The NEO-M8U module is a 72-channel u-blox M8 engine GNSS receiver, capable of receiving signals from the GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, and BeiDou constellations with an impressive accuracy of approximately 2.5 meters. This module supports concurrent reception from three GNSS systems and can provide accurate, real-time positioning rates of up to 30Hz, thanks to the combination of GNSS and integrated 3D sensor measurements.
What sets this GPS module apart from others is its ability to maximize position accuracy in dense cities or covered areas. It provides continuous positioning in urban environments and even during complete signal loss, such as in short tunnels and parking garages. With UDR, the module starts positioning as soon as power is applied to the board, even before the first GNSS fix is available. The lock time is further reduced thanks to the on-board rechargeable battery, enabling the GPS to get a hot lock within seconds.
The u-blox receiver supports I2C (referred to as Display Data Channel by u-blox), making it a perfect fit for Qwiic compatibility without using up valuable UART ports. The use of the Qwiic system means no soldering is required to connect it to the rest of your system. However, for those who prefer to use a breadboard, 2.54mm-spaced pins are also available.
The NEO-M8U module is configurable using the popular, albeit dense, Windows program called u-center. This program allows you to configure a wide range of functions on the NEO-M8U, including baud rates, update rates, geofencing, spoofing detection, external interrupts, SBAS/D-GPS, and more. All these configurations can be done within the SparkFun Arduino Library.
The SparkFun NEO-M8U GPS Breakout also features an on-board rechargeable battery that powers the RTC on the NEO-M8U. This significantly reduces the time-to-first fix from a cold start (approximately 26s) to a hot start (approximately 1.5s). The battery can maintain RTC and GNSS orbit data without being connected to power for a considerable amount of time.
Note: This product requires an antenna. Be sure to select a suitable U.FL antenna for your project from the related products or hookup accessories.
The SparkFun Qwiic Connect System is an ecosystem of I2C sensors, actuators, shields, and cables designed to make prototyping faster and less prone to error. All Qwiic-enabled boards use a common 1mm pitch, 4-pin JST connector. This design not only saves PCB space but also prevents mistakes as the connections are polarized.
The SparkFun NEO-M8U GPS Breakout features include an integrated U.FL connector for use with the antenna of your choice, 72-Channel GNSS Receiver, 2.5m horizontal accuracy, 30Hz max update rate, time-to-first-fix, max altitude of 50,000m, max G of ≤4, max velocity of 500m/s, velocity accuracy of 0.5m/s, heading accuracy of 1 degree, built-in accelerometer and gyroscope, time pulse accuracy of 30ns, and 3.3V VCC and I/O. It supports NMEA, UBX, and RTCM protocols over UART or I2C interfaces.
For further information, you can refer to the provided schematic, eagle files, board dimensions, hookup guide, building a GPS system guide, NEO-M8U Documents & Resources, SparkFun u-blox GNSS Arduino Library, and GitHub Hardware Repo.
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