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Reviews Categories | GPS receivers for APRS | GPS 18 OEM Help

Reviews Summary for GPS 18 OEM
GPS 18 OEM Reviews: 17 Average rating: 5.0/5 MSRP: $$89.99
Description: The GPS 18 is a GPS sensor targeted to OEM clients for use in automotive, fleet vehicle, and electronics applications where a small, highly accurate GPS receiver is needed.

This 12-parallel-channel, WAAS-enabled GPS receiver is available in either CMOS-level serial or USB 2.0 full-speed versions, and comes with an integrated magnetic base. The puck-like receiver is 2.4 inches in diameter and weighs just ounces, making it an ideal solution in applications where space is at a premium.

The GPS 18 is offered in three different cable configurations: A-style USB, DB-9 pin serial with 12-volt cigarette lighter adapter (PC), or bare wire (LVC). The PC and LVC versions both default to output data in the industry standard NMEA 0183 data format, but may also be user programmed to output data in the GARMIN proprietary format. The USB version produces data only in the GARMIN proprietary format. All three versions of the GPS 18 come complete with non-volatile memory for storage of configuration information, a real-time clock, and raw measurement output data for sophisticated customer applications. The LVC version additionally provides a pulse-per-second logic level output whose rising edge is aligned to the UTC second within 1 microsecond. The USB 2.0 full-speed version of the GPS18 is also compatible with USB 1.1 full-speed hosts.
Product is in production.
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KQ6EA Rating: 5/5 Apr 3, 2007 22:10 Send this review to a friend
Excellent GPS  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have one of the OEM units I use with a home-brew adapter for my TM-D700, and one of the USB versions I use with my laptop. These are GREAT GPS units! They use very little power, acquire satellites very fast, and give excellent position accuracy. I've been involved with GPS since the early 90's, when the constellation wasn't even complete, and it's nothing short of amazing at how far we've come. Devices like this were just a dream when we started.
KK9H Rating: 5/5 Jan 11, 2006 21:23 Send this review to a friend
Perfect for TinyTrak3  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have been playing with APRS for a couple of years. When I first assembled my tracker unit I already owned a Garmin GPS III+ so I initially used that for the GPS receiver. The other components consist of a Byonics TinyTrak3 and an Icom IC-28H. When I got everything up and running I eventually wanted to have my GPS III+ back and use a less valuable GPS receiver on the tracker. After reading the reviews on the GPS 18 PC, I decided to buy one. I was delighted that it plugged right onto my TinyTrak3 and worked perfectly. I am also very impressed with how quickly it acquires the satelites and is ready to go after you first turn it on. The GPS 18 PC has its own magnetic base and easily stays put on the car. I think it is ideal for APRS use and can highly recommend it.
KC5ZRQ Rating: 5/5 Aug 21, 2005 16:04 Send this review to a friend
GPS 18 PC  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
The PC version has a cigarette lighter adapter and a DB9 serial interface. For APRS it is a plug-n-play GPS since the default format is NMEA. The LVC version would be good for special projects. Stay away from the USB version.

Warning: In the heat of a Texas summer it will fail if you let it bake on your dashboard. Also, the OEM versions do not come with software.
N1KSN Rating: 5/5 Jun 29, 2005 07:03 Send this review to a friend
No problems, performs well  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I also purchased the PC version of the Garmin GPS 18 for use in a tracker with a TinyTrak 3 and a junker Radio Shack HTX-202. The default settings were just fine and it was a simple plug-and-play. The magnetic base on the unit allows for easy on and off the car roof. A Rubbermaid container holds all the equipment, and it's set up to run on 8 D-cell batteries or the auto lighter socket.
N4OYO Rating: 5/5 Jun 28, 2005 13:13 Send this review to a friend
Great the use with Tiny Tracker 3  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I bought mine is the PC version that came with the lighter plug power supply. Very good sensitivity and fast acquisition on satellites. I use mine with a TT3 and an old IC228H with everything installed in a Walmart fishing tackle box for easy strap on use.

In my installation on a Honda Goldwing motorcycle, the 2m antenna is less that 18 inches away from the rest of the APRS system. The GPS 18 worked very well in this high RF field environment, but I had to use several ferrite coils on the cables to the TT3, power cables etc. Without them, the stray voltages induced in the wiring caused the TT3 to activate the transmitter in and continuous on/off cycle. The GPS 18 PC worked through this with no reduction in sensitivity.

The only thing I wish I had done differently was to have ordered the unit with the City Select maps, for very little extra money, for use on the Vista or Legend I plan to get next.
KE5AYB Rating: 5/5 May 27, 2005 10:53 Send this review to a friend
Excellent for mobile APRS  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Just recently purchased the GPS18 from for $73. I bought the serial version (PC) as I wanted the lighter adapter and ability to move it if necessary. I was replacing a Garmin eTrex Vista. The Vista was great, but having to turn it on each time was a pain. Also since I drive a Jeep, I couldn't leave it out. This caused me to have to connect it to the cable each time. I have broken so many connecters over the past year that it was time for something else.

Enter the GPS18. The idea was to run it out the back to the tailgate, however, I noticed right away that satellite reception is OUTSTANDING. In the closed garage I had no problem getting reception. Can't say that for the Vista. Anyway, I decided to try something and actually put it INSIDE the dashboard up by the windshield. Guess what...It worked! Not in the garage, but no problem when I was outside the garage. I then spliced in a $1.89 lighter socket behind the glove box so i wouldn't have to have it plugged into then visible lighter socket. Now it is hidden and powers on with the vehicle.

Even if you don't use it with a vehicle, I highly recommend this GPS for PC applications. One warning...DO NOT get the USB version if you wish to use it for anything other than the PC.

The Vista still has a place for me w/my HT and PDA, but for a mobile application you can't go wrong with the GPS18.
KC5ZRQ Rating: 5/5 Apr 26, 2005 01:42 Send this review to a friend
Very simple and practical design  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have the serial version. For power I plugged it into my cigarette lighter. For data I plugged the other side into my Kenwood D7 (with the appropriate adapter). It worked just fine.

It outputs NMEA 0183 standard, but can be configured with software for other formats (Garmin proprietary). My OEM version did not come with software.

For APRS users it is probably a good idea to stay away from the USB version.

The LVC version would be great for projects like a TinyTrak3 or an OpenTracker. LVC just has bare wires for data in/out, power, ground and an extra wire for a timing signal.

The internal magnet is strong. My OEM version also came with a window mount bracket. For an APRS station this is an excellent GPS. I paid about $70 through an eBay transaction. Retail prices are more than $100.
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