u-blox SAM-M8Q GPS Featherwing

A GPS Featherwing for the Adafruit Feather, using a GPS module from u-blox. No external antenna required!

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GPS is a technology used by many systems around the world. So why not add that functionality to your Adafruit Feather? This project designs a shield that fits over a Feather and uses a GPS module from U-blox.

This is a GPS shield for a Feather board. It uses the SAM-M8Q GPS module from U-blox. It is designed to be place directly onto a Feather board and use the UART or I2C lines of the Feather to communicate. No external antenna is required, as there is one built into the GPS module. The GPS module is configured using the Sparkfun GPS Library. It can be used to output NMEA strings that contain positional data which can be used by the Feather. Two LED's on the board indicate the power and fix status of the GPS module. This module uses battery-backed RAM, which allows the the GPS to retain it's position data and obtain a faster fix upon reboot.

Archive of KiCad design files for Rev2.0 of this project. Note: project is still in the design phase, no physical board has been built or tested yet.

x-zip-compressed - 370.77 kB - 01/22/2020 at 22:35


.GBR files for Rev2.0 of project. Note: project is still in the design phase, no physical board has been built or tested yet

x-zip-compressed - 107.89 kB - 01/22/2020 at 22:35


  • Revision 2.0 KiCad Design Files and .GBRs

    sirmylesavery01/22/2020 at 22:34 0 comments

    Revision 2.0 is here! It involves a new layout for the GPS module, with the top layer being the primary ground layer. This should improve the GPS signal because it gives a larger ground plane for the built-in antenna. I also added some user configuration on the bottom, where the user can close jumper pins to connect certain GPS output pins (INT, PPS, ~RESET, ~SAFE) to prechoosen Feather pins. The new .GBR files and KiCad Design Files will be uploaded to Hackaday shortly.

    Below are some photos of the traces and KiCad renderings of the board.

  • KiCad Design Files and .GBRs

    sirmylesavery01/05/2020 at 21:48 0 comments

    I have uploaded an archive of the KiCad Design files and .GBRs for this project. Please note that at the current state, the hardware has only been designed, but not built or tested. Because of this, I can not guarantee that hardware will work 100% as intended. But feel free to use these files to make your own boards/build upon them!

    Because I have not built or tested this project yet, project specific software does not yet exist. Feel free to make your own though!

    If anyone ends up building this, feel free to let me know, as I am interested to see how many errors/improvements can be made.

  • Revision 1.5

    sirmylesavery12/30/2019 at 14:58 0 comments

    Rev1.5 just has some small silkscreen changes, mostly to proved power and PPS GPS indicators for the LEDs so the user knows what they are. Very small changes overall, hence 1.5 and not a full revision.

  • Components Selected

    sirmylesavery11/13/2019 at 01:22 0 comments

    Figured out what components I wanted for this board. Only 16 components needed (excluding the Feather!). The BOM can be found on Octopart. This may change if I find I need additional parts.

  • Revision 1!

    sirmylesavery11/13/2019 at 00:00 0 comments

    Revision 1 is finished! Rev 1 consists of a basic layout of all necessary components, with some problems. Due to space constraints of the Feather footprint, there are some signal lines that really shouldn't be where they currently are. Future revisions will hopefully fix that by either expanding the board outline/footprint or moving the GPS module to an area with less pins.

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