Reference ID: GPS
Driver ID: GPS_NMEA
Serial Port: /dev/gpsu; 4800 – 115200 bps, 8-bits, no parity
Serial Port: /dev/gpsppsu; for just the PPS signal (this is tried first for PPS, before /dev/gpsu)
Serial Port: /dev/gpsu; symlink to server:port (for nmead)
This driver supports GPS receivers with the $GPRMC, $GPGLL, $GPGGA, $GPZDA and $GPZDG NMEA sentences by default. Note that Accord’s custom NMEA sentence $GPZDG reports using the GPS timescale, while the rest of the sentences report UTC. The difference between the two is a whole number of seconds which increases with each leap second insertion in UTC. To avoid problems mixing UTC and GPS timescales, the driver disables processing of UTC sentences once $GPZDG is received.
The driver expects the receiver to be set up to transmit at least one supported sentence every second.
The accuracy depends on the receiver used. Inexpensive GPS models are available with a claimed PPS signal accuracy of 1 μs or better relative to the broadcast signal. However, in most cases the actual accuracy is limited by the precision of the timecode and the latencies of the serial interface and operating system.
If the Operating System supports PPSAPI (RFC 2783), fudge flag1 1 enables its use.
The various GPS sentences that this driver recognises look like this:
(others quietly ignored)
|Symbol||Meaning and Format|
|UTC||Time of day on UTC timescale. Hours, minutes and seconds [fraction (opt.)]. (hhmmss[.fff])|
|POS_STAT||Position status. (A = Data valid, V = Data invalid)|
|LAT_REF||Latitude direction. (N = North, S = South)|
|LON_REF||Longitude direction (E = East, W = West)|
|SPD||Speed over ground. (knots) (x.x)|
|HDG||Heading/track made good (degrees True) (x.x)|
|MAG_VAR||Magnetic variation (degrees) (x.x)|
|MAG_REF||Magnetic variation (E = East, W = West)|
|FIX_MODE||Position Fix Mode (0 = Invalid, >0 = Valid)|
|SAT_USED||Number of Satellites used in solution|
|HDOP||Horizontal Dilution of Precision|
|ALT_UNIT||Altitude Units (Metres/Feet)|
|G_UNIT||Geoid units (M/F)|
|D_AGE||Age of last DGPS Fix|
|D_REF||Reference ID of DGPS station|
|GPSTIME||Time of day on GPS timescale. Hours, minutes and seconds [fraction (opt.)]. (hhmmss[.f])|
|DD||Day of the month (1-31)|
|MM||Month of the year (1-12)|
|AA.BB||Denotes the signal strength (should be < 05.00)|
|V||GPS sync status|
‘0’ => INVALID time,
‘1’ => accuracy of +/- 20ms,
‘2’ => accuracy of +/- 100ns
The ‘mode’ byte
Specific GPS sentences and bitrates may be selected by setting bits of
the ‘mode’ in the server configuration line:
server 127.127.20.x mode X
|3||8||8||process $GPZDA or $GPZDG|
|4-6||0||0||linespeed 4800 bps|
|16||0x10||linespeed 9600 bps|
|32||0x20||linespeed 19200 bps|
|48||0x30||linespeed 38400 bps|
|64||0x40||linespeed 57600 bps|
|80||0x50||linespeed 115200 bps|
|7||128||0x80||Write the sub-second fraction of the receive time stamp to the
clockstat file for all recognised NMEA sentences. This can be used to
get a useful value for fudge time2.|
Caveat: This will fill your clockstat file rather fast. Use it only temporarily to get the numbers for the NMEA sentence of your choice.
|9-15||0xFE00||reserved – leave 0|
|16||65536||0x10000||Append extra statistics to the clockstats line. Details below.|
The default (mode 0) is to process all supported sentences at a linespeed of 4800 bps, which results in the first one received and recognised in each cycle being used. If only specific sentences should be recognised, then the mode byte must be chosen to enable only the selected ones. Multiple sentences may be selected by adding their mode bit values, but of those enabled still only the first received sentence in a cycle will be used. Using more than one sentence per cycle is impossible, because
- there is only fudge time2 available to compensate for transmission delays but every sentence would need a different one and
- using more than one sentence per cycle overstuffs the internal data filters.
The driver uses 4800 bits per second by default, but faster bitrates can be selected using bits 4 to 6 of the mode field.
Caveat: Using higher line speeds does not necessarily increase the precision of the timing device. Higher line speeds are not necessarily helpful for the NMEA driver, either. They can be used to accomodate for an amount of data that does not fit into a 1-second cycle at 4800 bps, but high-speed high-volume NMEA data is likely to cause trouble with the serial line driver since NMEA supports no protocol handshake. Any device that is exclusively used for time synchronisation purposes should be configured to transmit the relevant data only, e.g. one $GPRMC or $GPZDA per second, at a linespeed of 4800 bps or 9600 bps.
The last GPS sentence that is accepted or rejected is written to the
clockstats file and available with
ntpq -c clockvar.
(Logging the rejected sentences lets you see/debug why they were rejected.)
Filtered sentences are not logged.
If the 0x10000 mode bit is on and clockstats is enabled, several extra counters will be appended to the NMEA sentence that gets logged. For example:
56299 76876.691 127.127.20.20 $GPGGA,212116.000,3726.0785,N,12212.2605,W,1,05,2.0,17.0,M,-25.7,M,,0000*5C 228 64 0 0 64 0
|2||76876.691||Time of day in seconds|
|3||127.127.20.20||IP Address from server config line|
|5||228||Number of sentences received|
|6||64||Number of sentences accepted and used for timekeeping|
|7||0||Number of sentences rejected because they were marked invalid (poor signal)|
|8||0||Number of sentences rejected because of bad checksum or invalid date/time|
|9||64||Number of sentences filtered by mode bits or same second|
|10||0||Number of PPS pulses used, overrides NMEA sentences|
Sentences like $GPGSV that don’t contain the time will get counted in the total but otherwise ignored.
Configuring NMEA Refclocks might give further useful hints for specific hardware devices that exhibit strange or curious behaviour.
To make a specific setting, select the corresponding decimal values from the mode byte table, add them all together and enter the resulting decimal value into the clock configuration line.
Setting up the Garmin GPS-25XL
Switch off all output with by sending it the following string.
Now switch only $GPRMC on by sending it the following string.
On some systems the PPS signal isn’t switched on by default. It can be switched on by sending the following string.
time1 time Specifies the PPS time offset calibration factor, in seconds and fraction, with default 0.0. time2 time Specifies the serial end of line time offset calibration factor, in seconds and fraction, with default 0.0. stratum number Specifies the driver stratum, in decimal from 0 to 15, with default 0. refid string Specifies the driver reference identifier, an ASCII string from one to four characters, with default GPS. flag1 0 | 1 Disable PPS signal processing if 0 (default); enable PPS signal processing if 1. flag2 0 | 1 If PPS signal processing is enabled, capture the pulse on the rising edge if 0 (default); capture on the falling edge if 1. flag3 0 | 1 If PPS signal processing is enabled, use the ntpd clock discipline if 0 (default); use the kernel discipline if 1. flag4 0 | 1 Obscures location in timecode: 0 for disable (default), 1 for enable.
flag1, flag2, and flag3 are ignored under Windows.