Using and programming a NEO-6 GPS receiver module
I recently had to programm a NEO-6 GPS receiver module for a friend of mine, that needed it to have a specific baudrate and specific NMEA sentences to be sent. The module was to be connected to a ham radio station for tracking data transmission. However the software on the station was already programmed and needed a fixed 57600 baudrate.
The module I got was marked as NEO6MV2 module and has NEO-6M module onboard. The marking on pcb is GY-GPS6MV2. On pcb there are also a 3.3V regulator (so you can connect board to 5V power supply), a small battery for retaining data, nonvolatile storage for configuration and a green LED which starts blinking when the module has GPS data. Antenna is external active antenna and connects to the module via ufl connector.
The module seems to have quite good reception and also the start times are pretty nice, usually under a minute even under a bit more difficult conditions (in house).
The module itself is quite easy to use as for basic operation you must only connect the power supply to it and listen to the messages going out of the TX pin. By default my module was programmed to send the basic location information once per second (1Hz data) and at the baudrate of 9600 baud. At this low baudrate the module can easily be used with arduino and softserial (see here for example of hardware connections and software – on arduino you really only need to connect GPS TX->Arduino Rx, VCC->Arduino 5V and GND-> Arduino GND).
For testing and programming, however you need to connect the module to a PC. I used CP2102 USB to serial converter to connect the module to PC. You need to make the following connections:
NEO6 module VCC – CP2102 VCC (5V)
NEO6 module GND – CP2102 GND
NEO6 module TX – CP2102 RX
NEO6 module RX – CP2102 TX
For programming and testing purposes the u-Center software from the producer of the modules uBlox is a great tool (you may also use it to test other GPS modules that output NMEA strings). You can get u-Center on this page.
When first running the program you can already see some of the status displays, but as we have not connected our GPS to the program there is not yet any data.
Click the connector icon (also accessible under Receiver->Port menu) and select the COM port of the USB to TTL converter / your GPS. By default the baudrate is set to 9600 baud, if your GPS is set to any other setting you will also have to change the baudrate under square wave icon (also accessible under Receiver->Baudrate menu). As default receiver baudrate is usually also 9600 this may not be needed.
(This post has been broken into multiple pages for easier reading)