[ntp:questions] Inexpensive OEM GPS units?

Richard B. Gilbert rgilbert88 at comcast.net
Tue Nov 13 02:16:21 UTC 2007

Wesley J. Landaker wrote:
> John Ioannidis wrote:
>>Out of curiosity: what is wrong with the Garmin GPS 18LVC that someone
>>would like to look at an alternative? At < $70, it's practically free.
> Well, one downside is that it's "free" plus the time, materials, and
> knowledge to make yourself a custom cable, do RS-232 level-shifting,
> and provide a voltage source. 
> It's not hard if you're already a electrical engineer, radio HAM,
> hardware hobbyist, etc, but it's still extra hassle. For example, if
> there was something similar that was ready to plug into a RS-232 port
> with the right levels and PPS already on DCD and a standard DC power
> input plug tee'd off, it would be pretty convenient.
> Also, in general it's natural to want to know about alternatives (or the
> lack of them) so as to be able to make quality decisions.

There are damned few alternatives.  The Garmin is the only one I've ever 
heard of in the under $100 price class.  At $300-$400 there are a few 
alternatives.  At $1000 and up there are even more alternatives.

If there were a market for several hundred Plug-N-Play systems, I'm sure 
someone would be delighted to serve that market for $100-$125 each.
$70 for the Garmin
$5 for a DB-25 or DB-9 connector
$1 for 5 feet of cable
$5-10 for a 5 Volt "wall wart"
$1 for a mating connector for the "wall wart"
A soldering iron, some solder, and you're in business.  Pricing is 

D.I.Y. is a bit cheaper.

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