$20 GPS/GLONASS/Beidou Receiver

navspark

Sticking a GPS module in a project has been a common occurrence for a while now, whether it be for a reverse geocache or for a drone telemetry system. These GPS modules are expensive, though, and they only listen in on GPS satellites – not the Russian GLONASS satellites or the Chinese Beidou satellites. NavSpark has the capability to listen to all these positioning systems, all while being an Arduino-compatible board that costs about $20.

Inside the NavSpark is a 32-bit microcontroller core (no, not ARM. LEON) with 1 MB of Flash 212kB of RAM, and a whole lot of horsepower. Tacked onto this core is a GPS unit that’s capable of listening in on GPS, GPS and GLONASS, or GPS and Beidou signals.

On paper, it’s an extremely impressive board for any application that needs any sort of global positioning and a powerful microcontroller. There’s also the option of using two of these boards and active antennas to capture carrier phase information, bringing the accuracy of this setup down to a few centimeters. Very cool, indeed.

Thanks [Steve] for sending this in.

Build your own GPS and GLONASS Receiver

[superlopez] sent in this detailed article (mirrored here and here) which describes how to build a GPS and GLONASS (the Russian version of GPS) receiver. The resulting device is gigantic compared to one of those tiny bluetooth USB GPS units, but the ability to build one’s own receiver is one of those post-apocalyptic skills I sure would like to have. The creator of the article [Matjaz Vidmar] aka [S53MV] also has pages on Packet-Radio (PKT) transceiver improvements (PKT gets my vote for the best post-apocalyptic technology, and the only believable technology featured in the Transformers movie), and a more sophisticated homemade frequency counter than the one featured earlier this summer.

In 2005 we featured a from-scratch GPS receiver as well, thought the project site seems to be down. If your GPS unit just needs a better antenna, check out [Will]‘s how-to from last year.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 94,593 other followers