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Adafruit GPS ULTIMATE - chipset MTK3339

ADF-GPS-ULTIME

ADA746

Adafruit Ultimate GPS Breakout - 66 channels with frequency update at 10 Hz - MTK3339 circuit. Revision 3

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46,40 € tax incl.

Description

This version 3 comes with a complementary connector to connect any external antenna (the internal antenna is sufficient in many cases) and a complementary output Pulse-Per-Second.

GPS Ultimate - one of the best GPS module available on the market

Here is one of the smallest and most advanced GPS module available. It is probably one of the models able to meet all the desires (or almost) of its users. That's why Adafruit (the designer) has stamped it under the "Ultimate" version.

This module has everything you need, see more, with its sensitivity to -165dBm, its adapted design to support 5V, its impaction of 2.54 mm (ideal for breadboard), its fixing holes, update 10 Hz, 66 channels, a real time clock (RTC) supporting a battery and a status LED all for less than 40 Euro all taxes included!

This new version based on the MTK3339 has a circuit-integrated data logging capability with "High altitude" functionality and ever-lower consumption.

This breakout board is designed around the MTK3339 circuit, a high quality, practical GPS module that can track up to 22 satellites on 66 channels. it has an excellent receiver very sensitive (-165 dB for the localization!) and an integrated antenna. It can do up to 10 position updates per second, which allows data logging and location at high speed and high sensitivity.

The consumption is incredibly low, only 20mA during navigation (displacement).

The best is yet to come, Adafruit has added a series of "more" really useful on the breakout board, namely:

  • A 3.3V voltage regulator with very low loss (ultra-low dropout). It is thus possible to power the breakout board with a voltage between 3.3V and 5V.
    So Arduino compatible.
  • Inputs planned to operate under 5V (5V level safe inputs).
    So Arduino compatible.
  • An "ENABLE" input which allows to disable the module from any micro-controller (or switch).
  • A slot for a CR1220 battery (coin type) to keep the real time clock running and allowing a "warm" start.
  • A status LED (small but brilliant!).
 

The two things that really distinguish this new MTK3339 module from others are:

  • Its functionality dedicated to high altitude operation.
  • A data logging capability integrated into the GPS module.

Most GPS modules only allows NMEA outputs (GPS data transmission protocol) only when the module travels below 515 m/s (1854km/h) AND when it's at an altitude of less than 18.000 m (60,000 ft).
The purpose is to prevent this module from being used for military used.
But since these requirements are not so strict, Adafruit asked the manufacturer to lift the limitation on altitude (but to keep the limitation on speed), which would allow the use of GPS in weather type applications.  

Adafruit trusts its manufacturer when it claims to have lifted the limitation but, for the time being, no independent test has confirmed this lifting of limitation. If this feature is really critical for you, please postpone your purchase until verification! 

Another great feature of the new MTK3339 module (successfully tested by Adafruit) is its integrated data logging capability within the module. Since the module is equipped with a micro-controller and has a FLASH memory, the new Firmware now allows sending commands to make an internal recording of data to the FLASH memory.
The only thing you will need is a micro-controller that can send the "Start Logging" command. After sending the message, the micro-controller can enter sleep mode because it no longer needs to interact with the GPS. (which reduces its consumption). The date, time, longitude, altitude and height are logged (recorded) every 15 seconds and only when there is GPS synchronization (FIX).
The internal FLASH memory is capable of storing about 16 hours of data. The module automatically adds the data,so you do not have to worry about a risk of data loss when the module is powered down. 
It is not possible to configure logged information and data logging frequency. These settings are hard-coded in the GPS module. They are however correct to meet most GPS data logging needs.

Technical details

  • Is supplied assembled and the module tested.
  • A Pin Header (supplied) can be welded above on for insertion on a BreadBoard.
  • A CR1220 battery holder is also provided.
    The battery is not supplied with the Breakout Board.
  • Status LED
    The LED flashes at approximately 1Hz during satellite search.
    The LED flashes every 15 seconds when a synchronization is established (and the module remains powered).
  • FIX ouput
    If you want a permanently lit LED, the Breakout Board provides the FIX signal on an output, so you can connect an external LED.

Specifications

  • Satellites: 22 in tracking, 66 channels (in research)
  • Antenna size: 15mm x 15mm x 4mm
  • Update frequency: 1 to 10 Hz
  • Positioning accuracy: 1.8 meters
  • Accuracy of the speed: 0.1 meter/s
  • Hot/cold start: 34 seconds
  • Acquisition sensitivity: -145 dBm
  • Tracking sensitivity: -165 dBm
  • Max altitude for MTK3329: 18,000 meters
  • Max altitude for MTK3339: no limit
  • Maximum speed: 515m/s (~1800km/h)
  • Input voltage Vin: 3.0 to 5.5V CC
  • Operating consumption for MTK3329: 48mA in tracking, 37 mA during navigation (displacement)
  • Operating consumption for MTK3339: 25mA in tracking, 20 mA during navigation (displacement)
  • Output: NMEA 0183 protocol, 9600 baud rate by default
  • Support for DGPS/WAAS/EGNOS
  • FCC E911 compliant and support for AGPS (Offline mode : EPO valid up to 14 days)
  • Up to 210 PRN channels
  • Interference detection (and reduction)
  • Multi-path detection and compensation
  • Technical data sheet of the PA6B (MTK3329) the GPS component itself.
  • Technical data sheet of the PA6C (MTK3339) the GPS component itself.
 

Breakout board details

  • Weight (without battery and battery holder): 8.5g
  • Dimensions (without battery and battery holder): 25.5mm x 35mm x 6.5mm

Need an external antenna.

It is possible to add an active external antenna to the Ultime GPS.
You will need an uFL to SMA adapter and an Active GPS antenna (SMA, 28dB gain).

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