This GPS receiver module kit is mostly SMD (pre-assembled), and includes a high sensitivity active antenna with 2m coax and SMA connectors, and a USB to Serial converter. It has three onboard LEDs for visual status indication, 3.3V regulator and power supply filtering, and 5V logic level conversion. It's easy to build and directly compatible with all QRP Labs kits.

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UPDATE June-2021: OUT-OF-STOCK. Production of QLG2 is suspended due to the global semiconductor shortage, which has rendered the microcontroller used unobtainable at a reasonable price. In the interim, we are producing a special edition QLG2-SE which is cheaper, uses the same GPS/GNSS receiver module and antenna, but does not include the USB-Serial converter because it has no STM32 microcontroller. 

Please do not email about availability of the QLG2. We don't know how long the semiconductor crisis will last, some analysts say it will be 1-2 years until the situation is resolved. When the microcontrollers are available again we will resume QLG2 production and make an update on this page.  

The highly popular QLG1 GPS module had to be retired in February 2021 due to supply problems. This QLG2 module is an improved GPS receiver module kit that supports all the great features of QLG1 and additionally provides several upgrades and new features. QLG2: QRP Labs GNSS module Mk2


Features:

  • Supply voltage range 3.3 to 6V.
  • Board 80 x 37mm (Same as Ultimate3S, VFO and Clock kits).
  • Multi GNSS satellite constellation receiver supports the following systems GPS (US), Galileo (Europe), GLONASS (Russia) and Beidou (Chinese) - giving a faster more accurate position fix.
  • Supplied with included active antenna, approx 2m coax and SMA connectors.
  • Onboard LEDs for status indication: Red (Power), Yellow (Serial data) and Green (PPS).
  • 2.8 to 5V logic level conversion to provide 5V serial data for full compatibility with all QRP Labs kits.
  • SMD assembly already undertaken by factory facility - only SMA connector, and optional USB B, pin headers to solder.
  • Serial to USB converter, using onboard USB B connector, for convenient interface to PC software if required - no drivers required. Jumpers select either the GPS serial data, or your own externally connected serial data, for example you could use this as a USB to Serial data converter for CAT control of QCX, QCX+ and QCX-mini transceivers.
  • Can optionally be connected to a standard 1602 LCD, in the same style as the Ultimate3S, VFO and Clock kits, to GPS date, time and satellite information using onboard microcontroller. 
  • Space provided for optional ultra-capacitor for faster hot-start
  • All modules will be fully tested before shipment. 

Documentation

Manual for firmware 1_00/1_00a/1_00b
Manual for the E108-GN01 GNSS receiver module
Manual for the GK9501 chip command set (Chinese language; GK9501 is the chipset used in the E108-GN01 module)


Firmware

Please refer to the manual for the firmware update procedure, which is very easy and does not require any special hardware, software, drivers etc. It requires only a PC and a USB cable. Click the file in the first column of the table below, to download the firmware file of interest. Note that firmware files are encrypted and can only be used on the QRP Labs QLG2 board. 

Firmware version history:

Version Date Contents
1_00b 21-May-2021 - Bug fix: minor cosmetic issue, superfluous '2' character on LCD when optional LCD used.
1_00a 19-May-2021 - First release firmware for QLG2 (note 1_00 and 1_00a are the same)

Testing

All QLG2 kit modules and active antennas have been thoroughly tested by QRP Labs prior to shipment. The testing includes:

  • Install QFU Bootloader program via ST flash tools (STM32CubeProgrammer).
  • Use USB connection and Host PC to install the application firmware program (USB to Serial Converter and LCD display driver).
  • Test E108-GN01 module using the lab GNSS antenna which is the same model as supplied in the QLG2 kit.
  • Ensure time-to-first-fix (TTFF) is under 1 minute
  • Check correct operation of Serial data and 1pps signals
  • Check application firmware was correctly installed and microcontroller is running properly, by connecting a Terminal Emulator via USB and observing the NMEA serial data.

The testing is done using a custom-designed PCB and test jig with 10 pogo-pins that connect to the GNSS receiver module's RF input, the USB interface, and programming interface. 


Photographs

The QLG2 can be connected optionally to a standard 1602 LCD module such as used in other QRP Labs kits; the LCD will show UT time and GPS information (refer to manual). The LCD is not provided with the QLG2 kit. 


Windows 7/8 serial driver

The firmware update procedure runs on any version of Windows, Mac and Linux. The following instructions relate to using the serial interface (USB to Serial converter) on Windows 7 or 8. 

On Windows 10, no drivers need be installed. We have reports that on Windows 7, this is not the case. On Windows 7 you need to install a ST Microelectronics driver. The following instructions are by Alan G4ZFQ:

  • STM has a USB driver pack for versions before W10. Preferably do this on your computer with your email on it. Go to http://www.st.com/web/en/catalog/tools/PF257938
  • Click "Get Software"
  • And again
  • Accept agreement
  • All I did was:-
  • Enter a valid email address
    • Tick "I have read--  Click "Download"
    • Name not required.
    • The link in the email must be opened in the same browser that you used
      to apply
  • The readme says XP and above are included although the filenames do not.
  • On my W7 32 bit computer I ran the W7 32 bits exe. It said the driver
    was installed.
  • The QLG2 was not recognised.
  • I went to Device Manager selected the "Unknown Device" and clicked "Update Driver" "Browse my Computer.." - "Let me Pick.." - Ports COM and
    LPT -  Manufacturer STMicroelectronics. The driver was installed, COM port assigned.
  • Note here https://www.ebyte.com/en/data-download.html?id=542&pid=485#load is the Navitrack software for the Ebyte module. The Navitrack software may be used to check it, see NMEA, satellites, send commands including the update command.
  • On W7 you must run as Admin, W10 asks if you do not.

How to know what the device name is in Linux

Again this applies to the serial device when using the USB to Serial converter. Andy G0FTD sent these instructions for how to find out which device the QLG2 is connected to.

From the terminal type:

a) sudo dmesg | more

This will show up all the devices and comports on your system.
There's a LOT of pages of info but eventually you should see the QLG2 listed.

It will look something like this -

[  717.739958] usb 1-1.1: Product: QLG2 GNSS RX
[  717.739960] usb 1-1.1: Manufacturer: QRP Labs
[  717.739962] usb 1-1.1: SerialNumber: 00000000001A
[  717.740406] cdc_acm 1-1.1:1.0: ttyACM0: USB ACM device

In my case, it's attached itself to ttyACM0, same as mentioned in the QLG2 manual.

Now we know where it, we know where we want to monitor.

b) Use the command 
sudo cat /dev/ttyACM0 from the terminal and then you'll see all the data flowing out the GPS.

At least you'll be able to confirm that there's communication and that gps sentences are present.

If for some reason this fails, then it may be that you haven't given yourself permission to communicate
via the comport.

In which case from the terminal type 
sudo usermod -a -G dialout username and do a reboot, hopefully
it should work.

Tested so far on Linux Mint 19.3 but I would expect it to be the same on any other Linux distro.