ZED-F9P Notes

I updated the firmware for my SimpleRTK boards this evening. Below are my notes for the process in case I need to do it again. There was some obscure information I had to hunt down to get things working right, and I’m linking to it here so it will be available in the future after I’ve forgotten.

  1. Download the latest firmware from the u-Blox website. As of this writing, HPG112 appears to be the latest and greatest. Save it to your computer to a place you can get to it.
  2. Open up u-Center, u-Blox’s GNSS evaluation software.
  3. Connect the GNSS module you want to update to your computer via USB cable. Connect to the appropriate COM port within the u-Center software by going to Receiver > Connect.
  4. Within u-Center, go to Tools > Firmware Update. Navigate to the location of the firmware .bin file and check the boxes as shown below.

    firmware update
    The settings I used at the advice of the ArduSimple website.
  5. In the lower left of the Firmware Update Utility window, there should be a green Go button. Click it to update the module.
  6. Repeat this process for the second ZED-F9P module.
  7. I reset the configuration files for both modules to the default provided by ArduSimple. You can find those configuration files on their GitHub page. Download both and save them to a location you can get to. I have the LR xBee radios, so I used their srtk2b_rover_FW_HPG112.txt and srtk2b_base_FW_HPG112.txt files.
  8. To upload a configuration file, go to Tools > Receiver Configuration.
  9. Before you upload the configuration files, it’s not a bad idea to back up the existing ones. Use the Transfer GNSS > File button to create a backup.
  10. To upload a new configuration file, select the appropriate configuration file for either the base or rover module you’re connected to and use the Transfer File > GNSS button.

    loadsave receiver config
    The Receiver Configuration window. Save a back up of your existing configuration, just in case!
  11. I got a warning that said the firmware version of the module didn’t match the configuration file. I took a gamble and ignored this message. Things turned out okay, as of this writing.
  12. Repeat this process for the second module.
  13. Unfortunately, after updating the firmware and the configuration files, the xBee radios weren’t working. I found this thread on the ArduSimple website to be helpful. Basically, after you upload a configuration file, you have to save the configuration. It doesn’t do so automatically.
  14. To save the configuration, you need to go View > Configuration View, and then click on the CFG option in the left panel on the screen.
  15. There should be a radio button labeled Save Curent Configuration. If it’s not selected, select it. Then click Send in the lower left of the window. This will send a save command to the module.
  16. Take the modules outside and test them. I connected both to my laptop so I can toggle between the two in u-Center to make sure the base module reports TIME and the rover module reports 3D/GNSS/FIXED in the black window that has the latitude, longitude, and altitude shown.
  17. If you don’t see TIME on the base, you’re not sending RTCM correction messages to the rover. On the ArduSimple modules, the GPS > XBEE or XBEE > GPS LEDs should blink on both modules if the base reports TIME.
  18. To make sure corrections are being broadcast form the base and received by the rover, I went to View > Messages View and then click UBX > NAV > RELPOSNED. There should be a length in that window that should roughly match the distance between the antennas.

I also discovered that in order to set the survey in or fixed location of the base, you need to go to View > Generation 9 Configuration View and then select the Advanced Configuration option on the left of the screen. Under the CFG-TMODE option you can set the base behavior.

If you want to set fixed coordinates for the base you need to change CFG-TMODE-MODE to E1 – 2 – FIXED and then plug in either the north, east, down (NED) or latitude, longitude, and height (LLH) values for the base location. u-Center requires you do provide it with LLH in 1e-7 degrees, so 12.3456789° is 123456789 in the value field.

One thought on “ZED-F9P Notes

  1. I cannot express enough how frustrating it is that Ardusimple’s documentation is lacking and the fact they expect you to read all the Ublox documentation to figure it out. I spent many hours trying to figure out how to get headings to work. That was last year, I just picked the project up again after 6 months and I was struggling to remember all the details I had learned last year. Your blog post couldn’t be any more timely. The real key to most of the confusion is the steps needed to save the configuration. u_center is a bit of a throwback to utility programs from the 90’s and it daunting to use, even more so for the average drone builder.

    I am going to dive in again today and see if I can get these expensive boards to give me some GPS headings….

    Thanks so much for the post.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s