GPS 18 product links:

Buy an APRS-friendly GPS receiver

Status updates (most recent first):

Wow, some cool new GPS options -- Garmin GPS-18 (PC, LVC, USB) -- discovered 2007-04-29

I recently discovered some cool new GPS options, that may well work perfectly for APRS use (as well as a number of other applications, I'm sure). The GPS-18 line 're all 12-channel, WAAS-enabled GPS receivers. There is a variety of interface types to choose from, and you can get them with or without a software bundle. Technical Specs for the Garmin 18 are available, too.

I will try to update the links above periodically, as I become aware of new options. If you'd like to contact me about any of this, please de-tangle (sorry) the following e-mail address to best avoid hitting my spam filters:

misc (hyphen) aprs (hyphen) gps (at) daveltd (dot) com

The rest of this page is primarily for historical reference. The good stuff is above.

Status as of 2006-12-29:

Sorry, this form is starting to get spammed. I haven't done anything with this anyway, so I'm giving up. If anyone has informatioin on where/how to get a cheap GPS receiver, particularly one that's well-suited for APRS use (e.g. one that's without display, etc.), feel free to contact me with any information that I can add to this page. I will not be doing a bulk purchase thing any time soon, though, and I'm thereby removing the form.

In case anyone's curious, I did renew my license recently, but I haven't transmitted in quite some time. Lately, I've been off doing photography.

Status as of 2005-09-20:

OK, so, I've pretty much given up on this concept. I do wish you all luck on getting a low-cost option, but I'm just not likely to coordinate a bulk purchase.

If someone wants to take up this cause, I could try to get you relevant information from Garmin (if it's still correct), and/or give your contact information to prospective buyers that have filled out my form.

Meanwhile, it's not as cheap as one might hope for, but one can purchase the GPS35PC (the one with the pre-made connectors, instead of bare wires -- which, alas, means only one serial port, but that's probably all I'd personally need, so maybe others will benefit from it) from (Just follow that link.)

Good luck!

Status as of 2001-03-23:

Sorry folks, I've had this on the back burner for a while... But I just filled out most of the fields in the forms from Garmin, and I've sent some e-mail off to my contact there to get some answers to a couple of questions that I have that prevent me from completing it... If past responsiveness is any indication, I expect I'll probably hear back from him by sometime Monday, and hopefully get these forms out into Tuesday's mail, if not Monday's. After that, I don't know how long things will take to process and such, but I'm hoping to be contacting all of the folks who have submitted surveys here within a couple of weeks, and request payments! And then I would hope (but again, I don't yet know exactly what to expect) have product in hand and be packaging it up within a week or two after that. Once that's done (or perhaps earlier), and the process all figured out, I'll probably update this page to allow folks to place orders via PayPal, probably with just a couple of selection choices and a single click! (Well, and then the few final things that PayPal will request of you.) Thanks, everyone, for bearing with me!

Status, as of 2001-03-07:

I have talked with someone at garmin, and I have paperwork here ready to be filled out. I've been a little slow about things, I'm sorry to say, but the results of my conversations are quite promising. I expect to not have a problem getting a bulk discount, I just don't know how quickly it will occur. Feel free to check back here periodically for updates, and/or send me e-mail asking for the latest, and/or prodding me to get the paperwork in.

The original content:

Hi there,

So, being someone who's interested in APRS, and also just GPS usage in general, I wanted to find a high quality, but relatively inexpensive GPS receiver that would be suitable for computer and/or APRS interaction. I did a little searching, and found Garmin's GPS 35 series of GPS receivers. The feature set seems perfect to me for APRS use... The unit (in particular, the GPS35-HVS was of interest to me -- though other units in that line may be of interest to others) is compact (approximately 1 x 2 1/4 x 3 3/4 inches or 27 x 57 x 96 mm -- not including the cable, which is 5 meters long); weatherproof; it's got two serial ports, so you can do NMEA 0183 for general position information, RTCM for DGPS (additional accuracy with additional hardware), and some other proprietary stuff (which is clearly documented) all with just the one piece of hardware; plus it's also got a PPS output for time synchronization (so you can use it as your NTP master clock, for example); and finally it's got a power input that will work just dandy off of a car's 12-volt power supply (or anything else that puts out 6 to 40 volts); and it comes with bare leads, so hooking up to a custom set-up can be done without having to cut off (and thus waste) pre-molded connectors, or anything like that. (The down side is that you have to add connectors; the up side is that you get to add connectors. ;-)

Now, that's all well and good, but the pricing that I could find for these units was still a bit more than I would ideally like to pay... So, I did some further research, and some thinking, and came up with the following thoughts:

  1. Garmin normally intends these to be sold to OEM companies. (fact)
  2. As such, they provide volume discounts if you purchase many of the units, including in the form of a steady stream over time. (fact)
  3. I believe that there are a number of Radio Amateurs, and other hobbiests and such, who would be interested in purchasing just one or maybe two of these. (Certainly that's what I'm after.)
  4. The Amateur Radio community tends to be friendly, and willing to cooperate. (Personal impression, though I know I'm not the only one to have it.)
  5. A group of folks cooperating together as if they were one entity could potentially get a volume discount even with any given individual in the group buying a much smaller quantity than is required for the bulk discount. (Corollary)
  6. Organizing such a group has the potential to have personal benefit to me, in that I could then get a cheaper price for my own GPS purchase.

So, I've decided to see if I can actually make this work. As such, I need your help; The first stage of this is to see if there is actually sufficient interest in this to get the volume discount thing happening. If you're interested in having one of these devices, please fill in the following survey.


If you're interested in purchasing a GPS receiver from (through) me, please fill in the following survey. When I get enough interest to get a volume discount, or if I get to a point where I decide to give up on that concept, I'll send you some e-mail and let you know what the deal is.

[The form used to be here. I've deleted it. See above.]

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By the way, if you're looking for a GPS receiver with a display, I recommend the Garmin GPS III Plus. Or, if you're a minimalist but you still want a display, Their eTrex has gotten some good reviews from various folks. (Follow these links to buy the item in question from