I cleaned up the layout for the board. HERE IT IS
So, I got the serial board working last night. The parts came in from Mouser and I tossed them on the board. I forgot exactly how small 0603 was when I was laying out the board. I remembered, vividly, when I went to solder them on. It went alright though.
Now I’m waiting on the GPS module itself, which should be in today, but I’ll be at the Dallas Makerspace tonight so I don’t expect to be able to test it until Friday night, and probably finally install it on Saturday.
A few months ago I bought a Clevo P151EM1 laptop to use as my main machine. It rocks. Among the things I like about it is that Clevo supplies a service manual with schematic, something you don’t see out of the major manufacturers. However, one area that I’ve been constantly let down in is GPS. My phone and tablet have GPS, why not my laptop? While browsing the schematic, I found an unused USB port on the board. This would be for the IR emitter for the 3d screen on the P171Em. The same motherboard is in my laptop, and I found the unpopulated connector. It just goes straight back to the southbridge on the schematic, so I don’t have to worry about other components not being populated and the port not working.
For the module itself, I’m going to use this one from SparkFun. Its one of the smallest I’ve ever seen, and quite powerful. The only drawback is that SparkFun only caries the Serial TTL option. The company that produces the board claims there is a USB version, but I have yet to find one. So, my only option is a USB to Serial adapter. A very small one.
The schematic I copied from the FTDI datasheet, no need to reinvent the wheel. The board layout I did in Eagle. Since I have to stick this thing in my laptop, along with the GPS reciever, it has to be tiny. It proved a little difficult to get the pins on the FTDI chip to come out correctly, but I finally managed after 3 attempts.
Now I’m just waiting on the parts from Mouser and SparkFun to come in, should be Tuesday or Wednesday.