Note: This page describes an obsolete version of GPSBabel that may substantially differ from the current or development version.

MiniHomer, a skyTraq Venus 6 based logger (download tracks, waypoints and get/set POI) (miniHomer)

This format can...

  • read waypoints

  • read tracks

This format has the following options: baud, dump-file, erase, first-sector, initbaud, last-sector, no-output, read-at-once, Home, Car, Boat, Heart, Bar .

Serial download protocol for GPS data loggers called "miniHomer". These loggers are based on Skytraq Venus 5 and Venus 6 chipsets, but with modified firmware. The miniHomer logger has five POI (or better: Point-to-Return, PTR?), which can be set programatically. The miniHomer module in gpsbabel is an extension of the skytraq module.

Following a list of devices which should be supported by this module (Note that not all of them have actually been tested, so if you can confirm that additional models work, please mail the gpsbabel-misc group with your success, tips, and any pertinent links for your model.)

Table 3.5. Devices supported by miniHomer module

ManufacturerModelUSB (baud)Bluetooth (baud)
Navin Z:NEX miniHomerup to 230400this device does not have bluetooth

Example 3.17. Command showing miniHomer download of tracks and erasing the logger on Linux

gpsbabel -i miniHomer,erase -f /dev/ttyUSB0 -o gpx -F out.gpx


Example 3.18. Command showing miniHomer erasing the logger without download on Linux

gpsbabel -i miniHomer,erase,no-output -f /dev/ttyUSB0


miniHomer has five POI called Home, Car, Boat, Heart, Bar. You can set the lla (Latitude, Longitude, Altitude) for each of the POI. The format is <name>=<lat>:<lng>[:<alt>] Once the according POI symbol is selected on miniHomer, the display shows you the direction and distance to the POI.

Example 3.19. Command showing miniHomer setting Car and Home POI

gpsbabel -i miniHomer,Car=36.790145:-6.352898,Home=-3.066667:37.359167:5895 -f /dev/ttyUSB0 -o gpx -F out.gpx Sets the Car/Home symbols' latitude longitude and altitude. If you select the Car/Home symbol on miniHomer, the display will show the direction and distance to this location as soon as it has a satellite fix.


baud option

Baud rate used for download.

The following baud rates can be used: 4800, 9600, 19200, 38400, 57600, 115200, 230400. Note that your logger might not support all of them (especially 230400 which isn't documented in the chipset manual, though there are known devices that are capable of this speed).

If baud=0 (zero) download takes place at the baud rate the device is currently set to. This is especially useful for Bluetooth connections (if available) since they often don't allow changing the baud rate.

dump-file option

Dump raw data to this file.

This function is identical to the dump-file function of skytraq module: Writes raw data as it is read from the logger to the file given as this option's argument (additional to decoding it as usual). The resulting binary files can be read and decoded by the skytraq-bin format. Mainly useful for debugging/development purposes.

erase option

Erase device data after download.

Erase log buffer.

first-sector option

First sector to be read from the device.

This function is identical to the first-sector function of skytraq module.

The logger's memory is organized in sectors, serially numbered starting at 0. Each sector takes 4096 bytes of data. Typical devices hold about 250 sectors. The memory is always filled from sector 0 on, until it is full or the device being erased again by the user.

Normally you can safely omit this option. However, it might be useful to read data from erased devices: we observed that on erase, only the first two sectors are actually cleared. The following example shows how to read the remaining data:

Example 3.20. Command showing how to read data from an erased device

gpsbabel -i miniHomer,first-sector=2 -f /dev/ttyUSB0 -o gpx -F out.gpx


initbaud option

Baud rate used to init device (0=autodetect).

This function is identical to the init-baud file function of skytraq module.

The "initbaud" option might be helpful if autodetection fails or takes too long. With this option you can tell GPSBabel the baud rate the device is currently set to. In contrast, the option "baud" specifies the rate at which the actual download should take place. If it is different than "initbaud" (or the autodetected rate, if initbaud wasn't given), the initial setting will be restored after finishing the download.

Please note that miniHomer by default uses 38400bps and does not autodetect the port speed. If you need autodetect, start as gpsbabel -i miniHomer,initbaud=0 -f /dev/ttyUSB0 -o gpx -F out.gpx

last-sector option

Last sector to be read from the device (-1: smart read everything).

A value of -1 (the default) enables automatic mode, i.e. reading is stopped when an empty sector is encountered. We observed that sometimes the device doesn't report the correct number of used sectors, which confuses the Windows software, so that it might not get all trackpoints. In contrast, our algorithm ensures that everything is being read (please report if it doesn't work for you).

no-output option

Disable output (useful with erase).

If this option is given, no GPS log data will be read from the device (unless "dump-file" is given too; in that case only decoding will be disabled).

read-at-once option

Number of sectors to read at once (0=use single sector mode).

If read-at-once >= 1, batch mode is enabled with that many sectors being read at a time. A value of zero disables batch mode and switches to single read mode. Not all devices support batch mode; in that case gpsbabel automatically switches to single read mode.

Under normal circumstances, the larger this number the faster the transfer. Reducing read-at-once or even switching to single sector mode might help when you get transmission errors/aborts.

Home option

POI for Home Symbol as lat:lng[:alt].

The device provides a location finder display supporting five locations "Home", "Car", "Boat", "Heart", "Bar". You can program the location of each either by a keypress on the device (which uses the actual position) or with GPSBabel (which lets you use any position) You can set the location of "Home" with the 'Home' option. Use ':' as the delimiter between latitude, longitude and altitude. You can leave altitude out, in which case it is assumed to be zero. Note that GPSBabel terminates after writing the location info to the device, i.e. no logging data will be read from it.

Example 3.21. Set the target location of the miniHomer Home POI

gpsbabel -i miniHomer,Home=-3.066667:37.359167:5895 -f /dev/ttyUSB0 -o unicsv -F -

Sets the Home symbols' latitude to 3.066667S longitude to 37.359167E and altitude to 5895m. If you select the Home symbol on miniHomer, the display will show the direction and distance to this location as soon as it has a satellite fix.


Car option

POI for Car Symbol as lat:lng[:alt].

The device provides a location finder display supporting five locations "Home", "Car", "Boat", "Heart", "Bar". You can program the location of each either by a keypress on the device (which uses the actual position) or with GPSBabel (which lets you use any position) You can set the location of "Car" with the 'Car' option. Use ':' as the delimiter between latitude, longitude and altitude. You can leave altitude out, in which case it is assumed to be zero. Note that GPSBabel terminates after writing the location info to the device, i.e. no logging data will be read from it.

Example 3.22. Set the target location of the miniHomer Car POI

gpsbabel -i miniHomer,Car=-25.272309:153.235330 -f /dev/ttyUSB0 -o unicsv -F -

Sets the Car symbols' latitude to 25.272309S longitude to 153.235330E and altitude to 0m. If you select the Car symbol on miniHomer, the display will show the direction and distance to this location as soon as it has a satellite fix.


Boat option

POI for Boat Symbol as lat:lng[:alt].

The device provides a location finder display supporting five locations "Home", "Car", "Boat", "Heart", "Bar". You can program the location of each either by a keypress on the device (which uses the actual position) or with GPSBabel (which lets you use any position) You can set the location of "Boat" with the 'Boat' option. Use ':' as the delimiter between latitude, longitude and altitude. You can leave altitude out, in which case it is assumed to be zero. Note that GPSBabel terminates after writing the location info to the device, i.e. no logging data will be read from it.

Example 3.23. Set the target location of the miniHomer Boat POI

gpsbabel -i miniHomer,Boat=32.29287:-64.77527 -f /dev/ttyUSB0 -o unicsv -F -

Sets the Boat symbols' latitude to 32.29287N longitude to 64.77527E and altitude to 0m. If you select the Home symbol on miniHomer, the display will show the direction and distance to this location as soon as it has a satellite fix.


Heart option

POI for Heart Symbol as lat:lng[:alt].

The device provides a location finder display supporting five locations "Home", "Car", "Boat", "Heart", "Bar". You can program the location of each either by a keypress on the device (which uses the actual position) or with GPSBabel (which lets you use any position) You can set the location of "Heart" with the 'Heart' option. Use ':' as the delimiter between latitude, longitude and altitude. You can leave altitude out, in which case it is assumed to be zero. Note that GPSBabel terminates after writing the location info to the device, i.e. no logging data will be read from it.

Example 3.24. Set the target location of the miniHomer Heart POI

gpsbabel -i miniHomer,Heart=36.1269:-115.1698 -f /dev/ttyUSB0 -o unicsv -F -

Sets the Heart symbols' latitude to 36.1269N longitude to 115.1698W and altitude to 0m. If you select the Heart symbol on miniHomer, the display will show the direction and distance to this location as soon as it has a satellite fix.


Bar option

POI for Bar Symbol as lat:lng[:alt].

The device provides a location finder display supporting five locations "Home", "Car", "Boat", "Heart", "Bar". You can program the location of each either by a keypress on the device (which uses the actual position) or with GPSBabel (which lets you use any position) You can set the location of "Bar" with the 'Bar' option. Use ':' as the delimiter between latitude, longitude and altitude. You can leave altitude out, in which case it is assumed to be zero. Note that GPSBabel terminates after writing the location info to the device, i.e. no logging data will be read from it.

Example 3.25. Set the target location of the miniHomer Bar POI

gpsbabel -i miniHomer,Bar=38.99809:-86.34662 -f /dev/ttyUSB0 -o unicsv -F -

Sets the Bar symbols' latitude to 38.99809N longitude to 86.34662W and altitude to 0m. If you select the Bar symbol on miniHomer, the display will show the direction and distance to this location as soon as it has a satellite fix.