Cheap GPS receiver


Here’s a short guide for converting a Palm III GPS sled into a normal serial GPS receiver. The Palm III is old tech so its accessories can be picked up cheap and modified for other purposes. The GPS receiver needs to be separated from the Palm specific board and a few components need to be transfered between the two. Once that’s done you should have a standard serial GPS receiver. Here’s a cache in case the “Read” link fails.

[thanks nevamore, who has done this hack with success]

194 thoughts on “Cheap GPS receiver

  1. This is awesome. i was wondering if there is any way someone can build a reciever and hide it internally inside a laptop that can be tracked with google earth from a remote location. if anyone knows if there are any hacks out there that would help me out it would be awesome email me at

  2. hi
    can anyone tell me – is the unlock code generated for any of the garmin maps products directly generated based on and dependant upon the unique serial number or unit id of say a street pilot III GPS –
    Say for example a valid unlock code for “europe city navigator v7” which works for “customer A” – will this exact same unlock code work for “customer B” bearing in mind that “customer B” has obtained his copy of “europe city navigator v7” from a different source ?

  3. Has anybody tried IMG2GPS and SENDMAP to upload Mapsource Maps to your GPS without using Mapsource Uploading feature? These programs are free and apparently bypass the requirement for a code while transferring maps. Don’t have a GPS unit (so I can’t test it)but I have a few copy of Mapsource CityNavigator and I’m waiting for the answer to buy a unit. According to the myth it works pretty well with Metroguide and a garmin 60CX. It would be too cool to be true if it worked with a nuvi!!!!!!!!!

  4. Don….I believe that is correct that the unlock codes for the device unit are associated with the unit ID and therefore must match the unit number to work. May not necessarily be a one-to-one-association bu there is some relationship. That’s why others have tried to get a matching set of unlock code and unit ID number, then hack the deivce and change its ID number to the known working one. I have lots of unlock codes but no unit IDs to go with them. Anyone know more about this?

  5. Bado…..My experience is that it is not a problem getting the shared map data to load in the device, but unlocking it to function. Mapsource will load map data into your device without the device lock code, but then the device complains that it is not unlocked and won;t display it. I guess these other image loaders might bypass that issue, but I don;t think so. The problem is in the OS of the device.

  6. Has anyone had luck finding matching sets of unit id numbers and their associated unlock codes? I have lots of codes that unlock City Select on my PC, but not on my GPS-V. Some shared codes I have found do contain the unit number and the customer code, but not for the map I want. And I have tried those customer codes on and they say not valid. Garmin has probably turned them off. I need the code and a working unit id for City Slect v6 on a gps-v unit (I hope to hack the unit id number of my device as needed.)

  7. bado and jspaz – thanks for your comments/replies guys
    – i think its criminal the prices Garmin charge – has anyone on the board managed to change the ID of their unit – Street Pilot III for instance – i have one coming in the post soon and dont want to pay huge money to get latest maps on it – id prefer to give some money to someone who is able to do whatever to my unit to help me get the latest maps on – i only need Uk / Ireland – i’m sure i’m not the only one in this position, or the only one who is disgusted with the high prices charged by Garmin …… any thoughts /offers anyone …..

  8. By the way just so everyone is aware….Metroguide maps are not locked, and will function on any Garmin device with which they are compatible. Their main difference from City Select and City Navigator maps is that they do not support autorouting and turn-by-turn directions on the gps unit, but will on the pc. I don;t really use route directions so its not an issue for me. But you can create a route on the PC and download it. Metroguide disc images are readily available on share networks such as emule and Shareeza. They are fully detailed and up to date maps just like City Select and Navigator. Metroguide North America v6 works just fine on GPS-V, Vista, Legend, and others. No lock issues.

  9. well….. apparently if you use the sendmap program (as opposed to mapsource) to load the maps from metroguide europe ver 7 they are also routable due to this loader program- can anyone confirm this ?

  10. Just bought a garmin 60cx and uploaded Metroguide europe v7 maps in it. Found Metroguide on the Shareaza network for free. No codes were needed. I confirm that it does autoroute!!! I used IMG2gps and Sendmap. I’m now ready for my trip to Italy and still have money in pocket. I’m happy I kicked Garmin right between the legs with their expensive City Navigator.Many German forums indicate the procedure. Good luck.

  11. Oh! Yes! Autorouting works very fine with metroguide v7 and img2gps software in my street pilot III. I upload maps via serial port RS232, it’s very slow! I cannnot upload to the memory card with the garmin programmer.
    What software can used to merge several maps to obtain an unique bigger file?

  12. Hi! I have a new Garmin GPS MAP 60 and old European City Navigator v6. The Mapsource say that maps have not been unlocked for my GPS. How can I unlock, or where I found unlock key generator?

  13. Ok, well good news if this works for your 60cs and Streetpilot, but I have tried alternate loading software with metroguide on my GPS-V and autorouting does not work on the V. It is an older os so perhaps that is why. My main point was to let everyone who is struggling with city select and navigator know that metroguide maps are just as detailed and have no lock issues.

  14. Hey guys
    I have few Magellan 700 GPS’s and i was wondering if i purchase 1 Ver 5 DVD update , can i load it on all my GPS’s? If Not, Is there any way to go around it?

    Hi, I recently purchased a legitimate copy of CN Australia V6 only to find that the maps have been activated twice before and the software cannot now be activated. I have v5 and am looking at an upgrade, but at $395, am reluctant if the upgrade to v6 is not substantial. If possible, could someone email me a valid 25-digit code so I can unlock on the PC only and evaluate. I realise this does not unlock for the Garmin but intend buying the software if the trial on the PC proves to be a good upgrade. Help would be appreciated … send to Thanks … Dave

  16. Rich, just downloaded Metrogruide Canada v4 on the shareaza network. To anybody having problems with metroguide and how to make routes auto-routable, I have the solution… Indexing maps. Credits to Stan a map_developper. Write to me and I’ll send you an email.

  17. hi. i have two gps devices, one garmin etrex legend c and one garmin etrex vista cx. i have bought a map last year for garmin legend c. it works fine with the device. but it does not work with the vista cx. it says “maps are not unlocked”. how can i find a crack for the code for the gps etrex vista cx? is it possible? or is there anybody that can help me out with this problem?

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  19. Hey papgaard.. I have a garmin c330 and i need to unlock city navigator middle east v3 onto the gps. I already have it unlocked it on my pc. On GPS it says cant unlock maps. Could you please let me knwo how to unlock it. Thanks

  20. I’ve got the mapsource garmin city navigator NT V9 maps. I can unlock them on the computer but when I load them onto the GPS 60CSX the gps says can’t unlock maps. Is there a crack around this?

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