GPS on the Neo 1973

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The Neo1973 device contains an integrated GPS. The particular device is marketed as an AGPS, and there is some discussion available as to what significance that "A" might have.

All purchased phones do not include the GPS binary driver. [1] But finally, as described in November_29,_2007_Community_Update, the binary driver is available to the community now.

There is an ongoing effort to write a Free Software program that could be used instead of this binary-only program. See Hammerhead/Protocol for details and the latest status.


Quick test (driver output to console) on Neo1973 Phase 1

Main article: Getting GPS console output with gllin

To get the output of this driver, read the file /tmp/nmeaNP (it is actually a pipe, not a file). The simplest way is to open another ssh connection to the phone and use cat:

cat /tmp/nmeaNP

This way it is possible to see the first results very easily.

The "GPS Sight" program with graphic interface

Main article: GPS Sight

There is also a working open source GPS preview program to get the gllin output to the graphical environment. It can immediately show the location, altitude, speed and curved distance from selected point. This program can also draw the covered path (no background map).

The old program in /home/root/DM2/gps

Main article - Phase 1 GPS driver

In the very early shipment to 50 Phase 1 developers, a binary-only program for talking to the the GPS was accidentally included in /home/root/DM2/gps, (and presumably, the same binary would function on a P0 device). It was compiled to OABI format which now is obsolete as OM2007.2 builds are in EABI format, but developers suggested tricks to run it with chroot. These approaches seem now obsolete and the old binary seems even no longer easily available.

Bluetooth GPS

He also succeeded at getting the Neo1973 to act like a bluetooth GPS with the following script: (Note that this script has bad problems if you run it more than once. You can get a "time traveling GPS" effect, with the GPS showing you your past position).

killall rfcomm tail
mknod /dev/rfcomm0 c 216 0
echo 1 > /sys/devices/platform/s3c2410-i2c/i2c-0/0-0008/gta01-pm-bt.0/power_on
sleep 1
hciconfig hci0 up name linuxgps
sleep 1
sleep 1
sdptool add SP
        while true; do
        rfcomm listen /dev/rfcomm0 1
        sleep 1
) &
        while true; do
            tail -f /tmp/gps.nmea > /dev/rfcomm0
            echo 1 > /sys/class/leds/gta01\:vibrator/brightness
            sleep 1
            echo 0 > /sys/class/leds/gta01\:vibrator/brightness
) &

Using UDP

gllin sends a udp packet per nmea sentence on port 6000. this is a much cleaner aproach because using files will fill up memory or rootfs (the latter will result in the need for reflashing).

i switch off writing to /tmp/nmeaNP and logging to log/... with


the help says that -nmea is the default, fact is that gllin logs nmea sentences into ./log/<date> wich will fill up mem or rootfs for long running tests. the following python script reads the nmea sentences (you need to have python-io installed to get the socket module):

import sys
import socket
s = socket.socket(socket.AF_INET, socket.SOCK_DGRAM)
s.bind(('', 6000))
while True:
    line = s.recv(1024)

the program just prints those to stdout but other methods are possible (i feed them into a NMEA parser).

benefits are that both programs can be started and stopped at will. none needs the other. gllin will not terminate if /tmp/nmeaNP is not there or not read from. the `cat /tmp/nmeaNP | gzip > gps.gz` is a useless idea anyway because the files in log/ (current directory) contains the NMEA data already.


The ouput from the binary driver seems to follow the NMEA standard.

Some information about it is available at and on Wikipedia.

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