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Nov 22, 2014, 12:40 PM
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Naza v1/v2/Lite GPS module alternative (using APM 2.6 GPS/compass combo)


Based on the information from the DJI NAZA GPS communication protocol - NazaDecoder Arduino library thread I've managed to connect the APM 2.6. GPS/compass combo to the Naza flight controller using 16Mhz/5V Ardiono Pro Mini board, 3.3V I2C levelshifter and a resistor.

Together with the right firmware (see below) this gives the fully functional alternative of the Naza GPS module.

To make things easier I've created an Arduino Pro Mini shield (v0.4). It fits nicely under the Arduino board and make the setup easy and compact. It has GPS and compass connectors on one end plus the Naza connector pins on the other. You can build this shield yourself, the design is shared on OSH Park:
https://oshpark.com/shared_projects/Ehm2RZPY

There is also an enhanced version available (v0.5) that adds reverse polarity protection:
https://oshpark.com/shared_projects/PzZUZTg8

The firmware HEX file necessary for the adapter to work you can find attached to this post. You'll find upload instructions here.

Note that it IS NOT meant for commercial use. You can download the firmware and use it, you can download and modify the PCB design and build the boards for yourself, but anyone selling it will violate this only restriction that I have.

So be fair and enjoy!

The module has been tested by 8 testers-volunteers and all of them were happy with its performance. You can see the test aircrafts in the gallery.

Although I've assembled two batches of adapters that I was able to offer to people they are all gone now. I do not have any more to offer and I do not plan to make any more. Please do not send me any PMs to request them!

Here are videos that that show a first prototype it in action on the ground...
APM 2.6 GPS connected to Naza (1 min 14 sec)

...and second prototype in the air
APM 2.6 GPS to Naza Adapter test (4 min 31 sec)


The latest adapter prototype version is 0.4 (picture attached). Below you will find some step by step instructions on how to prepare and use it.

Finding the right GPS/compass module
In order to use this adapter you'll need a Neo 6M or Neo M8N (M8N support added in firmware 20150424) and HMC5883L compass combo. This post collects the ones that have been confirmed working with the adapter:
https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show...&postcount=434

GPS module modification (only required for Neo 6M and adapter firmware < 20150424)
This post explains the modification that needs to be done to the GPS module so it can work with the adapter
https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show...&postcount=119

GPS/compass module orientation
Once you did the modification you need to find the correct orientation of the module. While the original Naza module has its front marked with an arrow (and this is crucial for the module to operate correctly), the Chinese modules usually don't. This post explains how to solve that problem:
https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show...&postcount=134

Connecting to the flight controller
When the module is oriented correctly you need to connect it to your flight controller. This post explains how to do it properly:
https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show...&postcount=419
Be very careful - incorrect connection can burn your adapter/GPS module

Understanding the adapter's "language"
The adapter "communicates" with the user using the green status LED. To better understand the blinking patterns please refer to this post:
https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show...&postcount=259

Adapter's bootup sequence
https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show...&postcount=422

First flight with the adapter
https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show...&postcount=430

Firmware upgrade
Should you ever need to update the adapter's firmware, here are the instructions:
https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show...&postcount=320

NazaGpsAdapter firmware changelog
--------------------------------------------------
Version 20160130
[NEW] added support for Galileo capable M8N firmware 3.01

Version 20150611
[FIX] fixed problem with self disabling IOC mode
[FIX] fixed problem with "Update Character Set" message displayed when using MinimOSD

Version 20150424
[NEW] added support for Neo M8N
[NEW] GPS module autodetection (Neo 6M and Neo M8N supported)
[NEW] Neo 6M 3 pin soldering no longer necessary (although recommended)

Version 20150307
initial version of the firmware
Last edited by pawelsky; Jan 30, 2016 at 10:25 AM.
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Nov 22, 2014, 12:42 PM
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pawelsky's Avatar
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To avoid messy cabling I've also ordered a small PCB shield for Pro Mini (3D rendering attached).

The whole thing is less than 2x4 cm small. We'll see how it works once PCBs arrive...
Last edited by pawelsky; Nov 22, 2014 at 01:32 PM.
Nov 23, 2014, 01:35 AM
SirEdward
blimppilot@ph's Avatar
Subscribed and eagerly following as always
Nov 23, 2014, 07:49 PM
Registered User
me too i am watching this one as have a build going on at the moment...
Nov 24, 2014, 02:33 PM
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This is a awesome find.
Dec 02, 2014, 12:36 PM
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First prototypes have arrived. Let's see if they work...
Dec 02, 2014, 12:52 PM
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jaas75's Avatar
waiting for your results!!!!!
if you can get it working that would be awesome
Dec 02, 2014, 02:12 PM
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pawelsky's Avatar
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Assembled, and works as expected (at least on the bench).

Anyone with AMP 2.6 GPS that would like to become a guinea pig (have two spare boards that I can assemble)? Send me a PM if so.
Last edited by pawelsky; Dec 02, 2014 at 05:15 PM.
Dec 03, 2014, 05:41 PM
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pawelsky's Avatar
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Looks like I've found a perfect candidate for the Naza GPS replacement

http://www.ebay.com/itm/APM-Flight-C...-/281274312706

I've ordered it a while ago and arrived today. Soldered, tested and it works fine (it even has a foldable stand included)

It costs only $20 has a 3.3V regulator built in so all you need is a $3 Arduino Pro mini board (plus some cable and 4 pin connector).

$25 for Naza GPS replacement, nice isn't it?
Dec 03, 2014, 10:32 PM
Registered User
jaas75's Avatar
thats great im so excited for your findings and whenever youll able to release your first batch.
Not only will be a cheap replacements but also might be able to use even better gps than stock like that neom8 people are using with pixhawk
Dec 04, 2014, 02:10 AM
Registered User
Hi, congratulations for your success. I'm very impressed of what you have done.
Will you share your code with the community?
Dec 04, 2014, 04:21 AM
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pawelsky's Avatar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaas75
Not only will be a cheap replacements but also might be able to use even better gps than stock like that neom8 people are using with pixhawk
I rally see no reason to go for other GPS modules. The neo6 that is currently used is good enough.
Dec 04, 2014, 04:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andreaontheweb
Hi, congratulations for your success. I'm very impressed of what you have done.
Will you share your code with the community?
No, I do not plan to share the source code. Maybe I will share the compiled bin. But only if tests in flight will be successful.
Dec 04, 2014, 04:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pawelsky
No, I do not plan to share the source code. Maybe I will share the compiled bin. But only if tests in flight will be successful.
Thanks for your work.
Dec 04, 2014, 07:31 AM
Registered User
Paddytfm's Avatar

NAZA canbus to GS


Hi Mr. Pawelsky
I have used a canbus interface to plug straight to my naza PMU V2 .
wired it to USB FTDI interface and get those data on mission planner software.
To go further on mission planner what do i need to do ?
On naza ground station software i also get the dialogue box error
Any help would be appreciate
Regards
Patrick


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