The Zenstar III GPS receiver has a driver CD packaged with it; the CD comes in the box. The Zenstar driver needs to be installed on your laptop. This driver creates a virtual COM port on your laptop. The Zenstar GPS will send NMEA 0183 sentences to your laptop via the virtual COM port.
If your Raymarine software needs a manual COM port number setup entry, you can:
1. Connect your Zenstar GPS to your laptop.
2. Look in your laptop's Hardware/Device Manager/Ports, to see or verify the
COM port number created by the Zenstar driver.
Make sure to allow the Zenstar's internal battery to charge off your laptop's USB socket for about twenty minutes when you take your new GPS out of the box.
Along with the GPS, you'll need plotter software that can run on your laptop.
Chart Navigator Pro and Offshore Navigator are both Maptech plotter software that can run on your laptop. These plotter programs can read the GPS NMEA 0183 sentences and send NMEA 0183 sentences to your autopilot.
You'll also need a serial-to-USB adapter cable to connect your laptop to your Raymarine autopilot, since new laptops don't come with a serial rs-232c port anymore (the nine pin connector port). Like the Zenstar GPS, the serial-to-USB adapter cable for your autopilot will come with a driver on a CD, and the driver will create another virtual COM port.
RE(2): Connecting autopilot using Zenstar III GPS Receiver
Thank you for your prompt reply. One last question for you. I have used the Zenstar III with the maptech digital chartkit, followed a route, and it appears to be working fine. Do you have any suggestions as to a brand name serial-to-USB adapter cable? I tried using an off the shelf USB docking station to connect my Lowrance hand held GPS to my laptop and was unable to get it to work properly.
RE(3): Connecting autopilot using Zenstar III GPS Receiver