Some controversial information about ZED-F9P

Q&A forumSome controversial information about ZED-F9P
amagro asked 2 years ago

Hello,
Someone posted a comment on Ardupilot facebook group about ZED-F9P modules indicating that u-blox has still not released the productions modules, only the pre-realeses. Maybe someone from Ardusimple team should leave a comment on that group clarifiing this situation.
 
https://www.facebook.com/groups/ArduPilot.org/permalink/2237592929597221/

clive1 replied 2 years ago

Posting links to closed groups isn’t helpful, perhaps you can post a quote of what exactly the issue is with this being early in the release cycle?

I’ve see ROM 1.02 devices in the field. The earlier ROM 1.01 has a number of issues that might make it difficult for an unsophisticated user to resolve if they brick the firmware.
The device has been hugely popular, there are plenty of people ramping designs, I would expect the solution to get more polished as more people try new ideas and applications.
Make sure you provide a clear means in your own devices and implementations to actually update the firmware, and manage integration issues, like providing a driver installer.

amagro replied 2 years ago

The was the main discussion:

David Merchant:
Received the ublox F9 gps’s today. Woohoo. So far, using their standard Winblows software to show params and errors, I am NOT f’ing impressed. No reference at all to L2 except in one place and you can’t select it. Bah. Positional errors look nice but I need to compare to the -8’s. I just happen to have one that is used with a stratux ADS-B IN. More news later. (is this $500 down the drain? Absolute beginning of my testing phases, so, we’ll see.) Not tried it on the Cube 2.1 yet as Nathan was having trouble with it, too. Software not configured?

Philip Rowse:The only F9 modules out there are prereleases.
Wait for the official release if you want out of the box success.
You must have an l1/l2/l5 antenna
Official release is April.
We will ship here Pro after that.

David Merchant: IIRC, Ardusimple says this is a production version.
Philip Rowse: David Merchant they can say what they like… but the official release of the F9 for production Qty is April.
David Merchant: For $500 they better NOT have lied to me!!!
Philip Rowse: well… we are waiting till the date U-Blox asked us to before we release ours.
And in the meantime, we have engineers working on making sure it works as planned with ardupilot.
So stay tuned.
Ours is CAN by the way


..
.

clive1 replied 2 years ago

From ArduSimple’s perspective (I don’t work for them), production means they bought a reel of 250 parts and had someone fab boards enmass, rather than assemble a dozen at a time for testing.

uBlox has solid hardware and do a lot of testing (don’t work for them either), but they are not what I’d describe as a large company, they are engineering heavy, and are not used to dealing with tens-of-thousands of high need end customers. The demand for these parts is insane, and with a thousand use and application cases there are going to be some teething problems. While Microsoft/Adobe ships any crap that compiles, uBlox has higher standards. We’re in their initial deployment and integration phase, so I might expect some new firmwares to come out every quarter in 2019 to further cement performance and address corner cases that people unearth, or identify features that can improve interoperability with third-party equipment, etc.
I’ve worked with uBlox on the RTK program for many years, before the announcement of the M8P, the F9P has evolved from that and encompasses all the knowledge gained.
But, again I don’t think uBlox is a hand-holding company, that work is going to fall on the makers, and places like ArduSimple, etc, who make boards that integrate the module into bigger system components or complete systems. Remember the scope of people using these devices can run the gamut of those barely able to put their pants on, to those who could build a nuclear reactor in their garden shed from parts they found in the hardware store.

2 Answers
Ardusimple Staff answered 2 years ago

Hi amagro, clive,
Thanks for raising this and your inputs.
So we don’t have access to this facebook group, but we would like to give our opinion on a few items:

  • u-blox F9P mass production started this week. Everything shipped until today was pre-production material.
    • According to our u-blox official contact, as there is limited product documentation, only selected customers are given access to products in this stage.
    • Advantages: thanks to ardusimple we all got the chance to test F9P before anybody else.

 

  • Regarding David Merchant comment: “Received the ublox F9 gps’s today. Woohoo. So far, using their standard Winblows software to show params and errors, I am NOT f’ing impressed. No reference at all to L2 except in one place and you can’t select it.”
  • (AS) We are sorry to hear that David was not so impressed as us with f9p performance. L2 is enabled by default, but the message to output this information (UBX-NAV-SIG) is not.

 

  • Regarding Philip Rowse’s comment:The only F9 modules out there are prereleases. Wait for the official release if you want out of the box success. You must have an l1/l2/l5 antenna. Official release is April. We will ship here Pro after that.”
  • (AS) According to our u-blox official contact, there is not hardware difference between what Philip calls prereleases and the final product. Just by updating the firmware, you can convert a prerelease f9p to a final product f9p. A well known company like Sparkfun has also been selling “prerelease” f9p for a while now.
Selective answered 2 years ago

Seems to be a small hardware change in the production units:
https://www.u-blox.com/sites/default/files/ZED-F9P-IP_IN_%28UBX-19005608%29.pdf

Ardusimple Staff replied 2 years ago

According to our u-blox contact, production changes don’t have impact on product performance, only on product long term reliability.