I recently bought a Navin Minihomer for geocaching, geo-logging and wayfinding. Really nice device, and I got it to work under linux using gpsbabel using the following instructions:

  • Zeroth, see if there’s a /dev/ttyUSB* node created when plugging in the device. If not, compile the respective kernel module; it’s under USB support — USB serial converter — Prolific …, the module is called pl2303.
  • First, get the gpsbabel sources (currently 1.4.2) from gpsbabel.org or grab the CVS version
  • For the source (non-cvs) version, apply the patch written by Josef Reisinger and linked in this thread: http://sourceforge.net/mailarchive/attachment.php?list_name=gpsbabel-code&message_id=4CD96A99.9000603%40aol.com&counter=1
  • compile and install
  • have a look at the sources (the patch) to see what functionality is available. That is, look at the files prefixed with miniHomer in the xmldoc directory.
  • Feel free to use the bash script below to use the functions of the Navin Minihomer.
  • Drop me an email with comments, if necessary, email address is in the bash script.

The script below supports

  • minihomertool erase
  • minihomertool set [1-5] latitude longitude
  • minihomertool read
  • minihomertool init
  • minihomertool dump

The first command erases the log, the second can set the appropriate waypoint in the order they appear when cycling through the miniHomer’s menu (House to Bar) with lat/long in decimal degrees separated by spaces, the third reads the device’s log and splits it by day, and the fourth initializes the device to a certain speed (didn’t have to use it so far). The bash script requires setting the path to the gpsbabel (patched) binary and the USB device. It certainly works for me, except that gpsbabel produces strange gpx files where the dates of the points are set to sometime in the year 2031. I don’t care at the moment, it seems to be just a fixed shift. The last (dump) command just grabs the log dump from the logger, writes this to a file and processes it further, even correcting for the somewhat strange date by setting a negative offset of -172032 hours. Gpsbabel segfaults first, but still writes the log (but misses the waypoints in the dump, which I don’t need anyway).

Here’s the script: minihomertool bash script. It’s certainly not perfect, doesn’t care about errors and could clearly be more elegant, but whoever wants to can customize it.

There’s more information on the German znex site: http://www.znex.de/downloads.html.