User avatar
pi-anazazi
Posts: 714
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2015 9:22 pm
Location: EU

Robust outdoor GPS-logger

Tue Jun 23, 2020 6:44 am

Hello again!

I currently use a robust outdoor GPS logger for hiking and other sports documentation. No display of data needed, but current speed display would be nice. As these devices normally have a limited life expectancy and I want to be prepared, I'm looking for some kind of robust GPS-logger.

I found some threads here on Adafruit boards, but it all looks a little too big (even with Arduino) and not very robust for outdoor use.

Is there any known solution for a DIY device of that kind? (or do I have to buy an old iphone?)
Kind regards

anazazi

aBUGSworstnightmare
Posts: 1855
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2015 1:35 pm

Re: Robust outdoor GPS-logger

Tue Jun 23, 2020 12:54 pm

google found lot of instructables when seraching for 'GPS logging Raspberry Pi'.

Add a small OLED (i.e. https://learn.adafruit.com/adafruit-pio ... y-pi/usage) , some code to give you speed from your NMEA record and get it displayed.

User avatar
pi-anazazi
Posts: 714
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2015 9:22 pm
Location: EU

Re: Robust outdoor GPS-logger

Tue Jun 23, 2020 1:47 pm

Hi and thanks!

Yeah, I found a lot out there, butthe focus is on ROBUST (as usable in the top of a backpack or on the beach). So any data points for that use? Is a zero enough and reliable?
Kind regards

anazazi

MarkTF
Posts: 318
Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2015 4:59 pm

Re: Robust outdoor GPS-logger

Tue Jun 23, 2020 3:16 pm

Robustness is largely a function of how the device is packaged. The electronics should operate fine over any reasonable temperature range, but will need to be protected against moisture and such.

Far be it from me to discourage anyone from electronics tinkering, but the obvious solution is to download a GPS tracking/logging app to a cellphone and carry it in a waterproof pouch. I've used OSMTracker for Android to do trail mapping, but there are others. If there is significant risk of losing or destroying the device (e.g. kayaking) I use one of the obsolete phones I've accumulated over the years.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/deta ... cker&hl=en

User avatar
pi-anazazi
Posts: 714
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2015 9:22 pm
Location: EU

Re: Robust outdoor GPS-logger

Tue Jun 23, 2020 4:24 pm

No "smart"phone here. DIY is the way to go...
Kind regards

anazazi

aBUGSworstnightmare
Posts: 1855
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2015 1:35 pm

Re: Robust outdoor GPS-logger

Tue Jun 23, 2020 6:08 pm

pi-anazazi wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 1:47 pm
Hi and thanks!

Yeah, I found a lot out there, butthe focus is on ROBUST (as usable in the top of a backpack or on the beach). So any data points for that use? Is a zero enough and reliable?
you will have to make it ROBUST! I.e. By putting the HW into a good lunchbox which will seal it against dust and water. You will still be able to ser your small OLED if the box is transparent.

A zero is more than enough (as a 8bit MCU will do as well)

do you know MTK3339 GPS module? Has build in 64k Flash for data logging (every 15sec) https://learn.adafruit.com/adafruit-ult ... in-logging

I still have one around ...

Heater
Posts: 15794
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2012 3:02 pm

Re: Robust outdoor GPS-logger

Tue Jun 23, 2020 6:40 pm

pi-anazazi wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 1:47 pm
Hi and thanks!

Yeah, I found a lot out there, butthe focus is on ROBUST (as usable in the top of a backpack or on the beach). So any data points for that use? Is a zero enough and reliable?
Obviously if you attach a Pi Zero to a GPS module and some display and whatever you use for a power supply with a haphazard mess of wires and connectors, then stuff it into a back pack and go hiking or partying on the beach it is not going to work for five minutes.

The components themselves are fine, but they need to be assembled robustly and protecting from rough handling and the elements in general.

That is all down to you. What enclosures will you use? How will you build this? Etc?

After you have built a hand full of your desired device and killed them all on your field trips then you will know what it takes to make your system "ROBUST" and reliable in your use case.
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

User avatar
bensimmo
Posts: 4550
Joined: Sun Dec 28, 2014 3:02 pm
Location: East Yorkshire

Re: Robust outdoor GPS-logger

Tue Jun 23, 2020 7:17 pm

Look at the TTGO T-Beams with the Ublox m8n GNSS (not the Ublox 6m GPS) modules on them.

might be the better way to go, or a newer alternative.

You can even send you location back via LoRaWAN depending what's near you.
OLED screen to I think and a battery holder.

then figure out a way to make it robust. how is your case design skills?

or grab a mobile phone that you can hack and modify the OS on them.

User avatar
pi-anazazi
Posts: 714
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2015 9:22 pm
Location: EU

Re: Robust outdoor GPS-logger

Wed Jun 24, 2020 6:17 am

Thanks for the input! It's specifically the ROBUST part of the thing why I came here ;-)

Some years ago I used raspis as some kind of flying action cam on the beach, with very mixed success. Now as the sports GPS devices are dying out thanks to the "smart"phones, I wanted to learn if anybody in the whole wide world has succeeded in building a robust GPS for outdoor use.

I have a bird-feeder cam based on a raspi in a freezer plastic box (water-proof, kind of), but I wanted a more compact design for the GPS.

And: Logging every 15 sec is not enough for my use case

https://learn.adafruit.com/adafruit-ult ... in-logging

(speed up to 80 km/h).

So any GPS-hardware (I found this here:

https://www.banggood.com/LILYGO-TTGO-T- ... 20390.html)

and/or enclosures that work already somewhere? :-)
Kind regards

anazazi

K Research
Posts: 22
Joined: Wed Jun 19, 2019 12:45 am

Re: Robust outdoor GPS-logger

Thu Jun 25, 2020 9:05 pm

pi-anazazi wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 6:17 am
Thanks for the input! It's specifically the ROBUST part of the thing why I came here ;-)

Some years ago I used raspis as some kind of flying action cam on the beach, with very mixed success. Now as the sports GPS devices are dying out thanks to the "smart"phones, I wanted to learn if anybody in the whole wide world has succeeded in building a robust GPS for outdoor use.

I have a bird-feeder cam based on a raspi in a freezer plastic box (water-proof, kind of), but I wanted a more compact design for the GPS.

And: Logging every 15 sec is not enough for my use case

https://learn.adafruit.com/adafruit-ult ... in-logging

(speed up to 80 km/h).

So any GPS-hardware (I found this here:

https://www.banggood.com/LILYGO-TTGO-T- ... 20390.html)

and/or enclosures that work already somewhere? :-)
Where would you get the software for the LILYGO® TTGO T-Beam ESP32 have you found support ?

I have one of the Adafruit Ultimate GPS attached to the Raspberry Pi W and am waiting on support as I could not follow the supplied instructions/tutorials, best I have is the red light on the GPS Module blinking once per second indoors and after a while outdoors every 15 seconds. Came here looking for others who has used adafruit-ultimate-gps.

I would like to build at least 3 of these once I get one figured out for Off-Road use..

User avatar
pi-anazazi
Posts: 714
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2015 9:22 pm
Location: EU

Re: Robust outdoor GPS-logger

Wed Jul 01, 2020 1:20 pm

Holux GPSport 245+ ... sigh... those where the days! :-(
Kind regards

anazazi

aBUGSworstnightmare
Posts: 1855
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2015 1:35 pm

Re: Robust outdoor GPS-logger

Wed Jul 01, 2020 2:51 pm

pi-anazazi wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 6:17 am
Thanks for the input! It's specifically the ROBUST part of the thing why I came here ;-)

Some years ago I used raspis as some kind of flying action cam on the beach, with very mixed success. Now as the sports GPS devices are dying out thanks to the "smart"phones, I wanted to learn if anybody in the whole wide world has succeeded in building a robust GPS for outdoor use.

I have a bird-feeder cam based on a raspi in a freezer plastic box (water-proof, kind of), but I wanted a more compact design for the GPS.

And: Logging every 15 sec is not enough for my use case

https://learn.adafruit.com/adafruit-ult ... in-logging

(speed up to 80 km/h).

So any GPS-hardware (I found this here:

https://www.banggood.com/LILYGO-TTGO-T- ... 20390.html)

and/or enclosures that work already somewhere? :-)
so why not use the GPS at 10Hz, simply processing the NMEA messages?
As you did not mention your use case nobody will know what you consider as ' enough'

User avatar
pi-anazazi
Posts: 714
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2015 9:22 pm
Location: EU

Re: Robust outdoor GPS-logger

Fri Jul 03, 2020 8:02 am

The "case" is exactly what I'm looking for and the reason why I came here. I thought somebody has built such an outdoor device based on a zero or alike...
Kind regards

anazazi

Return to “General discussion”