0

Budget DIY GPS/GNSS Base Station / Receiver Setup with ESP32 and UM980

Table of Contents

Best Budget DIY GPS/GNSS Base Station using the UM980 and a ESP32

Introduction

The ESP32 is a versatile microcontroller renowned for its WiFi and Bluetooth capabilities. In this guide, we’ll walk you through setting up the your ESP32 development board with the
Unicorecomm UM980
and various accessories. We’ll also cover flashing the ESP32 with the desired firmware.

ESP32 Wroom DevKit Full Pinout

ESP32 Wroom DevKit Full Pinout – mischianti.org

Alternate Instructions

Want to use a linux distro or a raspberry pi?

Check out our guide on
Setting up a NTRIP server on Linux

Looking for how to use this with Onocoy?

Check out our guide on
DIY Onocoy Ntrip Server and Reference Station Setup

Hardware Components

Before we begin, let’s take a look at the hardware components you’ll need:

  1. ESP32 Development Board:
    AITRIP 2 Sets ESP-WROOM-32 ESP32

  2. Power Supply:
    CanaKit 3.5A Raspberry Pi 4 Power Supply (USB-C)

  3. Adapter Cables: (Choose one):

  4. Enclosure Kit:
    qBoxMini DIY IOT Enclosure Plus Kit (One SMA)

  5. GNSS Receiver Board (Choose one):

  6. Firmware:
    ESP32-XBee Firmware

Basic Antennas for RTK, ROVER, Window Situations

Advanced Antennas for Base and Reciver Stations

  • (Preferred)
    Beitian High Gain High Precision GPS/GNSS Antenna
    – $86

    • High Antenna Gain, High Precision, Builtin Anti-interference, IP67 Rated, High and Low Temp Ratings, UV Resistant Housing, Supports Most Bands..
  • (Preferred)
    Calibrated Survey GNSS Tripleband + L-band antenna (IP67)
    – $230

    • Calibrated Quad-Band, Extremely High Precision, Anti-interference, Supports All Bands
  • Multi-frequency High Precision Survey Antenna
    – $95

    • Strong Antenna Signal, High Precision, Builtin Anti-interference.
  • GNSS Surveying Antenna and Precise Navigation Antenna
    – $180

    • High Antenna Gain, Extremely High Precision, IP67 Rated.
  • HARXON CSX627A
    – $135

    • Calibrated Triple Band RTK Antenna, IP67, Supports All Bands
  • L1/L2/L5 GPS, G1/G2/G3 GLONASS, B1/B2/B3 BDS, Galileo E1/E5/E6 38dB Antenna
    – $205

    • Supports Most Bands, IP67 Rated

Step-by-Step Setup

1. Assemble Your Workstation / Desktop / Laptop

Ensure you have a computer with a USB port and internet access. You’ll need this for downloading
firmware
and drivers.

2. Connect Hardware Components

3. Use Adapter Cables

Utilize the
elechawk adapter cables
or alternatives as necessary to connect the
UM980
to your
ESP32 board
. These cables offer compatibility with various connectors for expanding your project.

  • UM980 RTK InCase PIN GNSS receiver board with USB C
    • If you choose this option, again, you’ll need some
      male to male dupont wires
    • Wiring
      • UM980 +5V to ESP32 5V (or 3V3) for power.
      • UM980 GND to ESP32 GND for ground.
      • UM980 TXD2 to ESP32 GPIO pin designated for receiving data (e.g., GPIO pin 16, RX1, RX0).
      • UM980 RXD2 to ESP32 GPIO pin designated for transmitting data (e.g., GPIO pin 17, TX1, TX0).
      • Connecting the GNSS.store UM980 Module to The ESP32 Devboard

        GNSS.store UM980 to ESP32 Dev Board Breakout Pin Diagram

  • Full Frequency Centimeter Level Low-power and High-precision UM980 Module RTK Differential Drone GPS Module GNSS Whole System
    • Wiring
      • UM980 UART VCC (Pin 1) to ESP32 3.3V (or 3V3) for power.
      • UM980 UART GND (Pin 2) to ESP32 GND for ground.
      • UM980 UART TXD (Pin 3) to ESP32 GPIO pin designated for receiving data (e.g., GPIO pin 16, RX1, RX0).
      • UM980 UART RXD (Pin 4) to ESP32 GPIO pin designated for transmitting data (e.g., GPIO pin 17, TX1, TX0).
      • Connecting the AliExpress UM980 Module to The ESP32 Devboard

        AliExpress UM980 to ESP32 Dev Board Breakout Pin Diagram

4. Employ the Enclosure Kit

For environmental protection, consider using the
qBoxMini DIY IOT Enclosure Kit
. It offers waterproof protection and includes connectors and a prototyping PCB for easy integration.

5. Choose the GNSS Receiver

Depending on your project needs, timeline, and budget, select the appropriate
GNSS receiver board
.
Follow the wiring diagram above for implementation.

6. Flash the Firmware

To flash the
ESP32
with the
ESP32-XBee firmware
, follow these steps:

  1. Download the firmware from the provided
    GitHub release
    .

If you would like to reset the device configuration, you should also download:

- `wipe_config.bin`
  1. Install necessary flashing tools like the ESP-IDF framework and Espressif’s ESP Flash Download Tool.
  1. Connect the ESP32 to your computer.
    • While plugging into your computer, hold down the BOOT button to prepare the ESP32 for Flashing.
      • ESP32 Boot Button

        ESP32 Boot Button – randomnerdtutorials.com

  2. Flash the XBEE ESP32 Firmware
    Note: Your COM device location will be different than mine. You’ll need to identify it first before continuing.
  • Windows
    • Open the ESP Flash Download Tool, select the firmware files, set flashing options, and click “Start” to flash the firmware onto the ESP32.
      • loading ESP32 Firmware on Windows

        Loading ESP32 Firmware on Windows – github.com/nebkat/esp32-xbee/

      • It is important that the offsets exactly match the files:
        • bootloader.bin @ 0x1000
        • partition-table.bin @ 0x8000
        • esp32-xbee.bin @ 0x10000
        • www.bin @ 0x210000
      • If you would like to reset the device configuration, you should also include:
    • Flashing ESP32 Firmware on Windows

      Flashing ESP32 Firmware on Windows – github.com/nebkat/esp32-xbee/

    •    .\esptool.exe --before default_reset --after hard_reset --chip esp32 --port COM10 --baud 115200 write_flash --flash_mode dio --flash_size detect --flash_freq 40m -z 0x1000 ./bootloader.bin 0x8000 ./partition-table.bin 0x10000 ./esp32-xbee.bin 0x210000 ./www.bin
      
  • Linux
    •    esptool.py -b 460800 --after hard_reset write_flash --flash_mode dio --flash_freq 40m --flash_size 4MB 0x8000 partition-table.bin 0x1000 bootloader.bin 0x10000 esp32-xbee.bin 0x210000 www.bin
      
    • If you would like to reset the device configuration, also include: 0x0 wipe_config.bin
  • Found 1 serial ports
    Serial port /dev/ttyUSB0
    Connecting....
    Detecting chip type... ESP32
    Chip is ESP32D0WDQ5 (revision 1)
    Features: WiFi, BT, Dual Core, 240MHz, VRef calibration in efuse, Coding Scheme None
    Crystal is 40MHz
    MAC: 4c:11:ae:6e:30:6c
    Uploading stub...
    Running stub...
    Stub running...
    Configuring flash size...
    Compressed 3072 bytes to 110...
    Wrote 3072 bytes (110 compressed) at 0x00008000 in 0.0 seconds (effective 1540.7 kbit/s)...
    Hash of data verified.
    Compressed 17216 bytes to 11168...
    Wrote 17216 bytes (11168 compressed) at 0x00001000 in 1.0 seconds (effective 138.8 kbit/s)...
    Hash of data verified.
    Compressed 788768 bytes to 493546...
    Wrote 788768 bytes (493546 compressed) at 0x00010000 in 43.9 seconds (effective 143.8 kbit/s)...
    Hash of data verified.
    Compressed 1048576 bytes to 93902...
    Wrote 1048576 bytes (93902 compressed) at 0x00210000 in 8.4 seconds (effective 1004.1 kbit/s)...
    Hash of data verified.
    
    Leaving...
    Hard resetting via RTS pin...
    
  1. Restart the ESP32
  • Hit the “EN” button
  • Or Power Cycle the Device

7. Configuration

  1. Step 1: Connect to the XBee Hotspot

    1. Using your phone or PC, connect to the ESP32’s WiFi Hotspot which will be called ESP_XBee_XXXXXX where XXXXXX are some random numbers/letters unique to your device.
  2. Step 2: Browse to the Configuration Page

    1. Open your browser and navigate to http://192.168.4.1/. You should see a page similar to:
      XBee ESP32 Configuration Page

      XBee ESP32 Configuration Page – github.com/nebkat/esp32-xbee/

  3. Step 3: Configure WiFi

    1. Enable the WiFi section, press Scan to search for networks, choose your home WiFi network (or phone hotspot) and enter the password.

      The ESP32 does not have very good WiFi reception, so make sure you are relatively close to the network you are connecting to, especially when indoors, to avoid problems.

      Press the Submit button, and follow the instructions on screen. You may need to reconnect to the ESP32 XBee hotspot after it restarts.

      The WiFi section will now show its connection status:

      XBee ESP32 Wifi Configuration Page

      XBee ESP32 Wifi Configuration Page – github.com/nebkat/esp32-xbee/

    2. If you are connected to the device using a serial terminal, the device will output information about its WiFi connection.

      $PESP,WIFI,STA,CONNECTING,S10,P*71
      $PESP,WIFI,STA,CONNECTED,S10*4C
      $PESP,WIFI,STA,IP,192.168.43.100/24,192.168.43.1*5D
      
  4. Step 4: Improve Security Configuration

    1. Hotspot

      To prevent others from accessing your ESP32 XBee, you may want to adjust the settings of the WiFi hotspot section.

      There are three ways to do this:

      1. Change from Open security to WPA/2-PSK and enter a password (recommended).
      2. Hide the SSID by toggling the Hidden setting.
        • Note: This will not prevent connections, but will hide the hotspot from WiFi scans on other devices.
      3. Disable the hotspot entirely by toggling the WiFi hotspot section
        • Note: You will not be able to access the ESP32 XBee if there is a problem with its connection to your home WiFi network, unless you perform a
          Full Reset
          .
      XBee ESP32 Secure Wifi Configuration Page

      XBee ESP32 Secure Wifi Configuration Page – github.com/nebkat/esp32-xbee/

    2. Configuration

      If you would like to prevent others on your home network from modifying the ESP32 XBee configuration, you can also adjust the settings of the Admin section.

      You can choose between only allowing devices connected to the hotspot, or a username/password.

      The new IP address will be the first address in the 3rd line as above, i.e. 192.168.43.100.

      XBee ESP32 Admin User Configuration Page

      XBee ESP32 Admin User Configuration Page – github.com/nebkat/esp32-xbee/

  5. Step 5: Improve Security Configuration

    1. You can now proceed to configure the available protocols.

      Note: Do not enable all protocols at once. The ESP32 is not able to handle an unlimited amount of open sockets/connections, so only enable the protocols you are actually using.

      The small color selector beside each section’s toggle button will determine the color of the RGB LED on the ESP32 XBee for that feature, so that you can keep track of its status. Setting the color to black will disable the LED for that feature. Typically, a fading LED means the feature is working correctly/connected, while a blinking LED or no LED means the feature is awaiting a connection or could not connect to its target.

7. Profit?

  1. Full Reset: In case you encounter any problems and are unable to connect to the device, simply hold the BOOT button for 5 seconds, and the ESP32 will be reset to its default configuration.

    ESP32 Boot Button

    ESP32 Boot Button – randomnerdtutorials.com

    If this procedure does not work for any reason, an alternative method to perform a full reset is to follow the
    Firmware Update
    procedure, including the wipe_config.bin file as described.

9. Testing

Once the firmware is successfully flashed, your ESP32 board is ready for testing. Begin developing and running IoT applications, making the most of the board’s WiFi, Bluetooth, and GNSS capabilities.

This is where you’ll unplug the ESP32 from your desktop and Plug the
CanaKit Raspberry Pi 4 power supply
into a power source and connect it to the
ESP32 board
via USB-C.

Testing is going to depend on multiple factors. This part is up to you.
I suggest using
Onocoy
and using their service to test your configuration if you’re setting up an NTRIP Server.

#Budget #DIY #GPSGNSS #Base #Station #Receiver #Setup #ESP32 #UM980