Dead Reckoning GPS

Today we take a look at the new SparkFun GPS Dead Reckoning Board, and the next version of the popular SparkFun Pro RF.

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Hello and welcome to first day of May! Today we're starting off with the brand new SparkFun GPS Dead Reckoning Breakout, which uses the new NEO-M8U module from u-blox. This is one of the the most cutting-edge miniature GPS modules on the market right now, and we expect to see some amazing projects from it. Also releasing this week are a new version of the popular Pro RF Development Board, a new Ultrasonic Range Finder from MaxSonar, a metal gear hobby motor, and poke home connectors. It's a busy week, so let's take a look.

Determine your course and blaze forward

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

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


The SparkFun NEO-M8U GPS Breakout is a high-quality GPS board with impressive configuration options. The NEO-M8U takes advantage of u-blox's Untethered Dead Reckoning (UDR) technology. The module provides continuous navigation without needing to make any electrical connection to a vehicle, thus reducing cost of installation for after-market dead-reckoning applications.

The NEO-M8U module is a 72-channel u-blox M8 engine GNSS receiver, meaning it can receive signals from the GPS, GLONASS, Galileo and BeiDou constellations with ~2.5-meter accuracy. The module supports concurrent reception of three GNSS systems. The combination of GNSS and integrated 3D sensor measurements on the NEO-M8U provide accurate, real-time positioning rates of up to 30 Hz.

Be a Pro with the Pro RF

SparkFun Pro RF - LoRa, 915MHz (SAMD21)

SparkFun Pro RF - LoRa, 915MHz (SAMD21)


The SparkFun Pro RF is a LoRa®-enabled wireless board that marries a SAMD21 and a long-range RFM95W to make a compact and easy-to-use IoT Arduino board. With its fast MCU and excellent point-to-point data transmission in the 915 MHz ISM band with LoRa capabilities, the Pro RF is a great choice for anyone interested or experienced in utilizing long range data communication.

On this revision of the SAMD21 Pro RF, we have made a few changes to improve the board, including fixing the VDDCORE pin connection issue, breaking out an LED jumper for low power applications, and adding PTH pins for software debugging.

Ultrasonic+IR Range Finder - IRXLMaxSonar - MB2530


The MB2530 Ultrasonic Rangefinder from Maxbotix is a high-performance sensor for monitoring distance and proximity within 50 cm to 1650 cm, with a 1 cm resolution. This sensing configuration makes for excellent large object detection while still having side object rejection. It has a 1.8 Hz read rate and three output options: pulse-width, analog voltage and RS232. The MB2530 also features a verified, extended operating temperature range from -40 C to 65 C.

Hobby Motor with Encoder - Metal Gear (DG01D-E)

Hobby Motor with Encoder - Metal Gear (DG01D-E)


The DG01D-E is a single hobby motor with a hall speed encoder. This motor requires a voltage between 3-9, and has a gearbox ratio of 1:48 and a speed of 90 RPM at 4.5 V. The voltage between positive and negative is determined according to the power supply voltage of the single chip microcomputer used, generally 3.3 V or 5 V is used.

Poke Home Connector - 2-Pin

Poke Home Connector - 2-Pin


Poke Home Connectors have been featured on a number of our boards over the last few years. They provide a simple, screw-terminal connector for easy wire connection purposes. Similar to screw terminals, Poke Home Connectors grasp a wire entered into the receiving area of the pin-out by pressing down on the small plastic strip at the end of the housing. Doing so raises the internal clamp and, upon release of the button, secures the wire in place without any soldering.

That's it for this week! As always, we can't wait to see what you make! Shoot us a tweet @sparkfun, or let us know on Instagram or Facebook. We’d love to see what projects you’ve made!

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