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Cheaper GPS Tracker Alternative to the Garmin GTU 10?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by PJA, Sep 8, 2013.

  1. PJA

    PJA

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    I'm looking for a GPS Tracking unit for my Phantom, and I ran across this on YouTube:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUWz6FQfXN0

    The guy who demonstrates it, uses it for his RC plane in case he losses it... Seems pretty accurate and light weight too. Is this a good alternative to a Garmin GTU 10? It's pretty inexpensive on eBay... from China, of course (like everything else):

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Mini-Realti...388?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item232f2b1aac

    The only thing I don't understand is that you need a Sim Card. I asked my Verizon provider if my cell phone Sim card would work in a third party unit, and he said it's locked for Verizon devices (phones and GPS devices) only.

    Looking into Sim Only plans, I can't find anything for less than $40.00 a month... Is that how the Garmin works also? Or, is there a cheaper way to get your Phantom tracked through a GPS tracker on your cell phone...?
     
  2. DeweyAXD

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    These are garbage my friend. The biggest issue with the Sim card is that the technology inside it is soooo old it only works on the 2g network... nearly all phone sims are 3g or 4g now so won't work.

    Honestly when you are talking about several hundred dollars of kit its not worth skimping. If you want to be able to find it a GTU10 really is about the most cost effective method.

    The 'Tile' is coming soon (seems to have been coming soon for a long time) but this relys on you crashing/landing 50 feet from either yourself or other people that might have the tile app on and active.

    Garmin is different. You pay upfront and get 12 months free... after that its £45 per year ($70?). That is actually really good value compared to a pay monthly sim and like I say the first year it is just the cost of itself.

    I was discussing this with Glockindahaus earlier over PM regards the 'Pocket Finder' which is lighter than a GTU10.

    Pocket finder here is £85 ($133) for the unit and £10 ($16) per month (sim cost).
    GTU10 here is £150 ($234) and then £45 ($70) per year and it comes with 1 year free when you buy it.

    Assume you keep anything for like 5 years. 5 year ownership costs:

    GTU10 (inc purchase) = $515
    Pocket Finder = $1070
    A $16 per month sim alone (not including the tracker) = $960

    Figures say it all really IMO



    That makes a 5 year cost of owning:
    GTU10 - £330 ($515)
     
  3. PJA

    PJA

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    Thank You very much for the detailed summery of all the option... Sounds like the Garmin GTU 10 is the way to go...

    I originally wanted to go with that one, but research led me somewhat astray... I think I read that most of you on here are using the Garmin... Better off now that you explained it clearly to me...

    Thanks DeweyAXD,

    P.J.
     
  4. DeweyAXD

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    No problemo - happy to help.

    I think some people have had some sucess with ebay options but it can be a false ecomy in the long run if you are not careful (as with many things on ebay). It is always painful paying out for something you hope to never use. I for one have only called upon it once but it stood up to the test perfectly at the time.
     
  5. oldengineer

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    ...I went the Garmin route and glad I did, 'tis expensive, hobbies usually are expensive...

    One nice touch with the Garmin, is that it comes supplied with a tiny zip up bag, with velco on the side. It's meant for attaching to a belt or a dog collar, but it fits perfect on the leg of the Phantom... Works a treat :)
     
  6. rilot

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    I have one of the TK102Bs and it works perfectly. I use it on my Phantom and my F550.
    The bit about only working with 2G SIM cards is rubbish. No idea why they say that. I have a brand new 3G SIM in mine and it works fine. I think they mean that the data transmission rate is only 2G.
     
  7. DeweyAXD

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    Interesting. I tried 3 different 3g cards in the one i bourght a few years back and none worked. Like i say i think it depends on what you actually end up getting (there are lots that look alike but are all differing inside).
    Maybe worth a punt then with a pay as you go sim.
     
  8. PJA

    PJA

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    The cheapest Pay as you go Sim Card Plan I can find in the USA is $30.00 a month... Unless I'm not looking in the right places...

    DeweyAXD seemed to break it down where the Garmin is the most cost affective... Garmin also has a great reputation for GPS devices... However, the small size of the TK 102B is what caught my interest... The least amount of weight for my Phantom or better tracking in case of a fly-away???

    I think I will go with the 'better tracking' investment...
     
  9. bumper

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    I'm using a T-Mobile pay-in-advance sim card that is only $10 for 3 months ($10 being the minimum payment they'll accept). This is being used as a remote switch to control a couple of aircraft engine pre-heaters so I don't have to leave them on full time in the winter. The $10 more than covers the SMS text messages the unit uses.

    Not sure if the T-Mobile plan would work for the GPS device, but I don't see why not,

    bumper
     
  10. ayanowitz

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    I have the GTU10, and always fly with it. Definitely makes me worry less about loosing my Phantom.

    I just wish it was smaller/lighter. Anybody here tried taking apart the GTU10 and removing the electronics from the outer shell?
     
  11. Shedracer

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    I also went the Garmin GTU 10 route, got it at a not unreasonable price from wiggle, for £142 inc postage. Will be able to use with the dogs and on extra security for my Bike as well. What swung it for me was the overall running cost and a Garmin warranty.
     
  12. thetac

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    I am flying with a tmobile card in my FiLiFi in minnesota....$10 for 3 months (30 anytime minutes)...itll last forever if you don't have to call it....you don't have to be in a "plan". I think the key to all of these trackers is will they work in your area...do they have coverage? I also have a Garmin GTU 10....first year is free....what i don't like about them is the tracking map is not as detailed...at least mine is not opening up into google earth like my FiLiFi. With the FiLiFi....you get a 3d satelite map showing exactly where the phantom is at....not so much with the GTU 10...also the FiLiFi is smaller and lighter than the GTU10...just one mans opinion
     
  13. DeweyAXD

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    I've been digging around the net for the same reason. The answer is yes you can take it apart shown here:
    http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?se ... e_number=3 (flick through the 10 images). The guide to doing this on the Techinsights website where the pics are from costs a mere $7k (!!)... no thanks.

    I cannot for the life of me work out how to do it though! Images shows a click at the end opposite to the on button and there is a small screw just next to the USB port.

    If I can get mine apart without destroying it totally I might create a lightweight Shapeways case for it. Should shave a few grams off it depending on where the bulk really lies.
     
  14. Skylane765

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    I bought the refurbished one for $99 with warranty or you can buy the TAGG. Pet tracker for $99