u-blox ZED-F9P GPS Featherwing

A GPS Featherwing for the Adafruit Feather, using a high-precision GPS module from u-blox

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Want to know where your Feather is, with sub-meter accuracy? This board combines the high-precision of a u-blox GPS module with the versatility of the Feather boards.

This project creates a GPS shield for a Feather board, or more commonly known as a Featherwing. It uses the high-precision ZED-F9P GPS module from u-blox.

The desired Feather board is placed onto the GPS Featherwing and the desired connections are made to enable communication. The Featherwing has a micro-USB port that allows the GPS module to directly communicate with u-center, the u-blox GNSS evaluation software for Windows. The GPS module has two UART, one SPI, and one I2C comms. Jumper pads on the bottom of the Featherwing control what methods the GPS uses to talk with the attached Feather. Pinouts allow the user to choose what pin they want to use for SPI communication. The GPS module can be configured with the Feather using the Sparkfun GPS Library.

The GPS module supports multi-band GNSS antennas. An external antenna is required!

LED indicators tell you the status of the board: power, pulse per second (PPS), RTK status, and geo-fence status. Power LED indicates that the board has power. The PPS LED will blink once a second to indicate that the GPS is talking to satellites. The RTK LED indicates the RTK status of the module. The LED will be off when the GPS is in normal fix mode, blinking with it receiving RTCM correction messages or is in RTK float mode, and will be solid when in RTK fix mode. The Geo-fence LED will indicate if the GPS is in the designated geographical area.

The module is supported by battery backed RAM, which allows the GPS to remember it's previous location and have a faster time to fix.

.GBR files of Rev1.0. Note: this project is still in the design phase, board has not been built or tested yet.

x-zip-compressed - 225.07 kB - 01/05/2020 at 21:56


KiCard archive of Rev1.0 design files. Note: this project is still in the design phase, board has not been built or tested yet

x-zip-compressed - 329.00 kB - 01/05/2020 at 21:56


  • KiCad Design Files and .GBRs

    sirmylesavery01/05/2020 at 21:57 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.

  • Component Selection Complete

    sirmylesavery11/17/2019 at 16:34 0 comments

    All components have been sourced using the helpful BOM tool from Octopart. Would recommend this tool for anyone searching for components. The BOM can be viewed here. All components are available from Digi-Key, so only one order is needed. In total, there are 42 components, with a total price for all components for a single board equal to $208.54 as of 11/17/19. No surprise that the GPS module is the most expensive (~$200), but that's expected, given that it's a very precise GPS module. If you're looking for very high precision but also don't want to spend thousands of dollars for extremely high-end GPS modules, I would recommend this specific GPS module. Doesn't have to be my board :)

  • Revision 1!

    sirmylesavery11/16/2019 at 17:37 0 comments

    Revision 1.0 is done! This includes the schematic, basic layout and connections of components. Due to component size, this Featherwing is much larger than the Feather, but should still work. Next step is to choose the individual components .

View all 3 project logs

Enjoy this project?



Bree Hoffman wrote 03/19/2024 at 05:28 point

Okee dokee! Thanks for the swift reply. If only I had access to Eagle.
I'm mostly concerned about the microstrip calculation for RF impedance + all the via placement @ getting the groundplane all correct. I haven't been worry about RF impedance stuff on my PCB so this is novel to me and I see why a breakout board for this is nice...

I also understand why so many LORA boards are on their own little boards.

  Are you sure? yes | no

sirmylesavery wrote 03/19/2024 at 10:21 point

I know that KiCard (free PCB design software) has the option to convert Eagle project files to KiCad project files. From there you can in theory create Gerbers, though they won’t be perfect. Sparkfun might also have all the necessary PCB production files in their GitHub, so I’d give that a look as well.

That method is probably better than mine since I never tested my design. In theory I matched the rf trace for the antenna but it’s been so long that I can’t guarantee it. 

  Are you sure? yes | no

Bree Hoffman wrote 03/18/2024 at 17:22 point

Hello there! Did you every make these boards & test them? I would like to avoid paying Sparkfun $270 for their breakout boards and I know the zed-f9p has some fairly specific layout/impedance requirements. 

If there isn't an open source breakout design for it I want to make it, but just wondering if one could build off your combo-board.

  Are you sure? yes | no

sirmylesavery wrote 03/18/2024 at 17:42 point

Hello! Unfortunately I never did make any of these boards or test them. At the time I was a student and ran into the same cost issues you saw from Sparkfun. The zed-f9p module itself is >$100USD and I didn’t have a good way to assemble the board even if I had the parts. I did heavily base this design off the Sparkfun boards you mentioned (the beauty of open source). Sparkfun’s designs are also open source, you can find design files on their product pages. I’d trust Sparkfun’s design over mine, it’s been years since I looked at my design and I’m sure there’s multiple PCB layout issues. Plus I can’t guarantee my design even works, having not tested it myself.

Best of luck!

  Are you sure? yes | no

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