Using "Virtual PC" software on a Macintosh? - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 14 Old 01-02-2004
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Using "Virtual PC" software on a Macintosh?

Fond Hope, Happy New Year to you.

(BTW - Ouch! - you should take the cap lock off as all-caps lettering represents shouting on Forum sites like this.)

Assuming you''re running Airmail 3.0 on your G3 under Virtual PC (if not, then unzip and install Airmail now), click on the Help icon and, with the Contents tab selected, type in ''Apple''. It will present you with the exact pin configuration between your Mac''s serial port and the TNC''s DB-9 port.

You can either have that adapter cable made up for you locally, buy one from a firm that does this all the time (e.g. and probably or wire it up yourself using some Radio Shack parts.

Nope, we''re not a SoCal boat. The boat we sailed out of Santa Barbara was WHISH, close to our current WHOOSH in name but that was many years ago. We''re a Pearson 424 Ketch out of St. Pete, FL now, but wintering in London.

Enjoy Moro Bay and remember...not everyone gets such pretty views!

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post #12 of 14 Old 01-04-2004
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Using "Virtual PC" software on a Macintosh?

Happy new year to you. Thanks for the advise about shouting but this mac to pc business has
me close to screaming.
I am running a mac G3 powerbook. It does not have a serial port. I use a cable and software provided by HF Radio made by Keyspan.
This arrangement works well running Visual Navigation Suite, however with Airmail I can not manage to come up with a valid comm port.
It sounds like your G3 physically has a serial port. I thougth Apple gave up on serial ports on G3''s or is your machine not a powerbook?
I am about to go over to the "Dark Side".The serial to usb cable and software runs straight off on a Dell laptop.
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post #13 of 14 Old 01-04-2004
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Using "Virtual PC" software on a Macintosh?


We may be moving into stuff the general readership isn''t much interested in, so feel free to contact me directly if this doesn''t help, OK?

When you say things are working well for the G3 when running Vis Nav Suite, I take that to mean that software is seeing your GPS NMEA data as when it''s ported to the laptop. The Nav Suite should require you to designate a comm port so it will know where to look for that data...which comm port is it? Now have you gone to Tools/Options/Connection in Airmail and insured that you are designating the same comm port, assuming that you unplug the GPS input cable and connect up the TNC cable? Given the above, that should work for you. However, if your nav sofware is running under the Mac OS, then the Comm Port # may be different when emulating Windows...have you ID''d with certainty which Comm Port you are actually using when running in emulation mode?

If all this doesn''t fix things, review the other settings in Airmail to insure they are correct (e.g. do you have a SCS PTC II or IIPro? set ''Direct using Control Port'' and so on). And a big issue I didn''t ask you about last time: are you using an SCS TNC or a Kamtronics? My comments assume SCS.

Assuming proper settings but no success, that leaves me suspicious about the pin-out of the cable hfradio provided. Did they (or Keyspan) provide you with a pin-out? Check it for accurate construction by doing a continuity check with a VOM.

Our Mac laptop is a G3...but you are beginning to stumble into the reason we stopped using it on the boat and switched over to PCs. Macs for all their benefits are usually on the outside, looking in, when it comes to running marine applications and their owners enjoying the help of other marine users trying to do similar things. As I think I said in an earlier post, the desire to stay with a Mac because of ease of use and familiarity became eroded over time - for us - because it actually became harder to use, while the Windows software slowly evolved into making a PC easier to use.

For a Caribbean cruise, we ended up using a PC as the primary laptop and kept the G3 as a back-up (which at one point was needed)...but of course, the G3 can''t use emulation software to run graphics-intensive stuff. Still, it was great to remain capable of doing email and wx downloads via Winlink. You might consider a similar possibility. It was only when prepping for an Atlantic crossing that we realized the back-up had to be fully functional, as well.

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post #14 of 14 Old 01-30-2004
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Using "Virtual PC" software on a Macintosh?

I have been using MacGPS Pro on my Mac G3 laptop with a Garmin GPS and it has been working great.

MacGPS Pro works with Garmin and Magellan GPS receivers for transferring Waypoints, Routes and Tracklogs.

MacGPS Pro works with almost all GPS receivers for moving map images on the Mac screen in real-time.

MacGPS Pro works with no receiver connected for viewing digital maps, measuring distances, editing waypoints.

MacGPS Pro has been OS X Native since November 11, 2002. It is still available in Mac Classic as well.

MacGPS Pro connects to your GPS receiver through a serial interface (with a USB to Serial adaptor for modern Macs) or through a Bluetooth wireless connection.

Available online at for only $39.95. This is well worth a try.

The only drawback I see is that it will not interface with your autopilot, but if your GPS will interface with your autopilot the GPS could keep you on course.

s/v Liberty
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