SparkFun GPS Dead Reckoning NEO-M8U Hookup Guide

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Introduction

The u-blox NEO-M8U is a powerful GPS units that takes advantage of untethered dead reckoning (UDR) technology for navigation. The module provides continuous positioning for vehicles in urban environments and during complete signal loss (e.g. short tunnels and parking garages). We will quickly get you set up using the Qwiic ecosystem and Arduino so that you can start reading the output!

SparkFun GPS Dead Reckoning Breakout - NEO-M8U (Qwiic)

SparkFun GPS Dead Reckoning Breakout - NEO-M8U (Qwiic)

GPS-16329
$69.95
2

Required Materials

To follow along with this tutorial, you will need the following materials. You may not need everything though depending on what you have. Add it to your cart, read through the guide, and adjust the cart as necessary.

Microcontroller

One method of connecting to the GPS is using a Qwiic cable and microcontroller. We will use the RredBoard Qwiic fo the scope of this tutorial.

SparkFun RedBoard Qwiic

SparkFun RedBoard Qwiic

DEV-15123
$19.95
10
Qwiic Cable - 100mm

Qwiic Cable - 100mm

PRT-14427
$1.50
USB micro-B Cable - 6 Foot

USB micro-B Cable - 6 Foot

CAB-10215
$4.95
13

Additional GPS Antenna Options

Below are some other GPS Antenna options. Some of the options below have an SMA connector, so make sure to get the u.FL to SMA cable if you decide to use those. Link for that is below in the GPS accessories.

GPS/GNSS Magnetic Mount Antenna - 3m (SMA)

GPS/GNSS Magnetic Mount Antenna - 3m (SMA)

GPS-14986
$12.95
3
GPS/GNSS Embedded Antenna - 1m (SMA)

GPS/GNSS Embedded Antenna - 1m (SMA)

GPS-14987
$59.95
GPS Embedded Antenna SMA

GPS Embedded Antenna SMA

GPS-00177
$11.95

GPS Antenna Accessories

Interface Cable SMA to U.FL

Interface Cable SMA to U.FL

WRL-09145
$4.95
3

GPS Antenna Ground Plate

GPS-15004
Retired

Other Qwiic Cable Accessories

SparkFun Qwiic Cable Kit

SparkFun Qwiic Cable Kit

KIT-15081
$7.95
13
Qwiic Cable - 100mm

Qwiic Cable - 100mm

PRT-14427
$1.50
Qwiic Cable - 50mm

Qwiic Cable - 50mm

PRT-14426
$0.95

Qwiic Cable - 200mm

PRT-14428

Suggested Reading

If you aren't familiar with the Qwiic system, we recommend reading here for an overview.

Qwiic Connect System
Qwiic Connect System

We would also recommend taking a look at the following tutorials if you aren't familiar with them.

GPS Basics

The Global Positioning System (GPS) is an engineering marvel that we all have access to for a relatively low cost and no subscription fee. With the correct hardware and minimal effort, you can determine your position and time almost anywhere on the globe.

Serial Peripheral Interface (SPI)

SPI is commonly used to connect microcontrollers to peripherals such as sensors, shift registers, and SD cards.

I2C

An introduction to I2C, one of the main embedded communications protocols in use today.

How to Work with Jumper Pads and PCB Traces

Handling PCB jumper pads and traces is an essential skill. Learn how to cut a PCB trace, add a solder jumper between pads to reroute connections, and repair a trace with the green wire method if a trace is damaged.

Getting Started with U-Center for u-blox

Learn the tips and tricks to use the u-blox software tool to configure your GPS receiver.

Three Quick Tips About Using U.FL

Quick tips regarding how to connect, protect, and disconnect U.FL connectors.