What’s the Best GPS Module for FPV Drones (Betaflight Rescue Mode, iNav Return to Home)

Uncovering the Smallest, Top Performing, and Best Value GPS for FPV Drones

by Oscar
Fpv Drone Gps Module Betaflight Inav Rescue Return To Home Round Up Testing

GPS has become an invaluable component for FPV drones due to significant advancements in features like Rescue Mode in Betaflight and Return to Home in iNav. Today, I’ll be testing some of the most popular GPS modules from Flywoo, HGRLC, Beitian, GEPRC, and FlyfishRC, comparing their performance, and offering my recommendations.

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Why You Need GPS on Your FPV Drone

Hglrc Sector X5 Bnf Fpv Drone Rx Vtx Antenna Gps 3d Print

The latest Betaflight has revolutionized the GPS Rescue Mode, making it far more reliable and user-friendly. This advancement makes incorporating a GPS module into all your quad builds almost a no-brainer. However, the challenge lies in finding a reliable GPS module that balances cost, size, and weight without compromising accuracy.

Check out this post to learn more about Rescue Mode in Betaflight: https://oscarliang.com/setup-gps-rescue-mode-betaflight/

In this roundup, we’ll explore various options to find the cheapest, smallest, and best-performing GPS modules available.

GPS Round-up

Here are the GPS modules I’ve tested. You can find these GPS units through the affiliate links provided below.

HGLRC M100 Mini

Hglrc M100 Mini Gps

The HGLRC M100 Mini GPS module stands out due to its affordability, tiny form factor and lightweight design, even smaller and lighter than the BN180.

Hglrc M100 Mini Gps Size Comparison Bn180

Despite its low cost, small 15x15mm size and 2.8g weight, it uses the advanced UBlox M10 chip, supporting GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, and BDS satellite signals for global functionality.

Outperforming the BN220 right out of the box, the HGLRC M100 Mini requires no configuration tinkering. Priced comparably to the BN220, this impressive GPS module has been my go-to choice for 5″ freestyle quad budget builds.

You can find the M100 Mini here:

HGLRC M100-5883

Hglrc M100 5883 Gps

The M100 Mini’s bigger brother offers superior performance and includes a compass.

Get it here:

HGLRC M80

Hglrc M80 Gps

This GPS uses the older M8 chip and, unfortunately, the unit I received was faulty, therefore I was unable to test it. Anyway it’s bigger and heavier than some other M10 GPS, and it offers no real price advantage, so I don’t see why you would want to get this over the M10 counterparts.

HGLRC M80 Pro

Hglrc M80 Pro Gps

An upgrade from the M80, the HGLRC M80 Pro uses the M8 chip. While it doesn’t perform as well as the M10 counterparts, it’s slightly cheaper and includes a compass, making it suitable for budget builds.

Get it here:

FlyfishRC M10 Mini

Flyfishrc M10 Mini Gps

One of the smallest M10 GPS modules on the market, made by FlyfishRC.

Get it from AliExpress: https://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/_DkCU7qr

Flywoo GOKU GM10 Nano V3

Flywoo Goku Gm10 Nano V3 Gps

Although the Nameless GPS is technically the smallest I’ve ever tested, its performance is unreliable and takes a long time to get a GPS lock. The GOKU Nano V3 from Flywoo, however, is a tiny GPS module with impressive performance, outperforming the BN220 even with optimized U-Center settings. With a similar price and a significantly smaller and lighter design, the Flywoo GOKU Nano V3 is fantastic for micro builds.

I’ve flown this module on the Flywoo CineRace20 and consistently get up to 26 satellites, which is remarkable for its size. Ensure you’re using Betaflight version 4.3 or newer to support the 10th generation Ublox GPS chip.

You can find the GOKU Nano GPS here:

They also offer a version with compass, which significantly improves it’s versatility.

Flywoo GOKU GM10 Pro V3

Flywoo Goku Gm10 Pro V3 Gps

The GOKU GM10 Nano’s bigger brother offers more reliable performance and includes a compass, ideal for iNav builds.

Get the Flywoo GOKU GM10 Pro V3 from

Beitian BN-220

Beitian Bn220 Gps

As more GPS modules with the advanced M10 chip emerge, it’s becoming harder to recommend the older BN220. Don’t get me wrong – the BN220 has been around for years, and it’s a reliable, time-tested GPS that performs well for Betaflight, especially when you optimize its settings via U-Center: https://oscarliang.com/gps-settings-u-center/

If you already own a BN220, it will continue to serve you well. However, if you’re considering purchasing a new GPS module, I highly recommend opting for the newer M10-based GPS options. They tend to perform noticeably better at a similar cost.

Buy the Beitian BN220 here:

Beitian BN-180

Beitian Bn180 Gps

The BN180 used to be a good option, but I don’t recommend it anymore as there are many cheaper, better, and even smaller options available. The BN180 takes much longer to get a GPS lock compared to M10 GPS modules and doesn’t see as many satellites.

GEPRC M1025Q

Geprc Gep M1025q Gps

If you are looking for a reliable GPS for your larger models, the GEPRC M1025Q is a serious contender. It might be big, but it provides excellent performance, making it worth it. It also comes with a compass, perfect for iNav builds. If size and weight aren’t a problem, get it.

You can find the GEP M1025Q from these sellers:

VK GPS – The $4 GPS Module

Vk2828u7g5lf $4 Dollar Gps Cheapest Fpv Drone Betaflight

While browsing AliExpress, I stumbled upon the VK2828U7G5LF GPS module, priced at a mere $4 – possibly the cheapest GPS available for FPV drones! Naturally, I had to give it a try. Despite my low expectations, this budget GPS actually works!

By default, the GPS comes with a 1Hz refresh rate and a 9600 baud rate. I adjusted these settings in U-Center to 5Hz and 57600Hz for better performance. Unfortunately, I couldn’t modify any other settings on this GPS module. You can also configure it using U-Center by following my tutorial: https://oscarliang.com/gps-settings-u-center/

It got a 3D fix within 2 minutes next to my room window, not bad at all for $4, but I couldn’t get more than 8 satellites after waiting for 5 minutes. For a cheap build, this GPS module is worth considering. However, I wouldn’t recommend relying on it for your more valuable models.

Make sure you get the same one as pictured in this review. You can find this $4 GPS here:

FlyFishRC M8QMC

Flyfishrc M8qmc Gps Size Compare Bn180

Flyfishrc M8qmc Gps Manual Instruction Pinout

Although FlyFishRC claims it’s a UBLOX10 GPS, it performs more like an M8 GPS in my experience. This GPS comes with an onboard compass (QMC5883L Magnetometer chip) for those who need more accurate direction performance.

It’s similar in size to the BN180, making it very compact. However, it is quite a bit thicker and heavier, weighing 9.4g and measuring 20x20x11mm.

Purchase the FlyFishRC M8QMC here:

Beitian BH-182

Beitian Bh 182 Gps

The latest GPS released by Beitian in 2024, it has a similar form factor and weight to the BN180. However, I couldn’t get it to work in Betaflight 4.5 after trying for hours. It appears to have the “B101” chip according to its datasheet, not the usual M series chip. That could be why it’s not currently supported. Therefore, I do not recommend it for now.

You can find this GPS at:

Beitian BH-222Q

Beitian Bh 222q Gps

The latest GPS released by Beitian in 2024, it has a similar form factor and weight to the BN220, with an integrated compass. However, I couldn’t get it to work with Betaflight after trying for hours. It appears to use the “B101” chip according to its datasheet, not the M series chipo. Maybe that’s why it’s not currently supported. Therefore, I do not recommend it for now.

You can find this GPS from Banggood: https://oscarliang.com/product-dv9i

Beitian BH-252Q

Beitian Bh 252q Gps

Latest GPS released by Beitian in 2024, it’s the bigger brother of the BH222Q, with compass integrated. However I couldn’t get it to work with Betaflight after trying for hours. It appears to be using the “B101” chip according to its datasheet, and not the common M series chip, perhaps that’s why it’s not currently supported. Therefore I do not recommend it for now.

You can find this GPS from Banggood: https://oscarliang.com/product-5d6i

Performance Testing

Here’s a summary of the performance results, showing the time taken to lock onto 8 satellites (recommended by Betaflight for a reliable Rescue mode) from a cold and hot start, and the maximum number of satellites acquired after being powered for 5 minutes.

Definitions:

  • Cold Start: GPS hasn’t been powered on for at least 12 hours.
  • Hot Start: GPS hasn’t been powered on for less than an hour.

Testing Conditions: These GPS were tested on an overcast day in a suburban area, you can expect better performance in environment with less interference and on a sunny day without clouds.

GPS Module Cold Start Hot Start 5 Minutes (no. of sats)
BN180 4:10 1:27 9
BN220 3:15 1:55 11
FlyfishRC M10 Mini 1:14 1:02 15
FlyfishRC M8QMC 2:02 1:35 11
Flywoo GM10 Nano V3 1:21 0:42 12
Flywoo GM10 Pro V3 0:56 0:36 14
GEPRC M1025Q 0:32 0:31 16
HGLRC M100 Mini 1:40 1:14 12
HGLRC M100 5883 0:46 0:40 16
HGLRC M80 Pro 2:19 1:55 10
VK GPS 4:04 2:17 8

Recommendations

For Pure Performance

Regardless of size, the GEPRC M1025Q, HGLRC M100 5883 and Flywoo GM10 Pro V3 are all my top choices when it comes to performance. All have an onboard compass, making them very versatile.

GEPRC M1025Q

HGLRC M100 5883

GOKU GM10 Pro V3

For Compactness and Micro Quads

Consider the Flywoo GM10 Nano V3 or Flyfish M10 Mini. These are perfect for lightweight and small drones.

GOKU Nano V3:

FlyFishRC M10 Mini:

For Budget GPS

Both the Flyfish M10 Mini and HGLRC M100 Mini are excellent budget options, priced at only $13 each. The VK GPS might be the cheapest at only $4, but it’s not reliable enough for me to recommend.

HGLRC M100 Mini:

All of the recommended GPS modules are plug-and-play in Betaflight. They require just four wires: power (5V), ground, and a spare UART TX/RX on your flight controller. Compass modules will require two extra wires. For setup instructions, refer to my guide: https://oscarliang.com/setup-gps-rescue-mode-betaflight/

Conclusion

Now is the perfect time to add a GPS module to your FPV drone if you haven’t done so already. GPS modules have become more affordable and user-friendly. For as little as $4 (or around $16 for a top-performing GPS), it’s a small investment that could potentially save your drone in the event of a lost signal. Equip your FPV drone with a GPS module and experience the peace of mind it brings as you take to the skies.

Edit History

  • 2023 – Review posted.
  • July 2024 – Re-ran testing and added more GPS module options in the round-up.

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13 comments

Mark 15th April 2024 - 10:46 pm

Tried the HGLRC M100 Mini but couldn’t get it to work. 10 sats but no fix after 30mins. Clear view of the sky, switched VTX off, aerial up… no luck. Guess I got a dud.

Reply
tintinQC 11th March 2024 - 4:45 pm

There is also the FLYFISHRC M10 MINI GPS MODULE. It seems comparable to the GOKU GM10 Nano V3, isn’t it?

Reply
Oscar 13th March 2024 - 6:33 pm

Yes, they are a close call.

Reply
Michael 31st October 2023 - 12:26 am

Hi Oscar

I have en f3 fc with betaflight 4.1
I sounds like the m10 gps module is not supported. Is there any way to find out what gos modules i have support for? And which is best?

Reply
Dan 23rd July 2023 - 4:27 pm

Hi Oscar, I bought the HGLRC M100 Mini GPS and want to install it on a Babyhawk II HD. It came BnF and since this is the first ever soldering on it I want to ask if I am doing this right. This is the flight controller board – cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0371/2814/2907/files/Untitled_1024x1024.png?v=1626910742 and this are the installation instructions from HGLRC – cdn.shopifycdn.net/s/files/1/2672/8290/files/M100_MINI__11.jpg?v=1677639504 . I wonder if there is any difference where I connect the wires, i.e. Gnd, Tx, Rx and 5V on the board? For example, can I safely do this at the bottom right part of the FC where it says RGB, Gnd, 5V, TX1 & RX1? There have been conflicting statements about this board that only made me confused.

Sorry for the newbie questions and thank you for your advice!

Reply
jojo jose 27th April 2023 - 11:14 am

hi oscar,

regarding the HGLRC M100 MINI once you position the module antenna side up, what is the proper forward/rearward orientation relative to the cable solder points? i do not see this mentioned in their product literature. nor do i see at least an arrow pointing to the front on the gps module itself. thank you!

Reply
Oscar 27th April 2023 - 11:16 am

It doesn’t matter which way, as long as the antenna is facing the sky.

Reply
jojo jose 27th April 2023 - 11:13 pm

much appreciated sir. thank you!

Reply
Sirius 9th July 2024 - 4:10 pm

Ive noticed there is a Walksnail WS-M181 GPS that has almost the same specs as the GEPRC M1025Q, so im asking myself if its equaly as good and why its not on this list.

Reply
Nathan 25th March 2023 - 7:02 pm

It doesn’t appear to me the GM10 has flash. I can’t preconfigure on U-Center 2.

Reply
Oscar 25th March 2023 - 7:12 pm

Why do you want to configure M10? they work well out of the box.

Reply
Felix 13th June 2023 - 1:27 pm

its not totally true. Watch the Bardwell video about it. They are not right configurated the “10” GPS modules should work much much faster and better than the older ones. But you need to curretnly fix them at first!
please make an articla about it would love it

Reply
celso 2nd July 2024 - 12:00 pm Reply