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'Find My Drone' Reliability? Tracking Alternatives?

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Vision + Discussion' started by srandall25, Apr 29, 2014.

  1. srandall25

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    What is everyone's opinion on the 'Find my Drone' feature in the event of a fly away? Can we rely on it? I've seen others mention they use alternatives as a precaution to include:

    1) http://www.ebay.com/itm/Drone-Mods-UAV- ... 1455130913
    See video review: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tY5uDyWbWbE

    2) http://www.amazon.com/Tagg-The-Pet-Trac ... 6432818-20

    3) http://www.amazon.com/Loc8tor-LTD-Loc8t ... 6432818-20

    4) http://www.traxfamily.com/technology.html
    See video review at CES: http://www.tomsguide.com/us/trax-gps-tr ... 18161.html
    Kickstarter Project: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/tr ... n-and-pets

    5) http://www.amazon.com/Vehicle-Realtime- ... B0089C15ZK or search on eBay for 'tk102'
    (check out this site: http://www.visionflyer.com/adding-a-gps ... -2-vision/)
    Popular SIM card used: H20 SIM found here http://www.amazon.com/H2O-Wireless-Dial ... ds=h20+sim
    Is the tk102 real or fake? See link: https://code.google.com/p/gpslocator/do ... s_copy.pdf

    6) http://www.pocketfinder.com

    Weight Info on trackers (submitted by beckham388)

    Retrievor - weighs 18 grams (.63 oz) Pre-sale - https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/retr
    Trax - weighs 25 grams (0.88 oz)
    Locca Mini - weighs 25 grams (0.88 oz)
    PocketFinder People Locator - weighs 39 grams (1.4 oz)
    Drone Mods UAV Locator - weighs 56 grams (1.9 oz)
    Global Tracker (Tk102) - weighs 60 grams (2.1 oz)
    PocketFinder Pet Locator - weighs 68 grams (2.4 oz)
    EagleEyes FPV Station - weighs 78 grams (2.7 oz)
    SPOT Trace - weighs 87.9 grams (3.1 oz)
    SPOT Connect - weighs 139 grams (4.9 oz)

    Anyone use any of these or have any other suggestions?
     
  2. J Dot

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    Location:
    Sarasota, FL. USA!
    I use a GLOBAL TRACKER ( TK-102b ) on mine,
    I also made a saddle bag for it , cheap $40 insurance policy!

    Pics:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Hope this helps, ($5.00 a month ( 250 texts ))
    $40 for the tracker, and $15 for the sim.
    ( AT&T is best ( crappy VERIZON won't hook it up, because it is not a
    " VERIZON " device, bunch of idiots there! )

    Take care, Fly safe!

    Jerry D
    USA
    ( J Dot )

    Please let me know if I can help further!
     
  3. srandall25

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    Does this add much weight?
     
  4. J Dot

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    Location:
    Sarasota, FL. USA!
    The tracker W/ battery & ( non-magnet back )
    60 grams. Or 2.12 oz.
    Tracker and my saddle bag is just over 3 oz. ( 3.02 oz )


    Jerry D
    USA
    ( J Dot )
     
  5. Dirty Bird

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    Location:
    Glen Burnie, MD - USA
    Very cool J Dot! Love the custom saddle bag. :cool:
     
  6. dragonash

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    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    nice idea... but wont that catch more wind?
     
  7. J Dot

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    Location:
    Sarasota, FL. USA!
    I don't find it any harder to fly,
    ( I personally don't fly on very windy days, breezy is ok, but so far I've seen no major change?
    ( I'm no videographer, I mostly fly for fun, we like recording our kids front yard basketball games, or beach cookouts, or just flying FPV, I do want to get a 3 axis gimbal, and get more serious about photography, but have to save up ! Maybe a P2V+?
    I do want to make another BAG , a bit trimmed down and lighter! With more cut- outs! And With plastic buttons not metal!

    You can also ( Velcro it to the belly of the phantom )
    It is where I had it originally, but it fell off once, falling 50'
    On the grass, no damage , so I made the bag!

    Jerry D
    USA
    ( J Dot )
     
  8. srandall25

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    I updated the tracking alternatives above. From my research, Option 5 with an H20 SIM card appears to be the best cheapest solution.
     
  9. DrJoe

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    Just ordered the tracker you recommended, SRandall25. Thanks.
     
  10. srandall25

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    awesome, definitely let me know how it works out...
     
  11. borgqueenx

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    Finding bad reviews about that cheap tracker, i have bought this:
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/161145659880

    Smaller, lighter, longer battery life and speaker.
    The speaker will be very useful as well. I heard it is "annoyingly loud" wich is a good thing when arriving at the gps co-ordinates you can call it and it will ring.
    Another plus is that i cant find any info or in the manual something about activating it.
    In the tk tracker you guys linked, you have to sms "begin" to every single **** time when turning it on to make it work. After that you can send other commands. In the tracker i bought, it doesn't say anything about "begin" or activation.
    Downside is, that you will receive the co-ordinates in a stopid weird maps app link....gps123.org or something. I think everyone would prefer google maps for route planning.
    Another downside is that it doesnt have a accelerometer. Alarm sms when getting getting out of area or speed is not available.
    Another downside is that its more then double the cost. 24 vs 52 usd.

    But...i bought them both and will let you guys know.

    Although i dont have a phantom yet to test it with...
     
  12. J Dot

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    Location:
    Sarasota, FL. USA!
    On the TK-102b you only have to text " Begin " once!

    I turn mine on, and fly!

    If it get lost, I send a text to it it replies with coordinates,
    You can type coordinates to google earth, or google maps, to get visual!
    It also texts you when battery is getting low! I don't use any of the MANY FEATURES, motion, and what not!
    Only adjustments I made, was to lock my cell number, and turned off all sleep modes ( I found that once I turned it on and flew,
    It would be off upon landing? Once I disabled the sleep feature, it stays on all the time, unless I manually shut it off! )

    The manuals a bit confusing, but pretty easy to use, you can also set it to send texts, every couple minutes on its location ( times and frequency can be set by you ( ie: 1 text every 3 minutes, OR 1 text every 10 minutes! Whatever you want )

    There is also a way you can MAP your whole flight using google maps? But I don't know how to do it?
    But have seen it done on YouTube! ( shows yellow lines everywhere you flew, pretty cool ) that way you can see ( ok I flew over there, then I flew back over here, then up there, ect )

    Mine works perfectly! Hope this helps!

    Jerry D
     
  13. srandall25

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    Thanks J Dot. Great Synopsis.
     
  14. Fredski

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    Thanks for pulling all that information together! I read a bunch of the reviews for the item listed in your #5 and most were saying not to buy it for a whole host of reasons. Feeling a little disappointed in what I read I started over at the top of your list and got extremely interested in #1 - Drone-Mods.com locator. A little more expensive but it appears to be of higher quality with more accurate information returned to the searching pilot. Battery life is up to 12 days and you get a google-maps pinpoint picture of where your UAV ended up within 150 feet. On their site they also have a recording of a podcast reviewing the item which provided some good 3rd-party validation.

    Again - thanks for getting us all looking in the right direction (pun intended!).
     
  15. srandall25

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    Thanks for the feedback. Ya there are definitely mixed reviews out there. For every negative I also saw a positive. Some folks I believe weren't properly activating configuring their SIM card. Others may be using a SIM card of a cellular carrier that may not have good coverage where they're using it. So there are some user and cellular variables you must consider when looking at complaints. I am interested in how good #1 really is. That was ranked up there as a possible option 1. I haven't purchased yet so definitely let me know If you find out anything new or try out #1. Good luck!
     
  16. srandall25

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  17. quadcopter

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    I have Verizon phone. Can I use AT&T? I'm confused by the SIM card and activation?

    Also, are these units passive until asked for coordinates? I wonder about the TX side of these units interfering with the RX side of the Phantom.

    Had anyone used this unit... http://www.zoombak.com/products/universal/
     
  18. srandall25

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    Yes, you can use AT&T or any sim card for the matter. I believe people have talked about purchasing a gophone with AT&T for like $15 with the sim card and just using the sim card. I haven't heard of any interference issues with this from all my research in the forums.
     
  19. J Dot

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    Location:
    Sarasota, FL. USA!
    I also have a VERIZON iPhone 4s, had a contract with then for 8 years now,
    So when I got my tracker, I raced to verizon, for them to say,
    " it is NOT a " Verizon " device, we are sorry, but we cannot help you, try AT&T! "

    So I did, unfortunately I have to maintain verizon, formy phone, but the tracker is AT&T! Lol.

    The unit requires 2 things
    1) micro SD card
    2) SIM card

    My service is $5.00 a month ( or 250 texts ) whatever comes first!
    This is the best cheapest way I found, that still gives me freedom to fly safely!

    I have not noticed any interference? Neither has others I asked!
    ( I did recalibrate compass, after installing tracker )

    It keeps track all the time it is on, as I seen a YouTube video, where someone plotted his day of flying,
    Map, with yellow lines showing where the phantom flew, his looked like scribbles, as there were so many lines
    Just looked like a spaghetti system, lol!

    You can have it give you updates, when you want, like a text every minute, or 3 minutes, or 10 minutes, whatever you want!
    I like the fact it has a 72 hour battery, not 25 minute phantom battery!

    Also it comes with 2 batteries, makes it nice to use one while other is charging!

    I love mine, but please buy whatever YOU want, but let us know how it goes, I'm always open for suggestion!
    Take care!

    Jerry D
    USA
    ( J Dot )
     
  20. Jdacal

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    I've had to use the built-in feature one time. It got me within 60 feet of the phantom. Still couldn't find it due to a lot of tall sawgrass.

    Luckily the motor was still running. After walking around in various directions I finally heard it. I had brought it down in sawgrass by inadvertently pulling the left stick instead of the right.

    Sawgrass wrapped around the prop shafts. It was busy trying to pull itself loose and return home.

    In hindsight I could have probably zoomed in more on the map and gotten a little closer to it.


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