I should point out now, that if you are interested building a cheap GPS unit, this isn’t the path that you should follow; In the US at least, you could purchase a mid range GPS unit for about the same amount of money that I have into this device, not to mention the hours spent writing code and experimenting with circuits. For me this is about the experience, and having something that I built myself.


The GPS Logger Shield only comes with a single 8 pin female header. While assembling the kit I added the rest of the headers to make working with other devices easier. I also added the headers on the second row (next to the blue jumper) to make changing the pin assignment easier during prototyping. I’ve used those little “staples” that are designed for sliding into a breadboard to create a more permanent connection to the TX/RX/ and Power pins.

After getting through the basics with the GPS Log Shield, I had some idea of where I wanted to go with the project. My goal was now to create a very simple GPS unit (or a very complicated logger). I wanted to be able to use the unit as a free standing GPS (with a much smaller feature set than a commercial unit), as a stand alone logger, and as a GPS interface for mapping applications on my laptop or WinMobile phone.

With these parameters in mind, I went about ordering the major parts I needed. For power I chose the Lithium Backpack from Liquidware (who make some very cool shields). I also ordered a 16*2 LCD, and a serial Bluetooth device from Hacktronics.

Getting these parts working make up the bulk of the code work and time spent on this project, and will be the bulk of the next few posts.

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