Modern drones greatly rely on GPS modules. GPS allows the drone to keep orientation and give the pilot precise data about their position. While you can pilot a drone without any aid, having a GPS greatly adds to a good piloting experience.
Now, the whole point of this is that it is crucial to invest in a good GPS module. There is a wide variety of modules you can find on the market, so which one would suit your needs the best?
In this article, we will review the top five GPS drone pilots recommend. Some of them are cheaper, while others are more expensive. Most of the times though, low price does not mean low quality. The budget GPS quadcopter modules listed here have great features too; they just require slightly more tweaking than their more expensive counterparts.
We have tried to include the most lightweight and compact models since the size and weight often have a great impact on drone performance. Four of the five models also include a built-in compass. Without any further delay, let’s start with number five:
QWinOut NAZE32 Mini
The Naze32 Mini is one of the most common drone GPS. It is specially designed for Naze32 boards and is compatible with most small quadcopters around the 250 mark. It comes with a sturdy protective case, while at the same time its weight is only 8g. It has enough wire length for comfortable installation.
According to several reviews, the NAZE32 Mini is one of the best GPS. Drone experts like it for the way it can be customized and adapted to many situations. It does require some configuration though, and it is probably not the best option for those who don’t enjoy tweaking stuff.
There are some complaints about the unit not working properly. Nevertheless, the issue can be easily solved by updating the firmware. In order to do that, use the FTDI cable to flash the unit with the code, found in the following link:
Here’s the link to the full configuration process:
Once configured, the GPS works perfectly fine and it outperforms most other GPS worth twice the price!
The NEO-6M is slightly bigger than the NAZE32 Mini and it comes with some additional perks. First of all, it features a LED signal indicator, which makes programming easier. It also comes with an in-built battery that allows you to keep the backup data even when the GPS is disconnected from the main power supply. It also features an EEPROM to save your configuration parameters.
This GPS is perfectly compatible with Arduino. It can be easily configured to display the required data. Some users also configured it to use with Netduino. They have connected it to an external LCD display and read some basic data such as time, latitude and longitude. Another reason why this GPS is often used for DIY projects is that it has a high-performance ceramic antenna.
Now, you might wonder if this drone GPS works indoors and the answer is yes. Some users report that it takes some time for the GPS to lock into a satellite when indoors, but eventually, after some minutes, it manages to establish a connection. The time required for that to happen greatly varies depending on the GPS location and building type.
Please note that some users had to re-solder some parts of the GPS. They report that the antenna might come poorly soldered. Nevertheless, this issue is easy to fix and once done the GPS works perfectly fine.
- Andoer NEO-6M GPS Module Antenna Flight Control for EEPROM MWC AeroQuad Multirotor Quadcopter Aircraft
This quadcopter GPS has amazing connectivity with satellites. In most cases, it takes few seconds to lock in and it proved to keep the connection without any issues. It comes with a built-in compass and a patch antenna.
Compatibility is important, and the NEO-M8N proved to be compatible with APM 2.8/2.6. According to some reviews, it also works with naze 32, though with limited functionality. Finally, it is not compatible with the CC3D Revolution, but it does works with cheerson CX-20. It can also be considered a multi-purpose GPS since it can be easily connected to a Pixhawk and used for your own DIY projects and experiments.
The only downside of this GPS is that it comes with no wiring diagram. Nevertheless, we managed to find the wiring distribution after some research:
1. Red – Vcc
2. Black – Ground
3. Yellow – GPS Tx
4. White – GPS Rx
5. Green – Compass SCL
6. Blue – Compass SDA
The Andoer Ublox NEO-6M works great with custom-built drones. It is compatible with APM 2.8 and APM 3.1 (also known as APM Mini), though for the latter you’ll need to rewire the connectors.
This is also probably the only 20 dollar GPS that includes a compass. It is easy to work within all aspects – it comes with long wires, is compatible with I2C port and the NEO-6M chip can be programmed according to your needs. In brief, the Andoer Ublox is probably the best budget GPS module for quadcopter enthusiasts. Check Price & Customer Rating Here
QWinOut SP Racing F3
This GPS might seem too expensive, but it is worth every penny. It is meant for those who want to go serious about their drone stability and feedback.
First of all, it features an MS5611 barometer. In case you wonder, a barometer allows the drone to analyze altitude in a more precise way than GPS. Even the best GPS tends to have about 16 m of drift per 100 m of altitude, which is a lot. Besides that, barometers provide information in real-time, while GPS tends to lag. If you’re striving to achieve greater control over your drone, then it is extremely important to have a barometer module installed.
Secondly, this quadcopter GPS module features an HMC5883 magnetometer. A magnetometer is used to gather more precise data about the position of the drone. While an accelerometer and a gyroscope seem to do the same job, they tend to accumulate errors over time. Here’s where a magnetometer comes in handy.
In brief, this is the best GPS quadcopter experts recommend. You simply can never go wrong with it.
We have reviewed the five best GPS under 100. As you could see, the expensive models have more sensors, which enhance precision. Nevertheless, if you are planning to keep it simple, then the budget models work perfectly fine too. Hope you found this list of best GPS drone for sale useful. Please let us know your opinion in the comment section below!