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Sunday, March 9, 2008

Serial connection working

Since the PCB board is pretty much finished and ready for fabrication, I decided to implement some simple code for the iPhone that shows that we can communicate with a GPS module through the serial interface. The code captures NMEA data from the serial port that is sent by the GPS module. Nothing really special here, just a proof of principle to make sure that I implemented the right connections between the dock connector and the GPS module on my PCB board. And it might be educational for people to watch who have no electronics background :) Of course this is just a simple command line program that was drafted up quickly. Further software development can now be done with the new SDK from Apple :)

Some notes on the video: the PCB board on the left is used only as a break-out board for the GPS module that I bought earlier on to play with. The GPS module is powered by the iPhone. When the iPhone goes to sleep, so does the GPS module, but since it is battery backed-up, once you turn the iPhone back on, you will have a GPS lock again within a few seconds (small correction: the date on the iPhone is March 9, and not March 6 as I incorrectly state in the video)

Again, this setup does not compare to the eventual size of the assembled GPS board for the iPhone, which will be about 1 inch by 1 inch and sit in a nicely looking package.


Anonymous said...

Good luck with your project, its exciting to actually see it communicating, will be keeping a clos e eye on how it progresses

J0D4 said...

I'm really excited about GPS for the iPhone und what you are doing here looks quite nice. Do you want to sell a GPS module for the iPhone in the future? Do you have a release date?
Thanks and good luck!

GPS said...


Yes, if there is enough demand from the community (which it looks like it is going to be), I will fully commit to making this a product for a reasonable price. The release date is still in the open, but not too far from now (maybe a month or two before it is fully finalized). Things have been progressing pretty quickly (I usually post weekly updates to keep everyone up to date). It really depends on how quickly I get done with design and tooling for the package.


Simba said...

Oh... I really should have google harder before starting my own project:
I've already successfully connected a number of in-market GPS modules, like Holux GR-240, to iPhone.
And now I'm working on a free software for hikers/geocachers. What is the status of your software development?

Simba said...

Oh, and I'm in very serious doubt that official iPhone SDK will let programmers to access the serial port.

Anonymous said...

sounds really kool. count me in.

Anonymous said...

Cool article you got here. It would be great to read a bit more about this theme. The only thing I would like to see on that blog is some pictures of any gizmos.
John Trider
Cell phone jammers

iphone 5 said...

Looks cool. It is amazing that you can do almost everything with your iphone. No wonder a lot of people are waiting for the latest model that will be launched this year.