Adafruit GPS MORE ULTIMATE - chipset PA1616D
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Adafruit GPS MORE ULTIMATE - chipset PA1616D

Adafruit Ultimate GPS Breakout Version 3

  • 99 channels
  • frequency update at 10 Hz
  • PA1616D
€38.37 (tax incl.) €31.71 (tax excl.)
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The More Ultimate GPS - one of the best GPS module on the market

Here is one of smallest best GPS module available on the market. This version of the GPS ultimate can use more networks (as GLONASS) to provide increased worlwide coverage. This is why Adafruit named this breakout version "MORE Ultimate". And it still consume raisonnable current (even if it is a bit more than the previous version).

With a signal sensitivity down to -165 dBm, a design supporting 5V, the 2.54mm spacing, refresh rate up to 10 Hz, 99 channels, the internal clock (RTC) with cell coin and the status LED the MORE ULTIMATE GPS bring all the need localisation feature to your project for less than 40 Euro TTC!

Compare to the MTK3339 used with the previous version, the PA1616D firmware is a bit different and existing projects would need some adaptation. See the details about "antenna query" for more information. The NMEA sentences also starts with $GN instead of $GP (when the GPS & GLONASS are available). The module do also have integrated datalogging capability inside the chip.

The breakout is made arount the MTK3333 hipset,  a very high quality GNSS able to track 33 satellites over 99 channel. The high reception sensitivity (-165 dBm while tracking!) with the internal antenna. The module is capable to provide position update 10 times each seconds (10 Hz) for high speed tracking/data-logging applications. This module consume few power... only ~29 mA under navigation.

The board do have an ultra low dropout 3.3V regulator. Si this breakout can be powered with a voltage from 3.3V to 5V DC. The input pins are compatible with 5V logic. The ENABLE input pin allows to deactivate the GPS module by ising a switch or a microcontroler pin. The coin battery holder are used with CR1220 allowing to keeps the RTC clock alive (and counting the time while the GPS is powered off). A running RTC allow quicker warm restart.

The small RED led indicates the current status of the GPS. When the LED blink every second (1Hz) then the module do search for the satellites. When the LED blink every 15 seconds then the module did fix the GPS network (a blink every 15 sec do also spare energy). The signal is also made available on the FIX pin, so you can connect an external LED to it.

The PPS signal send a pulse of 50-100ms every second when the GPS gets a FIX. This signal can be used to to synchronize an external module.

The particularity of the MTK3333 is to allow to use an external antenna or an internal antenna (the patch ceramic offering a -165 dBm sebsitivity). Regarding the advanced feature, the modulle offers the autonomous datalogging feature. The µFl connector can be used to connect a 3V active GPS antenna (will be automatically detected by the GPS module). You will certainly needs to use a µFL to SMA adapter cable to wire the external antenna. We do have several kind of GPS antenna.

Adafruit propose a library for the GPS module (with background parsing capability). The library also allo to starts the DataLogging mode of the GPS (called LOCUS). A complete tutorial is aslso available for Arduino, CircuitPython and MicroPython. 

What else to say:

  • sensitivity -165 dBm, 10 Hz updates, 99 channels
  • GPS + GLONASS support
  • 5V friendly design and only 30mA current draw
  • Breadboard friendly + two mounting holes
  • RTC battery-compatible
  • Built-in datalogging
  • PPS output on fix
  • Internal patch antenna + u.FL connector for external active antenna
  • External antenna support and Pulse-Per-Second output
  • Status LED
    The LED blink at 1Hz while searching for satellite.
    The LED blink once every 15 secondes while fixed on the GPS satelittes.
  • FIX output
    If you want the FIX status reported on the front panel (always on on FIX otherwise off) then you can use the FIX signal to light up an external LED.
  • PPS output: Pulse per Second.

Technical details

  • Satellites: 33 tracking, 99 searching
  • Patch Antenna Size: 15mm x 15mm x 4mm
  • Update rate: 1 to 10 Hz
  • Position Accuracy: < 3 meters (all GPS technology has about 3m accuracy)
  • Velocity Accuracy: 0.1 meters/s
  • Warm/cold start: 34 seconds
  • Acquisition sensitivity: -145 dBm
  • Tracking sensitivity: -165 dBm
  • Maximum Velocity: 515m/s
  • Vin range: 3.0-5.5VDC
  • MTK3333 Operating current: 34mA acquision, 29  mA tracking
  • Output: NMEA 0183, 9600 baud default, 3V logic level out, 5V-safe input
  • DGPS/WAAS/EGNOS supported
  • FCC E911 compliance and AGPS support (Offline mode : EPO valid up to 14 days )
  • Up to 210 PRN channels
  • Jammer detection and reduction
  • Multi-path detection and compensation
  • Weight: 8.5g (not including coin cell or holder)
  • Dimensions: 25.5mm x 35mm x 6.5mm (not including coin cell or holder)


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