Compass/GPS without mast?

Does anyone have any practical experience with the compass not using the mast?  Just having it sit on the top deck?  I keep breaking the mast and at $10/ea, it is not a practical part.  I'm going to do a compassmot test later tonight or tomorrow.

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  • I built the kit originally putting the gps/compass on the top deck. I have recently added the mast. No real reason other than to try it out. I don't really notice any difference either way for my setup. I have not had any breakage problems as I fly very conservatively and use it for a go pro platform. 


  • My Y6 works fine wih the GPS/compass on the top deck at the back. A mast wasn't even included in the kit.

  • See my Google plus post photos for today
  • I have mine mounted on the top plate next to my receiver and data radio
  • Please post your results. Broke 3 masts here, epoxied/super glued them back together; good to know I'm not the only one breaking them LOL, putting the last new one on tonight.....and it will be the last one from 3DR. I do know a loose mast messes up GPS/compass.

     Also, the surface the mast sits on seems to promote vibration as it sits out with no support under it. The higher the GPS unit sits, the more exaggerated the vibrations will be.   I'm to the point of designing a shorter mast that still yields a good compassmot test and 3d printing it.

    Is there any documented history of interference issues that required a tall mast?

    • The mast breaks at the base BTW. IMO there is more potential for damage to the GPS/compass with a tall mast than with it attached directly to the base plate.

  • Thanks guys.  I love the compass mot of 4% with the mast, but if i'm going have to go offline for repairs every time I tip over or knock into it, it isn't practical for me.  My agenda for tonight includes calibrating the power module and doing a compassmot comparison with and without the mast.  If it is < 25%, I will be doing away with the mast all together.

    • A soft foam block works great , cut a slit in the side near the top of the block and you can place the mag/gps unit inside for extra protection. 

  • If the actual mast is breaking, take some heat shrink tubing (might need 2 layers depending on the type you have) and reconnect the two parts together.

    If it's breaking at the base, get some plastic tubing and make your own mount.

    The general idea is to introduce an inexpensive failure point that will break, before the expensive parts do, but it will need to hold up to some airspeed so it needs to be stiff.

  • Moderator

    I don't have a mast on any of my copters and don't have a problem. 

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