[aprssig] Really CHEAP Puck-type USB GPS Receiver

Steve Noskowicz noskosteve at yahoo.com
Sat Jan 21 00:30:10 CST 2012

This is crazy...too many 'me too' posts. (;-)
  Yes, Yes a computer is required (;-).
  I quoted Steve's (another one, not me) ORIGINAL announcement post about the puck and he said that it would work very well with "a computer-based APRS or mapping program".  True, true.
In other words, Plug this puck, AS-IS, into a computer and go.
The "crack it open, cable, DB-9" bit came later.

73, *THIS* Steve, K9DCI

--- Alex Carver sorta' correctly wrote:

No, no computer is required if he's willing to crack the unit open.  The GPS inside is still TTL based 8-bit serial.  The USB-Serial chip buried inside would have to be removed and replaced with a TTL-RS232 level shifter chip.  Add a power line and voltage regulator and the GPS is ready for any device that is expecting RS232.

It's not hard, people.  Regardless of the ubiquity of USB, it's much easier to implement standard serial communication on the microcontrollers for most devices than to try and integrate an entire USB client stack in the tiny memory space.  It's far easier to offload that function to one of the many of the shelf USB-TTL serial chips like the OEM chips from Prolific or FTDI.  Serial is not going away anytime soon, it's just being abstracted away by a small chip.  Take out the chip and enjoy your normal serial data.

 From: Steve Noskowicz 

Note that he says "a computer-based APRS or mapping program"

You'd have to supply power, no?  The puck is a client/slave/whatever (which needs power) not a master (such as a computer that supplies power).

73, Steve, K9DCI  

--- Boyd Prestwood K5YKG wrote:

> I wonder if the puck could be opened
> up and a serial cable (terminated in a DB-9 or some such) be
> soldered on before the USB conversion?
> Boyd Prestwood K5YKG
> On 1/20/2012 12:26 PM, Stephen H. Smith wrote:
> > If you want a GPS to use with a computer-based APRS or
> mapping program, this is an unbeatable deal.
> > 
> > Amazon is currently selling the GlobalSat BU-353 USB
> "hockey puck" GPS receiver for USD $25.28 with FREE
> shipping!
> > 
> > This is a USB-interfaced device that will work with any
> kind of COMPUTER-based APRS setup, but NOT with stand-alone
> hardware devices like Kenwood radios, TinyTracks, Tracker 2,
> etc.


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