Micro GPS for Nikon D2X D2HS D200 Project

Started May 16, 2006 | Discussions thread
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az_av8r New Member • Posts: 13
Micro GPS for Nikon D2X D2HS D200 Project

Hi All,

I was not happy with the GPS setup from Nikon using the MC-35. Mainly I didn’t like the extra cable and didn’t want to be tethered to a GPS in my pocket. I also found the Red Hen Systems solution too big. So I decided to make one from the ground up

So here are my design rules:
1. Make it small and light (I already carry too much camera stuff)
2. NO MC-35 – Levels translate directly from the GPS to the Camera
3. Power the GPS off of the +5V from the Camera
4. Make it mount on the flash hot shoe

Now the prototype:

The unit is base on an individual 5Volt 20 Channel SiRF III GPS receiver with built in antenna. The unit talks directly NEMA0183, but only had 3V TTL output and needed a boost to talk to the camera that needed 5V levels. So this required the engineering of a little levels translator.

Some of the GPS module specs:
Extremely high sensitivity : -159dBm
10m Positional Accuracy / 5m with WAAS
Hot Start : 8s
Warm Start : 38s
Cold Start : 42s
Small : 30mm x 30mm x 10.5mm

The GPS unit is powered from the camera, so no batteries and it turns off as soon as the camera powers off.

The first GPS fix takes 1 minute (first time if the GPS has been off for a while) but after that the GPS will fix in 8-10 seconds. I typically just let it fix and then leave it on. The setup does use the battery a little faster (the GPS power load and the camera stays active while the GPS is running)

I still think the box is too big. If you look at the top picture, 50% of the volume of the box is air. Also I left the cable too long. The cable needs to be shorter.

Next Stop is doing the whole concept wireless at 2.4GHz.

Please leave me your feedback on the project

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