USGlobalsat ND-100S GPS receiver works with USB Host library

ND-100S GPS receiver connected to USB Host shield

ND-100S GPS receiver connected to USB Host shield

After posting an article about interfacing USB GPS receiver to Arduino I started receiving e-mails from people asking about a decent inexpensive GPS receiver compatible with USB Host library. After some research and testing I finally found a device which I really like.

ND-100S from USGlobalsat is small, inexpensive (less than $30 shipped at DealExtreme) GPS receiver with excellent characteristics. Below are some bullet points:

  • Lightweight – my scale shows 19g for the dongle without connector cover. It is possible to get weight close to 15g by removing the case, USB connector and hardwiring the module to USB Host shield.
  • Sensitive – SiRF Star III high sensitivity GPS chip allows this module to lock in less than a minute from my basement (!). Outdoor performance is simply amazing while power consumption stays around 50ma.
  • Easy to use – the module uses Prolific PL2303 USB to serial converter supported by USB Host library 2.0 and the sketch from the previous article works without any modifications. Also, the module has status LED showing when GPS position is fixed – comes in handy during field tests when serial console is not available. The dongle ships with semi-rigid USB cable which can be used as a raiser.

Overall, ND-100S is very small, sensitive and inexpensive GPS receiver. It can be used with USB Host shield using PL2303 USB to serial converter support in USB Host library rev.2.0. I have a couple of projects in mind which would use this receiver – will post as soon as I have more information about it.


8 comments to USGlobalsat ND-100S GPS receiver works with USB Host library

  • To what altitude would the GPS work? I’m looking for one that will not drop out until over 100,000 ft for high altitude balloon flights. Most GPS units drop out at 60k or less per their internal programming, but others do not.

  • Todd, datasheet linked from the page linked about says 60’000 feet (18’000 metres).

  • bob Mackin

    Hi Oleg,
    I came across your posts whilst looking for info on the ND100S gps dongle.
    I wanted to know it there was a test point or via with the 4800 baud serial stream before the 2303 USB serial bridge.
    My application was to send it via a radio modem for model aircraft tracking.
    There is so you can bypass the USB shield and library and connect straight to the arduino serial port.
    The underside of the board contains the text
    under the text are 3 vias left and centre circular, right hand is a rectangular oval fround via.
    The data is on the centre via 4800 baud, can be checked by feeding into a usb to serial converter.
    I hope you find this useful

    I hope you find this useful

  • Javier

    Hi Oleg,

    I’m trying to use an Arduino Mega ADK with a ND-100S Dongle GPS with the codes that you provided without success. On the Serial Monitor only is depicted the following:
    Testing TinyGPS library v. 13
    by Mikal Hart
    Sizeof(gpsobject) = 115
    OSCOKIRQ failed to assert

    I don’t know how to continue.

    ¿Is Arduino Mega ADK compatible with the library?

  • Javier

    Good morning!

    According to “setting.h”:
    /* Set this to 1 if you are using an Arduino Mega ADK board with MAX3421e built-in */
    #define USE_UHS_MEGA_ADK 0
    //If you are using Arduino 1.5.5 or newer there is no need to do this manually

    I’ve been using Arduino IDE 1.0, so I’ve modified the parameter to 1 and now the code works perfectly.