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DIY GPS Speedometer Using Arduino and OLED Display | Step-by-Step Tutorial

The Journey of the GPS Speedometer: A Tale of Discovery and Learning


In the bustling town of Techville, nestled in the heart of innovation, lived a curious and inventive young man named Alex. Alex was known far and wide for his insatiable curiosity and knack for turning ordinary components into extraordinary gadgets. One day, while pondering over his next project in his cluttered yet cozy workshop, he stumbled upon an idea that sparked a twinkle in his eyeโ€”a GPS speedometer using an Arduino.


Determined, Alex set out on this new adventure. He envisioned a device that could measure real-time speed and display it on a sleek OLED screen, all powered by the ever-reliable Arduino and guided by the precision of a GPS module. This project would not only challenge his skills but also teach him more about the intricate dance between hardware and software.


First, Alex gathered his tools and components: an Arduino Uno, an OLED display, a GPS module, and a handful of connecting wires. He meticulously arranged them on his workbench, the heart of countless creations, ready to breathe life into his latest idea.


"Let's get started," he muttered, rolling up his sleeves. He knew that understanding each component was crucial. The OLED display, with its crisp resolution, would be the face of his speedometer. The GPS module, capable of receiving signals from satellites, would be its brain, providing accurate speed data. And the Arduino, the versatile microcontroller, would be the soul, orchestrating the whole operation.


As Alex began wiring the components, he couldn't help but feel a sense of excitement mixed with a dash of apprehension. He connected the RX and TX pins of the GPS module to the Arduino through a SoftwareSerial interface, ensuring that data from the GPS could flow seamlessly. The OLED display was connected via I2C, its address set to 0x3C, ready to showcase the speed in bright, white text.


With the hardware setup complete, Alex turned to the code. He fired up his computer and opened the Arduino IDE, the familiar interface that had become his playground. He started by including the necessary libraries: Adafruit_GFX, Adafruit_SSD1306, SoftwareSerial, and TinyGPS++. Each library was a key piece of the puzzle, providing functions and definitions essential for his project.


He wrote the setup function, initializing the serial communication for both the GPS module and the Arduino. The OLED display was initialized next, a moment of suspense as Alex waited to see if it would light up. With a sigh of relief, he saw the screen come to life, ready to display whatever data he sent its way.


The loop function was the heart of the program. Alex wrote code to read data from the GPS module and decode it using TinyGPS++. He focused on extracting the speed, converting it to kilometers per hour, and then comparing it to the maximum speed recorded so far. This data was then sent to the OLED display, showing both current and maximum speeds in real-time.



#include <Adafruit_GFX.h>

#include <Adafruit_SSD1306.h>

#include <SoftwareSerial.h>

#include <TinyGPS++.h>

#include <Wire.h>


#define SCREEN_WIDTH 128

#define SCREEN_HEIGHT 64

#define RX_PIN 10

#define TX_PIN 11

#define OLED_ADDR 0x3C


Adafruit_SSD1306 display(SCREEN_WIDTH, SCREEN_HEIGHT, &Wire, -1);

SoftwareSerial gpsSerial(RX_PIN, TX_PIN);

TinyGPSPlus gps;

float maxSpeed = 0.0;


void displaySpeed(float currentSpeed, float maxSpeed) {

  display.clearDisplay();

  display.setTextSize(2);

  display.setTextColor(SSD1306_WHITE);

  display.setCursor(0, 5);

  display.print(currentSpeed, 1);

  display.print(F(" km/h"));

  display.setCursor(0, 50);

  display.print(F("Max: "));

  display.print(maxSpeed, 1);

  display.display();

}


void setup() {

  Serial.begin(115200);

  gpsSerial.begin(9600);

  if (!display.begin(SSD1306_SWITCHCAPVCC, OLED_ADDR)) {

    Serial.println(F("SSD1306 allocation failed"));

    for (;;);

  }

  display.clearDisplay();

  gpsSerial.print(F("$PMTK220,100*2F\r\n"));

}


void loop() {

  while (gpsSerial.available() > 0) {

    gps.encode(gpsSerial.read());

  }

  if (gps.speed.isUpdated()) {

    float currentSpeed = gps.speed.kmph();

    if (currentSpeed > maxSpeed) {

      maxSpeed = currentSpeed;

    }

    displaySpeed(currentSpeed, maxSpeed);

  }

}

As Alex uploaded the code to the Arduino, he watched the OLED screen with bated breath. The numbers flickered to life, displaying the current speed in kilometers per hour and updating the maximum speed as he tested the GPS moduleโ€™s readings.


With the project complete, Alex felt a profound sense of accomplishment. He had not only built a functional GPS speedometer but also learned valuable lessons about interfacing components and programming. He realized that the true reward of his journey was not just the finished product but the knowledge and experience gained along the way.


Inspired by his success, Alex decided to share his project with the world. He created a detailed tutorial video, guiding viewers step-by-step through the process. He explained each component, demonstrated the wiring, and provided the code, ensuring that anyone could replicate his project.


In the end, Alex's story was more than just about building a speedometer. It was about the joy of discovery, the thrill of creation, and the endless possibilities that come with a curious mind and a willingness to learn. And so, in his small workshop in Techville, Alex continued to dream, build, and inspire, one project at a time.


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