Beitian BN-180 is one of the most popular small, and cheap GPS modules used with INAV on airplanes, or on Betaflight on quadcopters. Most of the time, they work just fine, but I discovered that they could make problems from time to time. Here is a shortlist of possible issues and solutions for Beitian BN-180 GPS module:
- No light after connecting the power – Blue LED should be blinking right after connecting the power. If it’s not lighting up, BN-180 either does not receive the input voltage (3,3V-5V), or the module is damaged. Check wiring, use a multimeter to verify correct voltage is applied. If still no success, BN-180 itself might be damaged.
- Blue light is always on – most probable cause: damaged module. Disconnect TX and RX lines and supply 5V from the external power source. If it’s still always on, the GPS module is probably damaged.
- Blue LED is erratic, fades out, and one point shuts down completely – BN-180 has problems when the serial port baud rate is above 57600bps. Verify the speed of serial port on your flight controller software and switch it to 38400bps
- Red LED never goes off – Red LED means that BN-180 GPS has a GPS fix. Cold start can take even 20-30 minutes to get the ephemeris information from the satellites. Place the module outside in a place that the wide sky area is not obscured, and the GPS module can receive signals from as many satellites as possible. If BN-180 does not get a fix in 30 minutes, it is probably damaged.
- Blue light blinks, red light blinks, but the flight controller reports no GPS data – this is probably a connectivity problem. Check wiring (TX from GPS should be connected to RX on the flight controller, and RX from BN-180 to TX on the flight controller)