Accessory for Nikon D7000 – Part 1 – GPS receiver

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For several months, I am the proud owner of a Nikon D7000. It’s a nice DSLR with a lot of features; so it supports geotagging with an external GPS receiver as well.

The original one from Nikon, the GP-1, costs around 180€… So my idea was to build it by myself for less than 50€.

Since the camera is equipped with TTL (5V) UART-interface and understands NMEA, so you do not need too much hardware.

D7000_with_GPS_receiver
D7000 with GPS receiver

This is just, what I used:

1x GPS module (SkyTraq Venus 6)  ~20€

1x plastic enclosure  ~2€

1x cheap cable release (for the Nikon-plug) ~5€

1x hot shoe cover  ~0€ (shipped with the camera)

1x Goldcap (1.0F, 5.5V)

1x 1N4148 (similar diodes should work, too)

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In total: ~30€

 Make sure that the gps module is able to send with 4800 Baud, since standard of some modules is 9600 Baud!

 

Unfortunately, Nikon does not use a standard connector, so you need to find one. The cheapest way is a cable remote from eBay for a few bucks, at which you need to change some connections. This requires a little work and skill, but it’s still posibble.

 

At first, you need to open the connector carefully (to reuse the jacket) and remove the white grouting compound:

opened connector from the cable release

Now you can reconnect the pins. You need just three of them: VCC, Ground and Data In (RX). Therefor I used the pinouts from dan’s blog:

Nikon connector from top (taken from grink.com)
Nikon connector from bottom (taken from grink.com)

Once everything is solderd, you can mould it in epoxy resin with the original jacket:

connector moulded in epoxy resin

It’s time to solder the „circuit“ for the gps module:

schematic of gps module

I used a diode in series to reduce the supply voltage, because my camera supplies about 6V and the gps module is only rated up to 5.5V.

The goldcap is used as „backup battery“ to provide a faster start up after a short sleep (cold start time: 29 sec. / hot start time:1 sec.).

If you want to use the modul also on your PC or want to update the AGPS-data for a even faster start, you can connect a 2.5 headphone jack and plug in an old data cable for UART <-> USB.

 

Once the soldering is completed, put everything in the enclosure:

finished and in enclosure

And finally you can screw the hot shoe cover to mount the moudle on top of the DSLR:

Done!

This should also work with other Nikon DSLR’s like D2Hs, D2X, D2Xs, D3, D300S, D3X, D5000,  and D90.

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  1. Hello. Would you like to help me? I have a nikon p600 and I want to take long time-lapse sessions. The problem is that the battery lasts at 7hs and I have to recharge it (3hs) and then start again. There is an adaptor for this camera (EH-67a) which allows to replace the battery for a constant dc suply and then take long sessions without interrupt them. But unfortunatly I can’t get it in my country. So I want to try to make one by myself. And here is my question. Nikon batteries have three pins or poles (- T +), the T pole is a thermistor for the case of overheating. But this goes for the battery, and if I want to connect a dc source in replace of the battery it shouldn’t be overheating, right? But in a forum someone told me that I have to use a 1N4148 diode for the T pin, because if I don’t the camera will no turn on. Do you know if it’s right and how the connection with the alternative dc source should be? Thanks a lot.

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