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can I link my garmin 12 to a PC

Hi I have a garmin 12 hand held gps. Can it be connected to my PC? I would like if possibe to review my tracks from it. Also I am considering getting memory map and would like to know if the garmin 12 can be connected and used with this application.

Any help with this matter appreciated.


  • Boyd 1848 Points
    I assume you are talking about this?

    That is a very old unit with a serial interface. Do you have the computer cable?

    Unless your computer is also very old, you would need a USB to serial converter.

    Unless you already have these things, I can't imagine it would be worth the investment. No offense, but a device as old as the GPS 12 is basically worth nothing today with its limited capabilities. But yes, you should be able to do it and use Garmin Mapsource to send and receive data.

    If you want to use Memory Map, it will make much more sense to get a USB GPS, such as the Globalsat BU-353 which will cost less than the adaptor you'd need of your old GPS. Here in the US they are less than $30 at Amazon.

    THis is a modern device that will acquire satellites very quickly and get reception under tree cover where your old unit will have a hard time.
  • Reminds me of my old eTrex Legend. (The blue one. Kind of a classic). I finally had to get rid of it because new computers lack serial ports.

    Probably the same old story for everyone. Compared to USB, serial ports move data as slow as a tree stump can walk. Time to move on in my opinion.
  • russ_jc 0 Points
    Hi thanks for your help with this. Yes it is the old unit :oops: and no I don't have the cables .. so it would seems not worth the purchase of them.

    I am looking to use memory map with overlays in a hot air balloon. Right now I am pretty low tech in that I use paper maps and the garmin 12 which gives me my track direction and speedand position. This has always been fine but now I would like to get a little more up to date so what would be the best set up? woul it be an ipad to display the maps hooked up to the gps BU-353-W unit you suggested? Some balloonists I have seen use toughbooks which are pretty big and cumbersome but I have seen someone use an ipad - said it won't get dammaged in a bumpy landing because it is solid state and flash.. Is this correct in your opinion??

    what do you think would work best?
  • Boyd 1848 Points
    If you get the version of the iPad that allows you to connect to the cellular data network, there's an internal GPS. The regular (wifi) iPad doesn't have an internal gps. Not sure what external GPS devices are compatible. I have heard you can use the camera adaptor kit to interface some USB devices.

    But why do you want to go this route as opposed to a dedicated GPS? It will be more expensive, more fragile and more cumbersome. Take a look at the Garmin Montana 600 which has a nice bright 4" screen and can accept all kinds of mapping.

    You can purchase Garmin's version of OS maps for it, or make your own maps from any kind of scanned/downloaded material. You can also purchase a variety of Birdseye products including unlimited downloads aerial imagery at a low cost. But mainly, it's waterproof and shockproof. It has also been designed with a simple touchscreen interface that's easy to operate. It would be much cheaper than any kind of iPad or tablet system. See our big Montana thread for more information.
  • Seldom 0 Points
    If you had a new mapping handheld with a local map on it, why wouldn't that work? Lots of free topos for USA at GPSfileDepot. Same for EU at Openfietsmap and OpenCyclemap. The newer Garmin's also support aerial imagery so there'd be lots of ways to get surface info.

    Of course if you already have the ipad, and it doesn't need to be ruggedized, the BU-353-W is a much cheaper solution. But a handheld Garmin will cost a lot less than an ipad.

    Or do you have special maps, and need an especially large screen?

    Boyd replied as I was typing. From his mention of OS maps, I gather the OP is in the UK? In that case add TalkyToaster to my list of free map suppliers.
  • russ_jc 0 Points
    Thanks again.

    Yes the primary use will be here in the UK but also in Europe here and there perhaps. I suppose the big screen of an ipad is the appeal and being able to look ahead sufficiently with ease at what might be coming up. We use OS maps with sensitive area overlays (places best not to land in or fly low over etc) as well as aeronautical info so we can see the various airports airspaces boundaries etc. It seems that the most popular program pilots here in the UK use is memory map with these overlays. So I suppose the large screen is the appeal and being able to look ahaead at a glance in the same way you can with a map. Really I want a suitable set up that will show my position, speed track direction in degrees and projected heading overlayed on top of the memory maps.

    Most landings are soft but there can be a bump and jostle as the balloon comes to a halt so I need the right set up really.

    Can I load memory map on the montana 600?
  • Boyd 1848 Points
    No, Garmin uses a proprietary system. You can make your own maps or use third party maps, but you cannot run a different navigation program.
  • russ_jc 0 Points
    ahhhh...this must be why memory map is run on the i pad and the ipad is linked to a gps!! clarity :0) thank you.
  • Boyd 1848 Points
    Memory Map now runs on a variety of platforms so you actually have quite a number of options beyond the iPad:

    You could run it on a Windows tablet, like the one I wrote about here, or an Android tablet, or a Windows Mobile device. I believe people have also run it on Windows CE devices in the past. Several companies use the Windows CE platform for their GPS'es, such as Navigon and Magellan. Since these devices were not originally intended to run third party software, you would need to do some tinkering.

    But if you want to use the iPad, as I said before, you do not need an external GPS receiver as long as you buy the version of the iPad that contains an internal GPS, such as the new 4G iPad or the old 3g iPad II.
  • russ_jc 0 Points
    you are a star - thank you.
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