OpenUtilities Substation Help

Using Global Positioning System (GPS) Devices with OpenUtilities Substation

OpenUtilities Substation contains an interface to Global Positioning System (GPS) devices. The Global Positioning System consists of a constellation of satellites in earth orbit that broadcast radio navigation signals from which GPS devices can calculate reliable positions on a cost-free, continuous, worldwide basis. For more information about GPS, see

OpenUtilities Substation recognizes GPS devices connected using serial protocol that send NMEA (National Marine Electronics Association) standard sentences (or strings) indicating position, heading, velocity, time, fix type and fix quality.

A GPS device is detected if connected to your computer using a standard serial cable attached to a serial port or through the Bluetooth™ protocol that creates a virtual serial port. If using a Bluetooth device, note the virtual COM port used, such as COM 8. Garmin™ USB devices using Garmin’s proprietary protocol, such as the GPS 18 USB, that can be plugged into any GPS port are also supported. The supporting software is loaded by Windows Plug-n-Play protocol.

OpenUtilities Substation also supports Windows Location Services as a GPS input type. Windows Location Services can get location information from sources other than GPS, including cell phone towers and a wireless network location database. Windows Location Services is not specific to GPS and does not provide any information regarding the GPS satellite constellation or signal strength, so the Status tab in the Global Positioning System dialog is not displayed.

Before you can interact with a GPS device, you must first select a geographic coordinate system (GCS) for the active model.