Receiver Module

This is the brains and body of the GPS Unit. It contains everything needed to begin gathering vital information. The Starter Kit GPs receiver module comes wrapped in a shiny, golden box. Although it is asthetically pleasing, the box is not necessary for the system to continue functioning. The top of the box is attached by four screws, which can be removed by a Phillips screwdriver. The metal enclosure provides 2 interface port connectors, an antenna connector and a three-pronged power connector. The power source of the unit is from the power connector. The Starter Kit arrives with just a power cord; however, it needs an adaptor to be able to be plugged into a wall-socket. However, for sky flights, one does not want to have to fly a generator aong with the lightweight box. An alternative method is provided on this site under the hardware set-up section. The motherboard includes a 3.6V lithium backup battery enabling quick hot starts. The Starter Kit includes an AC/DC converter for powering the module from an AC wall socket.

Antenna

The GPS antenna receives the GPS satellite signals and passes them to the receiver. Because the GPS signals are spread spectrum signals in the 1575 MHz range and do not penetrate conductive or opaque surfaces, the GPS antenna must be located with a clear view of the sky. This is essential. This can usually be compromised, however, by placing the antenna near a window. Usually it will be able to pick up the signal from the three or more satellites it needs. The Lassen LP GPS requires an active antenna. The received GPS signals are very low power, approximately -140 dB, at the surface of the earth. Trimble's active antennas include a preamplifier that filters and amplifies the GPS signals before delivery to the receiver. The compact magnetic mount GPS antenna and integral cable supplied with the Starter Kit is ideal for portable and mobile applications. The cord is very long for the antenna, so placing it near a window should be no problem.

DC Power Cable

The DC power cable is ideal for bench-top or automotive testing environments. The power cable is terminated at one end with a 3-pin plastic connector which mates with the power connector on the metal enclosure. The unterminated end of the cable provides easy connection to a DC power supply. But be warned: the provided DC power cable won't have the ability to connet to a wall socket. Instead, one will have to find a cable capable of converting it into a wall socket format. These can be easily found, however, like the cord connecting the monitor of a desktop computer to the wall. This works out well.

Serial Cable

The serial cable is the cable which connects from Port 1 or 2 on the GPS system to the computer. It is used to communicate with the computer. Simply plug in the appropriate ends into their respective places.

Top: DC Power Cable and Adaptor. Bottom: Serial Cable. Right: Antenna.

Software

The software arrives in a brightly colored CD, which isn't easy to miss. Once inserted into the E drive of your computer, setup will commence automatically. If not, then simply access the E drive of your computer, and double click on Setup.exe manually. This should start the setup of the program TSIP32Monitor program. The software will give yuo options to load four different tyes of GPS receivers onto your computer. Only choose the Lassen LP option. Once installed, you will have access to the help manual, a .pdf file with over 200 pages of information about the system. Though comprehensive, it is very difficult to read all of it, in vain hopes that one may accidentally stumble upon the information needed. However, it does give the more experienced user hardware profiles, which come in handy later. For beginners though, it is necessary to cut away all the jargon. The files installed also give access to TSIPCHAT, a valuable program needed for configuring the output language of the receiver.