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.