Building a complete customized system is a lot of work. It normally requires specific knowledge about several components. Even after each component is learned, it still takes a considerable amount of time to put everything together. I first considered trying to build my own GPS receiver, but after taking a look at a paper about GPS and GLONASS theory, I decided against the endeavor as it probably would take half a year.
Fortunately for those of us who are eager to incorporate GPS into our custom projects (I use them in robotics), or just learn more, there are a huge selection of OEM GPS units.
The OEM means that it is meant to be incorporated into other projects and doesn't come with a screen, casing, or any extras. The great thing about the majority of these devices is that they are extremely versatile and easy to hook up.
As usual, I have provided this tutorial in video format as well:
I'll do my best to explain each section in detail as we proceed.
Step 1: Supplies Needed
(3 AA or AAA batteries in series is 4.5V or a 9V with a voltage regulator)
2. If using a 9V - 5v voltage regulator
3. Wire connector to the 9v battery
5. female serial port
6. some wires to attach to the serial port
7. soldering iron
If you have trouble finding a serial port, you can take apart an old device. I tore apart an old digital camera adapter.
The model that I will be demonstrating how to hook up and use is a Garmin GPS15L. However, these instructions should apply quite well across different models.
It is important when selecting an OEM device to pay close attention to the output format of the unit. The GPS15L outputs based on RS232 level serial where as the Parallax Gps unit outputs at TTL levels. This means the Parallax model won't work the way we are hooking this unit up. TTL levels are generally used for integrated circuit communication. So the Parallax unit would be better suited if you wanted to have it connect right to a micro controller and not to your PC.