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: https://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%3AUploaded...

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)

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

- https://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)

- https://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: https://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)



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Great write up by Kraut!

However, I'm getting the dreaded 'rare case red X', point 23. I'm using an APM 1 and do not see the solution described when this happens on APM1. MiniGPS results perfect results, so the connection (FTDI) works fine.

Any idea's? I don't believe the APM1 has a reset pin available to connect to 5V, but I could be wrong.





This issue is not real urgent, more for other users as I was able to update the firmware using an FTDI cable.

Hi Alexander Plomp!

A detachable GPS and a FTDI adapter at hand is always the best way to do an undisturbed GPS update!


Kraut Rob

ok..there is new GPS module(it have all the new things it must be better..is there possibility tu use it with APM2??



i post here bcs i know no other experts like Kraut Rob...any opinions?price seems ok....


Thank you for considering me an expert! But actually I am not :(. At least the ublox module mentioned by you will work in nmea mode for shure, if configured correctly. But i think it will also work in ublox binary.


Kraut Rob

How should I know which version is installed on my APM2.0 GPS before doing this update?

Is any CLI command to show you the GPS version?

It is possible my APM2.0  MTK GPS already to have version 1.9?

v1.9 only for ArduCopter 2.9. Your GPS most likely shipped with 1.6, you can check with the MiniGPS program in Rob's zip file once you have loaded the flashing software onto the APM

Maybe it is just a simple coincidence, but when on my APM2.0 i go in CLI and test GPS it is saying 19. This did make me to believe the GPS version is already 1.9.

Or this is totally different information?

I will check with MiniGPS and see what I have.

Question: Why do you said GPS 1.9 is only for Arducopter 2.9.x.? If I still use 2.8.1 and upgrade to GPS1.9, I will have some incompatibilities?

Start reading from this post: http://diydrones.com/xn/detail/705844:Comment:1067085

v1.9 only works with ACv2.9. It will not work with v2.8.x.

v1.6 works with all version of ArduCopter.

I cant get this to work at all on APM1 boards. Everything is fine up until I get to the Download at instruction No:22 and Then I get Failed down load and the No 23: Rare Case error.  Ive tried this a lot of times and checked com port and baud are correct. Selected all the proper versions. I manage to connect to the Mini GPS and it shows the old firmware AXN_1.30 2278 so it is connected on the correct ports. Any ideas?

These instructions are for the APM2 with the GPS attached on the shield, not the APM1.

That is not what it says in the user manual in the download folder. See Section 4 on 5th line down "UpdateGPS.hex will work on APM1/2/2.5."   

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