GPS modules are common these days but the Qwiic GPS is something extremely rare: this is a true I2C GPS+GLONASS module. The Qwiic GPS uses the brand new Titan X1 from GTOP. This is an ultra-compact module that uses the MediaTek MT3333 chipset that has been loaded with SparkFun specialized firmware that enables both the I2C port and serial at the same time. I2C means you can stop worrying about tying up your hardware serial port and start adding GPS to your project!
The Qwiic GPS has a variety of features that set it apart from the competition including an on-board RTC battery that will maintain warm-start functionality (5 seconds to first fix). A U.FL connector allows an external antenna with U.FL cable to be used for outdoor and automotive applications. Additionally we've written a library that makes reading and controlling the GPS over I2C a breeze. The example sketches show how to increase the update rate to 10 Hz, enable high balloon experiments, enable SBAS/DGPS, turn on/off sentences, and change the baud rate.
We are truly impressed with the staggeringly fast lock of this module with an impressive HDOP of less than 1.
We do not plan to regularly carry SparkX products so get them while they’re hot!
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I've only done very preliminary testing by plugging into a breadboard, but this GPS works with an ESP8266 board running micropython.
This module speaks NMEA-over-I2C; no special configuration or initialization is required if you just want to test it on your workbench. If you're writing your own code, apply power and start reading bytes from address 0x10 as if you had a serial GPS.
A typical ESP8266's 3.3v supply (eg NodeMCU or ESP8266 Thing) is sufficient to power this GPS module. It would be nice if GPS was 5v tolerant just so I could be lazy and not worry about 3v vs 5V when powering from USB or LiPo, but the GTOP1 datasheet says that Vcc is 3.0-4.3v and I'm not going to risk smoke-testing this module ;-)
I wish this GPS would graduate to being an officially supported product.