Adding GPS to a Viewsonic G-Tablet

gtablet_gps

The hackers over at the xda-developers forum always seem to have something awesome brewing, and [fosser2] is no exception. He bought himself a Viewsonic G-tablet, but was a bit disappointed in its lack of a GPS module. He pried the tablet open in hopes of finding a spot where he might be able to cram one in, and was happily surprised at what he found.

It turns out that either Viewsonic had plans to include a GPS module and scrapped them, or they are planning on adding GPS to a future SKU. The tablet’s mainboard already had a spot laid out for the module, as well as the GPS antenna. He carefully soldered in a compatible module from Digikey, and then got to work adding the various other components required to get it working properly.

While the hack doesn’t require that you add a ridiculous amount of parts to the board, you had better make sure your soldering skills are up to snuff before giving it a shot. Those who can’t reliably solder SMD components should probably stay away from this one.

[via Engadget]

Comments

  1. Koplimi says:

    There are a lot of soldiers mentioned in the tutorial.

  2. fartface says:

    ?Nice to see a real hack… adding a feature the evil company decided to keep from us…

    Ha in your face viewsonic!

  3. techuelx says:

    wow. gps. thanks for this hack trick

  4. Tony says:

    Not evil, it’s usually just cost-cutting.

    As the write-up says, there is probably supposed to be another model (+$).

    It’s very common, actually, especially with memory sizes. The cheaper item usually has an empty spot where a memory chip should be.

    Another good trick is firmware differences, cheaper models have different firmware to disable features, even though the hardware is exactly the same as the expensive ones.

    Often found with whitegoods like washing machines, you don’t need extra hardware to get all of those different wash cycles. Now that’s a bit evil…

  5. nwndarkness says:

    Gah it is so hard to not be distracted by “solder” being replaced with “soldier”

  6. strider_mt2k says:

    Android tablets are wonderful to tinker with.

    Soldier on.

    Soldier on.

    (flux off)

  7. GameboyRMH says:

    You can run MeeGo on these tablets too:

    http://wiki.meego.com/ARM/TEGRA2#Viewsonic_G_Tablet

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