Ublox MAX M8 with UART

Hi,
I have an Ublox MAX M8Q SMD GPS module. I have it soldered to my custom PCB. I'm trying to communicate with it using UART as shown in its datasheet. I'm using the Adafruit GPS library.

I really don't know what the problem can be. I couldn't find any tutorials about using just this bare module. Does anyone have experience with this kind of thing? Thanks.

Its a 9600 baud GPS so you should be able to communicate with it.

You may have connected it wrong, or the PCB is wrong and we dont know what problem you are actually having (Hint !)

Why have you chosen that particular GPS ?

Is there a way to test just the communication? Does the mudule send anything when it's not locked? What if it's just not locking properly? Would I see any output then?

Well, it's cheap, it works on the 3.3V level, it's lightweight but not so much that it would be impossible to solder and it has a simple interface. I saw your website, you had it in one of your trackers too.

There is a way of testing the GPS is outputing stuff, but checking the two way comms is a bit harder.

Are you going to give us a schematic and picture of how you have it connected up ?

The connections are good. I checked with a microscope. Schematic:

Board:
balloon tracker board.png

Photo of soldered board:

balloon tracker board.png

Try here;

Although dont expect much with the antenna you are using.

Wow. The GPS module started communicating. And I got a lock. It was after about 5 minutes. I didn't get a lock after that.

What antenna should I use? The only GPS antennas I found were too big. I have very limited resources and almost no time. Would a simple wire antenna for the specific frequency (1575.42 MHz so 4.2cm length) work?

You can use a 1/4 or 3/4 wave vertical with 1/4 wave radials for an antenna.

The GPS antenna should normally be away from other electronics. The antenna used really needs to be part of the initial board design, its not easy to retro fit an antenna to that type of GPS.