GPS receiver

Has anybody here looked into making their own GPS reciever ?

I am thinking of designing one to go into my model rocket, to feed back real time position data to a laptop, however I don't have much of a clue where to start.

Map data is not important, the key data shall be the raw lat, long and alt plotted against time, this can then be used to give a time displacement graph, from launch location.

All the people on the net I have spoken to about rocketry GPS tend to use off the shelf devices, such as the GARMIN GPS12, and then interface to those.

Am I thinking about attempting the near impossible here ?

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Got any experience working at 1.6GHz?

I designed the analog portions of the Garmin chipset.

But I *buy* finished products ;-)

...Jim Thompson

|  James E.Thompson, P.E.                           |    mens     |
|  Analog Innovations, Inc.                         |     et      |
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Jim Thompson



Buy a Trimble GPS board off ebay. They are pretty much self contained and provide NMEA output. You will also need an 802.11 client and something to take the data from the GPS and send it out over the 802.11. I hope you are talking reasonble sized rockets here because the power requirement will be no small item. The advantage of the Trimble boards is that they will run at

10 Hz so you will get a meaning ful ammount of data rather than the 1 reading per second you get from a "normal" GPS.

Just my thought on it, there are probably lots of other solutions but I fear that building the GPS from scratch is pretty mind boggling.

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I wonder how much you could strip down an already light receiver - if you got rid of the case, shared batteries and removed the (rather large) screen the basic ones would be pretty light. I've got a Garmin eTrex, the cheapest (and smallest) I could get in the UK, and even that has serial comms.

Not sure if you could get it model-rocket light though - depends on your rocket. Obviously OEM kit has the potential to be better, if you can get hold of it at a sensible price.


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Chris Hodges

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