Getting Interfaced With GPSBee

GPSBee is a high gain GPS Receiver. You can put the GPSBee Kit module into an existent shield, breakout, boards which is compatible with XBee standard sockets.It will be easy to test and use this module.The module is made with ultra small High gain third generation POT (Patch Antenna On Top) GPS module. Yes, there is no prior configuration required; just insert to XBee Socket, and your data (NMEA 0183) is ready at TX pin! This is a standalone GPS Module and requires no external components. It has a very compact and easy to integrate design with the ultimate tracking performances. It is also ideal for those who wish to plug-and-play GPS receiver module into their small form factor design. It can be directly connected to Microcontroller’s UART.

The GPS chipsets inside the module are designed by MediaTek Inc., which is the world’s leading digital media solution provider and largest fab-less IC company in Taiwan. The module can support up to 66 channels. The GPS solution enables small form factor devices. They deliver major advancements in GPS performances, accuracy, integration, computing power and flexibility. They are designed to simplify the embedded system integration process.

To determine the location of the GPS satellites two types of data are required by the GPS receiver: the almanac and the ephemeris. This data is continuously transmitted by the GPS satellites and your GPS receiver collects and stores this data.The data received is just ASCII text and varies in precision. Every sentence begins with a ‘$’ sign, has about 80 characters and ends up with a carriage return/line feed sequence. Sentences are mostly framed in single lines (may run over to multiple lines sometimes) and the data items in each sentence are separated by commas.As the module provides current time, date, latitude, longitude, speed, altitude and travel direction / heading among other data, so it can be used in a host of applications, including navigation, tracking systems, fleet management, mapping and robotics.

Features:•    MediaTek MT3329 Chipset, L1 Frequency, C/A code, 66 Channels
•    XBee Module Socket Compatible
•    Single 3V3 VDC supply @ 55 mA (typical)
•    TTL asynchronous serial interface
•    Data output Baud rate: 9600 bps(Default)
•    Standard NMEA0183 output format
•    Module will be provided with header soldered
•    Low Power Consumption: 55mA @ acquisition, 40mA @ tracking
•    High Sensitivity, -165 dBm, TCXO Design, superior urban performances
•    Position Accuracy: <3.0M 2D-RMS
•    Multi-path Compensation; E-GSM-900 Band Rejection
•    Cold Start is Under 36 seconds (Typical)
•    Warm Start is Under 34 seconds (Typical)
•    Hot Start is under 1 second (Typical)
•    Max. Update Rate: 10Hz (Default: 1 Hz)


PIN Diagram:
GPSBee PIN descriptions are as below

Layout:How to Test:
1. Test your GPSBee with PC:

  • XBee Explorer Dongle is used to connect GPS Bee module. When power supply is connected, GPS Bee,”PWR LED”(Blue) on the top of GPS module glows, which shows the power indication.
  • Here one sample test is shown using RhydoLabz XBee Explorer Dongle.
  • If the GPS receiver is new, or has not been used for some time, it may need 15 minutes or so to receive a current almanac.
  • Choose the appropriate COM port that got assigned to the explorer in your system by looking into the device manager like shown below you can see USB serial COM5 got selected:

  • By measuring distance  from four satellites four spheres are drawn from earth to each satellite. Those spheres only intersect at only one earth point (your location).  If there were only 3 satellites, there is more then one place the spheres intersect which is why the system needs that forth satellite so a bad calculation can not be made. The GPS receiver needs 4 satellites to work out your position in 3-dimensions. In GPS-BEE “3D LED”(Yellow) is blinks in every fraction of seconds to indicate  weak signal from satellites.  When the GPS receiver gets stronger signal the “3D LED” is turned off. The GPS receiver  will send raw GPS data based on NMEA 0183 protocol  to the PC.
  • Here sample test was done using GPRMC header . GPRMC tells the latitude, longitude, speed, time and date.  The details of GPRMC message is shown below
  • When GPS receiver get the weak signal,then the received GPS data  is as shown in the figure.The data  ‘V’ on the GPRMC header indicate a weak  signal from the satellite and GPS-BEE “3D LED”(Yellow) will blinks in every fraction of seconds.

  • When the GPS receiver gets stronger signal  from satellite the “3D LED” is turned off,the GPS data received is as shown in the figure.The data  ‘A’ on the GPRMC header indicate the strong  signal from the satellite.


 2. Test your GPSBee with rhydoLABZ Tracking Software

With the help of Hyper terminal or any other terminal software, you will only be able to see the  full NMEA protocol coming in  ASCII format and  rhydoLABZ tracking software plot  your location with the help of GOOGLE map.For using therhydoLABZ software you need to have net connectivity.


3. Test your GPSBee with  Arduino using XBee Shield

In RhydoLabz XBee shield redLED is used for indicating data transfer from GPS module and   data is  available at its Tx pin which is connected to Rx pin of the Arduino board  (GPSBee is suitable with any micro-controller).

  • While testing in Arduino mode, the switch on the XBee shield should be in Arduino mode Program is shown below.

  • When Arduino board  received GPS data,the data printed on serial monitor  is as shown in the figure.


4.  Test your GPSBee with PIC 16F877A

  • interface GPSBee with PIC16F877A  microcontroller using XBee standard sockets.The Rx pin of the microcontroller is connected to Tx pin of the GPSBee.
  • Program is shown below.
  • When PIC16F877A microcontroller  received GPS data,the data printed on serial monitor is as shown in the figure.

Mini GPS User Manual
Mini GPS Tool
rhydoLABZ Tracking Software (Windows)

How to Buy:Click here to buy GPSBee
Click here to buy rhydoLABZ  XBee Shield.
Click hear to buy rhydoLABZ XBee Explorer – RS232.
Click hear to buy RhydoLabz XBee Explorer Dongle.

Support:Please share your ideas with us, visit our forum for discussion.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ):Q. Where do we mount GPS?
Ans. GPS data available around the world. The GPS receiver will need to have a clear View of sky so that the GPS receiver can triangulate at least three satellites. We may find problem receiving signals in indoor area. The GPS signal may blocked by metal, deep forest, mountains etc.

Q. Do we need net connection to work GPS?
Ans. No. we don’t need internet connection for GPS data reception.

Q . Is GPSBee need external antenna?
Ans. No, the module is made with ultra small High gain third generation POT (Patch Antenna On Top) GPS module.

Q. What is NMEA 0183 ?
Ans. National Marine Electronics Association (NMEA) 0183 is a combined electrical and data specification for communication between marine electronic devices such as sonars GPS receivers etc and is controlled by, the U.S.-based National Marine Electronics Association.

Q. What is almanac ?
Ans. The GPS almanac is a set of data that every GPS satellite transmits.Almanac data includes a set of parameters for each GPS satellite that can be used to calculate its approximate location in orbit.



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