Projects / Garble


Garble is a console program for downloading data (waypoints, proximity waypoints, tracks, and routes) from Garmin GPS receivers. Garble is based on a portable library that implements most of the Garmin communications protocol, and supports most Garmin GPS receivers. Garble can also read the current time and postion from the GPS, get the product data, and turn off the GPS. Garble has been tested on a GPS 12XL (firmware 3.53) and a GPS III .

Operating Systems

Recent releases

  •  30 May 2000 18:08

    Release Notes: A fix for a bug in the serial port initialization code, which did not set ports to raw mode.

    •  21 Feb 2000 10:31

      Release Notes: Initial release

      Recent comments

      31 May 2000 17:20 decouto

      variable output precision
      by default garble outputs lat/lon and distances to a max of 6 digits. i have a patch to v1.0.1 which lets you specify the precision you want with the --precision flag. it's at

      note that the unit only reports lat/lon as 32 bits each, which is something between 10 an 11 decimal digits of precision. i don't think the gps units actually measure that much though.

      let me know if you find this useful


      29 May 2000 11:20 decouto

      bug and bug fix

      There is a bug in the serial port code of Garble such that it does not
      set the serial port it uses for the GPS to raw mode. Some ports,
      notably the /dev/ttyS0 etc. recommended by the README for connecting
      with the GPS do some processing by default on the input so that the
      Garmin GPS data gets corrupted -- thus Garble times out waiting for
      the GPS to respond.


      Use /dev/cua0 or /dev/cua1 instead of /dev/ttyS0 or /dev/ttyS1 --
      these ports do not do any processing by default. Also, I think that

      stty -f /dev/gps raw

      will also turn off all the unwanted processing. Replace /dev/gps with
      the appropriate device name.

      There will be patch posted for this within the next few days.

      Douglas S. J. De Couto


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