GPS data logger design

OData support
Dr. Iváncsy Szabolcs
Department of Automation and Applied Informatics

My task in my dissertation was to design and to accomplish a GPS data logger. The device has many functions, such as saving data to an SD-card, it can also draw out the current speed on a graphical LCD display and warns the user when the batteries are running low. It can be perfectly used for hiking, because it is easily portable and has many useful features (eg. punctual time-, longitudes-, speed- and altitude indicators) inside.

The developing program and all the devices were new to me, but I made this decision consciously to make it a bigger challenge. I have not dealt with PIC microcontrollers before, neither with the MPLAB development environment. It was a new challenge for me to use the Altium Designer program, to create schematics and layouts, since I had no experience in using this program. For display I could have used the one which I am familiar with from our independent lab, but I choose a completely different and new one. It is true that the task this way was much more difficult and it became a real challenge, but all in all I think this knowledge I have gained, during the preparation of the device, will be very useful in the future.

According to the interpretation, my first task was to create the block diagram. After selecting the components and learn everything about them, I have developed the schematic design. The implemented device has been placed on 4 different PCB's, because this way there is a possibility for further future developments and it is easier to place this way. The switching power supply, the GPS module and the LCD display were all implemented on a separate disk. These terminals and ribbon cables are connected to the base unit, where the microcontroller is also located. In the meantime I have soldered all the components and revived the system. After getting to know the PIC microcontroller programming system I have created the software part of the task as well.

All the tasks which are included in the topic have been successfully completed, my device meets the specifications. Although there are many development possibilities for creating extra functions in the software part of the task.


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