“Conrad” GPS UART Interface
In Germany we have a well known merchant for electronic stuff called “Conrad”. This merchant has a GPS mouse (“USB GPS ROUTENPLANER FÜR NOTEBOOK”) which is small and cheap. This GPS mouse have both, a USB and UART interface, but you have to open it to see the UART pins.
The pin assignment of USB and UART is shown in the following picture:
I put some connectors pins to the USB and UART interface. With a common USB to UART converter (NGusb, MK-USB, X-USB, ..) you can test the UART interface. The GPS has a update rate of 1 Hz and send its NMEA datt via UART with 9600 Baud.
With your favourite terminal programm you can see the NMEA protocoll which is send by the GPS.
Another option is to send the GPS data wireless to your computer. I did this with two wi232 modules (include level shifter 3,3V to 5V) at 9600 baud.
The weight of both modules is only about 15g. This can be carried even by a small aircraft. That means you can record position, altitude, speed and flight direction on ground with your laptop for example.It’s also possible to put it on another aircraft within minutes. That’s because both modules only need 5 V power supply.