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VPN1513 GPS Smart Module


EOL (End of Life) product notice

The ST-00059 VPN1513 GPS Smart Module is not going to be manufactured anymore. Product is on sale


The SimplyTronics GPS smart module provides a high quality, highly sensitive GPS receiver with an external antenna (not included) to provide a complete GPS solution for microcontroller applications. The high-performance SiRF III chipset features 20 parallel satellite tracking channels for fast acquisition of NMEA0183 data for robotics navigation, telemetry or experimentation.

The GPS smart module also features a Propeller co-processor for easy interface with any microcontrollers. The Propeller is also fully reprogrammable and includes access to all 32 IO pins, allowing the GPS smart module to be easily transformed into a standalone device.


Product Features

  • Fast satellite acquisition time
  • High tracking sensitivity (-159 dBm)
  • Outputs raw NMEA0183 data strings
  • Navigation update rate 1 Hz
  • Low power consumption
  • 20 satellite tracking channels
  • On-board re-chargeable battery for memory backup
  • On-board IO protective resistances
  • 4-pin SIP header with breadboard-friendly 0.1” spacing
  • Propeller co-processor allows for easy transition to a standalone device
  • On-Board 64KB EEPROM, with 32KB free space to use

Technical Details

  • Power requirements: 3.3V - 5.5V DC
  • Typical: 5V @ 100mA
  • Communications: 3.3V asynchronous serial @ 9600 bps, 8N1
  • 3.3 V on-board regulator
  • Operating temp range: -30°C to +85 °C
  • Dimensions: 48.0 x 65.7 x 6.5 mm

Applications Ideas

  • Robotic navigation & positioning
  • Fleet management
  • Automotive navigation
  • Geocaching
  • Surveying
  • Position data log

Warning: Voltage- and Static-sensitive Device

  • GPS Smart Module is a delicate, static-sensitive device requiring proper voltage
  • Observe proper anti-static techniques when handling them.
  • Disconnect all power before connecting or disconnecting the module to a circuit.
  • Do not reverse polarity of the power connections, it could destroy the device.

Module Dimensions


Pin Definitions

Pin Symbol Type Function
1 GND Ground Ground(0V)
2 Vdd Power Power supply
3 SIG Input/Output Receive command and send out data, with pull-up resistor
4 EN Input Power enable(default), with pull-up resistor

Indicator LED

Satellite acquisition with this module is fast: ~47 seconds for a cold start, ~38 seconds for a warm start, and ~1 second for a hot start.

The GPS smart module has an on-board red indicator LED for easy visual feedback of satellite acquisition.

Status Detail
Solid No statellites acquired, searching
Blinking Blinks every 3 seconds, satellite fix


Symbol Description Minimum Typical Maximum Units
VCC Supply Voltage 3.3 5.0 5.5 V
ICC Supply Current 90 100 1000 mA
GND Ground reference connection - 0 - V
VIH Signal high (input) 2.4 3.3 5.0 V
VOH Signal high (output) 2.4 3.3 3.3 V
VOL Signal low (output) -0.3 GND 0.3 V

SiRF III Chipset Features

GPS Receiver
Chipset SiRF GSC3e/LP
Frequency L1, 1,575.42 MHz
Code C/A Code
Protocol NMEA 0183 v2.2
Default: GGA, GSA, GSV, RMC
Support: VTG, GLL, ZDA SiRF binary and NMEA command
Available Baud Rate 4,800 to 57,600 bps adjustable
Channels 20
Flash 4 Mbit
Sensitivity Tracking: -159 dBm
Cold Start 42 seconds average
Warm Start 38 seconds average
Hot Start 1 second average
Reacquisition 0.1 second average
Accuracy Position: 10 meters, 2D RMS 5 meters
Velocity: 0.1 m/s
Time: 1 us synchronized to GPS time
Maximum Altitude 18,000 meters
Maximum Velocity 515 meters/second
Maximum Acceleration 4 G
Update Rate 1 Hz
Datum WGS-84
I/O pins 2 serial ports (only one available)
DC Characteristics
Power Supply 3.3 Vdc +- 5%
Backup Voltage 2.0~3.6 Vdc +- 10%
Power Consumption Acquisition: 42 mA
Tracking: 25 mA
Environmental Range
Humidity Range 5% to 95% non-condensing
Operation Temperature -30 C to 85 C
Storage Temperature -40 C to 125 C

GPS Active Antenna Specification (Recommendation)

  • Frequency: 1575.42 + 2MHz
  • Axial Ratio: 3 dB
  • Typical output Impedance: 50Ω
  • Polarization: RHCP
  • Amplifier Gain: 18~22dB
  • Typical Output VSWR: 2.0 Max.
  • Noise Figure: 2.0 dB Max Antenna Input
  • Voltage: 2.85V (Typically)

Buy from SimplyTronics ST-00060 External GPS Antenna with SMA Connector

Typical Application

Connect to a 3.3V or 5V microcontroller.


Command Set and Explanation

The GPS smart module phases NMEA-0183 string and keeps looking for the commands sent to the module.

And the module have data returned to a microcontroller through the Propeller microcontroller co-processor.


Serial Input/Output, baud rate 9600 bps, 8N1

Command packet

The module will not send out any data unless received the right command packet.

Start Condition Command Class Command End Condition
  • Start Condition: 0xA5
  • Command Class: see Command List
  • Command: see Command List
  • End Condition: 0x5A

Return data

After received command packet, the GPS Smart Module will return several bytes depends on the command packet. If there is no data to send out, the module will send a successfully byte(0x00).

Command List

Class: Basic Information(BasicInfo: 0x00)

Command Constant Description Return
0x00 GetInfo GPS Smart Module Version 2 Hardware, Firmware
0x01 GetValid Check validity of data string 1 0 = Not Valid, 1 = Valid
0x02 GetTime Time(UTC/Greenwich Mean Time) 3 Hours, Minutes, Seconds
0x03 GetDate Date(UTC/Greenwich Mean Time) 3 Month, Day, Year
0x04 GetLat Latitude 5 Degree, Minutes, Fractional Minute(World),
Direction(0 = N, 1 = S)
0x05 GetLong Longitude 5 Degree, Minutes, Fractional Minute(World),
Direction(0 = E, 1 = W)
0x06 GetAlt Altitude above mean-sea level(in tenths of meters),
6553.5 m max
2 Altitude(word)
0x07 GetSpeedKmh Speed(in tenths of KM/h), 999 Km/h 2 Speed(word) Km/h
0x08 GetSpeedKn Speed(in tenths of knots), 999.9 knots max 2 Speed(word)Knots/h
0x09 GetHead Heading/Direction of travel 0~359.9
(in tenths of degree)
2 Heading(word)
0x0A StaticNaviOn Turn off Static Navigate mode 1 0x00, received the command
0x0B StaticNaviOff Turn on Static Navigate mode 1 0x00, received the command
0x0D Reset Reset the module 1 0x00, received the command

Class: Set Point(SetPoint: 0x30)

Command Constant Description Return
0x0X SetPoint Store current position to RAM area X(0 ~ 15) 1 0x00, received the command

Class: Get Distance(GetDistance: 0x40)

Note: Make sure the points are set before using the command

Command Constant Description Return
0xXY GetDistance Get the distance between two points(X, Y= 0 ~ 15) 4 Distance between two points(meters)

Class: Get Average Speed(GetSpeedAver: 0x60)

Note: Make sure the points are set before using the command

Command Constant Description Return
0xXY SetSpeedAver Get the average speed between two points(X, Y= 0 ~ 15) 4 The average speed between two points(m/s)



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