Brandon's Notepad

January 26, 2015

DeLorme Tripmate GPS

Filed under: Electronics — Brandon @ 5:02 pm
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Like a lot of folks out there, I picked up an old DeLorme Tripmate GPS at a rummage sale for only a few bucks. No, I haven’t done a thing with it since then, but I’ve kept it around because one day I will have the time to play with it…really, I will. Honest.

Self Start Modification

This mod is definitely first on my list to try. When power is first applied to the unit, it enters a standby mode and must hear the word “ASTRAL” on its serial port before it will start receiving satellite data. The great news is that while it is in standby mode, it also sends the word “ASTRAL” every second; thus, the most straightforward hack seems to be to jump the two solder pads on the PCB so that it tells itself to enter receive mode.

External Power

This GPS runs on four 1.5v AA batteries. According to several sites, the battery life is not great. And if I recall correctly, there is no external power port and no off switch. The most popular mod is to add a power regulator so that the Tripmate can be powered by a wall mole, auto adapter, etc. Some of the solutions linked below are duplicates of the links for the Self Start Modification.


The Tripmate is obviously designed to connect to a computer’s DB9 comm port, which is becoming increasingly uncommon since the advent of USB. Here are some alternative insterfaces.


March 26, 2012

Raspberry Pi

Filed under: Computer Hardware — Brandon @ 2:15 pm
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Back to My Lists

I can think of at least a dozen applications for this little Linux-based computer, and I just can’t believe the price!

General Info

Product Homepage
Pi made ABC’s Top 5 Gadgets of the week, March 4, 2012


ARM Architecture, Wikipedia
RPi Hardware, SD Cards, Screens & Low-Level Peripherals,; detailed specs, including GPIO pinout!
MIPI Specs: Camera, Display

Operating Systems’s download page, linking the various distros
Raspbian, Debian Linux for Raspberry
Hexxeh’s Raspbian Image, CLI by default, but it has issues booting
Arch Linux, ARM version downloadable from
Fedora Remix

Projects & How To’s

RPi Easy SD Card Setup,
Running the Raspberry Pi headless with Debian Linux, Penguin Tutor
How to Turn a Raspberry Pi into a Low-Power Network Storage Device, How-To Geek
How to Build an All-In-One Retro Game Console for $35, the Easy Way, Lifehacker
16×2 LCD Module Control Using Python
Unlocking your new Raspberry PI’s 512MB of Memory!, HubCityLabs, a fix for an initial RevB problem
Add a 9-pin Serial Port to Your Raspberry Pi in 10 Minutes, David Hunt
Easy Raspberry Pi Based Screensaver/Slideshow for Exhibitions/Store Front, Instructables, a feh-based solution

Other Articles

A Month With Raspbian
Build your own supercomputer out of Raspberry Pi boards, ZDNet, a Beowulf Cluster story

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