New GPS module--Tiny 10Hz Mediatek unit (just $38.95!)

Great news! Jordi has now released the awesome new (and tiny!) 10Hz Mediatek GPS module attached to an adapter that makes it 100% ArduPilot (and ArduIMU and ArduPilot Mega) compatible. All in one--no soldering required--and you won't believe how small it is! (And just $38.95!) It's preloaded with custom DIY Drones firmware so it outputs an efficient binary protocol optimized for UAV use. Sample code is provide here and will be added to ArduPilot, ArduIMU and ArduPilot Mega over the next month.

We like this one a lot. It's nearly as good as the uBlox module, but cheaper and smaller. We'll be supporting it as a recommended GPS module going forward.

Here's the product description:

State-of-the-art 66 channels MediaTek MT3329 GPS Engine

High sensitivity: Up to -165dBm tracking, superior urban performance
USB/UART Interface
Build-in patch antenna for optimal sensitivity
DGPS(WAAS, EGNOS, MSAS) support (optional by firmware)
Maximum update rate : up to 10Hz (optional by firmware)
RoHS compliant

Note that the new MediaTek has custom and exclusive "DIYDrones" firmware that allows the unit to output an efficient and very compressed binary protocol. You can still change between NMEA and Binary protocol with standard MTK messages, and switch the refresh rate between 1hz to 10hz, or set any standard serial baud rate (by default is set to 38400 bps and custom binary protocol).

-Based on MediaTek Single Chip Architecture.
-Dimension:16mm x 16mm x 6mm
-L1 Frequency, C/A code, 66 channels
-High Sensitivity:Up to -165dBm tracking, superior urban performances
-Position Accuracy:< 3m CEP (50%) without SA (horizontal)
-Cold Start is under 35 seconds (Typical)
-Warm Start is under 34 seconds (Typical)
-Hot Start is under 1 second (Typical)
-Low Power Consumption:48mA @ acquisition, 37mA @ tracking
-Low shut-down current consumption:15uA, typical
-DGPS(WAAS, EGNOS, MSAS) support (optional by firmware)
-USB/UART Interface
-Support AGPS function ( Offline mode : EPO valid up to 14 days )

Views: 4437

Comment by Thomas J Coyle III on June 25, 2010 at 5:54am

Yes, you need the JST cable to connect the GPS to the connector on either the APM or the IMU Mega.

No, it does not solder on.

Comment by Tony H on June 25, 2010 at 6:31am
Thanks for verifying Thomas. I messaged Jordi about adding one to my order/canceling my current one
Comment by Chris Whiteford on June 25, 2010 at 6:46am
Ouch. I just ordered the adapter board and the GPS separately yesterday for more then the pair costs now. :-(

That sucks.

Comment by Torin Segstro on June 25, 2010 at 7:04am
Wow, I can't believe the amount of complaints on here. Jordi and Chris are bringing technology to us as fast as they can and all they get is grief. They haven't let us down yet, and if they tell me that they have a quality product, then I have no reason to doubt them based on their past releases.

I think everyone needs to remember that this is a fast paced hobby that changes DAILY. Thank you Jordi and Chris for staying on top of it and bringing us these fantastic breakthroughs in UAV fun - My order has been placed.
Comment by mook on June 25, 2010 at 9:39am
I am curious about the binary thing too , can you upgrade regular ones with your firmware?
Comment by Lew Payne on June 25, 2010 at 10:04am
Torin - As far as I can tell, the DIYdrones store is a business, not a "fast-paced hobby that changes daily." From what I've seen of the store and its products, its there to make a profit, not to satisfy the desires of the hobbyist community by selling items at-cost. The technology they "bring us" is mostly developed by others (including "free" software) and then integrated by them into hardware products at a profit. You seem to feel that their business, for some reason, should be devoid of criticism. Last I checked, any business (even a non-profit, which they are not) is subject to criticism. I'm particularly curious where the "exclusive to DIYDrones" firmware came from, since I believe the actual answer will surprise everyone.

To add to that, we have comments from Chris Anderson which berate one product and endorse another (which they happen to sell)... despite the fact that Sparkfun did objective testing and concluded otherwise. When asked about his methodology, he responds with sarcasm while admitting to being subjective rather than objective in his testing. That's the type of "technology" and "technological advice" you get, and yet you feel they should be immune from criticism (while running a for-profit business that uses bits and pieces of the free software others develop to power their own products, without so much as crediting those open software projects).

Comment by Jason Short on June 25, 2010 at 11:00am
I'll be updating 2.6 to integrate the MediaTek parser, which was written by Jordi and Jose, over the weekend. I had a look at the custom protocol, which will be documented in the parser. It's extremely concise and outputs only what we need for Ardupilot. This should make it very fast to parse.
Comment by Lew Payne on June 25, 2010 at 11:20am
Jason - Perhaps you can answer this. Do you know who developed the "exclusive to DIYDrones" firmware that the MT3329 GPS engine runs? In other words, not Ardu board firmware, or Ardu parsers... but the actual MT3329 "customized" engine firmware that is factory-programmed. Thanks.

Comment by Jason Short on June 25, 2010 at 11:32am
MediaTek did.
Comment by XV on June 25, 2010 at 11:34am
Lew- good point, I don't get why everyone defends any slight questioning as the diydrones store doing some sort of noble charity for hobbyists. The store did by their own admission $250,000 in revenue in their first year. I am not saying there is anything wrong with this but don't act like it's a burden on them.
This mix of open-source and profit as always comes with its friction points one being in order to protect profit they try to be secretive about some things.

If it helps
This GPS module is a globaltop FGPMMOPA6B
Price ~100units is about $10.


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