Getting it Working on a Mac

As a victim of the iPod “Halo Effect” (see previous post regarding Nano), I just had to go out and buy a shiny, jangly new Macbook. Ostensibly, of course, so I could test the Route Planner on Safari and figure out how it all works on a Mac. While there’s no way you are going to pry my Linux machine away from me, I am very pleased with the Apple.

So, how do you get it working with your Garmin Edge (or other) and the Route Planner?

I knew it could be done because Jon Ellis posted below that he’d done it.

Firstly I went to the GPSBabel site’s download area, which led here:

I downloaded the GPSBabel+-1.3.0.dmg file, which, although it says it’s for PPC, runs fine on my Intel-based Mac. The package, once installed, gives you both a command-line copy of gpsbabel and also a GUI front end to it. So far so good.
Next, I plugged in the GPS unit via USB, and then, in a terminal, ran ‘sudo dmesg’, hoping to see some system messages confirming that the unit had been recognised. Nothing. Hmm, I thought… do I need drivers? Searching for terms like “Mac Garmin Edge USB Drivers” basically made me realise pretty quickly that no-one’s very happy with Garmin over their lack of Mac support.

Anyway, I re-read what Jon had posted and tried it anyway – and it worked! The GUI front end is easy enough to use, but if you want to transfer a file quickly from the command line the syntax which did it for me was:

gpsbabel -r -i gpx -f foo.gpx -o garmin -F usb:

The key difference being the “usb:” on the end, rather than specifying the pseudo serial port /dev/ttyUSB0 which one has to do under Linux.

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