View Full Version : GPS Module for Lubuntu?

12-05-2013, 12:08 PM
I am currently running Lubuntu 10.4 and I am trying to find a simple GPS module that will return Lat/Long values. Most of the devices I have found are only compatible with Windows and Arduino.

Has anyone come across a GPS module that may work?

12-05-2013, 12:35 PM
First, Linux comes with its own GPS support; typically through gpsd (and with the sample client xgps, but you can use others, too.)

Second, most GPS USB devices actually are just serial devices, so even though they may claim only Windows support, they may actually support anything that can talk to a USB serial port, which includes MacOS X and Linux.

Third, if you have a device that is compatible with Arduino, that means it will speak TTL-level USART serial communications. This can easily be adapted using a USB->serial converter.

Fourth, no GPS adapter gives you "only lat/long values." Support systems, like gpsd, may be able to give you that actual value you're looking for, but the GPS adapters themselves emit what's known as "NMEA stanzas."

Option 1: A GPS adapter that I've used on Linux, and that I know is plug-and-play with gpsd: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000PKX2KA/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B000PKX2KA&linkCode=as2&tag=enchage-20 (GlobalSat BU-353)
Performance is okay outdoors; indoors it does not get a lock. It's based on the old-but-okay SIRF-III chipset.

Option 2: A USB serial adapter that can adapt any Arduino-compatible module you can find: http://www.ebay.com/itm/1pcs-PL2303HX-USB-to-TTL-Auto-Converter-Module-Converter-Adapter-for-Arduino-/121225775318?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item1c399e88d6
T (http://www.ebay.com/itm/1pcs-PL2303HX-USB-to-TTL-Auto-Converter-Module-Converter-Adapter-for-Arduino-/121225775318?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item1c399e88d6)here are lots and lots of these, and they're all pretty much equivalent. Linux auto-recognizes these as USB serial ports, and you then hook up the serial out of the GPS module to this adapter. This allows you to use fancy new versions of GPS chipsets much sooner -- ublox 6 or 7, for example, which may be sensitive enough to get a lock indoors.