Saturday, October 22, 2011

Ardunio GPS on the CHEAP

I'm still waiting on money to get straight before I go off and purchase anything else for the CNC. I've got about 300-400 more to go on the table and then Im going to have to figure out the electronics I've already got. I'm sure they are going to need repair and Ill have to navigate my way through the software. That's all for another day.

I get antsy when I've got nothing going on in the project realm so I went ahead and spent 20 bucks on a Pharos 500 GPS. Its one of those stamp sized units that came with Microsoft's streets and maps software...I think. Anyway I've got a couple Arduino Mega 2560 boards and since the 500 natively outputs in a serial fashion it was easy to communicate with..

I say easy but it took me some tinkering. The mega has several serial communication pins and if you hook the GPS up to the main one, it trips up the Arduino on start up. So you have to (well I did, I dont guess you have to) unplug the GPS and then plug it back in after you get booted up. The solution to this is to move to one of the other serial pins and just edit the code. Ill post a follow up with the modified code and a picture of the modified receiver.

Modified receiver? Yeah! That's how its done. Everything Kuztoms! No for real I had to break it open and solder pins to the board to make it bread boardable<-- Spell check says Im making that word up].

All in all the project has been a success. It was relatively cheap and  filled that whole in my boredom. So check it off the list. Where can I go from here? I'm thinking a reverse geo-caching project but that will have to be another day.

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