Geppetto Electronics have brought many useful and interesting products to their Tindie store over the last few years. This time, they’ve combined their GPS Timing breakout with their FTDI-Be-Gone to create an easy-to-use and highly accurate GPS timing module! A few days ago I wrote about an old-school method for getting accurate timing over longwave radio, and this is the modern counterpart. While both are regulated from atomic clocks, they have different benefits and drawbacks. GPS modules tend to use a lot more power, but of course offer the additional benefit of location information.
This module is optimized primarily for timing information. As the description states, it averages your location over the first hour after power-up and then assumes that is the fixed location from then on. This particular module, therefore, isn’t usable for long-term position tracking or navigation applications. But the ease of use and fairly accurate timing (taking into account typical USB jitter) makes this a great module for any application that requires accurate timing. This particular module also supports powered GPS antennas, meaning you can get a good signal even indoors with the proper antenna!
The PPS signal to the host can be configured with solder jumpers. By default, it’s on DCD, but DTR and CTS can also be used. The board also features USB-C (yay!) which means it should be easy to use with both laptops and mobile devices. Pick one up and have reliable & accurate GPS timing in minutes!