SparkFun's ZED-F9K Breakout Offers High-Accuracy Dead-Reckoning Positioning on a Qwiic Connection

Offering a sub-8" positioning accuracy when fed correction data, this gets your robotics and automotive projects pointing the right way.

Gareth Halfacree
11 days agoHW101

SparkFun has further expanded its burgeoning line of high-accuracy positioning products with the launch of the SparkFun GNSS-RTK Dead Reckoning Breakout — putting a u-blox ZED-F9K on the end of a Qwiic connector for solder-free prototyping.

"The SparkFun ZED-F9K GNSS Breakout is a high precision, sensor fusion geospatial board with equally impressive configuration options and takes advantage of u-blox's Automotive Dead Reckoning (ADR) technology," the company writes of its latest launch. "The ZED-F9K module provides a highly accurate and continuous position by fusing a 3D IMU sensor, wheel ticks, a vehicle dynamics model, correction data, and GNSS measurements."

Part of a growing range of high-accuracy location and positioning products, the new board is built around the u-blox ZED_F9K - a 184-channel global navigation satellite system (GNSS) receiver with GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, and BeiDou support plus an integrated accelerometer and gyroscope. On top of its, it offers Real Time Kinematic (RTK) correction — meaning that, when paired with a compatible base station for correction data, the positioning accuracy sits at around 20cm (just under 8").

Other features of the board include support for low-signal conditions, the ability to continue tracking during periods of complete signal loss, and an on-board rechargeable battery for a real-time clock, which drops the time-to-fix from around 26 seconds to just two seconds.

As well as a Qwiic connector for I2C communication, also available on dedicated pins, the board features a USB Type-C connector with USB-TTL serial support, a 3.3V UART, and SPI — plus a second UART for RTCM correction messages and an SMA connector for an external antenna, not supplied.

The board is now available on the SparkFun store at $299.95 before volume discounts; more information, including antenna options and details of the Arduino library, is available from the board hookup guide.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire: freelance@halfacree.co.uk.
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