Although you can buy the uBlox modules pre-programmed from the DIY Drones store, you may want to do it yourself, either because you want to update the firmware or change some settings, or because you've bought the module from Sparkfun because we were out of stock and you need to set it up to use with ArduPilot.

Here's a simple tutorial on how to program your module (it replaces this older tutorial):

First, you'll need the DIY Drones adapter if you don't already have it.

You can use our GPS-to-FTDI cable to connect this directly to your PC, or make your own.

If you're going make your own, solder a four pin header on the pins below the GPS connector on the adapter, as shown above. Now connect it to your FTDI cable, with the pin mappings shown above. I use jumper cables and a six-pin breakaway header for this, as shown below, but you can use any method you want, including making a custom cable, which is the neatest method if you plan to do this more than once:

Jumper wires connected to six-pin header:


Header plugged into FTDI cable:


Once you've made the physical connections, download and install the U-center software from uBlox. (It doesn't work on Windows 7, so if that's what you're using, open a virtual Windows XP mode window to run the software in. You'll also need to "attach" the FTDI USB serial ports, which you should be pretty familiar with if you use virtual XP mode).

Now run the U-center software, selecting the Com port that your FTDI cable is attached to. You also need to tell it what baud rate the GPS module is running at. If you got it from the DIY Drones store, it's 38,400. If you got it from Sparkfun, it's probably 9,600:


You can tell if it's working by going to View/Binary Console. You should see the data flowing through. Also, the icons circled below should be green or flashing green (it's not showing a sat lock because I'm indoors):


If it's not working, check these things:

1) Did you wire it up right?
2) Did you select the right Com port?
3) Did you select the right baud speed?

If you want to update the firmware, you can get the latest uBlox firmware here. Use the one for the "LEA-5H" modules.

To flash the new firmware go to Tools/Firmware update. Make sure the firmware image points to the file you downloaded and unzipped.


To configure a module to use with ArduPilot, download this file.

Go to Tools/GPS configuration, and select the file you just downloaded. Check the "Store configuration..." box and click on "File >>> GPS".



If you were communicating with the module at any speed other than 38,400, you'll find that the configuration process will fail midway through. That's because it's just gotten to the bit that changes the communications speed to 38,400. Set your u-center com speed to 38,400 and run it again. It should work this time.

When you're done, go to Receiver>> Action>> then click Save Config. Otherwise, every time you unplug your gps, it will revert back to the original configuration.

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Comment by Taylor Cox on May 18, 2010 at 5:30pm
We talked about this a while back. They sent it programmed for 9600 instead of 38400. I reconfigured it and had it working perfectly...but it went haywire all of a sudden. I have it back to firmware 5.0 and I have it configured for 38400 baud again....I am trying to get a lock again now.

Developer
Comment by Mark Colwell on May 18, 2010 at 5:50pm
Alex, when uCenter does this, just click on SVINFO and it will display Sats etc.

Moderator
Comment by Alex on May 20, 2010 at 1:29am
Thanks but I cant seem to find where the SVINFO thing is to click on?

Developer
Comment by Mark Colwell on May 20, 2010 at 6:05am
Alex, Click on "F9" or click on "View" menu and select "Messages", then double click on SVINFO, it will turn bold when active. All Sat's data will start to display.
Do NOT save configuration with SVINFO on or you will not get a lock!
Just disconnect uBlox when done viewing.
You can re-connect uBlox to verify only required messages are on, POSLLH, SOL, STATUS, and VELNED only.

Moderator
Comment by Alex on May 20, 2010 at 6:34am
Thanks for your help :)
Comment by Henry Fletcher on May 24, 2010 at 10:28am
Interestingly I actually managed to use straight Win 7 Home Premium 64 bit to update the GS407 so that the arduimu now gets a gps lock. The GPS module doesn't seem to be reporting satellites properly, but I thought that could be an issue with the config changes (as it was doing so fine before I made the config change).
Comment by Will Duckworth on June 14, 2010 at 1:08pm
Excellent tutorial - just the badger
u-center works with wine too - which is nice
Thanks
Comment by John on July 3, 2010 at 12:13pm
Chris,Although I bought from the DIYDrones store, I also noticed that the unit was in its default mode and it wasn't communicating with Ardupilot or ArduIMU. Is it possible it wasn't saved to EEPROM before it was disconnected? Its no big deal for me since I wanted to check out ublox software and I like to run through all of the steps anyway- I just wanted to give you guys some feedback. I ordered the unit back in March and Im sure I requested the unit be Ardupilot ready however it was on backorder, so maybe that spec fell through the cracks.
Comment by Neil Baker on July 20, 2010 at 2:58am
Thanks for the great tutorial. GPS was not communicating with ArduMega. My ublox was in default mode also.(ordered the ArduPilot ready version from DIY). No big deal. Ucenter worked with Win7 64bit w/ no problems. Took about 30min to get fix the first time but the hot start gets a fix in a couple seconds. So my question is: If I wanted to use this ublox with the rembizi OSD instead, what setings would I use to program this for NMEA?
Comment by marshall scholz on August 13, 2010 at 5:46pm
the ardupilot file needs to be updated to work with version 6.2 gps's

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