GPS Logger Shield Hookup Guide

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Contributors: jimblom
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Hardware Setup

Assembly of the GPS Logger Shield mostly comes down to soldering something to all of the 6, 8, and 10-pin Arduino headers. We usually recommend Arduino R3 Stackable Headers for this job, but male headers can work -- as long as this is the top board in a shield stack.

Stackable headers soldered into the shield

If your application requires use of the 6-pin, 2x3 SPI header, you may also want to solder female headers to those pins (make sure they're pointing down, and slot easily into your Arduino's male SPI pins).

If you've never soldered an Arduino shield before, check out our Arduino Shield Assembly tutorial for some tips.

Pre-Flight Checklist

Before you get the go-ahead for GPS Shield'ing, make sure you double-check these common pitfalls one last time:

Battery (VBAT) Power Supply

Make sure you have a reliable power source supplying the GPS module's VBAT pin. If you have a shiny, new 12mm coin cell battery plugged in, that's perfect. Otherwise, make sure you've either shorted the 3.3V/VBAT jumper, or are supplying something to the GPS module's VBAT breakout.

Battery plugged in

UART Selected

Make sure you have the UART-select switch pointing towards your preferred UART. If you're using an Uno, Redboard, or any other ATmega328P-based Arduino, you'll most likely need to have the switch pointing towards SW-UART, assuming the hardware UART is used for programming and serial debugging.

If you're using an ATmega328-based Arduino, no matter what your sketch ends up doing, the switch must be in the SW-UART position during any programming upload.

If you're using a Leonardo (ATmega32U4-based boards), Zero (ATSAMD21-based boards), or any other Arduino that has a dedicated and free hardware UART on pins 0/1, we recommend leaving the switch in the HW-UART position.

µSD SPI Jumpers

Planning on logging data to a µSD card? Make sure the SPI jumpers are set accordingly. If you're using an Uno, Redboard, or any other ATmega328P-based Arduino, you can probably leave the jumpers untouched. SPI should be broken out to both pins 10-13 and the SPI header anyway.

If you're using a Leonardo (ATmega32U4-based boards), Zero (ATSAMD21-based boards), or any other Arduino that doesn't break the SPI signals to pins 10-13, you'll want to cut the three SPI-select jumpers between the middle pad and the D11-D13 pins. That will free up those pins for other purposes in your project. The µSD_CS connected to pin D10 can be defined on any pin so it does not have to be modified.

SPI jumpers cut for Leonardo

Looking closely, you'll see traces cut on all three SPI lines between the middle pad and D11, D12, and D13. That disconnects the µSD lines from those pins -- leaving them connected to the SPI header.

If you're relying on the SPI port from the 2x3-pin ICSP header, don't forget to solder headers to the SPI port!