How to Log GPS Coordinates in OpenTX Radios

by Oscar
Published: Last Updated on

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.

Setup Telemetry

Setup GPS

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!

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12 comments

Cub 26th July 2021 - 4:31 am

Anyone know why in the logs my gps coordinates are displayed in the altitude column? I am not able to log the flight path in google earth because of this! Please help

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Cub 26th July 2021 - 4:28 am

To those of you saying gps coordinates are different or innacurate on your telemetery screen vs your osd. I had the same issue. The gps coordinates are in fact correct, they are just in a different format. Here is a conversion tool! pgc.umn.edu/apps/convert/

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Greg 4th June 2021 - 1:09 am

Will the SD card fill up and cause an issue unless logs are manually deleted? Any automatic way to avoid the need to do this if so?

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Paul Twenter 31st October 2020 - 1:18 am

I too have inaccurate telemetry GPS coordinates on my transmitter but with my OSD and beta flight configurator it is correct how can we get this corrected on the transmitter telemetry screens I’ve read several people have the same problem I have several set ups on several drones and the same problem I need the telemetry on the transmitter in case I crash because DJI goggles does not play the telemetry OSD back

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andrew 5th May 2020 - 7:23 am

hi, Betaflight doesn’t list GPS sensor data in sensors tab in OpenTX, is this an issues with the latest Betaflight versions? iNav list the GPS sensor just fine.

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Cub 7th April 2020 - 6:51 pm

Hi Oscar. My taranis displays different gps coordinates than betaflight. Is there anything I can do about this?
Thanks so much for the write up!

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wayne 1st March 2020 - 9:51 pm

Cannot get my GPS to log to the taranis radio, BN220 is the GPS unit. The only sensors I see on telemetry screen are RSSI, RXBT, Temp1, VFAS, A4, Fuel, Hdg, Accx, Accy, Accz, Curr, Temp2, So I dont think any of those are related to the GPS if I am correct. I have done new sensor searches a number of times but the above list is all it finds.

I am assuming the wiring is correct as it operates as it is supposed to, gets the satellites, will bring the drone home on fail safe, shows relative info like coordinates in OSD display on googles.

This info is just not getting back to the Taranis. So my theory is the info is going through to video transmitter to googles OK but not the radio transmitter to Taranis. Either the fault is in the Taranis or the radio transmitter. Since a search for sensors on the Taranis cannot find the GPS then the signal cannot be getting transmitted, although all the other sensors are transmitting? So not sure where to go from here.

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Jens Marchewka 6th December 2019 - 4:56 pm

Hey, if you want to display your flight path on google earth with altitude and speed colorizing check out my tool github.com/naice/OpenTXLog2GoogleEarth maybe you also want to add it to your blogpost?

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Jonathan Rousseau 13th June 2019 - 1:05 am

Everytime I search my questions on google, I end up here. Thanks for your work!

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mosch 28th March 2019 - 10:32 pm

Maybe useful in case of an crash….

Taranis X7 GPS last positions Telemetry Screen

github.com/moschotto/Taranis_X7

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Chris 8th March 2019 - 1:49 am

Is there a way to view the last known few GPS entries to the log file from the radio? Such as the x9d or Horus running openTx.

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Tavis G 5th November 2018 - 7:06 pm

Do you have a workflow for plotting the entire flight into google maps ?

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