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Lasermad.com • View topic - Adding GPS

Adding GPS


Site Admin

Posts: 950

Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2012 8:05 pm

Post Thu Feb 09, 2017 1:26 am

Adding GPS

This has been asked a few times so I though I would post a quick how-to.

The easiest module to use on a cylinder clock is the Skylab SKM 53, it's small enough to just about fit inside and sensitive enough to work indoors away from a window.

You'll need to connect the 5V pin to the left hand end of R8, ground to one of the large holes drilled for SK1 (just next to R7) and RXD to the top of R7 (just below R8), so all 3 connections are in the same area making it simple to tag it on above the clock PCB. Fit a 100R resistor in place for R7.

Posts: 51

Joined: Sat Apr 11, 2020 2:45 pm

Post Wed May 27, 2020 7:35 pm

Re: Adding GPS

Can you recommend a wifi-to-gps converter that would be suitable? Or a newer GPS module?

Site Admin

Posts: 950

Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2012 8:05 pm

Post Sat May 30, 2020 12:57 am

Re: Adding GPS

Not just yet but an ESP-based mod is in the works. Easiest way to just set time and date is to emulate the NMEA time packet but there is code in there to allow any memory location to be modified by serial data over that input - one of the things that caused problems at time with the IR clock-to-clock link.

Posts: 51

Joined: Sat Apr 11, 2020 2:45 pm

Post Thu Jun 04, 2020 11:18 am

Re: Adding GPS

This is a pretty ancient piece of kit: the copyright is from 2010. Newer stuff should be more sensitive, smaller, use GLONASS, BEIDOU, etc.... I note that in the documentation, the SKM53: "The module default NMEA-0183 output is set up GGA, GSA, GSV, RMC and default baud rate is set up 9600bps" - GGA contains the time format. Now exactly what can the clock software handle? Should the output of any alternative be *exactly* the same as the SKM53 default? Can it read ZDA messages? Or only GGA?

Posts: 51

Joined: Sat Apr 11, 2020 2:45 pm

Post Thu Jun 04, 2020 1:20 pm

Re: Adding GPS

Might a Beitian BN-220T or GPS-622F work also?

I bought the Beitian BN-220T module & it outputs NMEA0183 (that NTP understands, tested on GNU/Linux), so fingers crossed it is compatible with the clock...
Last edited by jmmcg on Fri Jun 19, 2020 6:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Site Admin

Posts: 950

Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2012 8:05 pm

Post Thu Jun 04, 2020 9:10 pm

Re: Adding GPS

It wasn't quite as ancient when I designed it :)

Any module with a NMEA serial TTL output between 2400 and 9600 bps will work so just about any on the market. Sensitivity and size will vary, I just recommended the SKM53 as I know it fits and works.

Posts: 51

Joined: Sat Apr 11, 2020 2:45 pm

Post Sat Jun 06, 2020 5:52 pm

Re: Adding GPS

Site Admin

Posts: 950

Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2012 8:05 pm

Post Sat Jun 06, 2020 7:05 pm

Re: Adding GPS

That was a bug in an earlier version of the code, if the packet was larger than expected it would cause a buffer overflow despite a pointer check.

It wouldn't be too difficult to connect up an ESP8266 programmed to spit out an emulated packet. Sadly just keeping up with work after our house/workshop move is enough for now.

Posts: 51

Joined: Sat Apr 11, 2020 2:45 pm

Post Sat Jun 06, 2020 9:00 pm

Re: Adding GPS

Now this is interesting: ... Perhaps I should route the data to the USB too, so then the clock can act as a stratum 1 time source!!

Posts: 51

Joined: Sat Apr 11, 2020 2:45 pm

Post Tue Jun 30, 2020 1:30 pm

Re: Adding GPS

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