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Saturday, May 3, 2008


I received some new LEDs this week and I soldered another module together with a new high intensity blue/red bi-color LED. I decided to put about 5mA through each of them, not knowing how bright they would be. After assembly, I measured the currents: 3.8mA through the blue LED and 5.0mA through the red LED for a total of 8.8mA... and still sooo much light. That means I can design for an ever lower current and probably cut about another 4-5mA out of the power budget. :)

The picture shows all three modules I have built so far (I had to turn down the sensitivity in order not to blind the camera with the LEDs):

  • On the left, module #1:
    Green/orange bi-color LED (orange shows, but green and orange LED are on simultaneously, orange overwhelming the green)
  • On the right, module #2:
    Blue LED
  • In the center, module #3:
    Blue/red bi-color LED (purple shows, blue and red simultaneously about the same intensity)

Sadly enough, my multi-meter pin shorted to Vcc when measuring the red LED, so it died :( I have some de-soldering to do tonight and fix it.

I also changed the charge resistor for the on-board battery to a lower value so as to recharge that battery a little faster (without exceeding the maximum charge current of course).

Module #3 is also using a slightly smaller patch antenna (see the center module in the photo) of about 13x13x4mm compared to the 15x15x4mm ones that I used for the other modules. I took the module out to the store while on my way buying a digital calipers for the housing design. The module performed above expectation, which is a good foresight for the next PCB board which will be using a chip antenna. It would be great if I can freeze the next design, as the form factor is very small and it has a full dock connector on it. If it doesn't perform well, I have to go back to a patch antenna and a micro-USB port in order to keep the module as small as possible.

Also this week I have made some more new contacts with local contract manufacturers, both for the PCB and the plastic housing. My main next priority is coming up with a final drawing for the housing design so that I can have prototypes made of it.


J D said...

Woohoo! Go baby go!

I hope I'm not the only one who obsessively watches your blog. :)

Anonymous said...

Wow! Nearly 900 people have voted on the poll.

Anonymous said...

hey, good work

i hope you can release it in a few months ;) with worldwide shipping :D

greetings from germany

Anonymous said...

count me one if it release , and looking forward for more detail on the price of it

Anonymous said...

Hey! Go on! Really waiting for that.

I'll keep watching your Blog.

greetz from germany

Anonymous said...

j d - you arn't. I visit about 4 times a week.

My phone needs to know where it is.


Anonymous said...

Is this utilize the Google Maps? Or have its own software? Does the iphone or iPod need an internet connection to direct the way?


GPS said...


Regarding the current software that works with the module, see my post here. Actually, the module will be able to work with any third party GPS software as long as it uses the standard NMEA data format which is what the module outputs to the serial port.

If you upload your own maps to the phone, you won't need an internet connection. You can also check this blog for offline maps.