Category Archives: GPS

Finally got GPS working on the Cubieboard

Sometimes the solution would be easy….

…damn I swapped Rx and Tx and everything went fine,
and I was so sure I connected, documented and even checked multiple times that all is as it should.

At first I thought the level shifter isn’t working, but my brand new Open Workbench Logic Sniffer showed signals, same signals before and after shifting, and was even able to autobaudrate guess my GPS defaults which is 38400.

As I 3D printed a case for the cubieboard I needed to remove the board from the robot anyway so I had the chance to look at the tiny pin headers again, oh and yes I swapped the cables for Rx and Tx there…. damn.

iBlue 747 GPS logger modding for MacOS

Have you ever had the same problem, shooting a photograph in holiday, and back home you can hardly remember where exactly you’ve been all around ?
The solution, GPS photo tagging. Unfortunately cameras with integrated GPS, are f****ing expensive, GPS PDA handhelds, mobile phones, also costs a lot of money, and GPS car navigation are not suitable for photo tagging at all.
But there is one kind of gadgets that work well as a camera accompaniment are GPS loggers.
Two of them are wide spread, the Sony GPS-CS1 and the iBlue747. I decided myself for the latter one, as its price is half of that of the Sony, further it has bluetooth realtime navigation capabilities (when peered with PDA or mobile) and higher precision support through DGPS.
But there was one drawback. Connecting the iBlue via USB to my Mac and get it working fails due to missing drivers for the GPS’s USB to UART serial chip-set. OK, Mac has bluetooth, iBlue has bluetooth, so just peer them together, device type “Other”, PIN “0000”, Bingo !

I got my device: /dev/tty.iBT-GPS-SPPslave-1

But then came the next hurdle, GPS information was received from the iBlue, but sending commands to setup the device’s auto-logging timing and verboseness, and the more important download of the way-points stored in the 16MB flash, failed.

After some googling I did find the final solution:

Soldering a 1kOhm resistor between the bluetooth modules RX-line and the GPS chip input, enables control of GPS chips registers via bluetooth.
Now it’s possible to send commands via bluetooth, and initiate a download of the stored GPS logs.
It’s also possible to reprogram the GPS chip to take up to 5 samples per second instead of 1, thus filling up your flash memory of the logger faster, resulting in less way-points to store, be careful. There’re further more dangerous things you can do, as the GPS chip offers more than 180 commands for tweaking.
Good enough for me, just pushing the front button when I take a picture and I’m done with a marked way-point in the loggers internal storage.

Some things I found on the net, useful when playing with the iBlue:
? iBlue-Home
? Windows-Drivers
? MacOS PHP Widget
? Java 6 Software
? BT747-Sourceforge-Project
? BT747-Project-Homepage