My 15$ GPS module

Ublox pci5s

Ublox pci5s

About a month ago I was browsing Dangerous prototypes and read about this cheap GPS hack. Emeryth had found out that the cheapest GPS modules on Ebay could be used with a micro controller. The Ublox PCI-5S modules can be found on Ebay for less then 10$. Add an antenna for about 5$ and you have a very cheap usable GPS system. There is one catch, the GPS module comes in the form of a mini PCIe card. But Emeryth had found out how to connect it to a micro controller.

I couldn’t resist and ordered the GPS module and antenna on Ebay. I soldered some wires to the module and hooked it up to an ATmega328 running at 3.3V / 8MHz. I installed the Arduino tinygps library and uploaded one of the example sketches to the ATmega. I put my laptop, micro controller and GPS module outside and after about 10 minutes it started spitting out data. I checked the longitude and latitude on Google earth and was pointed to my garden, success 🙂

I have no direct plans with the GPS module. But maybe I built some sort of logging device for my car.

7 responses to “My 15$ GPS module”

  1. Protowrxs

    I’m curious in regard to the data rate you were getting on this device. Running an old Pharos 360 I only get position information every 2-4 seconds. Maybe that is the limit with 4800 baud but curious if position information is any faster with this vs my existing solution.


  2. Elia

    Does it spit out standard NMEA data? According to Emeryt it’s 9600 baud

  3. Joe

    Hey nice clean setup. I’m waiting on my antenna right now but how did you solider the leads on the pads without burning anything out and get it to stick? I haven’t started mine yet.

  4. Joe

    BTW: are you looking to sell your setup? If so let me know. I would pay $15 shipping included.

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