Hi !!

I am currently messing around with MTK GPS stuff and the binary protocol.

Assuming my APM2.0 GPS has the 1.6 loaded, i want to upgrade the GPS FW. Since the gps is directly mounted to the mainboard i don't know how to do it.

The APM wiki http://code.google.com/p/ardupilot/wiki/MediaTek gives no hints.

Please help!

So long

Kraut Rob


UPDATE 12/28/2012

I included a zip file with all the needed files and a complete guide below.

It contains basically the same files than the previous version but an extended guide and the source code.

UPDATE 12/28/2012

Added German guide.

UPDATE 19/01/2013

FTDI Hardwareflash on APM 2.0 (Set your FTDI to 5V, if you have one of these Breakoutboards)

1. Download the zip below to have all the files needed - and a flashguide.

2. Load MP and save all your parameters to a file (if desired).

3. Do Arduino / eeprom clear on your main CPU so that no serial traffic can disturb the process. Do not omit this step. It won't work with the arduino still talking on the serial line - i tested it. P.s. You can also use the precompiled hex from my post here: http://diydrones.ning.com/xn/detail/705844:Comment:1094234

4. Unpower APM for soldering. If FTDI connection is already established, powercycle to reset GPS to its' default state.

5. Locate the external GPS port (UART1). If you have not the right plug (like me) you have some solder pads right behind it. You will need GND/RX/TX. Look at this picture for the right connection: http://diydrones.com/forum/attachment/download?id=705844%3AUploadedFile%3A1057797

Note: I labeled RX and TX relative to the GPS not the CPU (like printed on the PCB). I showed 3 points where you can get access to the important datalines, besides the obvious connectionport (that would be number 4:)).

6. Power APM Board, fire up the flashing soft and follow the documentation -> Point 8 in MTKFlashGuide2.pdf or point 7 in MTKFlashGuide2German.pdf. Reading the complete pdf is also ok.

7. Reload Arducopter FW on mainboard and reload your saved settings (if desired). Perhaps recheck calibrations (ACC etc.)

8. Done.

UPDATE 21/01/2013 - 02/03/2013

Here is a Must Try List - if you have a persisting flash problem (Thanks Anton for the idea)

- http://diydrones.ning.com/xn/detail/705844:Comment:1094071  (Thanks Anton)

- http://diydrones.ning.com/xn/detail/705844:Comment:1094290  (Thanks William Stoner)

- http://diydrones.com/xn/detail/705844:Comment:1097033       (Thanks Isaac)

- http://www.diydrones.com/xn/detail/705844:Comment:1097725 (Thanks Chris Webb // Mac running VMWare WinXP)

- http://diydrones.ning.com/xn/detail/705844:Comment:1140259 (Thanks "exaustgas" // Win serial port)

- http://diydrones.com/xn/detail/705844:Comment:1146635 (Thanks Cody // serial port in flashutil config)

- Try to rule out a driver/win firewall/administrator/viruskiller thing

UPDATE 02/03/2013

Due to the outstanding work of Perecastor here: http://diydrones.ning.com/xn/detail/705844:Comment:1149155

We have a French guide now as well !!

I took the liberty to put it here as well.

UPDATE 21/05/2013

Hardware - "Hack":

Use your PC - RC Transmitter Adaptercable as FTDI:

http://diydrones.com/xn/detail/705844:Comment:1252901 (Thanks Jan Boermans)






You need to be a member of diydrones to add comments!

Join diydrones

Email me when people reply –


  • I have two GPS GPS Skylab SKM35, with chip MT3339
    one I update and stopped working.
    Has as recovering the GPS?

    The other has the next firmware  AXN_2.31_3339_131119000412 ------->1Hz 9800 baudrate

    I need 10Hz in and baudrate 115200.

    what in last firmware MT3339?

    thank you.

  • Boa Noite.

    Sou novo no Forum.

    Tenho um GPS Skylab SKM53 com chip MT3339 como indicado no forum.

    atualizai para uma versão, e a gostaria de atualizar novamente, mas agora ao abrir a ferramenta flash tools o mesmo da uma falha:

    [Flash Download]
    Fail!!(Download) BROM_CMD_START_FAIL
    Take(5) secs to test.

    Aguem pode me ajudar??

    • Sorry, google translate didn't do it :( . I am guessing what you want to say.

      First of all: If you have an MTK 3339 you destroy it with a Firmware for MTK 3329.

      Since your GPS is exernal and not hard-wired onto your flightcontrol you can use any FTDI adapter you like to flash it.

      Cheers Rob.

  • I succesfully did it using isaac's method kept pressing download several times before it took. Cheers for taking the time to document everyone. Thanks Alex

  • Hi everyone,

    Is 1.9 still the latest?


  • Thanks Rob...
    Awesome tool. Couldn't have been easier than this. Flashed new FW w/o any problems

  • Thanks Rob for sharing. It triggered me to look for another alternative way. I used a 2.99$ hobbyking USB to serial convertor to flash the MTK GPS. After some trials it worked perfect. See attached schematic.


    Setup for flash.jpg

  • Good evening,

    I just managed to update my Mediatek GPS unit onboard a APM 2.0 using USB.

    I had problems to get the flashing started, but finally managed to start the flash process by constantly pressing the F1 key while disconnecting and connecting the USB cable.

    Thanks for the great tool set!



  • I have managed to update both my MTK 3329 GPSs with the new firmware by using the FDTI. I have tried many different methods to do it on APM1 but it never works.

    When I connect the GPS with the FDTI cable and connect the miniGPS module I get a GPD 3D fix in about 30 seconds now.  I couldn't believe how fast it is and this is only from my balcony where I only have half view of the sky. I get around 7 satellites when ti gets the fix.

    However!! (yes there is a "however" still) Once I mount the GPS to my copter and APM1 board, it usually takes around 20-30min to get GPS lock.  I tried change back to the FDTI cable and again it connects in about 30 seconds. But when I put it back onto the AMP1 board it still takes over 20min each time.

    I even tried it on my Openpilot CC board and same result, about 20min or more to get a fix

    Any idea why this happens? how can I fix this?

  • I did receive 3 weeks ago my combo APM2.5 with Mediatek MT3329 GPS.

    It is the GPS flashed with 1.9 as default from factory?

This reply was deleted.