New board to allow use of 5Hz GPS modules with ArduPilot

(Shown at left above, with a Locosys LS20033 GPS module for size comparison)

ArduPilot is designed to use the solid and reliable EM406 GPS module, which is a 5v, 1Hz device that works well under most conditions. But if you want more precise navigation, you may want to upgrade to the 5Hz Locosys module that Dean Goedde is using with AttoPilot. That's a 3.3v module, so you can't just plug it into the ArduPilot board. Instead, Jordi has designed a special daughterboard that does the following:

--Converts ArduPilot's 5v power to 3.3v power
--Provides a EM406 connector, so it's a direct plug-in replacement for the EM406
--Provides a break-out connector so you can add a wireless modem, such as a Zigbee.
--Power LED


We may release this as a pre-made product, but in the meantime you can make your own.
Buy the board from BatchPCB here.

Components:

Eagle files (schematic and PCB) are here.

Views: 4301

Comment by bGatti on January 10, 2009 at 12:16pm
Presuming of course that ArduPilot is 5v merely because servos expect ~5v; I would recommend an alternative approach, Use a pull-up resistor to 5v, and switch the pins between LOW and HIZ. This will allow a 3.3 cpu board to output at 5v and use 3.3 devices directly.

It is in short much easier to solve the problem at the servo level, than at the comm level.

And it seems that all new and less expensive sensors are being released in the 3.3 volt range.

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on January 10, 2009 at 1:09pm
No, ArduPilot is also at 5v because that's what the Atmega168 and Attiny want (or close to it).

But to your larger point, as long as the RC world works at 5v it's probably going to be a good idea for us to use 5v boards, not just for servos but any other RC accessories.
Comment by tychoc on January 13, 2009 at 7:15pm
Just to be clear. Is this D2 on the daughterboard or on the Ardupilot? Also, no to mess this up can you post a picture where you circle the part in question?

Thanks,
-tychoc
Comment by tychoc on January 13, 2009 at 7:40pm
Just to be clear. Is this D2 on the daughterboard or on the Ardupilot? Also, no to mess this up can you post a picture where you circle the part in question?

Thanks,
-tychoc
Comment by Nick Sargeant on January 13, 2009 at 11:16pm
tychoc,
Did you end up ordering a pcb from BatchPCB?

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on January 13, 2009 at 11:41pm
@tychoc: On the Ardupilot board. Diode circled below:

Comment by tychoc on January 14, 2009 at 7:16am
Nick, Yes I ordered 3 of them. I figured one to mess up..., the second one to get it right and one that I could send to you.

-tychoc
Comment by Marty on January 14, 2009 at 7:29am
I'm interested in getting one of these boards so If anyone else is putting in an order and doesn't mind adding on another one let me know.
Comment by Nick Sargeant on January 16, 2009 at 11:08pm
Tychoc, that would be fantastic. I will of course pay for it plus postage.
Also, If you haven't already ordered the components form digikey, could you please double and send me them too?
Again, thanks very much for this.
Nick
Comment by Reto on January 17, 2009 at 6:38am
Sorry if my question sounds like a newbie's, but is there any alternative way to connect a LS20031 GPS with ArduPilot, let's say for example by powering the GPS at 3.3V from another power source?

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