Use Neo 6M GPS Module with Raspberry Pi and Python

Use Neo 6M GPS Module with Raspberry Pi and Python

In this article we are going to see how to use Neo 6M GPS module with Raspberry Pi and also how to use python to process the GPS data.

Hardware Part:

So at first lets talk about the hardware part. Here I will use Raspberry Pi 3 B+, but You can also use other varients like Raspberry Pi Zero, Raspberry Pi 4 etc. I am using Neo 6M as GPS module because it’s quite cheap and also very much accurate.


Here we only need to connect the Neo 6M module with Raspberry Pi which is quite easy. The connections are shown below:

		Neo 6M VCC -----> Raspberry pi 5v
		Neo 6M GND -----> Raspberry pi GND
		Neo 6M  RX -----> Raspberry pi TX (gpio 14) //Not required in our case
		Neo 6M  TX -----> Raspberry pi RX (gpio 15)

So we need the VCC of Neo 6M to be connected with 5v of Raspberry pi, GND of Neo 6M with GND of Raspberry pi and TX of Neo 6M with RX of Raspberry Pi so that the gps module can send data to raspberry pi through the serial connection. Thats all about the hardware part and now lets go for the software part.

Software Part:

Getting data from the GPS module:

  1. Install the lastest Rasbian OS in a memory card. For details visit
  2. Insert the memory card into raspberry pi and power it up.
  3. Now here we need to modify few things. At first we need to edit the /boot/config.txt file. Now you need to open this file in any text editor. Here I am using nano:
    sudo nano /boot/config.txt

    At the end of the file add the follwing lines:


    It will look something like this: Now save this by typing ctrl +x, then type y and press enter.

  4. Raspbian uses the UART as a serial console and so we need to turn off that functionality. To do so we need to change the /boot/cmdline.txt file. For safety before editing the file make a backup of that using the following command:
    sudo cp /boot/cmdline.txt /boot/cmdline_backup.txt

    Now to edit that file open that in text editor:

    sudo nano /boot/cmdline.txt

    Replace the content with the follwing line (delete everything in it and write down the following content):

    dwc_otg.lpm_enable=0 console=tty1 root=/dev/mmcblk0p2 rootfstype=ext4 elevator=deadline rootwait quiet splash plymouth.ignore-serial-consoles

    Now save this by typing ctrl +x, then type y and press enter.

Now reboot pi using:

sudo reboot

5.After the reboot now its time to check how our GPS module is working.

When the blue led is blinking, run the following command:

sudo cat /dev/ttyAMA0

Now you will see a lots of data like shown in the below image. That basically means that its working. To stop this type Ctrl + c .

Setup for writing the Python Code:

  1. Now before we write the python code to get the GPS data we need set up few things again. By default the Raspberry Pi uses serial port for this “console” login so if we want to use the serial port to get data from the GPS module we need to disable the console login. Now there are two serial ports in Raspberry pi 3: serial0 and serial1. But inbetween them serial0 will point to GPIO pins 14 and 15, so we have to use serial 0. Now to see which port is connected with serial0 use the follwoing command:
ls -l /dev

There are two possible outputs:

  • If your output looks like this:

As you can see serial0 is linked with ttyAMA0. So to disable the console you need to use the follwing commands:

sudo systemctl stop serial-getty@ttyAMA0.service
sudo systemctl disable serial-getty@ttyAMA0.service
  • But if your output looks like this:

That means serial0 is linked with ttyS0. So to disable the console you need to use the follwing commands:

sudo systemctl stop serial-getty@ttyS0.service
sudo systemctl disable serial-getty@ttyS0.service

To learn more about serial ports of Raspberry Pi you can visit the following link configuring-gpio-serial-port-raspbian-jessie-including-pi-3

Lets write the Python Code:

  1. Now we need to install a python library:
    pip install pynmea2
  2. Now finally we are ready to write the code:
import serial
import time
import string
import pynmea2

while True:
	ser=serial.Serial(port, baudrate=9600, timeout=0.5)
	dataout = pynmea2.NMEAStreamReader()

	if newdata[0:6] == "$GPRMC":
		gps = "Latitude=" + str(lat) + "and Longitude=" + str(lng)

If you run this python code you will see a output like this:

I am not moving this device thats why it’s giving me the same GPS location. But as you can see it’s working properly.

So at the end of this article we have a device which can give us realtime gps data. In the next blog we will see how to use this device to make a live GPS tracker, means from anywhere in the world we will be able to track this device.

The Author :

Arijit Das

I am a computer science engineering student. I believe that piece of code is mightier than pen as well as a sword. Programming and Solving problems are my passion and that what I strive to practice for my career.

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