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GPS... how are they made?

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I've been considering building a GPS-corrected inertial nav system... but I'm still trying to understand what goes into a GPS unit.

I've read enough about the GPS history, WAAS, Galileo, even the Rrussian version. But I still don't understand how to break down the components of a unit!

You can buy antennas, chipsets (there's even a Linux site which decribes them), map software, etc.

But what recieves the signal and puts out a string with the data? That is all I need (I think). I figure I need an antenna to recieve the signal, and a chip to process it and give me coords... anyone can enlighten me? Maybe throw in a few part numbers?



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The basic GPS involves an active antenna, GPS Rx module, and serial port interface (TTL or RS-232). But, creating a GPS system from components is really more work than necessary and the cost savings are sometimes lost. In addition, the affordable GPS modules often do not have waypoint storage. So, I suggest you use a handheld GPS and strip it down to save weight.

For example:


Or, use it as-is:


By the way, the newer Garmin Foretrex 101 is only 2.6 ounces. So, it might be a good candidate for a low weight hack-free installation.

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