We are going to learn about the FrSky GPS v2 sensor.  GPS is highly useful in day to day situations from navigation to extensive military purposes because it can be used to pinpoint the exact location of anything that has a GPS receiver. GPS has gained its popularity before 60 years ago. Moreover, it has become an important part of the hobby since it can be used to obtain several important data that can even be used to retrieve lost RC crafts.

SoWith the help of a GPS sensor, we can get the exact position of our RC Airplane, Wing, drones, etc. It doesn’t end there. Moreover, it can be used to obtain other data like Speed, Altitude, and precise time as well. With these highly useful data, and with the help of a Flight controller, functions like Autonomous flights and RTH (Return to Home) are possible.

              

FrSky GPS V2

               It is the more developed and advanced version of the GPS 01 module that was released by FrSky more than 10 years ago.  This module can be used to receive data like location, speed, and time by simply connecting to the smart port of the receiver. 

The receiver is not tiny nor huge. There is a led projected from it that will indicate the status of the GPS. The whole sensor is wrapped In Heat shrink and there is a distinctive “UP” marking so that it has to be mounted in a way that the “UP” side faces the sky.

Wiring:

               The wiring of the FrSky GPS V2 sensor is pretty straight forward and you won't find it difficult. There are two rows of three pins on the right side of the sensor. You can use any of these ports to connect to the smart port of your Receiver. The remaining port is to connect other FrSky Smart port enabled sensors in a series way eliminating the need for a sensor hub.

               We have seen that GPS 01 sensor required a separate sensor hub to connect other sensors like voltage sensor, temperature sensor, fuel gauge sensor, etc. But this smart port enabled GPS sensor, the unused port can be used to connect another smart port sensor like voltage sensor in series.

There are two rows of smart port pins in voltage sensors as well, in which one of them can be connected to the smart port pin of the GPS sensor or directly to the receiver as well. The other pin can be used to connect some other smart port enabled sensor to it. In short, we can connect a series of sensors in a chain, and at last, it can be connected to the smart port pin in the receiver.

 

Remember that we can only connect the sensors in series if they are smart port supported sensors. It cannot be connected in series if the sensors are traditional ones, which means they don’t have smart port telemetry but the dual way telemetry that was released 10 years ago. For such sensors, it requires an additional sensor hub to connect all the sensors in a “parallel way”.

So coming back to the wiring of the FrSky GPS V2 sensor, we need to choose any one of the smart port pins in it. Then use the cables that came with the sensor or a normal 3 pin jumper cable to connect it to the smart port pin in the receiver.

Sometimes, the smart port pin on the receiver will be exactly like on the sensor which means it follows the pattern “-, +, S”. They are GND, 5V, and Smart port. X8R is an example of such a receiver. In such receivers, you can use the jumper cable straightway from the sensor to the receiver. Please make sure the polarity is the same and the jumper cable is not connected in the wrong way.

But in some of the latest receivers like XSR, R-XSR, X4R, there will be no dedicated three pins that follow the pattern “-, +, S”. So you will have to modify one end of the Jumper cable that goes to the receiver in a way that it can be connected to the “GND, 5V, Smart port” pins. It's pretty easy as all the pins in the receiver is labeled or marked in the Manual.

Some receivers may not have a 5v output pin to power the GPS Sensor. An example is the XSR receiver. For such receivers, you will have to power the FrSky GPS V2 sensor from external 5V sources like a BEC from an ESC. Then, the smart port pin can be connected to the respective pin on the receiver. Then power on your Transmitter and go to the telemetry page, you will be able to see the GPS Telemetry data there. If you are still not able to see it, then press “Discover new sensors” and it will be showing the telemetry

 

LED Indication

               There is a 3mm led right next to the connector in it to provide the status of the GPS sensor. It is highly useful to troubleshoot if there is any problem with getting telemetry data. The below table shows the indications provided by the led.

LED Status

GPS Module

S.port Connection

GPS Location

Flash Slow

Working

Connected

Receiving

Flash Middle

Working

Connected

Not Receiving

Flash Middle

Working

Not Connected

Receiving

Flash Fast

Working

Not Connected

Not Receiving

 

Specifications:

Interface: S.PORT

Operational Voltage: DC 4 -10 V

Weight: 11.3g

Current Draw: 80mA @5V

Sensitivity: -160dBm

Operating Temperature Range: -40 ~85 ℃ ℃

 Date Rate: 1Hz

Antenna: Built-in patch

Time to fix: 30s cold Speed

Accuracy: Approx 0.1m/s

Position Accuracy: Approx 2.5m CEP

Dimensions: 40mm*20mm*9mm(L x W x H)

Operation Limits: Dynamics 4g /Altitude 50,000m /Velocity 500m/s

Compatibility: FrSky Smart Port enabled receivers, such as X8R, X6R, X4R, XSR, R-XSR, etc

Disadvantages:

               The GPS sensor will work exactly as described by FrSky and you will be able to monitor the data on your telemetry screen. But it is not possible to assign autonomous Flights or Functions like RTH (Return to Home) which is the major disadvantage of it.  This sensor is simply transmitting the GPS logged data to the transmitter through the receiver. Hence it is not possible to perform such function with it.

               Instead, you can get a flight controller and a separate GPS module that can be used to assign autonomous flights and many more. Nowadays, there are many flight controllers are available for drones, wings, airplanes, etc. If you don’t want to assign similar functions on your wing or airplane but just want to see its location and speed without any flight controller or other electronics, then this FrSky GPS V2 sensor is the best option.

               This is a great option to monitor location (maybe retrieve it if it crashes somewhere far?) and to make some “WOO HOO” sound by realizing the speed at which you're of Rc Jet planes are going? Maybe Yes.

Conclusion        

               We have briefly covered some of the aspects of the FrSky GPS V2 Sensor and how to use it. We have discussed its disadvantages as well. I hope this has helped someone to the basics of FrSky GPS V2 Sensor.