I have been looking around for some time for a good GPS solution that fit all of my needs, had great compatibility with other components (without a ton of work on my part) AND gave me the features / performance I have been looking for…guess what – I found very few, and when I found them they were usually out of stock! So, I decided to look into putting together my own. I have the board designed, parts sourced, and a design/ fab house on board to help me make it happen. I am waiting on a final BOM (Bill of Materials), Logic Test, and DFM review before I will know what the actual parts / production cost is – but it got me wondering, so…
I am looking for feedback – trying to determine whether or not anyone would want the following, and what you’d be willing to pay for it?
GPS Module Specs:
Ultra High Sensitivity
–148dBm (Cold Start Acquisition)
–165 dBm (Navigation)
Low power consumption: 75mW @ 3.3V
10Hz Fix Rate
NMEA protocol (default speed: 9600bps)
22 Tracking Channel – 66 Acquisition Channels (Best in Class)
Cold Start (out of the box): 34s typ.
Warm Start: 33s typ.
Hot Start: 1s typ.
Protocol: NMEA 0183, @ 9600 baud
Acqusition (cold):-148dBm - Re-Acquisition:-160dBm - Navigating/Tracking:-165dBm
Power Drain: (3.3V): Navigating: 1 fix/s: 75mW typ. - Backup state: 15uW typ.
Active Sarantel GeoHelix Quadrifilar antenna:
Right-hand circular polarized, 3.3 V, 50 Ohm, SMT mounted directly to the PCB board, +25 dBic Gain and operating temp between -40 and +85 degrees C, weighing 8.4 grams
Onboard Data Logger Specs:
The data logging component incorporates the LPC2148 ARM 7 Processor with USB, battery charging, and microSD support. This allows use of the OpenSource SparkFun LPC2148 USB bootloader for fast and easy modification of the datalogger firmware without using a programmer. The logger employs a USB mass storage stack to appear under any operating system as a flash drive. Logs are created in FAT16 format on the micro-SD media and can be downloaded quickly over a USB connection by dragging and dropping the text files from the device. The microSD card can also be removed and inserted into a card reader to download the logs. Board comes with a JST connector to be powered from a LiPo battery or other power sources. If you choose to use separate LiPo batteries for GPS functions, the unit has a built-in charger to charge batteries off USB. Additional pins available for logging of additional information (temp etc. with add-on boards and firmware modification,,it is OpenSource baby!)
Ships with 2GD microSD card and SD Card Adapter
Additional Board-Level Specs:
Board has outputs from both of the GPS antenna UARTs, and data can be found on TTL (Raw GPS data for telemetry, I2S, and a connector compatible with the output from the EM406a GPS (ArduPilot Compatible – no adapter board required) An additional output is provided for sending data to a compatible OSD system (RVOSD compatible – plug and play.) A small rechargeable battery keeps the GPS config and datum on board for quick fixes.
Please keep in mind, a comparable data logger is $60 dollars (although we could go cheaper if we dumped the microSD card slot and USB connectivity, but I love the elegance of this solution) and a comparable, but lower performing UBlox GPS unit is between $90 and $100 depending on where you buy it, if you can find it.
So now with all that said…what is it worth?