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Embed an OEM GPS Into Anything


I created this tutorial specifically for the 2008 Instructables and RoboGames Robot Contest. I also wanted to do a tutorial on a bare-bones GPS unit because they are very flexible compared to many of the commercial units available. Some people have really taken a big chunk of time and made some really nice tutorials over at Instructables. I'll admit that some of this video may be boring, but I wanted to provide exhaustive detail as to how easy it is to hook up an OEM GPS unit. I know that I would have appreciated this kind of detail when I was first starting out. I'm not going to post the instructions here as I have for some of the other tutorials. Instead I'll send you over to Instructables to check out the tutorial there.



Comments

Charles
Charles
June 21, 2011 09:06 am

Hi again George. I'm using the GPS15L. It's an older model too. I think I got it in 2007 or 2008. The main thing you're looking for if you want to hook it directly to your computer in the way I describe here, is for RS232 serial output.

You can always find the output normally in the data-sheet pdf associated with the product.

Good luck!

George
George
June 20, 2011 10:34 pm

Thanks for the quick response. Are you using 15L or 15x L?

Charles
Charles
June 20, 2011 8:49 pm

I did some looking around, I found this:
http://www.gpscentral.ca/products/garmin/15.htm

"intended for direct connection to a UART or processor serial port "

So this means unlike the 15L I show, the 15-F unit is meant for electrical engineers looking to integrate the GPS into a bigger circuit. You'll need a chip like the Max 232 to convert the super small voltage levels into levels your computer can read.

If what I have mentioned doesn't make any sense, you may want to consider a different GPS unit.

Charles
Charles
June 20, 2011 8:38 pm

On Garmin's product page (https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?cID=157) I don't even see the 15F listed to try and get its datasheet. Is it a really new or old model?

I guess I'd check your voltage, and if the unit is properly grounded. Not sure what your model's default baud rate is unless I have the datasheet for it.

Are you sure your model is outputting RS232 levels and not TTL levels? If they are TTL, you need a logic level converter in order to read them directly from a computers serial port.

George
George
June 20, 2011 6:54 pm

Instead of the 15L, I am using the 15F. When I try reading the data from hyperterminal, I only get gibberish. Any ideas? I've already set it for the correct baud rate (4800). Thanks!

Charles
Charles
January 2, 2010 00:45 am

It really depends on what kind of GPS "system" you are looking for SANU. Can you elaborate a little on what you are looking to do with your system? I'll be happy to help once I know what your working with.

SANU
SANU
January 1, 2010 11:17 pm

Could u tell me where could i find a GPS system.

Chetan
Chetan
August 19, 2009 07:30 am

Thanks a lot....

joe
joe
January 4, 2009 3:53 pm

Hey thanks for your help

Charles
Charles
December 20, 2008 08:15 am

Joe, The most detailed resource I have found about making a GLONASS or GPS reciever is here: http://lea.hamradio.si/~s53mv/navsats/theory.html Good luck

Charles
Charles
December 20, 2008 08:04 am

The good news Joe is that if this is an airplane and doesnt have ground cover, then you shouldnt have much trouble recieving coordinates. The antenna I use was only $25 and works ok if your in an open area. How about some of the GPS units from Sparkfun: http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=575 The units that have a big plastic square on top of them normally mean that its an embedded antenna but I would check the specifications to be certain. I have only ever used the GPS15L, but as long as you get something that will output NMEA 0183 format, and fits your voltage, size, and weight requirements you should be fine. This is one of the original resources that I used that may be close to what you are looking at doing: http://www.pages.drexel.edu/~weg22/gpsMagpie/gpsFixedWing.html

Joe
Joe
December 19, 2008 11:10 pm

I would like to embed gps in to a robotics project i am working on. I have been having trouble finding an antenna that is small and doesn't have 6 feet of cord on it. The project is an autonomous small scale airplane. I figured i would just make one but having trouble getting info on that as well. Any advice?

Charles
Charles
December 18, 2008 7:40 pm

Great question Joe. The GPS15L will output the last recognized coordinates until it gets new ones. In the $GPRMC sentence there is a character that will tell you if it is a valid reading.

Joe
Joe
December 18, 2008 5:49 pm

do you have an Antenna on that thing when your getting all the output

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