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Step 6: A PLAIN GPS LOGGER TO INTERFACE WITH GOOGLE EARTH

For those who want to use this prototype as a generic GPS logger, to track your path, just upload the Arduino code below. This program will generate raw NMEA RMC sentences to file GPS.LOG on the SD card without any sensor data.

We can then Import the GPS.LOG file into Google Earth and generate maps overlaid with your logged track points.  Please refer to my LS20031 GPS tutorial on how to import a raw GPS NMEA log files into Google Earth. 

You can also import this NMEA log file into Excel as a comma-delimited text file and reformat it for GPSvisualizer.com to draw maps with track points and more.  More on this in the next sections. 

// ================ START PROGRAM =====================

/*

PROJECT: A Plain GPS Logger

DEVELOPER:  Hazim Bitar (techbitar at gmail dot com)

DESCRIPTION:  This program logs GPS location information wherever you go and saves to the SD card as raw NMEA data to be imported into Google Earth. 

LICENSE:      I am placing this code in the public domain

DATE:         NOV 17, 2012

*/
#include <SD.h>
#define LED 8           // status LED for SD operations
#define BUFF_MAX 100    // size of GPS & SD buffers

File GPSlog;

void setup()
{
  Serial.begin(4800); // The LS20031 GPS receiver must be set to 4800 for program to work

  pinMode(10, OUTPUT);   // Per SD library notes, pin 10 must be set to output
  pinMode(LED, OUTPUT);

  if (!SD.begin(4)) {        // SD card detected?
    digitalWrite(LED,LOW);   // turn off staus LED if SD detection fails
    return;
  }
  else   digitalWrite(LED, HIGH); // turn on LED if SD detection is OK

  GPSlog = SD.open("GPS.log", O_CREAT | O_WRITE);  // open/append to a file GPS.log
  if (!GPSlog) {               // test if file can be opened
    digitalWrite(LED,LOW);     // turn off status LED if file open fails
    return;
  }
  else digitalWrite(LED, HIGH);  // turn on status LED if file open is OK
}

void loop()
{
  char inBuffer[BUFF_MAX];    // buffer used to read NMEA lines from GPS
  byte outBuffer[BUFF_MAX];   // buffer used to write NMEA lines to SD card
  int sizeBuffer = 0;        // counter of how many chars per line

  while (Serial.available()>0)  // if serial data available from GPS
  {        
    sizeBuffer = Serial.readBytesUntil('\n', inBuffer, BUFF_MAX);  // read one NMEA line from GPS until end of line
    for (int i = 0; i < BUFF_MAX; i++) outBuffer[i] = inBuffer[i];   // create CSV file on SD
    int j = 0;
    if (GPSlog) {
      GPSlog.write(outBuffer, sizeBuffer);  // write GPS NMEA output to SD
      GPSlog.print("\r\n");    
      GPSlog.flush();
      digitalWrite(LED, HIGH);  // Keep LED on so long as SD logging is working.
    }
    else {
      // if the file didn't open, turn LED off
      digitalWrite(LED, LOW);  // turn LED off if writing to file fails
    }
  }
}
// ================ END PROGRAM =====================

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<p>Can anyone help please? I am new <br>to this, and been trying to put together the project. So far I have everything <br>assembled as instructed. However, as soon as I try to verify the code, I get <br>this error:</p><p>Arduino: 1.6.5 (Windows 7), Board: &quot;Arduino/Genuino <br>Uno&quot;</p><p>C:\Program Files <br>(x86)\Arduino\libraries\SD\src\utility\Sd2Card.cpp:26:17: fatal error: SPI.h: <br>No such file or directory</p><p>#include <br>&lt;SPI.h&gt;</p><p>^</p><p>compilation terminated.</p><p>Error compiling.</p><p>What do I need to do to fix this?</p>
<p>Newer versions of Arduino IDE can't find the SPI library, so you need to add them by adding the following line at the start of sketch:<br>#include &lt;SPI.h&gt;<br></p>
<p>I'm no expert but had this same problem on another project. All of the files (including the additional libraries) need to be in the right folder. The Arduino IDE seems to be a bit picky about this (on Linux at least).</p>
<p>can i have the code for storing Accelerometer ADXL335 data into SD card with time staps (say every 5 min interbal)</p><p>and how can name the stored file as a YYYYMMDDHHSS format </p>
<p>could not get code to compile</p>
<p>I made an equivalent tool in python that print real time data from ADXL345 accelerometer.</p>
<p>like</p>
<p>I made an equivalent tool in python that print real time data from ADXL345 accelerometer.</p><p><a href="https://github.com/mba7/SerialPort-RealTime-Data-Plotter" rel="nofollow">https://github.com/mba7/SerialPort-RealTime-Data-P...</a></p><p>may be it will be helpful for someone</p>
<p>I made an equivalent tool in python that print real time data from ADXL345 accelerometer.</p><p><a href="https://github.com/mba7/SerialPort-RealTime-Data-Plotter" rel="nofollow">https://github.com/mba7/SerialPort-RealTime-Data-P...</a></p><p>may be it will be helpful for someone</p>
<p>I need create a file GPS.log in SD card before do this work ? Or the file GPS.log will be created by code?</p>
<p>You can read the accelerometer more often than the GPS, so there should be no need to interpolate the accelerometer reading.</p>
<p>great</p>
<p>good</p>
<p>super</p>
<p>super</p>
<p>In this tutorial I find what I need to start interfacing the gps sensor with an Arduino. And because I want to help many more hobbyists to start building robots, I share this tutorial on my post http://www.intorobotics.com/gps-sensors-tutorials-resources/. Thank you!</p>
<p>Hello techbitar - I'm thinking of building an adaption of your project but am considering changing the SD card adapter to the microSD card shield from Sparkfun: https://www.sparkfun.com/products/9802</p>
True but not all sensors (temperature, humid, etc.) possibly used by others will be as fast as the accelerometer I am using in my project.
Hello techbitar, <br> <br>I just ordered all the hardware for this project, and I should be beginning it some time next week. I just had a question. Obviously all of these components would need to be powered up whilst in car data collecting while driving, so would one of these do the job: http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3802146 . Also, I got this for the 'in-home' programming and construction of the actual project: https://www.sparkfun.com/products/9442? ..... Do you think that'll be good as well? I would assume so.
The Arduino Uno specs are as follows: <br>Input Voltage (recommended) 7-12V <br>Input Voltage (limits) 6-20V <br> <br>As for current, I have tested my Bump-O-Meter with a USB connection which provides 5V and up to 0.5A. I did not run into any issues but I did not perform any exhaustive tests. <br> <br>While driving around in my car, I powered the Arduino Uno via the DC plug using a battery brick made of 6 X 1.2V (NiMh) = 7.2V @ 2A. That voltage is close to the minimum recommended voltage. It worked but of course the moment the battery dropped to 6V and below I am sure I would have ran into all sorts of issues. <br> <br>If I go production with this, I would use a 3S LiPo for a cool 11.1 Volts and 1.5A or 2A current for safety margin in case I need to add additional power hungry gizmos to the bump-o-meter. <br> <br>Check you choices of power supplies against the min/max voltage specs and add a comfortable margin to the current with an eye on your future plans. then decide what fits your requirements best.
I was riding my bike recently and remarked to another rider that it would be useful to quantify just how bad our roads are. My thinking is to first breadboard components as you have laid them out, and then substitute an Arduino Micro and micro SD card reader for compactness. While I like LiOn batteries, a 3S 11.1V 2 amp battery is fairly large (and heavy and needs a requisite charger). Do you have an idea for a compact battery with a 3-hour runtime?
Hello techbitar - I'm thinking of building an adaption of your project but am considering changing the SD card adapter to the microSD card shield from Sparkfun: https://www.sparkfun.com/products/9802 <br> <br>Do you see any obvious problems with this change, and would it break the code you've written? Cheers
I have not tried it but if it Sparkfun's SD adapter does not work out of the box you may need to tweak my circuit and/or code.
You can read the accelerometer more often than the GPS, so there should be no need to interpolate the accelerometer reading.
True but not all sensors (temperature, humid, etc.) possibly used by others will be as fast as the accelerometer I am using in my project.
You're welcome.

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