Pseudonymous maker "iToronto" has shown off a build that repurposes an old pill bottle to create a compact, battery-powered GPS logger — driven by a Raspberry Pi Pico board.
"Raspberry Pi Pico, BN-180 GPS module, microSD to SD adapter, SSD1306 128x64 OLED screen, custom 3D-printed lid to the pill bottle," iToronto writes of the compact build. "Logs a track point every 7m [23 feet]. [The] buttons on top don't do anything right now. My intent is to have them as menu navigation, selection buttons."
Designed to log the data locally to a microSD card during a hike, then have the data removed manually for archival and potential future mapping, the low-cost pocketable GPS logger makes use of the small size of the Raspberry Pi Pico — the first, but far from only, development board to be driven by Raspberry Pi's in-house RP2040 microcontroller.
"I considered using an [Espressif] ESP32 or 8266 to make it easier to offload the data," iToronto notes, referring to two popular microcontroller boards with integrated wireless connectivity including Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. "The dev boards I have for those are too large for the pill bottle I wanted to use."
iToronto also has a few tips for anyone looking to build something similar: "Get a GPS module, connect it to a serial to USB adapter, and look at the data flowing into a terminal program on your PC," they write. "Then build your program around extracting the data pieces you need."
More details on the build are available in iToronto's Reddit thread.