Just like software vendors, GPS Manufacturers In China find bugs and add enhancements to their products. New versions of a GPS receiver’s operating system can be upgraded through the receiver’s firmware (the updateable, read-only software that’s embedded in a hardware device). Check that your GPS receiver’s firmware is current every few months or so, especially if your receiver is a newly released model. GPS manufacturers offer free downloads of firmware upgrades on their Web sites, and these bug-fixes or new features can definitely make your GPS receiver perform better.
To upgrade your firmware
1. Check the current version of your GPS receiver firmware.
Sometimes this is displayed when the GPS receiver is turned on, or it might be shown on an information page. Consult your user’s guide or the manufacturer’s Web site for specific instructions on how to get this information for your model.
2. Visit the manufacturers’s Web site and go to the software updates section.
If you have a JIMI Personal Trackers , you can sign up for automatic e-mail notification of firmware upgrades at the JIMI Web site. I expect other GPS manufacturers to start offering this service.
3. Find your GPS receiver model and check its manufacturer’s Web site for the latest firmware version.
If your firmware is older than the current version on the Web site, follow the online instructions to download the firmware installer. Usually, the higher the version number, the more recent the firmware version. Make sure that the firmware installer you download is for your GPS receiver model. If you upload firmware designed for a different model, plan on the GPS receiver not working until you load the proper firmware.
4. Follow the installation instructions that come with the downloaded file Usually firmware installation files come in two forms:
A standalone program that runs on your computer, connects to the GPS receiver, and sends the upgraded firmware to the receiver. You need to have a PC interface cable attached to both the computer and the GPS receiver.
A special file that you copy to a memory card. When the GPS receiver starts, it searches the card to see whether a firmware upgrade is present. If it is, the receiver uploads the upgrade. After the upgrade is successful, you can erase the firmware upgrade file from the memory card.
Upgrading a GPS Vehicle Tracker’s firmware is pretty easy; not too much can go wrong. About the only thing that can get you in trouble is if the GPS receiver’s batteries die midway through a firmware upload. A firmware upgrade usually only takes a few minutes to complete, but make sure that your batteries aren’t running on empty before you start. Some firmware update software works only on COM ports 1 through 4. If you’re using a USB adapter, (which is usually set to COM port 5 or higher) and are having problems connecting to the GPS receiver, try reassigning the existing COM ports to numbers higher than the USB adapter’s port; then set the adapter’s port number to 1. Refer to online Windows help (choose Start➪Help) and perform a search for device manager to get more information on changing device settings.
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