The SparkFun ZOE-M8Q GPS Breakout is a high accuracy, miniaturized, GPS board that is perfect for applications that don't possess a lot of space. The on-board ZOE-M8Q is a 72-channel GNSS receiver, meaning it can receive signals from the GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou, and Galileo constellations. This increases precision and decreases lock time and thanks to the onboard rechargable battery you'll have backup power enabling the GPS to get a hot lock within seconds! Additionally, this u-blox receiver supports I2C (u-blox calls this Display Data Channel) which made it perfect for the Qwiic compatibility so we don't have to use up our precious UART ports. Utilizing our handy Qwiic system, no soldering is required to connect it to the rest of your system. However, we still have broken out 0.1"-spaced pins in case you prefer to use a breadboard.
U-blox based GPS products are configurable using the popular, but dense, windows program called u-center. Plenty of different functions can be configured on the ZOE-M8Q: baud rates, update rates, geofencing, spoofing detection, external interrupts, SBAS/D-GPS, etc. All of this can be done within the SparkFun Arduino Library. We've also made sure to configure the UART pin grouping on the breakout to an industry standard to insure that it easily connects to a Serial Basic.
The SparkFun ZOE-M8Q GPS Breakout is also equipped with an on-board rechargeable battery that provides power to the RTC on the ZOE-M8Q. This reduces the time-to-first fix from a cold start (~30s) to a hot start (~1s). The battery will maintain RTC and GNSS orbit data without being connected to power for up to five hours. Since the ZOE-M8Q is a tiny GPS receiver and to minimize its footprint, we've added a U.FL connector to allow the use of both large standard ceramic antennas as well as very small chip scale antennas.
Note: The I2C address of the ZOE-M8Q is 0x42 and is software configurable. A multiplexer/Mux is required to communicate to multiple ZOE-M8Q sensors on a single bus. If you need to use more than one ZOE-M8Q sensor consider using the Qwiic Mux Breakout.
The SparkFun Qwiic Connect System is an ecosystem of I2C sensors, actuators, shields and cables that make prototyping faster and less prone to error. All Qwiic-enabled boards use a common 1mm pitch, 4-pin JST connector. This reduces the amount of required PCB space, and polarized connections mean you can’t hook it up wrong.
The ZOE-M8Q GPS Breakout can also be automatically detected, scanned, configured, and logged using the OpenLog Artemis datalogger system. No programming, soldering, or setup required!
If a board needs code or communicates somehow, you're going to need to know how to program or interface with it. The programming skill is all about communication and code.
Skill Level: Rookie - You will need a better fundamental understand of what code is, and how it works. You will be using beginner-level software and development tools like Arduino. You will be dealing directly with code, but numerous examples and libraries are available. Sensors or shields will communicate with serial or TTL.
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If it requires power, you need to know how much, what all the pins do, and how to hook it up. You may need to reference datasheets, schematics, and know the ins and outs of electronics.
Skill Level: Noob - You don't need to reference a datasheet, but you will need to know basic power requirements.
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Based on 7 ratings:
This is a unbelievably tiny GPS / GNSS module. It works like a charm with either passive or active antennas. Make sure you also buy an antenna and matching u.fl adapter. I have used Sparkfuns matching Arduino library and it's really easy to integrate using Qwicc/I2C.
A nice, compact, external antenna, GPS module. I am very happy with it. Be aware that it is putting 3.3V on the RF in pin and just ensure that whatever you have upstream either uses the 3.3V to power an active antenna or is DC blocked.
Easy to interface with a microcontroller. I have only used the default sentences, but will next use the ublox specific sentences.
I've tested in usart mode and showed a really good behaviour. Very sensible with simple dipole of course better with a preamplifier antenna but passive one I good enough for country operation.
It gives me 1.7m CEP accuracy. Easy to interface with a Redboard Qwiic. Spark fun uBlox code supports all the calls I need.
Negative: Sparkfun uBlox code consumes 82% of the Redboard memory space. I've been able to comment out 3% of functionality I don't need but it leaves little space for other code.
Not all GNSS receivers are the same, and this one is great.
I had lots of issues with other "Ultimate GPS Breakout" boards due to poor quality of the receiver: bad time/position reported, random resets, unstable positioning. This u-blox is super solid in my use case.
A small bonus is that the RMC sentence is the first thing to come through the UART port every second, which is all I need.