example: AB5CDE-2 3 would be the latest position from that particular station, and AB5CDE-2 would be the oldest position report from that station. The only way to see the waypoints without actively navigating to them and being able to see them in a quasi "Show Map" mode view is to go to "Where To?" and then go to "Browse Map." Once here you will now be able to see all your favorites, waypoints, your little navigation arrow, and POIs like normal, but now there will also be the APRS stations. And there are large caveats to this option also. Again this has nothing to do with the D700 or the GTRANS Cable. It's just the way the C340 handles waypoints and such. You CANNOT be zoomed out past 1.2 Miles or you will not be able to see the waypoints. It doesn't matter if they're from the GPS itself such as your favorites or waypoints you've typed into it, or if they are from the D700. Again not a big problem for me, but might be for you. At 1.2 Miles you can see roughly 5 or 6 miles around you maybe more. Around here that's typically just fine, and if you want to see a far away station you can use the cursors to move to it. Just use the little indicator on your D700 to tell you which way to cursor to. Once your navigation arrow disappears from the current section of map your looking at you can adjust it by two different ways. You can either use the cursors to follow your arrow or you can hit back and then go back into "Browse Map", but if you do this you will have to adjust your zoom level back out to 1.2 Miles from 500 Feet that would be 6 pushes of the "-" in the upper left corner. Every time you go into "Browse Map" mode it automatically sets the zoom level back to 500 Feet. Like I said earlier not the most "user friendly" for this use, but it works. Now, on to the navigating portion.
This is where you now have a couple options. First off the D700 will automatically load stations into "My Locations" under "Favorites" in the "Where To?" menu. You can go into there and just select which station you want to navigate to, and be on your way. Or if you're in "Browse Map" mode you can just click the station's icon you want to go to and it will highlight it and you can either save that station or go to that station. What I have done to help out with this because of my fat little fingers is went down to Radio Shack or Walmart or where you wish, and purchased a stylus pen and some sticky Velcro patches. Take your stylus and wrap a piece of the loop side all the way around it trimming excess as necessary. Then take an equal or larger piece of the hook side and stick it to your C340 somewhere. I used a Symbol stylus for a PDA, and a large piece of hook side on the forward side of the top so I can basically just throw the stylus at it and it will catch it. This of course is optional and presented only as an idea for a stylus mounting solution. One other idea I haven't had the time to check out is using a coiled cord pen holder and a stylus. Another useful bit would be that you will unfortunately have to manually and individually delete the stations you want to clear from your favorites. I haven't figured out a quicker and less user intensive way to do this yet, but when I do I will post an update. Another thing I have done that is entirely optional is save all the local APRS stations that are stationary into my favorites and am in the process of creating a POI file with them in it. You won't want to save moving stations for any reason other than saving the call sign because they will not "track" or anything of the sort. Where that mobile station was when you saved that waypoint will be where it was when that particular report came in, and not where it is now. Once you have saved what APRS stations you want you can then go back in and edit their symbols and add information about them if you wish. Well, that's pretty much all there is to navigating to an APRS station, and about all I have figured out so far.
As always when you operate any device or equipment in your vehicle do so as safely as possible. Don't run down the road at 75 and try to track a station or save one or really anything that takes your eyes off the road including messing with your radio whether it be ham or your AM/FM. If you need to do something involving slow down, pull over a safe distance, stop, and do what you need to there. I would like to thank everyone for taking the time to read this and sticking with it until the end. I have a tendency to get long winded and maybe I haven't lost you a page up from here. I would also like to send out a special thanks to Scott and Argent Data Systems for being such a great company with great people, and great products.