Linux support for GPS Receiver over serial port

I have always have had a sweet spot for GPS technology. Back in 2005 already, I did some projects with tracking vehicles using a ‘GPS mouse’ and smart phones with GPRS. A GPS was not built in by default in those devices. We used Bluetooth to connect. I still have warm feeling about what I managed to do back then…

Nowadays, GPS is available everywhere. Just count the number of GPS receives you have in your mobile devices, car or even your pets collar. Within my family we easily reach up to 12 systems with free and accurate global positioning.

I wanted to experiment with GPS over USB cable. So I was checking out this GPS receiver on Ali express with this promising title: “BEITIAN Auto-adapted baud rate USB GNSS GPS Receiver 1Hz 4M FLASH 5.0V Double-sided tape NMEA-0183 BN-85U better than BU-353S4”

I used a Sirfstar III chipset for GPS, fourteen years ago. I have no clue about the ‘BU-353S4’ or even the better ‘BN-85U’ 🙂

Let’s check out if this one just works OK as a reliable GPS receiver.

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FutureTech 2020. Call for speakers opened

This year the new FutureTech event was organized for the first time. The focus is on innovative Microsoft technology. This event shows technology which you probably do not know off yet or which you do not use yet. But you will likely use within a year or so…

On March 25, 2020 another @FutureTechNL will be organized.

The CFS is available at and it closes december 31, 2019.

IoT is one of the major tracks. So drop your paper on Azure IoT Device provisioning, DigitalTwins, IoTCentral, AzureSphere, IoTEdge, workshops, hacks for makers, real world examples, architecture, ASAP

This event will not collide with the MVP summit 2020.

IoT Edge group enrollments using symmetric keys

In my previous blog about using a VM as IoT Edge device, it became clear that this could be used for testing IoT Edge at scale.

Testing IoT Edge at scale means testing device enrollments using the Device Provisioning Service (DPS) and IoT Hub deployments at scale.

We will look at both situations. But before we check out a group enrollment, first we look at an individual enrollment, just for comparison.

We will use the recently announced IoT Edge support for symmetric keys in DPS.

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Azure IoT Edge on Ubuntu VM

Testing IoT Edge at scale has some practical challenges. Where do you get all the hardware from if you want to test on two, or five, or twenty, or more devices?

The Azure cloud provides a simple solution: just spin up a bunch of Virtual Machines each running the IoT Edge Runtime. As long as you can provide the VMs access to simulated sensors instead of physical sensors, you are good to go.

Let’s dive a little bit deeper into the preconfigured VM that Microsoft recommends for these situations.

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Tracking the location of your IoT Central devices

Recently IoT Central added location tracking.

In the past, it was already possible to add a location to your IoT Central devices. And these locations were shown on a map. But these locations were fixed, part of the device template properties. So it was only present in the metadata.

But now we can pass a location in the telemetry which is produced by your device.

Let’s see how it’s done and how the location is integrated into the various IoT Central dashboards.

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Use FTPS to deploy your WebApp using Azure DevOps

It’s obvious, there is a strong relationship between Microsoft Azure and Azure DevOps.

And that is OK.

One of the most used features by my colleagues is the deployment of WebApps using Azure DevOps continuous integration.

The build pipeline has specific tasks to support this great feature.

You can also see it in the Azure portal when checking out the deployment center of a WebApp:


There is one thing you need to know though: you need to have access to the Azure portal to get access to a WebApp.

So I checked out FTP. Yes, this is a simple protocol to move files from ‘A’ to ‘B’.

Secure FTP is supported too by an Azure WebApp:


And it already provides a ‘generic’ name and password.

Let’s check out how this works in Azure DevOps.

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