The SparkFun GNSS Timing Breakout offers a unique entry into SparkFun's geospatial catalog featuring the ZED-F9T GNSS receiver from u-blox. The ZED-F9T provides up to five nanosecond timing accuracy under clear skies with no external GNSS correction making it perfect for applications where timing accuracy is imperative. Need an extremely accurate time reference to maximize the efficiency of your IoT network of 5G devices? The ZED-F9T GNSS Timing Breakout could be the perfect solution.
The ZED-F9T is a multi-band GNSS module that supports L1/L2/E5b bands and operates on all major constellations (GPS, GLONASS, Galileo and BeiDou) concurrently making it extremely versatile and able to retain its timing precision even the module loses lock with one or more of the visible constellations.
This breakout shares a similar design as the SparkFun GPS-RTK-SMA Breakout to create a small but comprehensive development tool for the ZED-F9T. The design includes a USB-C connector for primary power and communication, two Qwiic connectors for communicating over I2C using the SparkFun Qwiic system, three SMA connectors for the antenna and timing pulse signals as well as a host of PTH pins allowing direct interaction with most of the ZED-F9T's pinout. The GNSS Timing Breakout also includes an on-board rechargeable backup battery that provides power to the RTC on the ZED-F9T. This reduces the time-to-first fix from a cold start (~24s) to a hot start (~2s).
The SparkFun Qwiic Connect System is an ecosystem of I2C sensors, actuators, shields and cables that make prototyping faster and less prone to error. All Qwiic-enabled boards use a common 1mm pitch, 4-pin JST connector. This reduces the amount of required PCB space, and polarized connections mean you can’t hook it up wrong.
If a board needs code or communicates somehow, you're going to need to know how to program or interface with it. The programming skill is all about communication and code.
Skill Level: Experienced - You will require a firm understanding of programming, the programming toolchain, and may have to make decisions on programming software or language. You may need to decipher a proprietary or specialized communication protocol. A logic analyzer might be necessary.
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If it requires power, you need to know how much, what all the pins do, and how to hook it up. You may need to reference datasheets, schematics, and know the ins and outs of electronics.
Skill Level: Rookie - You may be required to know a bit more about the component, such as orientation, or how to hook it up, in addition to power requirements. You will need to understand polarized components.
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5 ns timing accuracy? I remember being pretty impressed when I had two $5 GPS receivers outputting a pps signal within 250 ns of each other! (Which would still be perfectly adequate for something like race timing). Of course, this board is on a completely different price level but maybe someday we’ll have this kind of accuracy in some of the cheap gps modules.