GPS Bricklet

Features

  • Receives movement-, position-, altitude and time data
  • Internal antenna, external antenna optional
  • 66 channels, 10Hz update rate
  • High sensitivity and accuracy, interference canceller

Description

The GPS Bricklet can be used to extend Bricks by the possibility to determine their position via GPS. Additionally it is possible to receive movement (direction and velocity), altitude (altitude and geodial separation), as well as high precise time and date information.

The used GPS module is optimized to get a fast fix, has a high input sensitivity (-165dBm) and a update rate of 10Hz suitable for drones or the like. Internal interference canceller rejects RF interference from other devices like Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.

Technical Specifications

Property Value
GPS Module Chipset MTK MT3339 (PA6H module)
Current Consumption 35mA (acquisition), 30mA (tracking)
   
Sensitivity -148dBm (acquisition), -165dBm (tracking)*
Position Accuracy 3.0m (50% CEP)*
Time to first Fix < 35s (without battery), < 1s (with battery)*
Update Rate 10Hz
   
Dimensions (W x D x H) 40 x 35 x 12mm (1.57 x 1.38 x 0.47")
Weight 12g (without battery)

* datasheet values

Resources

External Antenna

With an U.FL connector external antennas can be attached. This is makes sense if it should be mounted at another position than the Bricklet or if the reception should be improved. The module detects automatically an external antenna and switches over.

The connector is short-circuit protected and supplies the antenna with 3.3V/28mA. The external antenna should fulfill the following requirements:

Property Value
Polarization Right-hand circular polarized
Frequency Received 1.57542GHz ± 1.023MHz
Power Supply 3.0V to 3.6V with 4mA to 20mA
Gain > +15dBi
Impedance 50Ω
Noise Figure < 1.5dB

Test your GPS Bricklet

To test a GPS Bricklet you need to have Brick Daemon and Brick Viewer installed. Brick Daemon acts as a proxy between the USB interface of the Bricks and the API bindings. Brick Viewer connects to Brick Daemon. It helps to figure out basic information about the connected Bricks and Bricklets and allows to test them.

Connect the GPS Bricklet to a Brick with a Bricklet Cable.

If you connect the Brick to the PC over USB, you should see a new tab named "GPS Bricklet" in the Brick Viewer after a moment. Select this tab. If everything went as expected the Brick Viewer should look as depicted below.

GPS Bricklet in Brick Viewer

After this test you can go on with writing your own application. See the Programming Interface section for the API of the GPS Bricklet and examples in different programming languages.

Fix LED

The blue LED labeled "Fix" indicates that status of the position data. If there is no fix (position data is not valid) the LED is blinking with a 1 second pattern. Once a fix is achieved the blue LED is turned of and the position data is valid.

Case

A laser-cut case for the GPS Bricklet is available.

Case for GPS Bricklet

The assembly is easiest if you follow the following steps:

  • Screw spacers to the Bricklet,
  • screw bottom plate to bottom spacers,
  • build up side plates,
  • plug side plates into bottom plate and
  • screw top plate to top spacers.

Below you can see an exploded assembly drawing of the GPS Bricklet case:

Exploded assembly drawing for GPS Bricklet

Hint: There is a protective film on both sides of the plates, you have to remove it before assembly.

Programming Interface

See Programming Interface for a detailed description.

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