Review: The Smallest GPS Module – NamelessRC TinyGPS

by Oscar
Published: Last Updated on

The TinyGPS module from NamelessRC weighs only 1.6g, and at the size of a fingernail, it’s probably the smallest GPS module for Betaflight and iNav. It’s perfect for light weight long range FPV drones such as the Rekon3 Nano Long Range and Flywoo Nano Hex.

Where to Buy TinyGPS?

The Smallest and Lightest GPS

I thought the BN180 GPS was tiny, now it looks huge!

small gps modules, namelessrc tinygps vs BN-180

Left: BN180; Right: NLRC TinyGPS

Weight confirmed, 1.6g without wires.

namelessrc tinygps weight

Here’s the Nameless GPS specs:

  • Input voltage: 5V
  • Ceramic Antenna
  • Receiving Format: GPS,GLONASS,BDS
  • Support Rate: 9600dps
  • Output Protocol: UBLOX NMEA
  • Size: 13mm x 13mm x 5.5mm
  • Weight: 1.6g

There’s no LED indicators, so it’s pretty hard to know whether it’s actually working or not. I guess it’s the lack of physical space.

I wish they dropped the connector and used solder pads instead. That would free up space for the LED’s.

namelessrc tinygps review

The ceramic antenna is absolutely tiny. Make sure to have it face upward when mounting the Tiny GPS on your quad.

namelessrc tinygps ceramic antenna

This is the GPS antenna and should be pointing upward

How to Use TinyGPS?

The NLRC Tiny GPS connects to the flight controller via UART (TX and RX), it’s exactly the same as other GPS modules like the BN180 / BN220 and Flywoo GoKu Mini GPS.

  • 5V to 5V
  • GND to GND
  • TX to RX
  • RX to TX

To setup Betaflight, follow my tutorial. Note the following settings are different:

  • In Ports tab, set baud rate to 9600 (from 57600)
  • According to the manual, the protocol should be UBLOX, but it didn’t worked for me (wasted an hour of my life waiting), select NMEA and it worked

Slow to Get 3D Fix

Yes it’s tiny, but the downside is that it’s very slow to get a 3D fix. That’s to be expected due to the small antenna.

I measured the time it took to get a 3D fix in my backyard (with Betaflight) and compared that with other compact GPS modules:

  • BN180 – 46 seconds
  • Flywoo GoKu GPS – 1:43
  • NLRC TinyGPS – 2:49

It certainly takes longer to get a satellite lock, but it’s not a deal breaker if size and weight are the primary concern: the BN180 is 5.1g while the NLRC TinyGPS is only 1.6g.

Get Nameless GPS here: https://oscarliang.com/product-n97f

If you don’t mind the 3.5g weight difference, I’d recommend the BN180, it’s a lot more sensitive and cheaper too!

Get BN180 here: http://bit.ly/2TWrozB

Size comparison to GoPro GPS module (hero 6/7/8).

Left: Nameless TinyGPS, Middle: GoPro GPS, Right: BN180

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13 comments

day3 22nd August 2021 - 6:33 am

Just a head’s up for anyone finding this after me.
There is a new version of this unit. With a battery. And a different pinout.
drive.google.com/file/d/1RtBlhy0gln35A2d_2cqlNqKxrI6HkqaR/view

Reply
john 4th August 2021 - 2:43 pm

Strange I got one from Banggood and one from a FPV shop in my country and both weight is about 3g. The difference between them to your photos is that the (brown) sensor unit fills the pcb to edge. Maybe you got a prototype or first version.

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Camble Scott 2nd September 2021 - 6:29 am

The ‘brown sensor unit’ is the antenna for the actual gps. They must have increased the antenna size in recent batches, hence higher weight.

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NikFPV 29th May 2021 - 1:19 am

Only UBLOX worked for me. Strange. I wonder if you got an early batch or something.

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Oscar 29th May 2021 - 10:11 am

Yea there seems to be mixed reports of protocols. Try both anyway if it’s not working :)

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John Daniels 23rd May 2021 - 12:49 am

If you put that on a tinywhoop the battery would be dead before it got a lock 😂

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Oscar 23rd May 2021 - 1:30 am

Reserve a pack just for GPS lock :D haha

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Dominik 22nd May 2021 - 4:13 pm

Is 9600bps enough for RTH functionality? I was maxing out even 38400 when set to 10hz rate (does this support 10hz?)

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Oscar 22nd May 2021 - 4:24 pm

Yes, I think so. The Flywoo Explorer uses 9600 and rescue mode works fine.

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Kevin 21st May 2021 - 11:11 pm

Thanks, but hmmm. NMEA doesn’t work for me (no gps in betaflight) but when using UBLOX, while the GPS is shown in betaflight there is no activity on it at all 😣.

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Oscar 22nd May 2021 - 12:02 am

For me it was the opposite, when selecting UBLOX, I couldn’t see any satellite (no activity), but when selecting NMEA, I could see the satellites and eventually get a lock.

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Kevin 21st May 2021 - 8:53 pm

What Betaflight Config did you use? I was not able to get a single sat on min…

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Oscar 21st May 2021 - 8:58 pm

set it up exactly like the BN180 (https://oscarliang.com/gps-mini-quad/), but change Baud rate to 9600 in the ports tab and make sure you choose NMEA as protocol.

Reply