Reach as primary GPS for Navio or Pixhawk

Hey guys,

I know that it is recommended to use Reach only as a second GPS for Pixhawk or Navio2. What is the reason for that? Is it possible to use Reach as the only GPS? What are the drawbacks?

Thank you,

Hi Will,

You can use Reach as primary GPS, we recommend dual GPS setup from redundancy perspective.

@igor.vereninov, I appreciate your insight on this.

Are you recommending GPS redundancy because of some lack of reliability of Reach? Can you say more about your thoughts on that? Why Reach would be more or less reliable than another GPS.

Considering a dual-gps system, your docs recommend making Reach the secondary GPS. And I have seen caution about the drone jerking around as Ardupilot switches between GPS units. Can you say why you guys recommend making Reach secondary in that situation? My guess is that Reach takes some time to get to a decent solution and so the idea is to use a different GPS as primary until Reach has a better solution. If that is the thinking behind the recommendation to make Reach secondary, can you say why another GPS (such as that on Navio2 or a uBlox unit hooked up to a Pixhawk) would have a better solution faster?

Thanks for taking the time to explain these things in more depth-


Hi @igor.vereninov,

I want to use Reach as a primary and as the only GPS on my copter. I only need raw logging and post processing and would skip the RTK function in the air to make it less complicated.

Are their any restrictions why Reach could be less reliable than a standard GPS module?

Best regards,

Overheating and so … shutdown if you fly in tropical area !
External compas is not available on reach for pixhawk family : When you have a M8N on pixhawk, you have gnss on gps port and external compass is present and should be connected on i2c but on reach you don’t have access to i2c pin. There is a compass on reach but I don’t know how to connect it !

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Thx for the information, is overheating a common problem in Europe too?
Does th single position mode reduce power consumption and heat production?

I’m wondering how much better the external compas is compared to the internal compas of Pixhawk 1. I thought I give that a try - bad idea?

Best regards,

No problem in Europe about overheating IMO.
Pixhawk 1 internal baro is crap. Always disable in my case. For flying wings compass is not necessary, you could use without : heading will be from GPS.
If you use Reach as primary GPS, check your MASK inside reach to not have surprise while in flight !

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