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DIY GPS Module for Yaesu VX-8DR/VX-8DE Handheld Transceiver

GPS module for Yaesu VX-8DR/DE handheld transceivers with ublox NEO-6M chip and Arduino Nano by Dmitry Melnichansky 4Z7DTF (4X5DM since June 2016 4X1MD since July 24, 2017).

When I was buying my Yaesu VX-8DE, I knew that I wasn’t going to buy the original Yaesu FGPS2 module. There is very little APRS coverage in Israel and APRS in general seemed quite useless to me. The unreasonably high price of the original module didn’t make me want to try it either.

After receiving far APRS stations during a strong tropo over the Mediterranean I thought it would be nice to transmit some data. I started investigating how GPS transmits data and discovered the NMEA protocol I had never encountered before. My first source of information was the article Reverse Engineering the Yaesu VX-8DR GPS Interface by Taylor J Meek KG7BBG.

I started from writing a Python program which was sending NMEA sentences to the transceiver. After some research I discovered the required message format and wrote a program which drew flowers on APRS map.”

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