Why did the DIY Drones team make the design decision to mount the GPS module on the board directly instead of using the JST type wire cable to allow external mounting of the GPS?

If the plane is made with carbon fiber shielding or other GPS signal blocking materials, it would enforce some physical constraints of where to put the APM 2.0 autopilot.

Are there plans to sell a separate SD card breakout (instead of the one with GPS module) for those who preordered the APM 2.0  and want to switch to an externally mounted GPS?

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Steve, look closely at the photos here, and the ordering details.  They're on it. 

Yea I know how you can order it external, but my team mate has preordered it a month ago with the mounted GPS. I want to know if DIY Drones plans on selling the external GPS SD card breakout for in the DIY Store to give the option for those who already purchased the assembled one with onboard gps. This way we can just take off the onboard gps and plug in the SD card board with external GPS

I'm sure i can go buy the external GPS separately, but I still need to keep the SD card board which has another GPS already mounted on it. Unless there is an option to turn one off if both are connected?

I am having the same issues with a carbon canopy and GPS. I was reading the data sheet for the GPS.  It has an external antenna auto detect.  It will also supply 3v of power for active antennas.  What I have decided to do is order an eternal active antenna and connect it to the attached GPS.  I think this will solve your friends problem.  I also believe you can turn off one GPS in favor of an external GPS.  Hope this helps,



Gotcha.  Misunderstood.  I know the hardware supports it.  But I don't know if the current code does.  Now I'm curious.  

I'm assuming the current arduplane firmware auto detects the GPS module depending on which one we plugged in. If I plugged in the Ublox I wonder if I can go into the code and just use that instead of running on the mediatek that is mounted on the APM 2.0

Has anyone confirmed this? 

Maybe they thought the GPS signal would penetrate carbon fiber?

Lots of planes have the access hatch on the bottom, so maybe they thought it best to put the connectors on the GPS side so that it would help keep it all the way to the bottom of the plane.

Personally, I think GPS tends to work better with a clear view of the sky.  Does anyone know if the module connector is through hole so the whole thing could be swapped to the other side?

Otherwise I'll have to desolder and resolder the headers onto the other side so that the GPS isn't forced to the bottom of the plane and buried under a mess of noisy wires.

As for the expectation of GPS signals penetrating carbon fiber its common knowledge that RF will not penetrate CF.

As for needing to resolder the headers I am not sure what your problem is.  If your GPS is facing down, you have mounted your board upside down. 


Are you claiming that the designers intentionally designed it so that you couldn't mount it in a carbon fiber plane?  I'd hope not.

Why would I mount my GPS upside down?  If you want your GPS near the top of the plane or mounted to the inside top of the fuselage then either the headers or the GPS are on the wrong side!

Take your pick... they either mounted the headers or the GPS upside down!

They did design it so it could be used in a carbon fiber plane.  You can choose the external GPS option which will solve that problem.  As for the second part I now understand what you meant.  Basically if you have a simple setup, then the default setup is for you.  If you are doing exotic things, in exotic airframes, then the external GPS option is your best bet.  I feel your pain though, I choose the connected GPS, and I found out I will be using a carbon fiber frame.  :( 


They didn't start with an external GPS option.  I think they scrambled to come up with a solution when they realized they had mounted stuff on the wrong side of the board.  

I had always figured on putting the GPS right up against the inside top of the fuselage.  I figured that would be the obvious location for it since good GPS signal and a good GPS fix is probably the most important thing to worry about.

I thought if I wasn't getting good signal or wanted to throw it in a carbon fiber frame I would cut a little hole in the fuselage and cover it with fiberglass, monokote, plastic, or whatever.  But if you can't get the GPS flush against the top you'll lose a lot of sky view or have to cut a much larger hole and it probably won't work well.

I don't know if having wires running above the GPS will be a problem or not, but it can't be all that good.  Anything rising above the GPS on the board is going to potentially be directly between the antenna and a GPS sat at some point.

When I saw a pic of header connectors rising a bit above the gps I knew this was going to be a problem.  I stupidly ordered an assembled unit though, so I'll have to desolder if I want to flip the headers.  Not really that big of a deal.

Has anyone validated that one can add a remote GPS antenna to APM2 and it will operate?  I'd like to put mine back on the tail where it belongs.  It's stuck inside a mess of wire spaghetti right now and I'm sure that's not helping the 5 minutes it takes to get a 3d lock.

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