GPS Unit dies after 3 uses

So I have a particular problem that I cannot figure out. I recently purchased a Pixhawk with GPS unit and after a bit of a hiccup with the product at first, my replacement works just fine. As I do not have any RC equipment yet, my experimentation with the autopilot, well more like tests really, have been few and far between. Mainly to get familiar with it. All seemed to run well, my current location was accurate to a degree each time which up until recently was three boot ups and linking to QGroundControl and APMPLanner 2.0, on Windows and Linux.

Then yesterday I decided to give it a go again and check out the plotting of QGroundControl, to see the Pixhawk in action as I moved it around. First thing I notice is that my unit is telling QGroundControl it is in the middle of the ocean, at 0,0. Ok I thought this is weird lets just see if it’s confused. After 5 minutes nothing changed. So I checked out the plot, there is 0 satellites found. In my seat in my so called office my phone can get GPS no problem, I checked with several apps. So lack of sats in the skies is not the problem.

Several reboots of Pixhawk later this has not changed, I even let the unit stay on for an hour to see if maybe there was a chance it would correct itself somehow, wishful thinking I know but dinner was ready anyway.

I tried with Windows, I tried with Linux. Both OS’s ground control stations reported the same results, my “plane” was in the middle of the ocean, and that space was strangely void of any satellites.

Is there any other thing I could try before contacting 3DR? I do believe this still falls under the 90 day warranty but I want to eliminate all other possible problems I guess.

Hi rmantd,

Check if you have a red light in the GPS, this indicates the GPS has power

Another option is to check the Fix value in APM planner it will indicate the status of the GPS, here are the values meaning:
Status – 0 = no GPS, 1 = GPS but no fix, 2 = GPS with 2D fix, 3 = GPS with 3D fix

You should have at least a Fix: 1 indicating there is a GPS connected, but there is no signal fix.

In mission planner you could see “GPS: No Fix” message.

I would recommend you to install the vehicle firmware from APM planner or Mission Planner, not QGroundControl.

And to test the GPS outdoors.

Once the GPS got signal there should be blinking blue led, along the red solid led and the Fix will change to 3 in APM planner or GPS: 3D Fix in mission planner.

Hi RogelioN,

Sorry I have not replied until now, it has been a crazy week for me and was unable to do any real testing until now.

I used APMPlanner 2.0 on Windows this time for testing, as my laptop uses Windows, flashed the firmware on Pixhawk and tried again.

The GPS unit does have a red light.

In APMPlanner the fix is set at 1. My unit still tells it that it’s at 0,0 and still no sats.

On Pixhawk there is a blinking blue LED but no solid red LED.

During your last test, where you outdoors? the Fix=1 indicates the GPS is detected by the Pixhawk

It’s better to test with clear sky view. For a cold start (power on), it make take three minutes or more. If you’re just hitting the reset button after lock has been achieved, it should take less than a minute.

At my station where I had set up the Pixhawk and GPS was in a spot that caused interference. I moved a mere 20 feet and by doing so I received a 3D fix plus 8-9 sats.

I guess it does matter, location, location, location lol.

Thank you guys for pointing me to the direction I needed to go :slight_smile: