How to: Taoglas 4mm GPS antenna upgrade for the DJI Phantom 2

One mod DJI Phantom 2 users are doing to their drones to improve GPS is removing the original 2mm GPS antenna and replacing it with a Taoglas 4mm GPS antenna.  It can be found at Digikey.com here, Taoglas GP.1575.25.4.A.02.

If you live in the US, for less than $10 shipped and an hour or so of your time you can improve the GPS reception of your Phantom 2!
This modification does take some soldering skills and patience.  You do not want to accidentally break the GPS module as its around $175…  With that said, it isn’t too difficult to do as long as you take your time.

Disclaimer: Perform this modification at your own risk.  This article is only a guide for entertainment purposes.  Drone Garage is not responsible for any damage that YOU do to your drone.  Also, be aware that this modification may void your warranty.

Let’s get started!

Parts needed:

Tools used:

  • Soldering iron & solder
  • wire cutter (to cut plastic ridges from top shell)
  • dremel and grinding tip to smooth and clean ridges from top cover
  • box cutter or flat blade

If you have never opened up your Phantom before, check out this video by Simon Newton on how to do so. How to open the DJI Phantom 2, Vision, Vision+ (& how to remove the camera on Vision)

Once you have the cover removed here, set everything else aside since this is what you’ll be focusing on:

Phantom top cover after removal. Notice how the shielding pad and connector are situated. One more tip about “resituating” that before reassembly will be mentioned later.

You’ll see four small screws holding the GPS module in.  Carefully remove them to detach the GPS module.

With the GPS module removed. Look for the GPS’ pin on the module.
The 4mm Taoglas on the left compared to the original 2mm GPS antenna.
Here’s where the patience is required. While simultaneously using the soldering iron to heat the pin & solder, use a flat blade to separate the adhesive used to stick the original antenna to the board. This will take some time. Do not leave the soldering tip on the pin the entire time. As you slowly separate the adhesive between the module and antenna apply the soldering tip as needed to release the pin from the board.
Another comparison
This seemed to be the best way to orientate the larger antenna. Other users on the Phantompilots forum have found that it does not have to be placed as “suggested” on the white outline of the module.
Here is what the top cover looks like prior to removing ridges to allow for the larger sized antenna.
Using a wire cutter and or dremel with grinding tip, remove as much ridge material as necessary to allow the GPS module to lay flat and be reinstalled at the screw mounting points.
Lastly, prior to reapplying the shielding pad, drape the plug harness across the module so that the plug is pulled through opposite end of shielding where it will reattach to the main body of the phantom. This will help shield part of the cable in the shielding pad rather than sandwiching it between the pad and the main board.

And final results can be seen in the Youtube video here:

The video shows an improvement in GPS satellite acquisition indoors, but unfortunately I didn’t get full GPS satellite lock as I had with a different Phantom and the same mod.

UPDATE! GPS LOCK AQUIRED INDOORS IN LESS THAN 30 SECONDS!
See video below!

This Phantom 2 is now for sale as well.  It was a “parts” Phantom revived and upgraded!  Sold to LF on Facebook via one of the Phantom Group pages!

And if you don’t feel up to the task check out the service at the Drone Garage store! 

For reference here are a few threads on Phantompilots.com of user success stories, tips, and conversation about the upgrade.
GPS Module – Large Antenna (4mm)
Upgrading the stock GPS antenna= more sats
Replaced my GPS antenna…

Advertisements

5 thoughts on “How to: Taoglas 4mm GPS antenna upgrade for the DJI Phantom 2

  1. i have just done this mod myself, a vast improvement in aquireing sats, Big ++ ,also only losing 1, thats 1 sat when video recording. i could only ever get 4-5 sats in my back yard, changed to this better antenna , i got 7 sats and a green lock on the PV2+ within 30-40 secs, even before i could connect my app to the vision+. also you may like to get the gps booster from buzzcam.com. this will aid in blocking some of the interferance from the wifi.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks very much for the wonderful instructional. I wanted people to know that I used needle nose pliers to remove the plastic ridges. This method worked extremely well, just grab the ridge tight and twist the pliers. Made for a very clean removal of the ridges.

    Thanks again.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s