I've had an Arduino Uno for a couple of months-making basic sketches-and recently purchased an Adafruit ultimate GPS shield and attached with soldered headers. This shield has 2 options for reading data, direct and soft serial.

I can sit near a window in my house and receive data using the direct method. This is just due to uploading a blank sketch and reading the serial window. Next, I tried to use one of the examples included in the Adafruit_GPS library and the serial window shows a bunch of nonsense updating.

Has anyone else seen this problem? I'm wondering if its the digital pins on the Arduino that I may have damaged since the example code has a simple phrase to display at the start, and I don't even get this.

Code eg: Serial.println("Get version!").

Just to verify, both boards have power and the direct method was giving me good GPS readings, the serial method gave me junk (not even a simple printed phrase to start), and I verified the Soft Serial switch was flipped and the baud rates matched in code and serial window.

I've attached pictures of the direct method results from that in the serial window, and then the junk results using an unaltered sample serial code. Any help with this would be appreciated.

Direct Method ResultsDirect Method Example Results

2 Answers 2


It looks like you are using the wrong baud rate somewhere.

You mentioned that you had checked your baud rates but check again because the second terminal window looked as if the baud rate was wrong.

In your terminal window. Go to bottom right hand corner where it says 9600 and change it to match the serial speed set in your arduino code.

Or it could be that you are receiving too much data as per the bottom of this article: https://learn.adafruit.com/adafruit-ultimate-gps-logger-shield/soft-serial-connect


Definitely a baud rate problem. The GPS is sending at 9600.

When you use a sketch to receive the data, the SoftwareSerial .begin should be set to 9600. The Serial.begin should be set to a rate higher than 9600, so that the Arduino cannot fall behind in relaying the data to the PC.

If this does not solve you problem, please post your sketch and a wiring diagram so we can analyze it further.

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