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Drones are increasingly being used in applications such as reconnaissance, surveillance, surveying and mapping, geophysics, and much more. More often than not, in these situations, GPS is usually the key to operating the drone safely and effectively.
GPS indeed plays an important role in drones. GPS navigation techniques can offer pinpoint accuracy. In the past, drones weren’t commonly equipped with GPS capabilities, but nowadays, almost all drone models come with GPS modules installed. One such drone that features GPS is the Yuneec Typhoon H Plus drone. If you own this drone, you may be wondering if it’s possible to turn off GPS.
You can manually turn off your Typhoon H Plus’s GPS. To do so, you move the Proportional Control Rate Slider to the uppermost position, then move the right-hand stick to the right and hold it there. Then move the Flight Mode Selection Switch from Smart to Home and vice versa 4 times in 3 seconds.
In this article, we will discuss all that relates to manually disabling your Yuneec Typhoon H Plus drone’s GPS and much more.
» MORE: What Are GPS Drones and Why Does It Matter?
Can you manually disable GPS for the Typhoon H Plus? #
It typically isn’t recommended to disable your drone’s GPS if you plan to fly your drone outside. This is especially the case if you are a beginner pilot and haven’t acquired the necessary skills to fly your Yuneec drone without GPS.
However, if you are sufficiently experienced and can properly control the Typhoon H plus and don’t exceed any altitude or distance limits, it is possible to turn off your drone’s GPS.
Some other reasons you may need to disable the GPS could be when you need to fly indoors (in a big space of course!), or if you need to fly where you can’t get sufficient satellite signals, whether that’s due to interference or remote location. Whatever the reason, there may be times when you need to fly without the GPS.
Most drones will allow you to turn the GPS off in the flight app for the most part. You rarely find drones that have the option of turning off the GPS manually (meaning, with the controller alone).
But what about with the Typhoon H Plus’s GPS?
Yes, you can manually turn off the GPS on your Typhoon H plus drone. This method of turning the GPS off is relatively easy and shouldn’t give you any problems.
We should, however, mention that flying your drone without GPS can be quite tricky. Disabling the GPS means that your drone won’t be as stable as you are used to it being. You will have to actively control the drone, which will require a great deal of concentration on your part.
With sufficient practice, however, you should be able to fly the drone successfully, even without the GPS enabled. The wind speed and direction will also affect your drone’s movement, so you should have fast reflexes because the drone may move unexpectedly.
How to manually disable GPS for the Typhoon H Plus? #
Let me just reiterate that you shouldn’t turn off your drone’s GPS if you aren’t a skilled pilot. Even experienced drone pilots experience a learning curve when flying their drones without the GPS on. So before you even consider disabling the GPS, make sure you are prepared to accept all the liabilities that come with doing this, such as crashes and flyaways.
We should also mention that every time you turn on the Typhoon H Plus, it will default to having the GPS on even if you disabled it the last time the drone was powered on.
But that said, how do you manually turn off GPS on your Typhoon H Plus? Follow these steps, and you should be able to fly with the GPS disabled:
While your drone and controller are powered on and connected, but the motors aren’t turning, move the Proportional Control Rate Slider (on the right side of your controller) to the uppermost position.
Move the right-hand stick to the right and hold it there until you are done with the third step.
Move the Flight Mode Selection Switch from Smart to Home and vice versa 4 times in 3 seconds.
When this procedure is finished, the GPS should be successfully disabled. When the GPS is turned off successfully, your drone will emit an audible beep, and the GPS status on your controller’s screen will show Disabled.
What does the GPS do on a drone? #
GPS is the same system that we all are familiar with in road navigation systems. A network of orbiting satellites usually sends signals that GPS modules pick up with radio receivers and these signals enable the module to determine its position, speed, and time.
Over the past several years, GPS technology has improved such that it’s affordable and lightweight enough to be more of a standard feature in your average consumer drone. Even some toy drones have GPS functionality. Having GPS on your drone makes a big difference in how it operates.
Some of the ways GPS helps out drone pilots include:
Altitude hold – Most drones use GPS to hold a steady altitude while flying. This is important especially considering the FAA regulations that state a drone must operate below 400ft.
Most GPS drones usually have this altitude limit pre-programmed in the flight controls. Holding a steady height while in manual flight without GPS can be quite challenging.
Position Hold – When a drone locks onto a GPS signal, it will be able to identify and maintain its position at a fixed location. This is also the ability to hover in place. If you don’t touch any of the controls, with GPS, your drone will stay in place even if there’s a breeze. It will automatically correct and return to the same spot midair if it drifts away from its original location.
Return to Home – The Return To Home feature is one of the most useful features in current drones, especially for beginner pilots. Thanks to GPS, the drone will remember and return to the exact place it took off from. The GPS tells the drone where it is at a certain time and where it started from.
Reporting – GPS drones create a flight log for every flight, including how long you flew, where you flew, etc. This can be useful in keeping records, but it also comes in handy in locating and recovering a crashed drone.
Waypoint navigation – If you want to preplan a flight path or mission for your drone, you can do this by directing the drone to navigate to specific GPS coordinates along the path, which are called waypoints. A GPS drone can use autopilot to travel along the predetermined path.
As you can see, GPS serves important functions in drones. So, turning off your Typhoon H Plus’s GPS may not be such a good idea. However, if you are confident in your capabilities as a pilot, or have a good reason to need to fly without the GPS, you can easily turn the GPS off following the method outlined above.
Image Credit: Yuneec