One benefit of having GPS on FPV drones is to get real time GPS coordinates which help you track down the downed model. You could display them in your OSD, but that’s only useful when you have video signal or to look back in the DVR. In this guide I will show you how to log / record GPS coordinates inside an OpenTX radio.
You can send GPS related info from the aircraft back to your Taranis via telemetry. So to log GPS coordinates is basically the same as recording telemetry data really. When you crash you can just look it up in the log.
Before we begin, make sure you’ve setup Telemetry and GPS. Here are the tutorials in case you haven’t done that already.
See this post for other Taranis related tutorials.
Discovering GPS Sensors
Once you’ve Telemetry and GPS working, you may not see any GPS data in the Telemetry page. In this case you need to:
- Power up your quad
- In your Taranis, go to the Telemetry page, select “Discover new sensors” option
- If GPS is setup right, you should now see several new GPS related sensors added to the list
* GPS coordinates might appear to be 0 if the module is not locked to the satellites, so don’t worry. As long as you have these sensors added to the list you are all good!
Enabling Telemetry Logging
To enable telemetry logging in the Taranis:
- Go to Special Function page in the Taranis
- Set a switch to start the log – you can just use the arm switch, or just select “ON” to always log data
- Select function “SD Logs”
- Choose a value, which is how often you want to log the data. Depending on what kind of data you intent to gather, for GPS stuff I think 1 or 2 seconds is a good starting point
It will basically store everything in your Telemetry page into a file. You can choose what data to collect, simply go to the Telemetry page, and go down to the data you want to edit, hold down the enter button and select Edit. From there you can enable/disable the “Logs” option.
Access Telemetry Log in Taranis
The log file is stored in the SD card, so make sure you have one inserted in your Taranis if you want to use this feature.
The file is saved under the folder LOGS, and the file name follows this pattern: “model name”-date.csv
That’s right, the log is in .CSV format, which is basically a spreadsheet. You can open it in Excel.
Or you can also open it in plain text file, the values are separated by comma.
If you don’t have access to a computer in the field, most smart phones with micro SD card slot can read it as well.
You can also access the log in OpenTX Companion.
What To Do With GPS Coordinates?
For finding a downed quad, I normally just go to the last timestamp and copy the coordinates into google map. This will show you the location in a map. There are many other ways to find downed quad :)
To know the last travel direction, simply go back a few timestamps and copy the coordinates into google maps. The line between the two locations would be the travel direction.
You can even plot the whole flight path with the coordinates on Google Earth!