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Saturday, August 30, 2008

Another puzzle...

Things have been a little slow this week. The GPS modules are still at the antenna house for antenna tuning and the expected date of arrival of the test results is scheduled for September 8th. As it looks now, things are going to be delayed a bit because of this :(

On the upside of this, I have had some time to relax a bit (definitely needed) and play around some more with the 2.0 Toolchain. I managed to compile a GUI app for the iPhone with the 2.0 Toolchain. I can tell you, it is quite a time-sink not having a Mac OS X platform with the proper tools to write iPhone apps. I am seriously considering getting an Intel Mac to do all the software development. Anyone out there have a spare one sitting around... :-o

Anyway, as we will pretty much be waiting this week for the test results, I decided to give you another puzzle to kill some time.... what could it be that is in the photo?


Nicola said...

It's a usb controller to connect the gps module to a laptop :) (could be smart to do). When the software for 2.0 will be relased? Happy to test it.

happyjam64 said...

Well, it has a female port, so it's not for the iPhone. I would have to agree with nicola, a usb controller. btw, i would be willing to test any 2.0 software as well.

Kerry said...

I'd be happy to test 2.0 software, also. I have played with serial in on my touch 16gb, and have plenty of gps and electronics experience. I have an em-406a, and a serial ipod cable, so i could test nmea in. Either way, i signed up for an igps-360. I really like this project!

-Typed on my iTouch 2.0.1-

J D said...

Oh this is awesome. I was hoping you would provide for something like this. Now I am even more sure I'm getting a GPS unit.

Although, I have a little story to tell you folks: my iPhone has been suffering from a lot of wear and tear in the year since I got it. The backplate was badly scuffed, the speakerphone's volume was extremely low, the WiFi wasn't working correctly, the battery wouldn't hold a charge, etc. I went into the Apple Store complaining about the speakerphone and battery and they replaced it, no questions asked, giving me a brand-new 2.5G iPhone.

I am a very happy customer eagerly awaiting his 2.5G iPhone hardware addons for his shiny new device! :D

J D said...

@kerry: You can update to 2.0.2 safely now and still be able to jailbreak, just so you know. It IS a little more stable in my experience.

Bobby said...

Have you considered running a hackint0sh enviornment to create your Apps?

I know its not ideal, but it is a solution.

GPS said...

@nicola: right on regarding functionality. This is a first prototype of the board for the key-chain and it will extend the functionality of the iGPS360 module to any USB enabled computer. So you will be able to use the iGPS module with that key-chain attached to it on your laptop or desktop computer as well through the included USB cable.
Regarding software, Xwaves just released their 2.0 xGPS software and I have already tried it out and it seems to work properly (I had to change the baudrate on my module to 19200).

@kerry: if you have your own GPS module, you can try it out with the 2.0 xGPS software that just came out. Just make sure to configure your serial port to 19200 baudrate.

@j.d: the key-chain is indeed a cool little device. It will protect the male dock connector on the GPS module and if you hook up the USB cable to your laptop or PC, you will be able to use the iGPS360 module there as well (it will show up as a USB serial port). I was surprised to hear that Apple still had a refurbished old iPhone in stock to replace yours.

@bobby: yeah, I have heard of that. It might take some work to get everything running though since it is not plug-and-play out of the box. Maybe I will try it out.

J D said...

PmgR: They have apparently created a stock of 2.5G iPhones for exactly this purpose.

Tonio the best said...

How to be a beta tester ?

Kerry said...

YAA! I got gps working on my ipod touch! I used a EM-406A gps module reprogrammed to output 19,200 baud. This is powered by a 5v usb port and connected directly to the ipod via a serial cable from the MJS Gadgets shop. the new xGPS software shows me a point right where I am.I'm in the process of setting up a blog for more details, and some other projects.

Anonymous said...

a female port so maybe add on flash memory cards (SD) that'd be cool cause some ppp only have 4GB iPhones. Add on memory would be cool

J D said...

Guys, think about the bandwidth that is available on that serial port. 115,200 kbps AT MOST. This is not a memory bus, trust us.

Think about this connection as a peripheral interconnect.

GPS said...

@tonio: there is currently no need for hardware beta testers. The module is being tested by the GPS supplier.

@kerry: I assume you are running 2.0.x and have tried the new xGPS version. Please drop me a note at my gmail address as I want you to test a small command line utility on 2.0.x.

@anonymous: as j.d. points out, the serial port is only for low speed use (up to 115200baud). Besides, 4GB should still be plenty of space for your local map. LA County and Orange County here in California take up about 3.3GB at all zoom levels (which is overkill).


hdd123 said...

A usb controller would be great as this would open up a whole load of possibilities however, I believe that gps has an astute business head!

I propose that the mystery plug-in is a WiFi adaptor for the GPS unit - would deliver where 'others' had made proposals but not delivered. Besides extending the GPS unit's capability under the iPhone platform will also open up to other mobile phone owners who require GPS!

@GPS: am I right? It's time to come clean and give us some more clues!

GPS said...

@hdd123: the dongle in the photo is indeed a USB serial controller. Regarding WiFi, I am looking into the possibilities for creating a similar dongle that would connect to the GPS module but then send the NMEA data through WiFi (or BlueTooth) hence opening up some more possibilities as you said. I will have to do some more research to see what is feasible. These kind of dongles would require an internal battery for power supply.