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Geocaching

7 Posts authored by: dmedlow
A few weeks since the last post, mainly due to the tenacious cold & flu-like bug circulating around the family. Since that's now gone I was keen to look at more GPS coding on the Pi.   My last attempt had reading of the serial port running fine until it was interrupted, then it produced errors on reading caused by the serial stream being read off of a character boundary. Furthermore once the stream has been read for a while it then only produced 8 or so characters per read - pointing ...
dmedlow

An Ill Wind...

Posted by dmedlow Sep 14, 2015
Alas winter has hit the old homestead hard, with most of the family down with or recovering from variations of head, chest and other colds. Hence not much fun stuff happening.....   However I did start thinking about how to get diagnostic info to a gps client program, and again came to the conclusion that it still might be better to read the gps stream myself as the other parsers generate errors without a fix present. So I modified my last software to add more diagnostic info to a file a ...
Having now resolved (hopefully) the hardware issues with the GPS and display mounted simultaneously it was time to check out the GPS reception and ensure that I was seeing good NMEA data on the serial interface. My problem is that the area where I do most of the experimentation has no close area where GPS signals would be available, and the Pi display currently is shown on a large 27" display I can't relocate. The solution of course is to use the Pi LCD display as there are Python libraries to ...
I was quite happy to get the Pi LCD display working by following the blog posts, but was disappointed to find that when I had both the MicroStack GPS module and the Display Board connected, the GPS Board stopped working. By a few elementary tests this was found to be caused by the shim board power connections (and probably data as well) not making positive connection on the side connector (the one to which the GPS was connected).   A number of others have commented on this and the solution ...
Today was spent soldering the Pi Shim and finding out exactly how bad my soldering skills were. Overall though not too bad and once completed it was time to mount the GPS on the microstack and the subassembly onto the Pi.   Once powered up I followed Charles Mao's second Geocaching blog post (link)  and updated the O/S, PI firmware and installed app software. Unfortunately I missed a step which was to cause some pain later...   After configuring the GPS Daemon and rebooting the ...
dmedlow

Getting Started

Posted by dmedlow Aug 16, 2015
Finally got to unboxing the hardware and seeing what was supplied for the geocaching build.   The Pi2 looks good, particularly with the additional USBs and the reduced footprint with the micro-SD card. I mounted the Raspberry on a board that I can use as a prototyping platform until I decide what the physical packaging of the end result is. Using a wireless keyboard/mouse (logitech) allows more physical flexibility. Its awesome how much processing capability is now available in the platfor ...
dmedlow

Geocaching Build

Posted by dmedlow Jul 20, 2015
Being selected for the geocaching build is fairly awesome. It does raise the challenge of exactly what to build. My partner is a geocaching fanatic - but is often cursing at the handheld dedicated GPS unit she uses. Often it fails to provide a good position fix, its hard to download web based cache location, the UI is rubbish and the batteries drain faster than you can say 'do we have any more batteries'.   My initial thoughts are to use the Pi + GPS (obviously) combined with one of the ...