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07-30-2014, 01:38 PM   #1
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PENTAX O-GPS1 GPS unit

I'm thinking of buying this GPS unit, but it is too expansive for that what it does. So if I could use it for my Arduino devices I would buy it.
I doubt anyone can help me , but anyway does anyone know what the connection type and protocol it uses?

I tried to write an email to lynn.badillo@wildernestlogistics.com, but this email seems to be not workable.
Maybe anyone knows where I have to ask for help?

Oh, almost forget, I have contact with Pentax customer service. I was told there to contact with Lynn (I guess Badillo) 303-728-0359. But I'm not US citizen, and it would be hard for me to speak English. Maybe anyone knows her workable email?

07-30-2014, 01:41 PM   #2
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Good luck.
The O-GPS-1 uses Pentax's proprietary digital communication via the hot shoe contacts.
If you're using Arduino, why bother?
There are tons of Arduino GPS devices out there - and they are cheap.
No Arduino GPS? Get a Raspberry PI.
The price for the O-GPS-1 is not bad considering it's WR and pretty well made.
One of my favorite accessories.
07-30-2014, 02:05 PM   #3
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I wish I had my O-GPS-1 3 years ago. Sometimes its easy to forget where a picture was taken when you take thousands of pictures in a trip. Now I'm eager to mess with the astrotracer feature. I used it once with decent result for a first try, but I'm still too close to light pollution.

Last edited by francis85; 07-30-2014 at 03:04 PM.
07-30-2014, 02:15 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by AndreyS Quote
but it is too expansive for that what it does.
Won't agree with that, one of the best purchases I've made. Saves me an amazing amount of time. I could use an off camera tracker but I find the O-GPS so convenient I have not used my tracker since I got the O-GPS.

But I guess you are trying to use it both on the camera and for another purpose? I agree with LaurenOE, good luck with that. You might be better off getting a more standard GPS tracker or even use one from a cell phone. Much easier to get the information out, and probably cheaper as well.

07-30-2014, 03:20 PM   #5
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Since I got a tracking mount, my O-GPS1 has been relegated to providing GPS info to the EXIF. But it excels at that. It can provide orientation data as well which is usually within 5 degrees if calibration has been performed. It is worth every penny to me since a lot of my work is documenting wildlife encounters (bumble bees lately).

Jack
07-30-2014, 03:35 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
Won't agree with that, one of the best purchases I've made. Saves me an amazing amount of time. I could use an off camera tracker but I find the O-GPS so convenient I have not used my tracker since I got the O-GPS.

But I guess you are trying to use it both on the camera and for another purpose? I agree with LaurenOE, good luck with that. You might be better off getting a more standard GPS tracker or even use one from a cell phone. Much easier to get the information out, and probably cheaper as well.
QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
But I guess you are trying to use it both on the camera and for another purpose?
yeah, exactly! I live in the country where $200 per mounth is a good salary. Hence, as for me gps unit is costly.
If anyone knows email of that Lady please share with me
07-30-2014, 03:50 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by AndreyS Quote
yeah, exactly! I live in the country where $200 per mounth is a good salary. Hence, as for me gps unit is costly.
If anyone knows email of that Lady please share with me
There is no way that anyone at Wildernest logistics is going to know about the O-GPS-1 protocol.
I'm not even sure they still are the parts warehouse for Pentax anymore.
You're at a dead end if you want to reverse engineer the flash/GPS bus protocol.

07-30-2014, 04:30 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by AndreyS Quote
Hence, as for me gps unit is costly.
Ok, I get that. If I was not selling images it would be too costly for me as well but it saves me money so it is worth it to me. But I don't get why you want to use it? Many other GPS units are available at far less money that would be simple to work with as they use standard and published protocols. So why O-GPS unit? Guess I am missing something.
07-30-2014, 04:58 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
Ok, I get that. If I was not selling images it would be too costly for me as well but it saves me money so it is worth it to me. But I don't get why you want to use it? Many other GPS units are available at far less money that would be simple to work with as they use standard and published protocols. So why O-GPS unit? Guess I am missing something.
I enjoy taking with me my k-5, I'd like to buy that O-GPS unit. But if I dont figure out how to use it in my arduino project I'll reject buying it.
07-30-2014, 05:57 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by AndreyS Quote
But if I dont figure out how to use it in my arduino project I'll reject buying it.
This sounds backwards to me. In order to use it, you'll have to attempt to reverse engineer the protocol - which means buying a unit before you know if it will work for your project.
07-30-2014, 07:15 PM   #11
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Good Evening,

The O-GPS1 unit is not designed to be used as a standalone unit. It is designed to be fully embedded and attached to the designated camera body via the hot shoe interface. The only user controls on the GPS unit is the battery door, on/off button and the two LEDs indicating correct operation. All other user interface activities is through the camera body's rear screen and 4 way control button set (^ v < > and OK).There is no interface specification on the hot shoe and in particular the data pins (neither designation nor data format, although the user's manual calls out NEMA-0183 (using WGS 84). If Pentax had a tethered interface (with a full interface specification that is published, would be a big help) through the USB port of the camera, this would be the interface of choice. However, there is really no interlace information available other than what the somewhat open source software utility PK-tether has been able to discern from their work with the interface. I would drop them an email asking if they (actuary he) has any information that may be of use.I could see a stream of standard NEMA information being produced for time, position (lat, long, alt) and direction being available - however, how you go about extracting it from the camera body, I would guess no one other than Pentax really knows for sure, and they are not talking. The other item is, depending on your application and the latencies involved, I see no way to obtain the PPS (pulse per second), that provides the timing mark for the time, and thus the accuracy.
________________

The O-GPS1 would not be a good choice for a arduino GPS project. There are a lot of options out there with much better interfaces for far less money. The O-GPS1 is a specialized embedded solution intended for use only with the Pentax K camera bodies - and just a few of the recent ones at that. For the camera/GPS solution, it does a pretty good job, especially in the astro tracking mode.

Hope that helps - some,


Last edited by interested_observer; 07-30-2014 at 07:32 PM.
07-30-2014, 11:48 PM   #12
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I just got one two weeks ago - the light pollution is a bigger factor than I anticipated.
To my eyes, the sky looks 'blackish'. The first shot I tried with the astrotracer, I just went for 5 minutes and it was totally overexposed - white with a few even whiter spots where the stars were. I experimented some more and found about 40 seconds was the limit set by light pollution in my neighbourhood. Since then, it's been cloudy nights non-stop. So if you do get one, look forward to cursing at the clouds every night!!

A big factor with the O-GPS1 is that you have star tracking ability in a device that you won't even notice carrying. It's tiny!
07-31-2014, 01:41 AM - 1 Like   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by calsan Quote
I just got one two weeks ago - the light pollution is a bigger factor than I anticipated.
To my eyes, the sky looks 'blackish'. The first shot I tried with the astrotracer, I just went for 5 minutes and it was totally overexposed - white with a few even whiter spots where the stars were. I experimented some more and found about 40 seconds was the limit set by light pollution in my neighbourhood. Since then, it's been cloudy nights non-stop. So if you do get one, look forward to cursing at the clouds every night!!

A big factor with the O-GPS1 is that you have star tracking ability in a device that you won't even notice carrying. It's tiny!
I ran across this a while ago....Then, I ran across this....


Last edited by interested_observer; 07-31-2014 at 07:45 AM.
07-31-2014, 03:07 AM   #14
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I borrowed a friend's aftermarket GPS that fitted into the hotshoe. However, I found it was pretty useless because it used the external flash trigger signal thus, over 1/180th second it didn't record anything.

I bought the O-GPS1.

My biggest concern with it is having it come off the hotshoe and losing it. I should modify it to attach a tether.
07-31-2014, 05:07 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by p38arover Quote
My biggest concern with it is having it come off the hotshoe and losing it. I should modify it to attach a tether.
Mine attaches pretty firmly, I have never had it fall off in the field on either my K or 645 digital bodies.
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