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Description: The EM-506 GPS receiver from USGlobalSat based on the spectacular SiRF StarIII chipset. This complete module is built upon the same technology as the ET-301, but includes on-board voltage regulation, LED status indicator, battery backed RAM, and a built-in patch antenna! 6-pin interface cable included.

This EM-506 GPS module is powered by SiRF Star IV, it can provide you with superior sensitivity and performance even in urban canyon and dense foliage environment. With SiRF CGEE (Client Generated Extended Ephemeris) technology, it predicts satellite positions for up to 3 days and delivers CGEE-start time of less than 15 seconds under most conditions, without any network assistance.

Not sure which GPS module is right for you? Check out our GPS Buying Guide!


  • 48-Channel Receiver
  • Extremely high sensitivity : -163dBm
  • 2.5m Positional Accuracy
  • Hot Start : 1s
  • Warm Start : 35s / 15s with CGEE
  • Cold Start : 35s / 15s with CGEE
  • 45-55mA at 4.5-6.5V


  • 30mm x 30mm x 10.7mm
  • 16g including cable


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Customer Comments

  • Did a unplug-plug replacement for a 406A in a current application, same SparkFun GPS shield, same code, etc. Once I cycled the power switch on the shield, the 506 worked a treat.

  • I am using the EM-406 with the GPS Arduino shield. Will this be a drop in replacement?

    • It should be similar enough. There might be minor differences, but it should work out fine.

  • Does this module put out PPS like its predecessor? It has something called “Directive” but I have no idea what that is.

  • Does the unit have to be placed facing the sky, with nothing covering it? Would it still work if, say, there was a sheet of metal over it? Thank you.

  • Newbie question: Can the EM-506 communicate with an Edison through one of the Edison blocks? Still learning what the interfaces are and trying to figure out compatibility. If so, can someone provide a brief description of how the 506 wires connect to an Edison block? Or do I need some kind of additional hardware between the 506 and the Edison blocks?

  • Is it possible to buy the little cable with the two plugs on it which comes with the unit? I need an extra cable. Jim

  • Can ull tell me how to connect GPS Receiver - EM-506 (48 Channel) to my raspberry pi……. because i want to track my raspberry pi remotely

  • Wondering the PPS (PIN # 6 of EM 406) is connected or left open in GPS-10710? if not connected how can the issue can be solved??

  • Anyone flown this on a high altitude balloon yet, or have confirmation it works over 60K ft?

  • I see in the revisions that the 1PPS signal was changed to “directive”. Is the “directive” signal also timing quality, or is there a way get the 1pps back?

  • Is this not a 3.3v part like most GPS parts or am I reading the sheet wrong? Does that complicate it’s use with battery projects? Looks like a great part aside from that concern.

    • The I/O levels are 3.3V but the Supply voltage (Vin) is 5V.

      • To complicate the things even more, the sparkfun GPS shield has NO logic level converter for its RX. It’s connected directly to arduino pins. You may have to cut a trace.

  • Hmm, Just in time for AVC…

Customer Reviews

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New 506 that replaces the old 406

Before I purchased, I inquired if it was suitable as a replacement for the redundant EM-406 and was told it was. However information about software changes like Baud rate will be required before it will work as a change over replacement so it was not a straight forward replacement as expected. We have not completed the software changes to make it work yet so I hope I am not premature providing this requested feed back. Relevant info at the time of inquiry before my purchase would have been appreciated as I had not booked my software writer to alter code.

Hi, Sorry about the baud mismatch. Other than that, this module has the same pin out (minus the 1pps which has been replaced with a Directive pin that outputs GPS states.) It has the same power parameters 4.5~6.5V. It is using the updated SiRF Star IV as compared to the 406’s SiRF Star III.

There is an example on page 14 of the datasheet that shows how to switch the settings of the device. The EM-406 was factory set to NEMA, with a baud of 4800. So your command will be $PSRF100,1,4800,8,1,0*0C