Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Ardusimple simpleRTK2B with Long Range Radio and Bluetooth

When you need high precision Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) support, one of the best economical choices is the Ardusimple simpleRTK2B. I am using the Long Range Starter Kit that consists of a base station and a rover. By using 2 simpleRTK2B boards that communicate with each other, I am able to take advantage of Real-Time Kinematic (RTK) positioning which gives me centimeter accuracy. The simpleRTK2B has a convenient connector for Xbee radio modules which in my case is used for the long range radio. However, I would also love to use the XBee Bluetooth Module on the rover. That way I don't have to connect my Android-based smartphone via USB cable, but can also conveniently connect to the simpleRTK2B via Bluetooth. Unfortunately, for this use-case I have to wire up the XBee Bluetooth Module manually as there is only a single Xbee radio slot. The documentation on this was a bit sparse but the following pointers were useful:

I finally got everything working with the following wiring. The one thing that feels a bit odd is the need to also connect the 3.3V OUT on the simpleRTK2B to its IOREF pin.