Setting up a USB GPS with TIMEZERO software

When out at sea and in need of knowing exactly where you are inside your TIMEZERO software, you will need to have a GPS system that can relay your position to your PC. Both TZ Navigator and TZ Professional are able to receive and relay information provided by your devices in order to display your position and other additional data.

Certain GPS systems do not have the standard serial port connection and can instead be connected directly to your PC by USB connection. Below we explain in 3 simple steps how to connect, configure and analyze your USB GPS in your TIMEZERO navigation software using Windows to set this up.

Configuring your GPS:

The installation of the USB GPS on your computer: Remember that just because you have the hardware doesn’t mean it will be recognized by your PC. Make sure you enquire about what drivers need to be installed in order that it works correctly. A driver is essentially a software that will help set up an external hardware so that the information it provides your computer is recognized and understood. In this case, the GPS driver will emulate a serial port by making a virtual COM port that will be found in the devices and drives part of your PC.  The driver will either come with the software as a CD or USB or alternatively, it can be directly downloaded by internet.

Device Manager: Once the drivers are correctly installed, connect your USB GPS and go in settings and type in “Device Manager” in the search bar. Once there, check it see if a new sub category appears listed something along the lines of COM port.

Configuring in TIMEZERO:

In order that your TIMEZERO software can recognize this new device, a configuration process is necessary. Using the Connection Wizard that can be found in the main menu, make sure that the first option “Automatic port configuration…” is selected.

From this point onwards, TIMEZERO will automatically analyze your computer and detect any ports. The virtual COM port you have just installed will be connected to your TIMEZERO software and so it will then be possible to receive the following information: Position, Heading, SOG, COG, etc.

From now on your boat will be geolocated and your position will appear in real time directly on your navigation chart. All the data that you are provided thanks to your connected GPS is available inside the NavData section found to the right of interface.

Receiving data within TIMEZERO:

TIMEZERO allows you to analyze, visualize and in some cases take control of connected devices. To be able to do this, go back into Connection Wizard and select the option: “Port Monitor”

Choose the port the you want to analyze. The transmission speed as well as the NMEA sentences will be displayed in real time.

To find out more about the compatibility of hardware with TZ Navigator v3 and the advanced features, visit our dedicated web page: