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Thread: Venus GPS development boartd with 1 to 20Hz update rate

  1. #1
    Maximum Bitrate Mickz's Avatar
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    Venus GPS development boartd with 1 to 20Hz update rate

    I ran into a problem with one of my GPS receivers and decided to look around for another, this time one that would accept a tiny external GPS antenna. What made me go with the Venus GPS was its size - It's not much bigger than a postage stamp - the provided circuit, data and communication protocol and the most important of all, selectable update speed from 1Hz to 20Hz - than means up to 20 vehicle position updates per second, along with a simple Super capacitor or button cell battery backup for fast start up.

    Venus GPS with SMA Connector - Evaluation Boards /GPS-11058 / 0. $49.95 https://www.sparkfun.com/products/11058

    1x Antenna GPS 3V Magnetic Mount SMA - / GPS-00464 / 0. $12.95 - https://www.sparkfun.com/products/464

    1x FTDI Cable 5V VCC-3.3V I/O / DEV-09717 / 0. https://www.sparkfun.com/products/9717 - $11.00

    Sparkfun Description: This is the latest version of our Venus GPS board; the smallest, most powerful, and most versatile GPS receiver we carry. It’s based on the Venus638FLPx, the successor to the Venus634LPx. The Venus638FLPx outputs standard NMEA-0183 or SkyTraq Binary sentences at a default rate of 9600bps (adjustable to 115200bps), with update rates up to 20Hz! The Venus638FLPx also allows for limited on-chip logging (check out the firmware below), as well as external logging using a SPI flash memory chip (not included).

    This board includes a SMA connector to attach an external antenna, headers for 3.3V serial data, NAV (lock) indication, Pulse-Per-Second output, and external Flash support. We’ve also provided solder jumpers to easily configure the power consumption, boot memory, and backup supply. This board requires a regulated 3.3V supply to operate; at full power the board uses up to 90mA, at reduced power it requires up to 60mA.


    Fast update data: One of the most important specifications for me was update rate. Most GPS receivers run at 1Hz per second. Fine for most GPS mapping needs but some GPS mapping applications can run at 5Hz (Garmin) or 10Hz for the free one a lot of people use (forgot it's name). My requirement is the update of my GPS derived Speed display, updates from 10 times per second (10Hz) and above will match or exceed the standard electronic vehicle speedo response.

    A quick test and the sensitivity is fantastic - Full 3D lock inside my steel shed, the only GPS out of 6 others I have used and tested that has ever got a signal inside this shed, let alone enough satellites and signal strength to get a 3D fix.

    NOTE: The unit runs at 3.3 volts and I power it over the communication USB port (5 volts)

    The following were needed:

    1: 5v to 3.3v regulator - cost around $3.00
    2: A TTL (serial) to USB adaptor that supplies 5V and has 3.3v data lines - Shown above $11.00
    3: An active aerial - shown above for $13.00 - small low cost magnetic and rated over 100MPH on the vehicle.
    4: The GPS module itself - $49.00
    5: An optional Super Cap or 3.3v rechargeable button battery if you want to maintain data for almost instant start - each cost around $3.00.

    I split the signal into virtual ports with a free version of GpsGate 2.6. One port feeds my GPS application (Garmin or Odyssey - selectable) and the other port feeds the GPS speed display.

    Tested in the vehicle - Vehicle PC running Win8.1-64bit, cold start or hibernate - Perfect!.
    Last edited by Mickz; 08-30-2014 at 04:42 AM.
    Surface Pro 2 128GB portrait mode, Win8.1, Reverse camera, Dual 10HZ GPS RX's for Speed Display & Sat Nav, FM-DAB & Phone Modules, iDrive interface. T-Screen HVAC control, custom microcontrollers, microcode and FE. Previous Car-PC Project

  2. #2
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    thnx man! i was planing to implement GPS on one of my next projects, and i will find this info very useful!

  3. #3
    Maximum Bitrate Mickz's Avatar
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    Hi, glad it was of use to someone. FYI I used a LM3940 for the regulator, only other components are a 22uf 16v and 0.47 caps for the regulator. If anyone is interested I can add a picture of the simple veroboard layout and wiring that I used to plug the GPS module into. Best of luck with the project.
    Surface Pro 2 128GB portrait mode, Win8.1, Reverse camera, Dual 10HZ GPS RX's for Speed Display & Sat Nav, FM-DAB & Phone Modules, iDrive interface. T-Screen HVAC control, custom microcontrollers, microcode and FE. Previous Car-PC Project

  4. #4
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    Did you compare this to the Sure electronics board as well that Sno uses? Just curious since I have one of those...

    Rodney

  5. #5
    FLAC SNOtwistR's Avatar
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    I was reading the specs on the sparkfun before when researching and the sparkfun will only give you the higher refresh rate using gga
    ◦GGA is the only message that is sent faster than 1Hz. All other NMEA types are sent at 1Hz, regardless what update rate you configure.
    That's why I settled in on the sure unit cheaper and included the antenna. SNO

  6. #6
    Maximum Bitrate Mickz's Avatar
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    I am currently running 10Hz, Garmin PC immediately starts map updating at 5Hz ( a big difference to 1Hz), Mapfactor was as smooth as silk at 10Hz with instant tracking of my vehicle position.
    Surface Pro 2 128GB portrait mode, Win8.1, Reverse camera, Dual 10HZ GPS RX's for Speed Display & Sat Nav, FM-DAB & Phone Modules, iDrive interface. T-Screen HVAC control, custom microcontrollers, microcode and FE. Previous Car-PC Project

  7. #7
    Variable Bitrate camo.b's Avatar
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    I do hate watching the little car onscreen go backwards and forwards...this has to do with the refresh rate right?
    Just started using gmpc again and i was aware it accepter a higher refresh rate...but i didnt know mapfactor worked with 10hz.

  8. #8
    Maximum Bitrate Mickz's Avatar
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    I have only seen that on Garmin with a type of multipath reception error - not the correct term I'm sure but someone who's into GPS theory will chime in I'm sure, I can get Garmin to do this at 5Hz if reception is compromised by interference from Switch mode Supplies in the vehicle.
    Surface Pro 2 128GB portrait mode, Win8.1, Reverse camera, Dual 10HZ GPS RX's for Speed Display & Sat Nav, FM-DAB & Phone Modules, iDrive interface. T-Screen HVAC control, custom microcontrollers, microcode and FE. Previous Car-PC Project

  9. #9
    Variable Bitrate camo.b's Avatar
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    Interesting...when i first started using garmin.with a old evermore serial gps (unsure on its specs)i didnt notice anything but now i do.
    Really a first world problem...but its nice when its all super smooth

  10. #10
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    i have seen this module a while back when i was on my search for my gps...! finally sno talked ( act is the right word ) so i got the sure. But i would like to see a complete compare from someone who owns both.

    @Mickz is it possible to post the link for that free edition of the gps gate ?
    Vw Sharan 2007 1.9tdi || Exide 100Ah
    Fuzzy 945gme + core duo T2400 + 2gb ddr 667 + pci nvidia 5500 256mb + kingston v300 60gb + hdd 2.5" 100gb 5400 + Sure Gps module
    Primary monitor 8" 800x600 || Secondary monitor 15.4" 1280x800
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