Duane Bester has built a GPS Tracker From Scratch Using 3 Arduino boards to make a GPS tracker and a data logger. A flash of idea came to him, to combine the new Arduino Nano 33 BLE Sense with an SD card and GPS module for a project that records GPS and IMU data.
So he opted to buy the Nano 33, the MKR Mem Shield, and the MKR GPS Shield and couple all of them together. He later found out that these boards aren’t footprint-compatible, so He combined them with a breadboard. It took time to get all the plugins installed and everything connected correctly. The biggest challenge he faced was the GPS module, and he says “It really helps to start debugging the GPS’ example code outside; where the satellite signal is available.” After successfully vetting the Prototype code for the arduino, he went ahead to build a custom PCB.
For the PCB design, he used easyeda to build his custom PCB. The first thing he did was obtaining the schematics from the Nano 33, the MKR Mem Shield then the MKR GPS Shield. The schematic was easy to access via Github. Since they are Eagle schematic files, the Eagle trial version was used for an in-depth analysis. After that, he copied the full Nano 33 BLE schematic as it is, as well as matching up the component names and numbers.
He then included the GPS module then he had to figure out how to program through J-Link. To ensure it’s optimal, he went on to send off the design to PCBWay to be built and coupled. This was a smooth process, with some questions concerning the part name and orientation. Few weeks later he received the plan PCB boards in the mail, then six weeks later he got the fully assembled PCB boards.
Read more: DIY GPS TRACKER FEATURES THREE ARDUINO BOARDS