Florida Near Shore Tri-County Special Edition Usage Notes (revision Date =  01/25/2012) - check back here frequently as this data is continuously being updated

( RED = NEW since 04/27/2011 edition )


 These FAQ's relate to the GPSu+FNS 5.09F_*application only!

 ( If one desires to read everything about  the standard edition go to http://www.gpsu.co.uk/ )

01. Chart & Map Naming Conventions

08. Initial Program Settings

15. Problem Finding Maps 

02. Chart Orientation on PC Display

09. Installation Details

16. Usage of "Homefile"  

03. Copying Maps

10. Known Errors/Conditions

17. Want to Mark a Site ?

04. External Waypoint  Entry

11. Maneuvering Around a Chart

18. Where are you?

05. Generate Maps 12. Opening Maps

19. UAC Settings

06. GPS Connectivity

13. Printing on your Vessel

20. "Print/View" Charts Creates Error
07. Initial Map View Size

14. Printing to a Printer



Administrative Privilege

To have the ability to install and use the GPSu+FNS Tracking Utility on your PC, your user account status should be checked. Once you are logged on, go to the User Accounts in Control Panel by executing Start | Control Panel and then double-clicking on User Accounts.  At the bottom of the User Accounts window check that your Log In Name contains the phrase "Administrator" or "Computer administrator"  or "Power user" in the 2nd line.  If not, you will not be able to execute the GPSu+FNS Tracking Utility program and you must arrange proper authorization with your Computer Administrator.



Chart & Map Naming Conventions


     Charts - These are the documents displayed when using a County Main Menu buttons #1 and  #2. They are all Adobe PDF Files.

     Maps - These are the documents displayed when using a County Main Menu button #3. They are proprietary maps with the file extension .FNS

       Common Elements:   

  1. Both the Charts & the Maps are identified with a starting letter P for Palm Beach, B for Broward or M for Miami-Dade Counties.

  2. The letter designation is followed by a two number designator 01 ------ 09 etc. which identifies the relative geographic position of each chart or map.  We always start with “01” signifying the northernmost extent of the  County and progressing southward.

Map Elements:

  1. The remaining maps designator "_Graphic.fns" identifies the file as  raster graphic file with the Florida Near Shore extension .fns.

  2. The maps may also be opened using their corresponding pointer files with the label *_graphic.xgu.

     Note: Some have asked for us to label them with geographic information such as Inlet or feature names but we found this to be too cumbersome and subject to variations in individual preferences.  We are sure you will shortly become accustomed to our methodology .Thank you for your consideration!.




 Installation Details

The "Installation" menu is  only  displayed upon initial start-up of the software i.e. 1st time use on a specific PC.  If one needs to access this menu later there is a button on the "Tri-County "Near-Shore" & GPS Tracking Utility" Main Menu which allows one to access the "Installation Repair Instructions" Menu to make changes. For example, one could delete their GPSu+FNS.exe program & reinstall a fresh copy.

The 1st time one opens GPSu+FNS & after satisfying the "License conditions for GPS Utility" agreement, one should convert it to a "Premium Edition" versus the as delivered  "Standard Edition" . Use your voucher information to insert the Registration Name & 16 digit Registration Code e-mailed to you by GPS Utility in the UK. If you have misplaced this information, it is available from the author.

    Procedure: Click on Options|General which opens the "Options Settings" window

Click on the "GPS Utility - Unregistered" text which:

  1.  Opens the "Name" box for insertion of your Registration Name

 and then,

  1.  The hidden "Number" box for insertion of your Registration Code.

Once you have entered he correct information & clicked on "OK", you must "Validate Registration" by clicking on that box to the right of the registration code field.



    Opening Maps

Start your "County Name" Near Shore" & GPS Tracking Utility program by selecting it from one of the three Counties on the Main Menu. Advance past the "License Conditions for GPS Utility" agreement by clicking on "Yes".


No maps will be visible and the Menu Bar at the top left corner of the display will provide six options. They are File, GPS, View, Options, Window, and Help..


 Click on  "File" which opens a "drop-down" window  displaying the following additional options:

Open ...  *

Ctrl+O This option is used to open a map in one of the three map folders described in topic 1.  below.

Note: The software must already "point" to the correct folder on the Thumb Drive!

Homefile - Open: Your Homefile directory, folder & name

If there is no directory, folder & name displayed, you are not in the homefile directory!


We define the Homefile as the map where your requested departure port is shown. See topic 2. below.

Note:  This may be modified by you.  See topic "Usage of Homefile".

Folders ...            Alt+F4  "Folder" is where we store the maps. They are always stored in a folder on the TSFD (Thumb Drive).

Note: If you click on this item & the directory is other than what is shown in topic 1. below then see topic "Problem Finding Maps"

Exit Closes the GPSu+FNS 5.09F_* program & returns you to the currently selected County Name Main Menu


  1. When one clicks on  "Open ...", a "Windows"  file search display opens where the left hand pane shows your computer's directory structure and the right hand pane shows the currently assigned "maps" file directory. This should show the "Thumb Drive"  folder as shown below:.

The "Address Bar" should display :

             << CD Drive (X*:) Tri-County GPSu+F... > ( followed by one of these three statements in bold text ):


 ( if your normal departure port "Homefile" is located in Broward County )


 ( if your normal departure port "Homefile" is located in Miami-Dade County )

_Maps_Palm Beach

 ( if your normal departure port "Homefile" is located in Palm Beach County )

The *  in the CD Drive (X*)  quote is the USB drive letter where you have inserted your Thumb Drive

Note"* To assure you are directed to the proper Folder, on the 1st run of this software, choose the pre-defined "Homefile - Open: ( {path}\homefile map name" ) from this drop-down box list. Otherwise you may be directed to the "My GPSu" folder in the C:\My Documents\ directory




In the "File" drop-down box, the 2nd item down the list is the "Homefile" statement. For user convenience the authors have provided a method to easily find the most used map.

Instead of executing a File|Open & then searching for a map, one may simply click on this predefined item & immediately open their preferred "Homefile".

Procedure to Change the "Homefile" to a new one:

Assume the Homefile currently displayed is "Homefile - Open: B02_Graphic.xgu". Clicking on this item will open the B02_Graphic map.

To change this Homefile statement to "Homefile - Open: M01_Graphic.xgu" follow this procedure:

  1. With no files open, select  the current Homefile by clicking on "Homefile - Open: B02_Graphic.xgu" which opens the B02_Graphic map.

  2. Open a second file, that one being your new/preferred Homefile map. In this example it is assumed to be "M01_Graphic.xgu"

  3. Again, click on "File" to open the drop-down box. One will note that the "Homefile" line is blank but with an "arrow dagger" at the right edge. This signifies that there is an additional, hidden, drop-down box to its right.

  4. Clicking on the "arrow-dagger" exposes two additional lines off data


Open: {path}\B02_Graphic.xgu  ( the current Homefile )



Set as: M01_Graphic.xgu         ( the preferred Homefile )

    5.  Clicking on the lower, right box "Set as: M01_Graphic.xgu" will change the default "Homefile" to   "M01_Graphic.xgu".

Note: The next time one opens the program and clicks on "File", the Homefile will be displayed as   M01_Graphic.xgu. One may repeat this process as often as desired. 

    6.  If one clicks on the upper, right box "Open: {path}\B02_Graphic.xgu", you will retain the current, default "Homefile".



Chart Orientation on PC Display

Charts are orientated on the PC monitor with East at the top, North to the left, West to the bottom and South to the right.


Normally, monitors have a 4:3 or 16:9 aspect ratio; that is they are wider than they are high. Our charts are wider in the N/S direction than they are in the E/W direction therefore we chose to orientate them this way!  Just imagine when viewing them that you are standing on the shore and looking seaward.



Printing to a Printer  ( PDF Charts, GPSu+FNS Maps and, GPSu+FNS Map Windows )

  1. General - Printing means printing to a physical printer connected to your computer. If you have multiple " Printer and Faxes " devices on your PC, devices such as:

  • Adobe PDF Converter

  • Fax

  • Microsoft XPS Document Writer

  • Send to OneNote 2010

  • etc

Please be aware that our software will not accept these printer options. There is no "Save" option due to the proprietary nature of this software. Also, You must be a registered user for this option to work!


  1. PDF Charts - these are the charts shown in the "View/Print County Name Main PDF Charts Menu" (Option #1)

    1. From the Main Menu, select the County you desire

    2. Select button #1 ( View/Print etc. )

    3. Display the Chart you wish to print ( This will open the PDF Chart )

    4. Click on the key combination Ctrl+P which will open a window where you can set the "print to" Name & properties.


      The Chart native size is 11" X 17" and is best suited to be printed on a printer capable of printing at this size.

      Do not check the "Print to File" option as it will fail!

      We recommend  taking your laptop to Kinkos or Staples to have them print & laminate any two charts back to back in a 10 mil laminate.



  2. GPSu+FNS Tracking Utility - These are the Maps shown in the "Run GPSu+FNS Tracking Utility" ( Option #2 )

    1. Print Window...

      Size your image display to  as large a display as possible using red arrow keys and/or the " Rectangular area " icon.

                          ( 2nd icon on the program toolbar.  Located to the right of the "Hand" icon. )

      Click on File|Print Window... or use Ctrl+P. This will open the " Print Maps Options " window. See following example:

      One may change most of the options shown but do not attempt to enter " Print setup ... " to select other than a physical printer!

      Then, select " Print " to print out your selected window.

      NOTE: You may also use the Snipping Tool, SnagIt  or other compatible screen print utility.

    2. Print Bitmap ...

      This option allow printing of the entire map!  This is a time consuming operation since each map is 12-18MB in size. The rules as stated under section A. above apply here.



Printing on your Vessel

NOTE: When on your vessel, you probably have no access to a physical printer. Windows 7 & Windows Vista operating systems have a screen print utility named "Snipping Tool" which provide an excellent printing alternative..

Example using Windows 7 or Vista:

  1. You should make the SnippingTool Icon  visible on the taskbar so that it is conveniently displayed. ( Do a "search programs & files" using the keyword "snip" if not already displayed on the task bar and create an icon on the taskbar ).

  2. When satisfied with your screen display, click on the Snipping Tool Icon on the taskbar which will "gray-out" the monitor display.

  3. Move your mouse curser to a point on the display representing a corner of the image you wish to save.

  4. Press & hold down the left mouse key & drag the mouse to the opposite corner of the image you wish to save..

  5. Release the mouse key and the Snipping Tool image will be displayed on your monitor.

  6. Click on "File|Save As ... " and navigate to the Thumb Drive Read/Write partition.

    • Name the file in the File name: box               ( Example: Three Wrecks )

    • Select the Save as Type: box.  We recommend to save as a GIF file.

    • Click on "Save" and then close the Snipping Tool window.

  7. If you have marked sites within the image boundaries you might want to save this information.

    • Click on the "Window" option on the Windows toolbar ( upper left corner of display )

    • In the drop-down box switch to the "Waypoints"  window  ( Example: "1 B01_Graphic.xgu - Waypoints" )

    • Again, outline the area of the resulting display you wish to save and use the Snipping Tool to save the information.

There are two options for Windows XP (see description on the Thumb Drive in the folder "Snipping Tool"):

  1. Download & install Snagit from  http://techsmith.com/download/snagit/.  A free 30 day trial is offered. Purchase price is 49.95 (we recommend this option)

  2. Download & install Snippy from http://www.bhelpuri.net/Snippy/. This is a freeware product not tested by Florida Near Shore. Use at your own Risk!

Use the same or similar procedure as shown in the Windows 7 example above.



External Waypoint Entry

This topic describes a method of inserting a list of waypoints (dive site positions etc.) on a map view.

GPS Utility in the UK has a program titled GPSU Input File Converter ( gpsufc.exe ) which is freely downloadable from their website http://www.gpsu.co.uk/files/gpsufc130setup.exe.  The latest version of our Florida Near Shore Tracking Utility software ( delivered after 03/28/2011 ) includes a copy of this same gpsufc130setup.exe file . It is located on the Thumb Drive's CD partition in a folder titled Waypoint_Entry_Example.  Included in this same folder is our GPSu+FNS_Settings.ini file which defines recommended settings. Also included is a Microsoft Word document ( GPSu.docx ) which illustrates how to use this program.

EXAMPLE:  Our example in this document uses the Palm Beach County Map P05sa_Graphic.xgu ( map of area just north of Lake Worth Inlet ) & assumes we wish to add a list of waypoints from an external source instead of just adding them individually.

1a. is a workbook file created within a Microsoft Excel 2010 program and saved in a Microsoft Excel CVS format suitable for opening in the GPSU Input File Converter program.


1b. is the GPSU Input File Converter program opened with no source file (*.cvs) and with the setting.ini file set to our desired GPSu+FNS_Settings.ini format.



1a.  1st we created an Excel Workbook file and save it as P05sa.cvs 1b.  We then opened the GPSu Input File Converter program and performed a Settings|Open ...  function to open our saved GPSu+FNS_Settings.ini file.



2a. We then opened the P05sa.csv file (See 1a. above) and saved this data in a file

named P05sa.gps (  See 2b. to the right ). This  *.gps file is in a format suitable for

importing into our GPSu+FNS Tracking  Utility program.

2b. We then executed a Export|Save as ...  function and exported the data from the gpsufc.exe program into the P05sa.gps file. Unfortunately this  file type cannot be viewed directly but we will be able to see the data after we open it in the Florida Near Shore Tracking Utility program as shown below.


Please note that the ID field has been automatically inserted.  The coordinate data, both latitude & longitude, has been combined into one field and the comment field has been added after the waypoint

property fields "I & E".

3. Now we opened the map file P05sa_Graphic.xgu in our GPSu+FNS Tracking Utility

program. This action actually opens two windows; the visible [P05sa_Graphic.xgu - Map] window and a hidden [P05sa_Graphic.xgu - Waypoint] window as shown to the right.


Note:( only a partial view is shown here )

4. If we click on the task bar function "Window",  a drop-down window opens. If we  then click on

 the item " 2 P05sa_Graphic.xgu - Waypoints", the following is displayed.


 Since we have not (yet) entered any waypoint data this window does not display any waypoints!.

5. We now open a 3rd window using the File|Open ... function and select the P05S.gps file generated in items 2a. & 2b. above.


Note: The title block here, in part, reads  [P05sa.gps - Waypoints]

6. We then, using a copy/paste key sequence ( Ctrl+C and then Ctrl+V ), copy all the waypoints in the [P05S.gps - Waypoints]  window, shown to the left, into the [P05sa_Graphic.xgu - Waypoints] window which above was originally blank as shown above!


Note: The title block here in parts reads   [P05sa_Graphic.xgu - Waypoints]


CONCLUSION: We have now effectively placed all the waypoints associated with file P05S.cvs into the GPSu+FNS Utility Map P05sa_Graphic.xgu_Graphic - map. This can be seen by

 comparing the left & right side images below:


Map P05sa_Graphic.xgu with no additional waypoints Map P05sa_Graphic.xgu with the added waypoints ( Shown with yellow text  )




Generating Maps

 (This function is outside the confines of our Tri-County 5.09/F software - preliminary instructions - may need editing!)

We recommend use of a program such as SnagIt 10, an excellent program available from www.techsmith.com for appr. $50.00, to make copies of any screen shots you wish to save. If saved as PNG files, they may be viewed in Windows Photo Viewer or, if you have it installed, Adobe Photoshop etc. This discussion assumes you are using SnagIt and have saved images shown in windows 1 & 2 below.

NOTE: Those using a  Windows 7 or Windows Vista platform can use  a built-in program "Snipping Tool". To access it go to the "Search programs & files" window.  Enter "Snip" and a program file named "Snipping Tool" will appear. Simply pin it to your Taskbar or Start Menu for easy access.

1st, you must follow a specific program installation procedure to assure proper action. If you have already installed the Tri-County Tracking Utility ( 5.09/F ), uninstall it. Also, if you have installed the freeware version of GPS Utility from gpsu.co.uk ( current version 5.09 ),  un-install it.

 A one-time execution of the following two steps ( in sequence! ) is required to assure proper operation of the system with both 5.09/F & 5.09 ( freeware ) installed.

  1. Perform a normal 5.09/F installation and take the following actions immediately after the installation is completed:

    • Register the software using Options|General

    • Execute a File|Homefile-open: ( your homefile name ). This action establishes the correct folder allocations dependant on your systems' hardware!

    • Close 5.09/F.

  2. Install the freeware edition by downloading it from www.gpsu.co.uk . You will now have two program icons; GPSu+FNS 5.09/F_* & GPS Utility on your desktop.

    • Do not run the freeware program yet!. Instead, open the freeware version program folder  "C:\Program Files\GPS Utility".

    • Delete file "grids.txt" ( this action removes the Worldgrid data - No fear,  there is still a copy named "Worldgrids.txt" in this directory if the need arises to re-install it ).

    • Copy usagrids.txt to grids.txt.  ( These are the grids used in 5.09/F ).

    • Now, run the freeware version & execute an "Options|Map Settings". Select whether you want to use three or four point calibration. Four point is more accurate but we used three point in the following example.


Once you have opened the map in the Tri-County program, zoom in to the area you wish to save. Place at least three waypoints on the zoomed image, arranging them in a spread out arrangement (triangle for three waypoints) or rectangle near the corners for four waypoints. Using SnagIt, save the zoomed image ( Window 1 ) & the waypoint data ( Window 2 ) to the Thumb Drive R/W partition or to another directory of your choosing.

At your leisure, you may now use this saved data to generate a calibrated map.

Example of having one map open = 2 Windows: ( printed to separate files using SnagIt 10 )

 ( Window 1 )

 Three Wrecks_Map.fns

Note the “ “ marks on the wrecks. They are the GPS coordinates shown as waypoints in window 2. ( below ). Also note we have added the names in yellow highlighted text for greater visibility.

( Window 2  )

Three Wrecks_WP.fns


Now, using the freeware edition, let's generate a map using this data.

  1. Open freeware version.

  2. Execute a File|New which will open a window titled "Untitled.txt - Waypoints"

  3.  Execute a View|Map which will open another window showing no map but having a "map" icon as the 6th item on the top task bar.

  4. Click on this icon and another drop-down window will, in not so many words, request that you open the map that you want to calibrate.

  5. Navigate (find) the map saved on the Thumb Drive. In our example, the one saved as "Three Wrecks_Map.fns".

  6. Click on it. (Note: you may have to change the field "Files of type:" from the default "BMP" to "All".

  7. The map will open and a drop-down box will advise that the map is not calibrated. It advises to enter calibration points which in this example will be the waypoints saved on the Thumb Drive as "Three Wrecks_WP.fns"

  8. Click on the inverted, red "T" on the task bar to select "Add/Drag waypoint".

  9. Successively position the cursor over each of the inverted "T" marks on the map. Click and enter required information in the "Data Dialogue" drop-down box.

    • Enter the coordinate data previously saved  in "Three Wrecks_WP.fns" .

    • The "ID" field must contain an identifier up to 6 characters long. We used SeaEmp, NOULA and CARIB to identify the coordinates of these three wrecks.

    • Select "?Help" & enter the search term "calibrate" if you have a problem.

  10. Upon completion of proper data entry, a drop-down window should advise that you have successfully calibrated the map.

  11. Save the map calibration as (in this example) Three Wrecks.txt. Use of the ".txt" is important since the 5.09/F version of the software won't recognize other extensions if you attempt to load this file within that program.



Copying Maps

You may NOT copy or paste any information. The program is delivered on a proprietary TSFD Thumb Drive and the GPSu+FNS application must be run using the files located on this TSFD drive; it therefore must remain mounted in a USB slot.  This feature protects the author from unauthorized, illegal distribution.



Maneuvering Around a Chart: ( GPS Tracking Utility )

  1. The charts open in a magnification window which allows one to see the entire map including a map identifier such as "Broward County Map B01" etc.

  2. The controls located in the upper right hand corner of the display allow you to perform all maneuvering functions.

  3. The red arrows allow you to pan in the East direction ( Up-Arrow ) plus seven other major compass direction progressing clockwise from SE through NE. ( remember, East is UP! )

  4.  The + and – Magnifying glass symbols allows you to blow-up or reduce in size the image being displayed.  The window to their right shows the current magnification level and the unchecked box to the left of the word “Magnifier”, if checked, allows you to magnify any area of the chart as though you were using a magnifying glass.



Want to mark a site ?

Highlight the inverted “ “ at the upper left corner of the display. Position the cursor over a feature you wish to record and click. This action will open a data dialogue window allowing you to enter & store a new waypoint in the waypoint window.



Where are you?

At the top center of the monitor display is a window containing GPS coordinates. Move your cursor around the display and watch these coordinates change.



Initial Program Settings

Before you use the GPS Tracking Utility in earnest you may wish to review some of the initial default settings.  They have been configured to give, what we feel, are the optimum settings for usage with Florida Near Shore charts..


Opening the proprietary Florida Near Shore charts with the “.fns” extension requires program version 5.09F or higher. These charts are encrypted and located in the \_Maps_County Name\ directory of the Thumb Drive.


- loadable grids

1. Florida E ( ft ) = Florida State Plane East NAD27

2. UTM-Z17( NAD27 ft ) = NAD27

3. USA( W96 ) Albers = NAD27 061

4. Florida E ( M ) = NAD83 066

5. Military Grid

- Maximize Map windows on creation ( all except Edit window checked )

- Use magnetic variation = - 5 degrees for Florida in 2006


Options Map Settings

- Waypoint = ID only

- Route = Leg & Route name

- Track = Trk Time, Dist., Speed

- Realtime = Crosshair


Options Map Appearance

- In the Include box:

Check Waypoints & text

Set Tics = & Time = 1 minute

Check Grid

- In the Colors box:

Waypnts = Red

Routes = Green

Tracks = Yellow

Cur. Posn. = White

Grid = Gray

Crosshair = Red


       - In General Appearance:

 Default Symbol = “+”

 Symbol Size = 5

 Line Thickness = 2

Check  thicken highlighted

- Map Font = MS Sans Serif; Bold; 8; Yellow

- Alt. Font = Ariel; Regular; 12, Black

- Bitmap Draw Mode = Color on Color



- Interface mode = NMEA

- Com Port settings per your GPS Specifications


Options|Data Set

- Time Zone

Check Localtime

 -4:00 = EDST

 -5:00 = EST

In addition, you may wish to set the Coordinate Format and select your favorite datums by going to File|New and then without a file loaded, go to the View menu.

 Other preferences can be found in Options|Field Properties and in Options|Map Settings, but you should not need to vary these defaults except in special circumstances.

The initial default settings are:

- Datum - WGS84

- Time Zone - 0

- Comm. Port - COM1

- Degree Symbol - ASCII character 176

- Printer Font - Courier (best to use single spaced fonts)

- Symbol Set - SymSet1 - ( for GPS12,48 etc. ) ( SymSet2 for GPSu+FNS )

See the Help information for other possible settings:

1.      In particular you should set the Communication Port ( in GPS|Setup ) and Time Zone ( in Options|Data Set ) to suit your particular situation. The time zone setting for EDST is -4 and for Australia is +10.

2.      You may wish to use the '^' for the degree symbol as this is easier to type on most keyboards and it is more visually distinct from the “°” ( seconds ) symbol ( Character Map Alt+0186 ).

3.      You may also like to set the Printer Font to another font ( for example, 'Courier New' ). It is best to use a monospaced font.

If you cannot resolve the problem, then please see the Service and Support page.



Initial Map View Size

In this latest edition (GPSu 5.09F), we decided to reduced the default map size from 100% to a value of 18% - 25%. Now, when opening a map view, one can see the entire map instead of just a centrally located, oversized view.



Known Errors

There are no known errors at this time.  The currently installed program is Tri-County "Near-Shore" & GPS Tracking Utility Version 5.09F_*( estimated release Date 03/01/2011 ).  The Windows Control Panel uninstall program is labeled "GPSU+FNS Version 5.09F_*

There is one known condition. If one sizes his monitor text display to a size greater than 100% ( see Control Panel > Display ), some text box information will not be completely displayed!



GPS Connectivity

NMEA data can be transmitted from an information source such as a GPS Receiver to a computer via a serial or USB connection and visa versa provided precautions are taken to assure data interference is avoided. Such interference comes from engine noise, ground loops & grounding potential issues. These conditions are difficult to diagnose and the best way to eliminate ( or greatly reduce) their effects is to insert an opto-isolation buffer between them. This maintains proper NMEA 0183 signal levels on both devices and protects them from possible damage.

This solution is inexpensive (under $150.00) when compared to possibly damaging your PC or GPS device without the buffer. We recommend the use of an Actisense USB to Serial Gateway model USG-1-B-422. The following diagram shows a typical interconnection. using a Garmin 400/500 series GPSmap unit connected to a laptop USB port. This device is available through NavStore (www.navstore.com) currently priced at $113.95. No external power is required as the device is powered by your USB port.

Another benefit of using this device is that it comes with easy to understand installation instructions and software on a CD which allows assignment of a virtual USB port thereby ending confusion in finding which USB port is configured to this device.



UAC Settings

Windows 7 & ( and, we believe most previous versions ) contain UAC (User Account Control ) settings options. To optimize running of our software we recommend the following settings (Windows 7 examples shown):

  1. Go to Control Panel & set the "view by" option ( in upper right corner of display ) to: "Large Icons" = ( Windows default is "Category" )
  2. Click on the "AutoPlay" icon.
  3.  There are two options in this group which affect how your desktop responds to the insertion of the Thumb Drive:
    • Make certain the Check Box ahead of the wording "Use AutoPlay for all media and devices" option is checked = Windows Default
    • The individual "Software and games" option is best set to "Install or run program from your media". This causes the TSFD Launcher to display a flashing icon on the taskbar
  4. Use the " Save " button in the lower right corner of the display to save your new selections.


Sample of opening "AutoPlay" image on Desktop Sample of " TSFD Launcher" icon on Taskbar

Now when one inserts the TSFD into a USB slot, one will 1st see the "AutoPlay" message in the center of your desktop display where no action is required unless you elect to see what's on the Read/Write partition of our Thumb Drive (One may use this partition to save map data). That will be followed by a flashing "TSFD Launcher" Icon on your Taskbar ( usually located at the bottom of your display ). You should click on this icon which will open a "User Account Control" window which, in turn,  asks the question "Do you want to allow the following program to make changes to this computer? ". The obvious answer is "Yes" which starts the program loading operation.

  • Note: If you have the UAC turned off on your PC, the UAC prompt will not occur. Instead, the program will automatically load. WE DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS ACTION SINCE YOUR PC MAY BE ADVERSELY AFFECTED BY ALLOWING POTENTIALLY HARMFUL PROGRAMS TO MAKE CHANGES TO YOUR COMPUTER! (We do not include our program in this category!)



Problem Finding Maps

One of the most misunderstood concepts in the use of this software is that all of the maps are permanently stored in one of three folders (directories) on the Thumb Drive. This means:

  1. The Thumb Drive must be installed in a USB slot
  2. One cannot use the desktop "GPSu+FNS Ver. 5.09F_(x) to start the program. It is ONLY there to show that the program installation process has been completed. Starting with version GPSu+FNS_(*)F, this shortcut will not activate the program but, instead, just display a PDF document explaining what happens.! To prevent the current version from being used to start the GPSu+FNS program one should delete this icon by right clicking on it and executing the "Delete" option. This action will not affect program operation.

Correcting this problem on versions GPSu+FNS_(*)E and earlier:

Unplug the Thumb Drive & use your computer "Control Panel" to delete GPSu+FNS Ver. 5.09_(x)E program.

  • On a Windows 7 or Vista PC this sequence is: Control Panel > Programs and Features > highlight "GPSu+FNS Ver. 5.09_(x)E" and click on the "Uninstall" option at top of page.
  • On a Windows XP PC the sequence is: Control Panel > Add or Remove Programs > highlight "GPSu+FNS Ver. 5.09_(x)E" and click "Remove" in the highlighted box. Wait until action is completed and this program no longer shows on list of programs.

Insert the Thumb Drive and at the "Tri_County "Near-Shore" & GPS Tracking Utility Main Menu" click on the "Re-install Programs" button (last one on the right). This action will display the "Installation Repair Instructions" page.

Click on button 3. to reinstall GPSu+FNS 5.09F-*.  Be patient while installer executes "Setup - GPSu+FNS". Answer all prompts.

IMPORTANT: After the program has been re-installed close the software, remove the Thumb Drive and then restart the program by inserting the Thumb Drive.

Verification that problem has been corrected

Click on Button 5. and go to the "Tri-County "Near-Shore" & GPS Tracking Utility" Main Menu. Select your "Homefile" County and click on button 3. run the GPSu+FNS Tracking Utility.

You will need to enter your Name & Registration number once again since it was deleted in the uninstall process.

Click on "File" and the drop-down box should now show the Homefile as being what you requested during the ordering process.

  Example "Homefile - Open: J:\_Maps_Palm Beach\P01a_Graphic.xgu

Click on Folders.... and a files location window should open where the "Description" box should have "Maps (Default)" already highlighted. The "Specify Folder Location" box should read "The USB drive letter where your Thumb Drive is located" followed by "\" and then the folder where your County maps are located.

Example: J:\_Maps_Palm Beach

Close the "File Locations" box.

Click on "Open..." and a box will open where the "Address Box" should point to your Thumb Drive and the Map Folder

Example where the Thumb Drive USB slot is drive letter "J" and the GPSu+FNS program is "_1E" signifying a Homefile of Jupiter Inlet

  > Computer > CD Drive (J:) Tri-County GPSu+FNS_1E > _Maps_Palm Beach

While this box is open it might be a god time to reduce the number of map names by changing the "All files (*.*)" in the lower right corner of this display to "Encoded GPSu files (xgu)". Use the drop-down dagger on the right side to open this box and then select the 3rd item in the list.

Note: You must then enter an *.xgu map pointer to complete this configuration change.



View/Print Charts Creates Error - when attempting to print a Chart

This error occurs when a software program other than Adobe Reader is the default "PDF" reader on your system.

  1. Our default PDF Reader is Adobe Reader 8.1.2 and it is specifically designed to allow printing of our proprietary Charts!
  2. Our Charts are only printable when one has their Thumb Drive mounted in their PC and printing is initiated from our software!
  3. Other versions of Adobe Reader have not been tested and may or may not function with our software. That is why we include the option of installing this version upon initial installation of our software. Please use it!
  4. It is possible that one may have Adobe Acrobat  ( a completely different software package ) installed on one's PC in addition to Adobe Reader 8.1.2.  In this case make certain that Adobe Acrobat is not designated the "default" PDF  reader.