Beginning of My Own GPS Logger Development

Oct. 20, 2017 | tags: GPS

Holux M-241

I like to record GPS log. I don't know the reason. In fact, I rarely review my GPS logs. But keeping GPS logs gives my mind enormous peace that I can tell when and where I was precisely at any time, and I love this peacefulness.

However, at the same time, I don't like to be bothered to take GPS log. I like to focus on trip, work, or life itself. I don't like to care about battery life of GPS logger, nor carry big notebook PC.

So, I have used Holux M-241, single AAA battery powered compact GPS logger for quite a long time (almost 9 years!). See the yellow thing hang from my neck in the photo. It's compact and light.

I liked this logger very much, but It seems a little too long to use the same electronic device for 10 years. Compared with the current technology, M-241 has the following behinds.

  • Extracting GPS log from M-241 requires starting separate software and 10 minutes of waiting.
  • It doesn't support QZSS, newly built satellite network for East Asia and Oceania to supplement the GPS.
  • Its memory is very limited. Holds only about 1.5-day log with 1 second interval. (I don't like to take my PC nor extract a GPS log every night during holiday trip)

I occasionally look for alternative new GPS logger these years, but again 10 year seems too long; GPS logger is almost extinct with the rapid rise of various smart phones. No major device is released during these years and there still are many left over inventory.

However smart phone also has the following negatives.

  • Too big and heavy to carry. (Preferably it should be hang from neck to get good GPS signal reception)
  • Battery doesn't last long while GPS logging.

But luckily, there is so called "maker" movement these days. There are many small microcomputers and GPS modules available in the market. I was very excited to find out Arduino, SparkFun, Adafruit, etc. and has decided to develop my own GPS logger.