Mac HP GPS Control
for the HP Z3801A, Z3805A or Z3816A or 58503A

by David Anderson GM4JJJ

Mac HP GPS Control software allows owners of the Hewlett Packard HP Z3801A or Z3816A or 58503A HP or Symmetricom Z3805A GPS Receiver to setup, control and monitor their receiver by means of a serial connection from an Apple Macintosh computer.
The HP Z3801A GPS Receiver provides highly accurate time and frequency outputs, originally designed for use in the CDMA Cellular Land Network, these units are now available on the surplus market and are being used by Standards Labs, Radio Amateurs, Hobbyists and Experimenters.
Especially useful to weak signal radio enthusiasts who require the highest frequency accuracy.
The 10MHz output can be used as a timebase for a frequency counter or the reference for a Microwave PLL or Transceiver with External Reference input (e.g. Elecraft K3)
The 1PPS pulse output gives extremely accurate time markers.

Features of the software
  • Detailed Status Display with LEDs
  • Charts of Time and Frequency Control Trends with statistics
  • Terminal with easy popdown menu control of all receiver commands and queries.
  • Receiver Log Viewer with human readable dates and times
  • Getting Started Pane - No arcane commands to type.
  • Satellite Plot shows the GPS signal strengths at different az/el.
  • LCD Style Clock with choice of coloured backlight
  • Local time or UTC in 12 or 24 hour format.
  • Data Logging for further analysis.
  • Picture export for Website display

  • Requirements
  • HP Z3801A or Z3816A or 58503A or HP/Symmetricom Z3805A GPS receiver with Antenna.
  • Macintosh computer with a serial port or a USB to Serial Adaptor.
  • Macintosh Serial Cable wired for RS-422 to suit the Z3801A (RS-232 for Z3816A or 58503A or Z3805A).
  • Mac OS 8/9 or OS X 10.3 or later (including Lion 10.7) Universal Application both Intel and Power PC.

Screen Shots - Click to see larger versions

Cool Displays

Your choice of LCD clock display - amber,green,blue or unlit.

Our HP Z3801A Receiver on line see the Web Plots

Cable Details
The HP Z3801A uses RS-422 which is the standard used by Macintosh serial ports. No internal modification to the Z3801A is required to use it with a Macintosh. If you have already modified the Z3801A for RS-232, no problem, just a different cable specifically for RS-232 is required.
RS-422 cable for standard HP Z3801A


RS-232 cable for modified HP Z3801A

RS-232 cable for standard HP Z3816A or 58503A

Cables can be made to order - contact GM4JJJ for details.

Download Mac HP GPS Control
Mac HP GPS Control X for Mac OS X (Universal Application for Intel and PPC) [Version 1.0.2 Build 7 September 2011]
FOR Z3801A/Z3816A/58503A/Z3805A

OS X 10.7 Lion compatible
Now supports more receivers HP Z3805A SYMMETRICOM Z3805A and 58503A models
LCD Clock now resizeable


Mac HP GPS Control for Mac Classic - ONLY for Z3801A/Z3816A

Mac GPS Control is Shareware. This allows you to try before you buy. You can download the software and try it for free, however you must purchase a registration license if you wish to continue to use the software. All features work in the demo version, the only limitation being that the software quits after a period in each session.

Purchase a Registration license
Go to the Mac HP GPS Control Purchase page

Further information
K8CU Real Ham Radio Z3801A and Z3816A - a wealth of information.
HP Z3801A Manual - in Acrobat format (1MB).
Modifying the Adret 5104 Synthesiser for 10MHz external reference input (PDF document by GM4JJJ)

This Web Page is Copyright © David Anderson GM4JJJ 2004-11. All rights reserved. Apple, Mac OS and Macintosh are registered trademarks of Apple Computer, Inc.