Arduino GPS – Ublox NEO-M8N Flight Controller GPS w/Protective Shell for PIX PX4 Pixhawk

Hey everyone,

I recently purchased this GPS unit on ebay: http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItemVersion&item=272492032614&view=all&tid=1865626885017

Unfortunately, I didn’t do a lot of research before getting it and had a bit of trouble finding any spec sheets or documentation. Just in case anyone else has the same problem I’ve listed out everything I needed to get it running below.

This is the wiring info you’ll need for an Arduino:
– VCC: red
– GND: black
– TXD: yellow
– RXD: white
– SCL: green
– SDA: blue

And while this post is mostly targetting Arduino, the following wiring can be used for a RaspberryPi3:
– VCC: red => pi 3.3v
– GND: black => pi gnd
– TXD: yellow => pi rx (GPIO15/Pin #10)
– RXD: white => pi tx (GPIO14/Pin #08)
– SCL: green => pi scl (GPIO3/Pin #5)
– SDA: blue => pi sda (GPIO4/Pin #7)

The default baud rate was 38400.

This is the example I ended up using to get a quick test up and running. Ensure that you map the rx and tx pins correctly (arduino tx to gps rx, arduino rx to gps tx).


v#include
#include
/*
This sample sketch demonstrates the normal use of a TinyGPS++ (TinyGPSPlus) object.
It requires the use of SoftwareSerial, and assumes that you have a
4800-baud serial GPS device hooked up on pins 4(rx) and 3(tx).
*/
static const int RXPin = 11, TXPin = 10;
static const uint32_t GPSBaud = 38400;

// The TinyGPS++ object
TinyGPSPlus gps;

// The serial connection to the GPS device
SoftwareSerial ss(RXPin, TXPin);

void setup()
{
Serial.begin(115200);
ss.begin(GPSBaud);

Serial.println(F("DeviceExample.ino"));
Serial.println(F("A simple demonstration of TinyGPS++ with an attached GPS module"));
Serial.print(F("Testing TinyGPS++ library v. ")); Serial.println(TinyGPSPlus::libraryVersion());
Serial.println(F("by Mikal Hart"));
Serial.println();
}

void loop()
{
// This sketch displays information every time a new sentence is correctly encoded.
while (ss.available() > 0)
if (gps.encode(ss.read()))
displayInfo();

if (millis() > 5000 && gps.charsProcessed() < 10) { Serial.println(F("No GPS detected: check wiring.")); while(true); } } void displayInfo() { Serial.print(F("Location: ")); if (gps.location.isValid()) { Serial.print(gps.location.lat(), 6); Serial.print(F(",")); Serial.print(gps.location.lng(), 6); } else { Serial.print(F("INVALID")); } Serial.print(F(" Date/Time: ")); if (gps.date.isValid()) { Serial.print(gps.date.month()); Serial.print(F("/")); Serial.print(gps.date.day()); Serial.print(F("/")); Serial.print(gps.date.year()); } else { Serial.print(F("INVALID")); } Serial.print(F(" ")); if (gps.time.isValid()) { if (gps.time.hour() < 10) Serial.print(F("0")); Serial.print(gps.time.hour()); Serial.print(F(":")); if (gps.time.minute() < 10) Serial.print(F("0")); Serial.print(gps.time.minute()); Serial.print(F(":")); if (gps.time.second() < 10) Serial.print(F("0")); Serial.print(gps.time.second()); Serial.print(F(".")); if (gps.time.centisecond() < 10) Serial.print(F("0")); Serial.print(gps.time.centisecond()); } else { Serial.print(F("INVALID")); } Serial.println(); }

Output should be something like this:

DeviceExample.ino
A simple demonstration of TinyGPS++ with an attached GPS module
Testing TinyGPS++ library v. 0.92
by Mikal Hart

Location: -27.427371,153.028945 Date/Time: 9/10/2017 06:04:21.40
Location: -27.427371,153.028945 Date/Time: 9/10/2017 06:04:21.40
LocatiaonfTGS+wh atahdSmlesiTiGS+bay .2b a at
ain Da/ie/ ai .Da/Te 1tion: -27.427371,153.028945 Date/Time: 9/10/2017 06:04:21.60
Location: -27.427371,153.028945 Date/Time: 9/10/2017 06:04:21.60
LocaS+bay .2b a at
ain Da/ie/ ai .Da/Te 1tion: -.aeTm1.
ti:.atTm:7cation: -27.427370,153.028945 Date/Time: 9/10/2017 06:04:21.80
Location: -27.427370,153.028945 Date/Time: 9/10/2017 06:04:21.80
Location: -27.427370,153.028945 Date/Time: 9/10/2017 06:04:22.00
Location: -27.427370,153.028945 Date/Time: 9/10/2017 06:04:22.00
Location: -27.427370,153.028945 Date/Time: 9/10/2017 06:04:22.20
Location: -27.427370,153.028945 Date/Time: 9/10/2017 06:04:22.20
Location: -27.427370,153.028945 Date/Time: 9/10/2017 06:04:22.40
Locat/Te:/ an:3aTi: /1ain.atTm:7atn 3Dtie 1.cto.3teim 1.
ti: .aTim1aton: -27.427370,153.028945 Date/Time: 9/10/2017 06:04:22.40
Location: -27.427368,153.028945 Date/Time: 9/10/2017 06:04:22.60
Location: -27.427368,153.028945 Datn 3Dtie 1.cto.3teim 1.

One final thing to note is that the blue light will start to flash once the GPS has a lock. You'll need a pretty open space, mine didn't work inside but got a lock within 60 seconds outside.

Let me know if you have any questions or links to better doco!

10 thoughts on “Arduino GPS – Ublox NEO-M8N Flight Controller GPS w/Protective Shell for PIX PX4 Pixhawk

  1. davebowland

    Hi. I see you connected TX/RX to the arduino. Did you connect SCL/SDA to the arduino, or is it not needed? If you did connect it, where did you connect it to?
    Did you use an UNO or MEGA? I have an UNO. I have the same GPS but can’t get it to work.
    Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Chris Owens Post author

      Hi Dave,

      Been a while since I worked on this sorry but I think that the compass part ran on that – so probably optional. There are SCL/SDA pins on the arduino though (at least the mega) so you should still be able to plug them in. Main things I remember having to check is that the blue light on the gps is on, that tx/rx pins are around the right way (they’re not very intuitive), and that the baud rate is correct.

      Let me know if you’re still having issues!

      Cheers,
      Chris

      Reply
        1. Chris Owens Post author

          Oh unlucky. Just check to make sure that pins 0 and 1 work and tx/rx pins – only certain pins can be used for it.

          Reply
  2. Sasha Stewart

    Hey I just wanted to know do I have 2 insert the Rx of gps in mega pin 10 and tx of gps in pin 11 right??,as it’s written opposites

    Reply
    1. Chris Owens Post author

      I haven’t got one in front of me to check which is which on the arduino sorry. But the tx from the gps goes to the rx of the arduino and vice versa. It’s pretty unintuitive and took me a few goes to figure it out. Let me know how you go!

      Reply
      1. Sasha Stewart

        yes , exactly same with me, it took me a few goes to figure it out,but the weird thing was it only worked when i connected to pin 10 and 11 i guess because of serial interrupts..maybe
        thanks for your advice

        Reply

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