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GPS advise / information

IceTreyIceTrey Club Members Posts: 17
I am looking at adding a GPS to my Quad. The main reason is when I loose it, I'd like to use the GPS to find it. Also I would like tracking so I can log my flights.

What I have found is that you need a GSM sim card GPS system in order to "call" the GPS to give it's position on my phone.

How can I set up a GPS tracking without using a Sim card? , But still use my cell phone GPS app like Google Maps to communicate with my quad?

I see the Walkera QR X350 components. But I don't understand how it would communicate to Ground Control Station? When I search for Walkera QR x350 I get a ready to fly quadchopter. I don't want that I built my own.


  • mpjf01mpjf01 ✭✭ Club Members Posts: 1,009 ✭✭
    Use a flight controller that supports GPS use, logging, etc along with an Android based groundstation. One such is Pixhawk. The whole subject is quite complex and you will doubtless receive lots of conflicting advice. A good resource that will take you through the setup of a system that will work as you want is here

    Read it before committing to buy is my advice.

  • jstremmlerjstremmler Germany&U.S.A.Club Members Posts: 436
    This can be done also with a NAZE32 FC.

    Best way is to program RTL in case of a "failsafe situation" in your FC. The if something "unforseen" happens, e.g you switch off your TX, your copter will come home safely and land automatically.

    If in case of an extreme emergency this will not work and you have implemented an OSD as well, then you know the exact GPS position where your copter came down. Next use your cell phone to approach to this position and the beeper at your copter to find it.

    Btw with a NAZE32 you can log all necessary data as well (e.g. withexternal blackbox). Consider to work with the EZ-GUI app for your tablet.
  • TheQuestorTheQuestor TXClub Members Posts: 629
    Personally I always use my laptop connected via 3dr radios [telemetry radios] but you could always substitute tower or droidplanner on a cell phone using either the same telemetry radios if your phone/tablet supports OTG and if not you could just make a Telemetry Radio/Bluetooth bridge.

    RTL is a GREAT and very good flight mode to have but it isn't perfect. If there are conditions that cause low sat count or other "glitches" then it is nice to have full telemetry on your ground station to track down a wayward flyer.

    On top of that if you happen to have a Taranis or similar radio and a RX that support telemetry then you can set your radio to provide much of the same info as your ground station with no need of a OSD at all.

    The only thing I don't like about the "beeper/lost copter" thing is most of the time when I had "bad" wrecks the first thing to get ejected is the battery which means none of the "after the crash" methods do much good :( One time though I pretty much gave up finding an old beater quad and after about an hour the Lipo alarm went off [another thing I never fly without] and I was able to hear it and find it :)

    But there are a lot of ways to do things without the need of a sim card in your phone at all and few even require your phone to have GPS.

    The thing I like best about hawks is all this is supported natively without the need for external loggers and other extra things that can fail.
  • WTWUKWTWUK ✭✭✭ CornwallClub Members Posts: 13,509 ✭✭✭
    +1 on that. Pixhawks do the lot. And getting really inexpensive.
  • IceTreyIceTrey Club Members Posts: 17
    Thank you for all the information. I have alot to look into.
  • jstremmlerjstremmler Germany&U.S.A.Club Members Posts: 436
    No FC beats a Sparky 2.0!

    This is why I am recommending not to upgrade e.g from a NAZE32 to a SP Racing F3 FC but if you upgrade then to have the Naze32 replaced by a Sparky 2.0. This outstanding FC uses a F4 instead of a F1 or F3 STM32 processor.

    jstremmler2016-07-26 14:27:54
  • jstremmlerjstremmler Germany&U.S.A.Club Members Posts: 436
    "The thing I like best about hawks is all this is supported natively without the need for external loggers and other extra things that can fail."

    This simply does not matter!

    Internal and external things can fail!

    The only additional risk with "external things" is, that you have an additional risk with the connections (mostly cables) which can fail as well.
  • WTWUKWTWUK ✭✭✭ CornwallClub Members Posts: 13,509 ✭✭✭
    Yeah yeah ... last month nothing could beat a Naze ... blah blah ... lol!!! image
  • mpjf01mpjf01 ✭✭ Club Members Posts: 1,009 ✭✭
    I have used both the Naze ecosystem and the Arducopter ecosystem extensively, the latter over nearly 5 years.

    Arducopter is a mature, well developed, well supported system with outstanding documentation, intelligent forum support and ready availability of a wide range of hardware and peripherals from many sellers. Setups are there for most frame types and sizes and all popular RF systems.

    The Naze, and other compatible FCs of the same style, suffer from poor or non-existent, confusing and often contradictory documentation, a variety of competing firmwares and configurators each of which does many of the same things a bit differently for no good reason, a variety of similar but sometimes confusingly different peripherals - all brought about by absolute lack of control or discipline in hardware and firmware development. In one sense it's great to have several competing firmwares and configurators and FC boards developed by people who each believe they have a better way. And if you have heaps of experience and know your way intimately around this stuff and have lots of time to devote to experimentation it can be fulfilling and give good results.

    For those starting out however, the Arducopter syetem and hardware can't be beaten.

    In the end it boils down to what you want to do. If its racing miniquads, invest the time and effort required to learn Naze/Cleanflight/Betaflight/etc and how to connect everything together, tune and so on.

    If it's camera or survey work, general flying of larger (>250mm) craft, automated missions, redundant sensors, sound failsafe and craft protection mechanisms - then choose Arducopter and one of the Pixhawk hardware setups.
  • WTWUKWTWUK ✭✭✭ CornwallClub Members Posts: 13,509 ✭✭✭

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