Compatible GPS module

Is there any compatible GPS modules that will work with the FEZ Spider?

Also, is it possible to set up A-GPS thru the Cellular Module?

I have been using @ ransomhall GPS module where I updated the drivers to 4.3 (and will get them to him so he can share them). Perhaps we can persuade him to do another run of this module as its impressive.


Gee whiz, you flatter me.

@ pfrabott - Most all GPS modules you’ll find in DIY stores use serial UART to communicate. You can wire one up to an extender module and be off to the races pretty quickly. Getting the location data is straightforward, as the text data is based on a standard.


In the past i built a GPS receiver system using a USB GPS antenna (Globalsat BU-353) and a Cobra II. It reads NMEA sentences from the GPS and shows GPS position or whater info you need. Fez spider has USB host so i think it will work ok.

The only problem i had was that i built the system on 4.2 and when i tried to upgrade to 4.3 i had lots of problems. Since it was working ok on 4.2 I sticked in 4.2

I have a UART based GPS working fine on the G120(Cobra2 SOM). This worked on both 4.2 and 4.3. The only issue I had was with the built in UTF8 conversion locking up the system when the frame sync failed after waking from hibernate. I wrote my own simple Byte[] to ASCII converter to fix this.

I don’t see any reason why A-GPS isn’t possible. You would obviously need good documentation on from the GPS manufacturer that contained all the binary protocol sets. Many of the really cheap GPS engines only come with really basic documentation.

I think I’ll follow Ransomhall’s suggestion of a UART text data GPS module. I’m used to working with text based credit card readers at work so GPS shouldn’t be a problem.

If I may ask, after hooking the GPS module up, is there two-way communication between the module and the board or is it basically once the GPS module receives power it starts dumping GPS data?

Curious if there is a control interface for coders to use or not. I’m not as familiar with GPS controllers which is why I think staying with text based outputs will be easier for me to use then to do a USB antenna.


@ pfrabott - All the GPS units I’ve worked with start dumping position data the moment they’re powered up. These also allowed the user to configure them via serial, to set up desired NMEA sentences or change the update rate, for example. Before you commit to a particular module, I recommend reading the datasheets thoroughly.

The serial connection is two way, so if the GPS supports any commands, you can send them. As @ iggmoe said, check the datasheet, as each GPS will have different capabilities.

Not sure what you mean by control interface for coders. There are some libraries here that will parse NMEA messages:

will get you plenty of code to look at.