New Naza GPS is starting to hit the shelves

Early customers are starting to receive their Naza GPS Units, and while I await mine, the early feedback appears positive.

DJI customers in the southern hemisphere will be pleased to hear there are as of yet no reported issues regarding GPS lock. The GPS Upgrade, which brings Position Hold, Return to Home and Simple mode (often known as Carefree mode) appears to be around the $190 tag for existing customers.

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Comment by Roberto Navoni on June 7, 2012 at 7:37am

IS not so' impressive :) The price is high 190 + 200 $ to have gps functionality without auto ...

Comment by Dave Wicks on June 7, 2012 at 8:02am
Yes the price is high, however it is essentially plug and play tech is it not? Great for noobs like me who have a hard time tweaking endlessly. I don't mind paying a bit more if it means I can use it pretty much out of the box.

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Comment by Hai Tran on June 7, 2012 at 8:22am

So why would anyone buy WKM when an upgraded Naza does the same thing for less than half the price?

Comment by Rob_Lefebvre on June 7, 2012 at 9:02am

@Dave, plug and play is only good if it works.  That is yet to be seen.  Their track record is good with the Naza, though I have seen a few examples where things didn't go smoothly (ie: Ellison Chan).  And also DJI have had problems with the GPS on their higher-end systems.  

It appears that their excellent performance in promotional materials is due to some VERY advanced GPS programming, but which also makes it very susceptible to "noise" in the GPS signal.  Ours is more crude, less precise, but also much more robust to flying in non-optimal conditions.

Comment by Dave Wicks on June 7, 2012 at 9:17am
Doesn't WKM give you auto with 3 waypoints?

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Comment by Hai Tran on June 7, 2012 at 9:19am

I didn't think so, unless you spent another $1000 on the telemetry and licencing.  Kinda blows away the argument that WKM provides a cheaper alternative to some other multicopter control systems on the market.

Comment by Crasher on June 7, 2012 at 9:28am
@R Lefebvre
That's very interesting, are you able to explain further the differences in GPS algorithms or point me to a link that may explain the differences more? I didn't realise that there was such a difference.
Thanks for the information.
Comment by Rob_Lefebvre on June 7, 2012 at 9:41am

I'm not a GPS expert and can only paraphrase what others have written.  But basically, the suspicion is that they achieve their precision by using carrier phase analysis instead of simply looking at the timing signals as basic GPS does.  It's a very, very precise calculation, and is the only way to get sub-metre precision.  However, it is very vulnerable to multi-path distortion.

This would explain why the DJI has problems near buildings with windows.  It's a real big problem for the system, because apparently people send their craft on a mission, only to have it completely lose GPS lock later. So it's out there, somewhere, totally lost.

Comment by Andreas on June 7, 2012 at 10:14am

How I wish that one day my AC could hover as tight as that.

The boiler-plate DIYDrones argument is that "you don't get waypoint functionality nor a full autopilot etc" with DJI and "it's more expensive". However I would guess that many people do not even advance to the autonomous flight mode flying waypoints if the position hold does not feel solid. Also for many use cases, such as FPV, a stable platform with RTL is enough and waypoints are not needed.

Disclaimers:

-I am intimidated by the gazillion of parameters and have done limited tuning attempts

-I have never seen a DJI system in the wild (or a MK)

-I have no clue how DJI would do on my frames (if DJI wants to send me a test unit I will gladly document a comparison)

-ArduCopter has improved SO MUCH over the last 8 moths, I believe with another big push it might really get there

-I own 2 KK boards, 1 MultiWii, 1 APM2, 1 APM2       Right now the APM2 is my favorite for free flight.

Comment by Steve on June 7, 2012 at 10:23am

Was going to post something but Andreas beat me to it. I have no use for waypoints, PH and RTH are nice to haves. At this price point and ease of use, this NAZA seems impressive.

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