Home made GPS logger

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by zozie, Jan 2, 2013.

  1. zozie

    zozie Been here awhile

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    Thanx for your kind words. I'm getting some quotes back on Monday to see how much it would cost to make them. I want three versions. A basic one with a battery tray, as small as possible with just an on/off switch. The 2nd one with external power connector and some switches for pause etc... The third will have a built in LCD with the info shown above and maybe bluetooth. Depending on the quotes, the first and second one should cost less than 80 bucks to make, the 3rd one would be more because of the LCD and voltage monitor, but I still can't see it costing a whole lot more. Programming it all is a bit time consuming but that's what my job is for:evil
    #21
  2. OaklandStrom

    OaklandStrom Long timer

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    This is a super cool idea. :clap

    I've wanted to put something similar on my bike, but didn't want to deal with running my smartphone all the time. This could be easily installed under the seat, connected to the bike battery, with the antenna & button(s) mounted on the dash.

    I'm looking forward to making on, and playing with the software.
    #22
  3. Attico

    Attico Wrong way 'round

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    Very very cool. Color me interested.

    I could use this for sure. I think this kind of logger would be much better than using a regular gps. You also would have the same limitations that garmin and othere seem to impose.

    You could also use this to geotag your photos by reconciling the logger with your camera...just need to ensure your time is in sync.

    I will be honest, keeping it simple is best. A box with a status led, 2 colors.

    Red, on and recording. Green on, but paused.

    2 switches. On/off, and pause.

    All the ancillary stuff i personally would use since i have a regular gps.

    Really awesome though.
    #23
  4. Grinnin

    Grinnin Forever N00b

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    I think that your once a second is great.

    G_____ logs whenever something (other than Lat/Lon) change. I just figured that you read the GPS input, compared it to the last entry, and logged if the new one was different. Does the GPS module provide direction of travel or would you have to calculate this? When on straight roads there are very few entries, but when there are lots of changes it logs often. If you stop, it stops logging until you move again.

    But as I said in the first line of this reply, your once-a-second is great. It's easy now to provide the memory for it.
    #24
  5. zozie

    zozie Been here awhile

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    Yeah memory is cheap now. An 8GB sd card will last you a while:D
    #25
  6. Ceri JC

    Ceri JC UK GSer

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    Nice device. I was talking with a fellow GPS geek a year or so back and he said GPS device really wanted, was a small, cheap, lightweight GPS that was just a simple on/off switch, LED to show it was on and for it to do nothing but sample every 30 seconds or so and write co-ords to a .gpx file on an SD card in it. Main thing would be long battery life and ability to read the resultant file on the device itself was irrelevant. This looks pretty close to that.
    #26
  7. AdrianB1

    AdrianB1 Adventurer

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    I have a similar home built device, but older and less potent :) It is quite small and it works on 4 regular AA batteries or rechargeables (easier to find than 9V) and the endurance is around 60 hours of operation on 2500mAh rechargeables. The storage is micro SD and I found it a bit unreliable on the road as the card may move in the slot at shocks and lose contact, so I had to add a warning on the display. It is writing 1 position per second, good enough for almost anything. I use Google Earth usually to analyze the tracks.

    Due to lack of 2-3 line display at that time mine is using a single line display; I found it to be almost useless anyway as I am never reading the display except at startup to check the available SD space and the GPS fix; I use the device only as a tracker and I am using the smartphone as GPS navigator and map.

    The precision is quite good, except for altitude, and the temperature sensor is useless if you carry it in the backpack. In the end a tracker needs to be small, light, sturdy and reliable and the battery to last as long as possible - this is why the screen and Internet connection are not something I need.

    Size of the box: 11.5x6.5x4 cm (~ 4.4"x2.5"x1.5").
    #27
  8. HairyLeg

    HairyLeg What's that smell?

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    Great idea, and amazing that you can do this yourself and tailor it to do exactly what you need.

    I was after something to log a continuous trail, regardless of how I was travelling.
    For those who can't wait for this project to finish, just try Googling or EBaying "GPS Data Logger", I did about 18 mths ago and found one of these:

    [​IMG]

    http://www.transystem.com.tw/product.php?b=g&m=pe&cid=4&sid=21&id=56

    It shows a continuous read-out of speed (amongst other things).
    It also has Bluetooth if you want to hook a laptop to it while running.
    I put a left-over 2gig Micro SD card in it. Records for weeks, once per second, using 2 AAAs per day. Used it across Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand on buses, bikes, ferrys, taxis etc. Even worked on planes.

    Just a suggestion for an alternative while Zozie's is being developed.
    #28
  9. zozie

    zozie Been here awhile

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    There is a slight problem.... The GPS module I'm using doesn't display speed above 199 knots which is 229mph so it might not be suitable for use on track days:rofl

    All joking aside, I got some quotes back and it seems the whole thing would cost around $75-85 or so. The more I think about it, the more I think having a webservice for it would be a cool idea where all users could compare tracks etc... Would be supercool for cross country flying as well or even just gliding.
    #29
  10. Ceri JC

    Ceri JC UK GSer

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    On the subject of high sampling frequency; I found when analysing a crash in a built up area, it was really useful to have (whatever frequency the Zumo 660 samples at). It was even possible to see the point where I changed position in the lane to try and avoid a car and then the bike going into another lane and how quickly I pulled over afterwards.

    Hairyleg: That looks great, thanks. Just did some searching (as I couldn't find that available near me). Looks like $60 gets you one of these:
    http://www.holux.com/JCore/en/products/products_content.jsp?pno=341
    12 hours out of 1AA battery, <39g w/o battery!
    Looks ideal as a backup GPS for when you just want logging.
    #30
  11. OaklandStrom

    OaklandStrom Long timer

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    I want something I can log a two week, 5,000 mile trip on - with no computer. I only travel with a smartphone, and just want something to collect points while I travel, that automatically pauses when I'm not moving.

    Get home, and connect it to a computer to see all the data.
    #31
  12. zozie

    zozie Been here awhile

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    I just did that actually. Trying to keep it as simple as possible.
    #32
  13. OaklandStrom

    OaklandStrom Long timer

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    Sounds perfect. Any idea of when you'll have it available? I have a trip coming up, and will be buying something that has these features.
    #33
  14. zozie

    zozie Been here awhile

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    When are you going?
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  15. OaklandStrom

    OaklandStrom Long timer

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    Some time around the MotoGP in Austin. Mid April.
    It would be good to do a shakedown first.
    #35
  16. nivag

    nivag Adventurer

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    How does it split the gpx file, is it by on/off or by day/week/month if it's left hard wired and on?

    Looks good BTW :D
    #36
  17. zozie

    zozie Been here awhile

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    Right now it's on/off, then you can stitch them together from the Windoz app. (Just writing it in Java so Mac:puke1 and Linux users can use it)
    There is also a button that pauses it. The files are saved by date and UTC time.
    I guess I could put another button on it, if it's pressed and the device is turned on, then it just adds to the previous file but that's more programming work...
    #37
  18. modernbeat

    modernbeat Jason McDaniel

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    #38
  19. rick505

    rick505 Adventurer

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    I've been toying with making something similar but have purchased a GPS module that apparently has built in logging capability. My plan is to attach it to the Arduino to load the sketch and start the internal logging. Then while applying power to the module (single cell Li-Po battery) attach it to my riding jacket, for example, take a ride and when I return extract the captured data. I just picked up a couple 750mAh li-po batteries and the module appears to at least lock with just the battery connected.

    I also picked up this GPS module in a different form factor. Since I'm still learning about both the Arduino and GPS stuff it's been a pretty rough start.

    Zozie, are you providing the sketch you are using or are you anticipating making this a commercial product??

    Thanks,

    Rick
    #39
  20. nivag

    nivag Adventurer

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    Cheers, I know my phone app is meant to do auto splitting if it gets to a certain size, but it's never a problem as I only have it running when needed due to battery drainage.

    Making it Mac friendly is defo a plus point in my book :D
    #40