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geogecko

Tiny GPS Receiver

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I had a Motorola seminar at work recently, and they skimmed over a new product called the FS Oncore. It's a GPS receiver that measures only 12x16.6mm (i.e., smaller than a US dime).

Here is a link: http://www.motorola.com/ies/GPS/

You may have to register to get to the link, as I think I did.

Looks like something that might go into a cell phone. I'm considering another project, and have been looking at small receivers. This is the smallest one that I have found to date. I think they even sell patch antennas to go with them.

Jason.

Edited by geogecko

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Hmm...guess it requires you to have 200k bytes of ROM in order to store the GPS operating system. That stinks. So much for using just a PIC for an interface, now you need a rather large (256KB) EEPROM or something.

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I've seen a similar one made by Sony at Telecom '03, but at this size it's difficult to remember if it's bigger or not :) I haven't looked more deeply in it as I think it was more of a prototype at the moment, or like often only sold in Japan, so I don't have more details, maybe google has...

If yes it could be interesting, but sad as I just ordered 3 GPS modules from GPSFlight 10 minutes ago :(

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Well, just when I thought I found the solution to the 200KB GPS operating system requirement (a serial EEPROM from Microchip), I am now back to square one.

Microchip specifies their serial EEPROMs in k-bits, not k-bytes, as I assumed they were. So, I found a nice 512KB serial EEPROM that I thought would work, however, its really only 64KBytes.

Does anyone know of any 256 or 512 KByte serial EEPROMS either on SPI or I^2C bus? I would prefer to have them in an 8 to 14 pin DIP (.300) package (for prototype purposes), as well as a smaller SMD package.

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Yes. Atmel's AT45DB041B. It's the dataflash chip that is on Atmel's butterfly kit I had talked about a while ago.

4Mbit, so 512 kBytes, available in SO8 package. Unfortunately it has to be powered with 3.3V. I haven't looked yet if they also have a 5V version. The interface is SPI.

BTW on memory chips they always talk about Mbits as far as I've seen.

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Thanks for that information. It appears that there was an earlier part, AT45D041A that was a 5V part, but it looks like it might be going obsolete.

Actually, I just got done looking at the data sheet on the GPS, and it runs off of 3V as well, so that would be a good fit. The PIC can run off of that voltage as well, so I think that works. I only wish the 4MB part was available in DIP packages. I guess I could just get an SOIC-8 package, and solder little wire wrap wires onto each lead, and then solder it to a DIP-8 socket. That would probably work for development.

So, now, I guess the problems comes about getting the GPS OS into the memory. I guess I would have some kind of routine in the PIC that would look at a UART, and download the file from a computer. That's about the only way I can see in doing it, seeing as how the 200Kbytes is much larger than anything a PIC can hold in memory.

Thanks for your help. The Nav-Lights project that I was working on is almost done. I have a couple features I want to add before finishing it though, but the first prototype came out really well. I just need to attach it to a plane and try it out.

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Thanks for that information. It appears that there was an earlier part, AT45D041A that was a 5V part, but it looks like it might be going obsolete.

Okay, unfortunately... I usually run on 5V.

Yes, I haven't found any 5V GPS modules yet... Level adaptation is needed...

I guess I could just get an SOIC-8 package, and solder little wire wrap wires onto each lead, and then solder it to a DIP-8 socket.  That would probably work for development.

Yes, That's what I do with my 12F675... My only DIP part was worn out, and I had 20 SO ones in stock, so I didn't want to order just 1 piece. I use wrapping wire with removed isolation, and my thin soldering iron (needed :) )

So, now, I guess the problems comes about getting the GPS OS into the memory.  I guess I would have some kind of routine in the PIC that would look at a UART, and download the file from a computer.  That's about the only way I can see in doing it, seeing as how the 200Kbytes is much larger than anything a PIC can hold in memory.

You can find programmer schematics for these SPI parts, but I don't know any software that supports that particular type (IC-Prog unfortunately doesn't...)

I was planning to use the butterfly kit to program these unsupported types using the on-board AT45DB041B as a buffer. Unfortunately another project I don't have time to play with...

The Nav-Lights project that I was working on is almost done.  I have a couple features I want to add before finishing it though, but the first prototype came out really well.  I just need to attach it to a plane and try it out.

Congratulations, hope it will work fine ;)

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Finally got some information back on the Motorola FS-Oncore from a distributor. Here is the e-mail. They also sent some design guides and information about antennas. Not a bad price for a small GPS. Ouch, that eval kit is expensive though...

Hello Jason,

Thank you for your interest in our products. I've attached our antenna price list. The following is the latest information for the FS Oncore:

1. We are currently taking orders for the FS Oncore module, based on the MG4100 GPS chip, eval kit. The lead time for the kit is stock to 8 weeks.

2. The part number is 10001700 and the price is $750.00. :blink:

3. The kit contains one integrated FS Oncore module and extra module for customer integration. Additional units can be ordered for $39.00 each. Please visit our website, www.synergy-gps.com, for a full description of the evaluation kit.

4. Curently, we are shipping the eval kits with autonomous beta firmware without NMEA. Beta firmware with NMEA will be released in June with production scheduled for the end of July, 2004.

5. Customers who buy the eval kits will be able to download firmware upgrades from the Motorola secured site.

6. Prototype FS Oncore modules can be purchased now. Production units will be available at the end of July, 2004.

7. I've attached the FS Oncore brochure and the MG4100 design guide. Please check our website for documetation updates.

8. The budgetary prices for the FS Oncore module are as follows:

<100 $39.00

100 36.00

500 33.00

1000 31.00

5000 28.00

10000 26.00

25000 24.50

50000 23.20

100000 22.40

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Best Regards,

Rosa

Rosa Puig

Marketing Manager

-----Original Message-----

From: Bentz, Jason [mailto:********@********.com]

Sent: Thursday, April 22, 2004 8:36 AM

To: Gina Aspeytia

Subject: FS Oncore Price Quote

Hello.

I was wondering if you could provide me with pricing information on the Motorola FS Oncore GPS module, and the SA-P1P passive antenna. I am just interested in a couple units for evaluation purposes at the moment.

Best Regards.

Jason.

Edited by geogecko

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