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u-blox NEO-M9N GPS Featherwing

Using some of the newest GPS tech from u-blox, you can add global positioning to any Adafruit Feather!

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This project is another GPS Featherwing using a GPS module from u-blox. By attaching a GPS antenna, you can measure where in the world your Feather is!

This project is another GPS Featherwing using a GPS module from u-blox. This project uses the recently announced NEO-M9N GPS module from u-blox. Capable of meter level accuracy while using 4 concurrent GNSS, this module provides impressive statistics in such a small package. While still in development and datasheet/documentation still being completed, it appears to be an improvement over previous NEO-Mxx GPS modules.

This board does work as a stand alone GPS board, as it can be powered via USB. It can also be powered/controlled by a Feather, making it a Featherwing as well!

This board does require an external GPS antenna. The board contains a U.FL connector which can be connected to this external GPS antenna.

This board contains two status LEDs, one which indicates the power status of the board and one which indicates the fix (PPS) status of the GPS module.

The GPS can be controlled using the Sparkfun Ublox Arduino Library. The user has the option of talking to GPS using UART or I2C. The default communication method is I2C. Due to size constraints, the SPI comms option was removed, even though the GPS module supports it. There are also 4 additional digital I/O pins to control/measure GPS status.

The board also has a microUSB port, which allows the GPS module to communicate with u-center, u-blox's Windows GPS software. While this port powers the GPS board, it does NOT power a connected Feather. This is because using the GPS USB to power the 3.3V rail of the Feather is not recommended. While powering the Feather from the GPS is do-able, it has potential to damage the Feather. The current configuration also allows the GPS to act as a standalone board.

Feather-NEO-M9N-GPS-KiCad-Files-2.0.zip

KiCad archive of Rev2.0 Note: Project is currently in design phase and has not been built or tested yet

x-zip-compressed - 376.89 kB - 01/06/2020 at 22:37

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Feather-NEO-M9N-GPS-Rev2-GBR.zip

.GBR files of Rev2.0 Note: project is currently in design phase, has not been built or tested yet

x-zip-compressed - 129.49 kB - 01/06/2020 at 22:37

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  • Revision 2!

    sirmylesavery01/06/2020 at 22:56 7 comments

    Revision 2 has been designed! After some very helpful feedback from Michael, who is an expert in u-blox implementation, and has been made a co-contributor to this project!

    Modifications made to this Revision include:

    • Fixed unconnected grounds around the RF traces
    • Added connection of reset GPS pin to be controlled by an attached Feather
    • Board can now be powered by USB! Note that the Feather can power the GPS board, but the GPS board can NOT power the Feather

    Design Files have been uploaded to the project page.

    Included below are some images of the design for Rev 2

  • KiCad Design Files and .GBRs

    sirmylesavery01/05/2020 at 21:51 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.

  • Components Selected

    sirmylesavery12/28/2019 at 15:32 0 comments

    Components for this GPS board have been selected. It is viewable here from Octopart. The current price for the board components sourced from DigiKey is 8.33 USD. Keep in mind that the GPS module is not currently considered in that price, as it is not yet available at any major distributor. It is only available from u-blox, as an engineering sample, as of 12/28/19. U-blox lists price breaks as 1-9 pieces at 25 USD, 20-49 pieces at 21.56 USD, 50-99 pieces at 17.67 USD, and 100-249 pieces at 14.15 USD. I'm going to guess that similar prices will become available at DigiKey, Mouser, etc. once the module is ready for commercial release.

  • Revision 1!

    sirmylesavery12/27/2019 at 03:56 0 comments

    Rev1 is designed! I just recently discovered that u-blox announced a new GPS module. Thought I'd try and make a Featherwing out of it, with what  time is left in the "Take Flight with Feather" competition.

    Components list will be coming tomorrow!

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Henrik Johansson wrote 19 hours ago point

I joined Hackaday when I saw this project :)  Great work!

I am curious, what is the current status of the project? Has anyone tried to build it yet? Is the version 3 mentioned in some of the comments still in the works?

  Are you sure? yes | no

Miguel Wisintainer wrote 01/22/2020 at 18:02 point

Hi, i sent you a e-mail, from suporte@smart...
About the revision on the revision 2.0 :)

  Are you sure? yes | no

sirmylesavery wrote 01/07/2020 at 14:51 point

Looks good, lots of great info on there!

  Are you sure? yes | no

Miguel Wisintainer wrote 01/04/2020 at 17:01 point

btw, wich is your Name to put in the blog ? I have the nick

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sirmylesavery wrote 01/04/2020 at 17:28 point

You could just put "sirmylesavery" or just "Avery W.". I'm trying to figure out where people keep getting "Nick" from, I thought my profile says sirmylesavery everywhere I look. Maybe there's just something I am missing

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Miguel Wisintainer wrote 01/04/2020 at 18:07 point

changed!

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sirmylesavery wrote 01/04/2020 at 18:53 point

Awesome, thanks!

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Miguel Wisintainer wrote 01/04/2020 at 16:56 point

Thank you so much to the fast answer! Btw, i am teacher and i give support to the smartcore.com.br, an u-blox representative. Now i am starting the M8N study to be support too to this M9N, then i am doing the BLOG now, i am searching documents, tips, libraries to help smartcore.com.br clients to start with M9N. If found your Hackaday project that is very interesting.

Well, this the blog (beta), i still have to test the libraries, one are to m8n series, other m6, and sparkfun has to m9, but uses i2c.

https://neo-m9n-gps.blogspot.com/2019/12/neo-m9n-gps.html

I got today the M9N starter kit to u-blox to start the tests of libraries next week!

Yes, a great Module!  Btw, i had done a blog to F9 too

https://u-blox-zed-f9p.blogspot.com/2019/02/zedf9p-with-gps-you-are-able-to-know.html

About the M9N, you will see in the blog good tips!

We can work together, if you want!

thank you!

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sirmylesavery wrote 01/04/2020 at 17:29 point

The blog looks very interesting, got some useful info on there! Some stuff I didn't even know about

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Miguel Wisintainer wrote 01/04/2020 at 18:07 point

nice hear this!

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Miguel Wisintainer wrote 01/04/2020 at 15:27 point

The same to F9P

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Miguel Wisintainer wrote 01/04/2020 at 15:26 point

If you can do some breakout without components, we want to order some pieces!

Let me know the price!

  Are you sure? yes | no

Miguel Wisintainer wrote 01/04/2020 at 15:24 point

Excelent! Will be openhardware ? Or, will you sell the breakout ? I am doing a blog about M9N resources

  Are you sure? yes | no

sirmylesavery wrote 01/04/2020 at 16:01 point

This project is intended to be open hardware, I would just like to get this design to a state where I'm confident with it to share/publish the design files. This goes for the ZED-F9P board board as well. Once design files are uploaded, you will be free to make/order your own boards.

If you are going to discuss my boards in a blog, all I ask is that you mention me as the author/designer and provide a link to this project page. Otherwise, feel free to use it however!

If you could also send me a link to this blog once it is posted, I would love to take a look at it, as I'm interested to see what other sources about the M9N module, given its recent release. It looks like a great module that has some great potential.

  Are you sure? yes | no

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