Adding Aftermarket Internal GPS to the CF-28

Discussion in 'Panasonic' started by Toughbook, Nov 19, 2007.

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  1. Toughbook

    Toughbook Drop and Give Me 20!

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    Since we are headed in this direction and it is only a matter of time before we figure this out... I thought I would go ahead and start a new thread devoted entirely to adding aftermarket GPS to the CF-28. This has nothing to do with the thread already started that discusses the factory GPS from Panasonic.

    I was going to try to hook up to the IR connection but am having a hard time figuring the pin-out. The IR PC board has the same connection and shows where pin 1 is. But using the same logic and looking at the mobo to figure the pin out doesn't seem to work.

    Anyone have any ideas on this. Anyone have any ideas about other places to hook up? Pin 37 on CN18 shows GPS_IN on the service manual. If you follow 009:I9 that is connects to... The connection actually goes to many different places.... If I am reading the schematic correctly.

    I am building another CF-28 and really wanted to put in GPS this time.

    Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

    EDIT: As you read on through the pages here you will find that the group did solve this and has found a way to install aftermarket GPS in the CF-28. While this will make entertaining reading for some, others may want to try this. If you lack basic electronics and soldering skills you should NOT attempt this! You could end up frying your motherboard or, at the very least, the GPS unit you would like to install. If you lack the skills, you may want to seek out someone who does and have them do it for you. Either way... You have been warned that the processes and steps discussed herein can potentially render your CF-28 a 9 pound paperweight!
     
  2. gravitar

    gravitar Notebook Deity

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    where are you hooking up? are you wiring into where the LEDs connect? I would think the signal voltage would be too low for you to do anything with. My next thought is the timing/waveform of the LED output probably isn't just straight RS232 Tx/Rx. That would be just too simple :) You would have to find out where the conversion from RS232 to IRda takes place.
     
  3. Toughbook

    Toughbook Drop and Give Me 20!

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    You are correct sir... You also had a good suggestion about the main board idea. I think I'll play around with it tomorrow.

    I have taken apart an old cell carrier and take it off the board. It looks like we'll be able to attach the GPS to that much easier... Then use the ribbon cable to hook it up to either of the connectors.
     
  4. firek7

    firek7 Notebook Enthusiast

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    What about USB type GPS? You could put one into case, connect it directly into USB port (or USB hub/ USB PCMCIA card)? I think it would be much easier way. (I plan to do it with PCMCIA card, but need one for rebuild (shorten it), then it would be no problem with internal BT etc.)
     
  5. gravitar

    gravitar Notebook Deity

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    I wonder if USB can handle a star topology. In other words, can you put the internal dongle in parallel across the pins of the external port and still be able to use both?
     
  6. Toughbook

    Toughbook Drop and Give Me 20!

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    Yes... If you hook on to the external USB port you will lose the availability to use it for other things. That's why I was thinking about hooking into the docking connector. The service manual clearly shows the USB connections on that. This way.... You keep the stock USB port but you would lose the availablity of using the USB on the dock if you were ever hook up to one.

    I am headed down to my shop in a few to hook up the main board and check for available voltages. My Father-In-Law is headed up here tonight. He's an electronics & PC whiz... Hopefully we'll be able to figure something out together.
     
  7. Toughbook

    Toughbook Drop and Give Me 20!

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    Well... I found another main board I had lying around that had a RIM engine on it. The other one had a CDPD engine on it. The main boards are identicle. So... They use the same board for all configurations as suspected. After poking around I found a 3.3V spot on L306. Both boards have nothing in this spot. The right connection has 3.3V. I also found several other good voltages depending on what application you want to run. The right side of C201 has 15.1V. I've also found 5V and 12V... So we can use the board to tie in just about anything!

    I'm going to try to hook up the GPS in a few.
     
  8. ohlip

    ohlip Toughbook Modder

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    Hi! do you still have the ribbon on it that connect to CN(A)? if you have, you are almost done of your assignment. Look for pin 23 and 24 at CN(A) follow on that pin all the way to rim board If that is not connected to rim, good, if it is, isolate that to rim brd only at back of connector coz that pin or pins are your tx and rx. Or you may use pin 27 & 28 of CN(A) same instruction to point out on the rim board and then after pinpointing out, install your aftermarket gps receiver module. You mentioned that you already knew the location of a 3.3 volts for your supply, so you are done. good luck
     
  9. copracer1990

    copracer1990 Notebook Enthusiast

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    With the GPS engine I am using, I only need +3.3 to 12 V a Gnd a TX RX and sig gnd. I am curious on how to make the antenna connection in the top of the LCD??? I m sure a few of you have seen the toughbooks on Ebay that have been modified with the right side GPS antenna....Do I need an active GPS antenna?? I have decided to figure out the pinout on the port replicator port for COM2... Most likely to be the easiest way to start off... I have had the 28 apart about 15-20 times so that isn't an issue....I am just needing part numbers for the GPS antenna to mount to the LCD... If i get that mastered, I will do it to my cf 29 next.. Thanks in advance...
     
  10. ohlip

    ohlip Toughbook Modder

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    look on this:http://www.rcatsystems.com/cube/index.php?act=viewProd&productId=17 that can be mounted on the portion of the panel where the rim antena located.
     
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