Brandon's Notepad

January 26, 2015

DeLorme Tripmate GPS

Filed under: Electronics — Brandon @ 5:02 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,


Like a lot of folks out there, I picked up an old DeLorme Tripmate GPS at a rummage sale for only a few bucks. No, I haven’t done a thing with it since then, but I’ve kept it around because one day I will have the time to play with it…really, I will. Honest.

Self Start Modification

This mod is definitely first on my list to try. When power is first applied to the unit, it enters a standby mode and must hear the word “ASTRAL” on its serial port before it will start receiving satellite data. The great news is that while it is in standby mode, it also sends the word “ASTRAL” every second; thus, the most straightforward hack seems to be to jump the two solder pads on the PCB so that it tells itself to enter receive mode.

External Power

This GPS runs on four 1.5v AA batteries. According to several sites, the battery life is not great. And if I recall correctly, there is no external power port and no off switch. The most popular mod is to add a power regulator so that the Tripmate can be powered by a wall mole, auto adapter, etc. Some of the solutions linked below are duplicates of the links for the Self Start Modification.


The Tripmate is obviously designed to connect to a computer’s DB9 comm port, which is becoming increasingly uncommon since the advent of USB. Here are some alternative insterfaces.


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