Technology
GPS receiver for …taking it apart…

103120703 46473F4882
Remember that $35 GPS we posted about? Some Makers out there started to get theirs and are taking them apart – and MAKE reader “TheBigGroundhog” got it working…Flickr set of photos – Link.

Getting it to work:
From the MAKE comments – Maker TheBigGroundhog writes —

Just got mine working today, and I was a little worried about it since there were pretty much no manuals. Here’s what you need to do to get it working under Windows XP:

1. Install the program from the CD (this installs the drivers). This must be done before you plug in the GPS.

2. Plug in the GPS into the USB port and let Windows find the device.

3. Go to your Device Manager and look under your “Ports (COM & LPT)” section to find out what COM port the GPS got installed under (mine was COM6). It should show up as a Prolific USB-to-Serial Comm Port. You can change the port and other settings under this driver.

4. Test to make sure you are getting data from the unit. Start HyperTerminal (or your terminal program of choice), set the settings to 4800 baud, N, 8, 1 and you should start seeing data come out from the unit. If you did it correctly, data should look something like this and keep scrolling up the screen:

$GPGSV,3,1,11,10,77,253,,07,69,212,,02,58,071,,06,29,310,*71
$GPGSV,3,2,11,04,27,089,,30,22,261,,29,21,172,,05,15,234,*76
$GPGSV,3,3,11,13,13,036,,26,10,180,,27,00,079,*4B

5. Close Hyperterminal and setup your program of choice, or you can try the GPS Diag program to see what’s going on with the GPS (which satellites it is talking to, what the signal strength is, what the latitude and longitude is, etc.).

6 thoughts on “GPS receiver for $35…taking it apart…

  1. hah, i did a double take when i saw my own photos on make , i posted them so recently too! My buddy and I have made some progress in tracking down a raw serial signal (bypassing the usb->serial chip)

    The usb chip is the one on the left of the screen here: http://static.flickr.com/27/103120723_1b184ea44d.jpg?v=0

    info from the datasheet points to where the raw gps signal is availble, i’m going to be trying to track it down fully later on. Datasheet (relevant pinout on page 8):
    http://www.stillnewt.org/library/_Software/_GPS%20Software/AQ%20max%20AQ-300%20Manual%20(GPS%20Mouse)/PL-2303%20USB%20to%20Serial%20Bridge%20Controller/ds_pl2303_v16.pdf

  2. Oh yeah, its a cinch to get working in linux to! Can’t recommend this thing enough, really. Sat aquisition could be a _bit_ quicker but well worth the $$$

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