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FAQ - Efficasoft GPS Utilities for Windows Mobile

General GPS Receiver Setup Map Navigation Go To Navigation POI & Waypoint Track Others

Do I need a GPS receiver?


The GPS Utilities program is based on the Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites; to use it, you will need a GPS Receiver in addition to your Smartphone/Pocket PC (if there isn't one built-in already). Basically, GPS receiver receives GPS signal from the satellites, and transfers your position information to the Smartphone/Pocket PC, GPS Utilities then reads and evaluates the information for you on screen.

This whole process does not need you to connect to the Internet neither does it work through the regular cell phone service. And as the GPS service is completely free, there won't be any subscription cost or additional charge for using the software or receiving the satellite signal, except the one time payment for the receiver and the GPS Utilities software.

GPS Receivers are massively available on eBay for under USD $100 brand new. We recommend the Bluetooth GlobalSat BT-338, which is very good. You may also consider the serial, Compact Flash or SDIO ones which can be plugged directly on your Smartphone/Pocket PC.


How to connect GPS receiver in GPS Utilities?

Device Specific Setup Steps

For device specific setup instructions, please click the links below.

Windows Mobile Smartphone (without Touchscreen)

Windows Mobile Pocket PC (with Touchscreen)

If your Smartphone/Pocket PC is not listed, please follow the general setup instructions below.

Built-in GPS Receiver

WM5/WM6/WM6.1 Pocket PC (with Touchscreen)

Open "Start/Setting/System/GPS" (see NOTE below) on the phone, make sure the "Progrem Port", "Hardware Port" and "Baud rate" settings are correct - the setting information is normally available in the phone user manual, otherwise, try finding it in Google. Make sure "Manage GPS automatically" is ticked and tap OK, then

Method 1. Launch GPS Utilities, open "Menu/GPS Setup".

  1. Select "GID"
  2. Tap OK

Method 2. Launch GPS Utilities, open "Menu/GPS Setup".

  1. Select "COM/GPD"
  2. Set "COM Port" to the "Program port" above.
  3. Set "Baud Rate" to "Baud Rate" above.
  4. Tap OK

Start GPS from "Menu/Start GPS" - it's a good idea to try different rates (change the two rates above together) should there be any problem.

NOTE: The 'Start/Settings/System/GPS' icon is disabled/hidden by default on some Pocket PC, but it can be unhidden by going into the registry and deleting "Redirect" or "Hide" keys under 'HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\ControlPanel\GPS Settings' - please do note that incorrect registry editing could cause serious problem to your Pocket PC, and you may end up doing a hard-reset. So PLEASE DO IT VERY CAREFULLY AND AT YOUR OWN RISK.

WM5/WM6/WM6.1 Smartphone (without Touchscreen)

Method 1. GID

Launch GPS Utilities, open "Menu/GPS Setup".

  1. Select "GID"
  2. Press OK

Start GPS from "Menu/Start GPS".

Method 2. COM/GPD

- WM5-

Install Microsoft GPSID Configuration Utility (or enter 'http://www.efficasoft.com/download/GPSID_Settings.cab' in your device web browser), then

  1. Open 'Start/GPSID Settings'.
  2. Set the 'Program Port' to COM3~5 or GPD1~9, 'Hardware Port' to NONE.
  3. Set the 'Baud Rate' to 9600 and tick 'Manage Automatically'.

Launch GPS Utilities

  1. Open 'Menu/GPS Setup'.
  2. Select 'COM/GPD' and set the above Program Port & Baud Rate information.
  3. Press "Done" and you are ready to 'Start GPS'.

- WM6/WM6.1-

Download "GPSID Settings" and copy Settings.exe to your phone. Launch File Manager, locate Settings.exe and execute it. Then in the opened setting window

  1. Set the 'Program Port' to COM3~5 or GPD1~9, 'Hardware Port' to NONE.
  2. Set the 'Baud Rate' to 9600 and tick 'Manage Automatically'.

Launch GPS Utilities

  1. Open 'Menu/GPS Setup'.
  2. Select 'COM/GPD' and set the above Program Port & Baud Rate information.
  3. Press "Done" and you are ready to 'Start GPS'.

Windows Mobile 2003SE Pocket PC and earlier (with Touchscreen)

The COM port and baud rate information of the built-in GPS receiver is normally available in the Pocket PC user manual, otherwise try finding it in Google. Select 'COM/GPD' in 'GPS Setup' and set the COM Port and Baud Rate.

Bluetooth GPS Receiver (Auto Setup)

Efficasoft GPS Utilities can detect and connect Bluetooth GPS Receiver automatically.

To search Bluetooth GPS Receivers automatically

  1. Select 'Bluetooth (Auto)' in 'GPS Setup'.
  2. Make sure the receiver is ON, and press/tap 'Search', GPS Utilities will start searching for the receiver.
  3. After the receiver is detected, select it in 'Device'.
  4. Set the correct 'Baud Rate' (find it in the receiver user manual).
  5. In 'Menu', select 'Done'.

Back in the main windows, start GPS from 'Menu/Start GPS' .

NOTE: In 'Auto Setup', you do NOT need to pair up the Bluetooth GPS Receiver with Smartphone/Pocket PC nor create outgoing COM port in System Bluetooth Settings - GPS Utilities does all these for you. In fact, we suggest that when using 'Auto Setup', you delete all incoming/outgoing port in System Bluetooth Settings to free up COM port for GPS Utilities.

On some WM5/6 Smartphones, Bluetooth GPS Receiver can be detected by 'Auto Setup' but not connectable. In such case you have to connect manually (see instructions below).

Also, the 'Auto Setup' function requires Microsoft Bluetooth Stack, while with some Smartphone/Pocket PC (e.g. Motorola Q, earlier HP iPAQ series etc.), non-Microsft Bluetooth Stacks are used. 'Auto Setup' is not supported on these machines, in which case you have to connect manually as well (see instructions below).

Bluetooth GPS Receiver (Manual Setup)

First pair up the Bluetooth GPS Receiver with your Smartphone/Pocket PC in System Bluetooth Settings:

  1. Make sure the GPS receiver is ON.
  2. Select 'Start/Settings/Connections/Bluetooth/Menu/Devices/Menu/New'. Wait a few seconds, and you will see the receiver (and other Bluetooth devices if present) is detected.
  3. Select the receiver and tick 'Serial Profile/Service' if prompted.
  4. Input the password if asked (see NOTE; the password can be found in the GPS user manual).

Then create the outgoing COM port to the receiver

  1. Still in System Bluetooth Setup main screen, go to 'Menu->COM Ports->Menu->New Outgoing Port', select the Bluetooth GPS Receiver and press 'Done'.
  2. In the next screen you will be prompted to select a COM port to bind with (usually COM6).

Launch GPS Utilities and select 'Menu/GPS Setup'

  1. Select 'COM/GPD'
  2. Set the COM port to the binding port (COM6 for example) and also the correct Baud Rate.
  3. In 'Menu', select 'Done'.

And you are ready to 'Start GPS'!

NOTE: On some WM5/6 devices we tested, if you correctly input the Bluetooth GPS Receiver's password, the Smartphone/Pocket PC hangs untill you remove the battery. In such case, leave the password box empty and press/tap 'Done', you will see that pairing with the receiver complete successfully.

All other non-Bluetooth GPS Receivers

For all other non-Bluetooth (serial, Compact Flash, SDIO etc.) GPS receivers

Connect the receiver to your Smartphone/Pocket PC according to the user manual

Go to 'GPS Setup', select 'COM/GPD'

Find out the receiver's COM Port and Baud Rate, and set them in 'GPS Setup'

In 'Menu', select 'Done'.

Back in the main windows, in 'Menu', select 'Start GPS', or simply use the shortkey '0', you will see your GPS receiver is connected and transferring the data.


GPS Utilities shows that it's looking at >0 satellites, but Lon/Lat still shows 0, why?

This is because the GPS receiver is not yet 'fixed' with the satellites.

Every time your switch on the GPS receiver, it needs to look up the satellites and be fixed with them, and this requires some time - you can see satellites being looked at in GPS Utilities, but no valid position information are transferred at this stage. Lots of factors may affect GPS fixing, such as surroundings, indoor/outdoor, time in the day and even the weather. Our experience shows that it could even take more than an hour to get a fix, while sometimes it takes only seconds.

Taking the receiver to a wide open area normally helps a lot with this fix stage.


Where are the maps?

Efficasoft GPS Utilities is designed that you can freely use any map image for your real-time moving map navigation.

Click here for pictured step-by-step map download instructions!

Or you may also use the general instructions below.

  1. Go to Google Map website (http://maps.google.com, or any other map site like such as http://www.multimap.com) on your desktop computer and locate the map you want.
  2. Zoom to appropriate level, then press the "Print Scrn" key on your keyboard.
  3. Launch the "Paint" program from "Start->All Programs->Accessories" on your computer.
  4. In Paint, press "Ctrl+V", or select menu "Edit/Paste".
  5. You will see the map image is captured.
  6. Repeat the above steps and do some necessary editing to put the captured image parts together to make the map you want (no larger than 2000x2000), then save the final image in GIF format.
  7. Select two points in the map image – a symbolic building or a street corner, find out their coordinates (Google Earth can help you with this) and write the coordinates on a piece of paper.
  8. Copy the image to your phone and load it from "Menu/Map/Load Map" in GPS Utilities. Then follow the steps below to set the two points as reference points, and it’s ready to use!

You can also use scanned paper maps, or even capture the satellite/aerial photos in Google Earth, and here are a few map resources you may find useful.





Please note that the accuracy of map navigation is very much depending on the accuracy of your map and reference points. Among the tests we done, the Google Earth images reached the highest accuracy with only two reference points set.


How to set image map reference points?

  1. Locate (at least) two points on the map image and find out their GPS coordinates - Google Earth can help with this.
  2. Load a map image from 'Menu/Map/Load Map', you will be switched to the Image Map View (IMV), and the map you load will appear on screen.
  3. Zoom/scroll to the approximate area where the first reference point you want to set resides. (Use Action Key to switch Zoom/Scroll mode, and use Direction Keys to zoom in/out and move the map).
  4. Select 'Set Ref. Point 1' in menu, the program will lock this area on the screen for your focus. A red cross will appear for you to trim to the precise point.
  5. After you moving the red cross to the point, press Action; tick 'Enable Ref. Point 1' and insert the Lon/Lat of the point in the popup dialog, then press OK.
  6. The first reference point is now set. Repeat step 2-4, set all the reference points, and the map is ready for your navigation.

Please note every reference point can be disabled by unchecking 'Enable Ref. Point X'.

When entering the GPS coordinates of the reference point, you may enter either the whole numbers or the decimal point. For example, 48°55'51.3", you may enter either 48.93092 in Degree, or 48 in Degree, 55 in Minute and 51.3 in Second.


Is there any image map size limit?

Please note that it is the map size (or pixel size) that really matters, NOT the file size. For example, the file size 500KB does not do any help here (of course it saves storage space on your Smartphone/Pocket PC).

Format Max Map Size (pixel)
GIF 3000*3000 (recommended)
JPG 1200*1200
BMP 1200*1200
PNG 1200*1200

In our tests, a 1200*1200 pixel map is enough to show all main roads in a city like London.

If you are going on a long trip, from city A to city B for example, we suggest that you prepare three maps, a Highway map from A to B, and two detailed maps of city A and B.


How to enable Image Map Layer in the World Map View?

There are two map views in Efficasoft GPS Utilities: the World Map View (WMV) and the Image Map View (IMV).

Once you load a map image, you are automatically switched to the IMV. IMV operates like an image browser; you can zoom in/out, move around the map image - but NEVER out of the borders. This allows you focus on the image map you load. IMV is also the place that you set reference points for the map image - this allow the program calibrate the map image, and know the coordinates on it. IMV with correctly set reference points supports navigation, tracking, POI and etc.

WMV represents the whole world. Wherever you are in the world, you may use it as your map navigation system. You can use WMV straight away without the need of setting reference points for it or load map images. It also supports navigation, tracking, POI and etc like IMV. The only drawback of WMV is that it's blank. However, if there's a map image already loaded with correctly set reference points, WMV can display this map image as a layer on top of itself. When a map image is displayed as a layer in WMV, there's no 'border' restriction.

To enable the Image Map Layer in the World Map View, you first need to load a map image and set at least two valid reference points for it. This will allow the program correctly place the image on the world map.

There's also a switch to show/hide the image map layer on the world map, that's 'View->Map->Show Map'.


How to make a Go To Destination List?

Click here for pictured step-by-step instructions!


How to play Voice in Go To navigation?

First you need to install the eSpeak Text-to-Speech Engine (Smartphone/Pocket PC).

Once you have reached (within the Range of) a destination, and if the "Voice Guide" information of the destination is not empty, it will be read out by GPS Utilities.


How create my own POI file?

Efficasoft GPS Utilities uses the Garmin .csv POI format, which is very easy to create and edit.

CSV POI format v3.0

Lon,Lat,Name@SpeedLimit,Category(Not Used),Range,TTS,reserved,reserved,Comment

CSV POI Format v2.0

Lon,Lat,Name@SpeedLimit,Category(Not Used),reserved,reserved,reserved,reserved,Comment

GPS Utilities automatically loads user's last opened POI folder at startup. If the folder's not found, the default POI folder "...\My Documents\My GPS\POI" will be loaded.

In Garmin .csv format, each file represents a category, and filename is the type (or name) of that category. For example, all points in file "Restaurant.csv" are meant to be locations of resaurant, and will be assigned the resaurant icon when displayed on map.

Here's a brief description of the format, citied from http://www.gpsinformation.org/penrod/poiloader/poiloader.html

In Microsoft Notepad, you can create a POI file in the .csv format.

First create a folder where you will save your POI files. I use three different files within that main folder. One called "Speed" another "Redlight" and another as "Places". You can create more categories if you want. To create a file, open Notepad in your accessories of Windows. First, choose "Save As." Then give the file a .csv extension. And name it with the type (Speed, Redlight or Places) of POI's you plan to save it in. Then on each line, add in the lat/lon, with the lon first and for Western coordinates, use the dash as a prefix. Then place a comma between each coordinate and the name you want to use.

Here are examples of a basic POI you want to route to.

-77.03648,38.89868,White House

When you want to create a proximity alert, to sound when you are within 400 meters, it is the same format, except you must save it in a file with the name of "Redlight'

For a speed alert, it is similar, except this is where you determine the speed. Use the same format, with the exception that at the end, use the @ sign and then enter the speed. For example,

-117.91914,33.80909,Disneyland@35 (This means 35 mph or kilometers per hour if you use metric)
-77.03648,38.89868,White House@15 (This means 15 mph or kilometers per hour if you use metric)

That is it. You can create as many points in these separate files, using a separate line for each POI.

**Please note that the "Speed Limit" field and "Redlight" proximity alert is not yet supported.

We have built in designed POI icons for the categories below in GPS Utilities, as well as a default icon for other categories. You may also use the numerical ID as the file/category name, GPS Utilities can recognize them as well.

00163, Swimming Area
08214, Post Office
00153, Drinking Water
00006, Bank
00156, Medical Facility
00157, Informaion
00014, Danger Area
00158, Parking Area
08243, Tunnel
08245, Forest
08233, Bridge
08207, Car Repair
00170, Car
08235, Cemetery
00013, Bar
08241, Military
00011, Restaurant
08236, Church
00008, Gas Station
16391, Tall Tower
16384, Airport
16388, Heliport
16392, Short Tower
00007, Fishing Area
00155, Telephone
08208, Fast Food
08244, Beach
00172, Shopping Center
00018, Waypoint (separated from POI, see FAQ below)
00159, Park


What's the format of Waypoint file?

GPS Utilities automatically loads user's last opened Waypoint file at startup. If the file's not found, the default waypoint file will be loaded.

The waypoint is a independent file contains ONLY waypoints (one line each), and the "Category" field IS IGNORED in which case.

The format of waypoint file is

Long,Lat,Name@SpeedLimit,Category(Not Used),Range,TTS,reserved,reserved,Comment

The default waypoint file is "...\My Documents\My GPS\Waypoint.csv".


What's the format of Destination file?

A destination file contains a list of destinations (one line each), and must be saved in folder "...\My Documents\My GPS\Destinations". The "Category" field IS USED in destination files to define type of the destinations.



What's the layout of CSV format Track Log?


1 Knots = 1.1508 MPH
1 Knots = 1.8520 km/h

The log files are saved in folder "...\My Documents\My GPS\Track Log".


How to convert CSV format track log to Google Earth KML format?

You can convert GPS Utilities Track Log to KML format and view it in Google Maps and Google Earth using the "GUtrack2kml" converter from Nicolas Pinault. It is a small, free and very easy to use Excel spreadsheet, and it works like a charm!

Download GUtrack2kml now!

And thanks to Lee Ryman who provide us an alternative approach with GPSBabel. Here's what he said.

By the way, I've found the open source program called GPSBabel <http://www.gpsbabel.org> to be very handy at converting the GPS Utilities track log files directly to Google Earth's KML files. I know you link to an Excel spreadsheet on your website that does something similar, but it is kind of hard to use if you don't own Excel.

In order to use GPSBabel with the comma-separated format used in the track log files you need a STYLE file. This file defines the format of the csv data within the log file. I have attached the STYLE file I use.

Also attached are some screenshots of the various options I find work well for converting the log files. This is using the Windows executable GPSBabelGUI.exe, but the same options can be configured using the command line version gpsbabel.exe

A good page on using Google Earth with GPS data is http://earth.google.com/userguide/v4/ug_gps.html

Download the style file and screenshots now!


How to convert CSV format track log to GPX format?

Try the free "Garmin GPX Converter" (download at http://cbrom.myby.co.uk), it can help you convert the track log file to GPX format no problem!


How to convert GPX files to CSV format and use them as Waypoint/POI/Destinations?

At least two programs can help you do this, both are free!

GPXtoPOI - very simple, easy to use, but works brilliant!

GPSBabel - powerful, with loads of formats supported (select output format as "Garmin POI database")


The speed display is not stable and varies between 0 and xx km/h, why?

This is normal.

Efficasoft GPS Utilities reads speed information directly from GPS receiver, while the receiver calculates speed via position change. Unless you reach certain speed (e.g. cycling or driving), the speed value can never be stable due to the unstable nature in the position information the receiver receives from the satellites.


How to install Efficasoft GPS Utilities for Smartphone/Pocket PC?

Connect your Smartphone/Pocket PC to a computer with ActiveSync installed. After building up the partnership, double-click the EXE setup file and follow the instructions on screen.

Or, you may goto the 'CAB Link' on product page using Smartphone/Pocket PC's Mobile Internet Explorer, and download the CAB Installer directly to the device. The installation begins automatically once the download is completed.


The program refuses to install on my Smartphone. What should I do?

You need an APPLICATION UNLOCKED smartphone to install the program.
Please goto www.modaco.com or www.smartphonedn.net , search for 'application unlock'.

Please note that 'Application unlock' can bring up security issues on your smartphone, so do it at your own risk!


What is 'Smartphone/Pocket PC Owner Name' and why do you need it?

The Smartphone/Pocket PC Owner Name is the name that appears in the 'Name' field when you select 'Start, Settings, Owner Information' on the device. It is used to generate your unique registration code.


How to register the program?

After purchase, you will receive a registration code within two business days. Insert the registration code in the 'About' screen of the trial version, and press/tap 'Register'.


While registering the program, I get an 'Invalid Serial Number' error. Why?

In order to register the program, the owner name on your Smartphone/Pocket PC must match exactly with the one you provided at purchase.

Please goto 'Start, Settings, Owner Information' on your phone, and double check the 'Name' field, make sure it is exactly what you gave us at purchase. Please note that the name is case sensitive, any space and/or special characters are taken into account.


I purchased registration code before, can I get free upgrade to the new version?

If your purchase was made within 1 year before the release date of the new version, yes you are entitled to completely FREE UPGRADE! Please email us at support@efficasoft.com quoting

  • Full name of product
  • Purchase email address
  • Device owner name
  • Current registration code

and we will email you the new code.

Please note that the 1 year free upgrade option only applies to the same product you purchased.


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