MP3 Player And Handheld GPS Is An Odd Combo Work Of Art

We think [Brek Martin] set out to build a handheld GPS and ended up adding an mp3 Player to it. Regardless, it’s beautifully constructed. Hand built circuit boards and even a custom antenna adorn this impressive build.

The core of the build is a 16 bit microcontroller a dsPIC33FJ128GP802 from Microchip. It’s a humble chip to be doing so much. It uses a UBlox NEO-6M positioning module for the location and a custom built QFH antenna built after calculations done with an online calculator for the GPS half. The audio half is based around a VLSI VS1003b decoder chip.

The whole build is done with protoboard. Where the built in traces didn’t suffice enamel and wire wrap wire were carefully routed and soldered in place. There’s a 48pin LQFP package chip soldered dead bug style that’s impressive to behold.  You can see some good pictures in this small gallery below.

The interface is a standard gLCD and an analog joystick with a click. The mp3’s and map data can be loaded with an SD card. There’s still a bit of work to be done, for example, he hasn’t figured out what to do about batteries yet. If you’re interested in more, there are a few videos dedicated to the build on his YouTube channel and there are likely to be a few more.

I guess it comes down to this: did [Brek] add a GPS to an mp3 player because he gets lost while listening to music, or did he add a mp3 player to his GPS because he likes listening to music while he’s found? Philosophy aside, it’s a beautiful build.

15 thoughts on “MP3 Player And Handheld GPS Is An Odd Combo Work Of Art

  1. It’s really beautiful work. However, every time I see a board like that and all the hand work that went into it, I want to offer to lay out a board for the person. I feel like even a “wrong” board that needs to be cut and jumpered to make it work will be a lot less work in the long run.

    1. Hi :) If you’re up for putting your time where your mouth is, I’ll open source it when done :) That includes a fairly comprehensive and fancy 2D graphics library as well. The only guideline I care about is that the board/s are the size of the display, and fit underneath. Cheers, Brek.

        1. If you’re me… nothing! But it’s all programming really.
          very minimal hardware (almost obsolete) for what’s happening.
          There is a bit more to go, it just needs some more efficient regulators to get the most out of small batteries.

        1. Hi, I’m on a phone at the moment, but that’s great!
          Don’t know my old HAD acct details, but public email:
          bushprogrammer at the geemail. Don’t have a schematic
          yet either, but it won’t be far off.
          I do think others could benefit particularly from the
          graphics lib. It has some features existing GLCD Libs don’t.
          Cheers, Brek.

  2. My TomTom One gps runs Linux, so technically it could play MP3s, though I don’t know how much space is available. But then my tv set and blu-ray player also run Linux, so maybe they can be modded to find GPS, at least I found one of those little GPS receivers last month for ten dollars at a rummage sale.

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