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Garmin GTU-10 Tracker Arrived Today!

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by GeneL, May 15, 2013.

  1. GeneL

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    UPS brought my Garmin GTU-10 today, so of course I had to promptly drop everything to try it out.

    Setup was a breeze, and I had it registered and locating itself on both my desktop, and my Android in a half an hour.

    I bought it primarily to ride herd on the Phantom, but, since the unit is billed as being useful for keeping track of luggage, I started off by sticking it in my camcorder travel case inside the trunk of my car and going on a short drive. It seemed accurate enough throughout the trip to the store to find a lost Phantom at least, and to track luggage for sure. Also, I saw on the map that it had followed me in my pocket around the store right up to the check stand area. The market is only one story, but that can still stump some GPS units.

    The acid test for luggage and travel will be early next month when I go to Florida on a shoot. I'll have the tracker back in the camera case to (hopefully) follow it across country. Then, I'll have it on the Phantom for the shoot. Of course, tracking from inside the trunk of my car isn't the same as inside an airport, but it was a promising start :D

    So far so good. I just hope the unit doesn't cause the Phantom to go haywire. That would definitely defeat the whole purpose!

    Gene
     
  2. patc221

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    Gene,

    Keep us informed on how the Garmin works for you. Sound to me it would be a worthwhile inventment.
    Thats my biggest worry is losing the Phantom. Thank you
     
  3. mercillus

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    Heck ya. I lost my first phantom. Swear kids took/stole it. If I could track it down that would have been perfect. Do keep us informed.
     
  4. GeneL

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    Some Garmin GTU-10 Interface Screenshots

    The weather in No. Cal wouldn't cooperate with Phantom flying today, so I couldn't try out the Garmin in flight, but I did take take it on a little trip in the car and record some screen shots of the Garmin interface, both from Safari on my desktop, and from the Android.

    It works very well from the smart phone, since that is where I will actually be wanting to use it, especially if something really does go wrong with a Phantom flight and it gets out of sight.

    It was easier to create a simple web page with the pictures so that I can show it elsewhere if need be, so go to http://paradigmedia.com/Images/garmingtu10.html to see the images and explanations.

    If there is still interest, I'll follow up with some screenshots from a flight.

    By the way, a bonus is that it will report altitude. Unfortunately, the altitude stats are reported only in the most current, latest, track point. However, I am going to try to poll the device while I have the Phantom at altitude and see if it grabs the altitude at the moment that I press the button for the interrogation.

    Cheers!

    Gene
     
  5. patc221

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    Gene,

    Thanks for the update. Can't wait to hear about your first flight with it. I' added the Fatshark to mine today so I've got a lot of cash to lose if I can't find it. I appreciate all the info you have time to post.

    Pat
     
  6. Roadkilt

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    This is really great. I'm so interested in how it turns out. Questions: how much weight does it add, how is it attached? Do you need cell service to find it? I'm assuming it transmits to a satellite, but to find it on your phone do you need to have cell service? This is a great device in that I could use it on future quads assuming I don't lose it.
     
  7. GeneL

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    There has been too much wind to fly the Phantom with the Garmin on it for the past couple of days, but I have mounted it on the aircraft and have experimented with the tracker in my car enough to satisfy myself that it will locate a lost Phantom if need be.

    It's only 1.8 onces, so I don't think hauling it around on the quad will be a problem. The specs say it is .8 x 1.3 x 3.1 inches. I mounted it on the belly just aft of the GoPro using some strong Velcro. I have to pull on it hard to enough so that, if anything knocks it loose, I figure I'll have more damage to deal with than just the Garmin flying off.

    Yes, it does use cell service to report back it's position to your desktop computer or smartphone (iPhone or Android), but the cell phone service comes with the unit, so you don't have to subscribe to a separate cell service or tie into your existing cellphone provider to make it work. The included service is free for the first year, and then $50 a year after that. I figure I'll let next year take care of itself. Of course, it needs GPS reception just like the Phantom does.

    Google the Garmin GTdU-10 and you'll find plenty of reviews. Also, I put together some photos of it mounted on the Phantom and screenshots of the desktop and Android interfaces at http://paradigmedia.com/Images/garmingtu10.html

    Of course, the acid test is finding a FlyAway Phantom, but I'll never really know about that until it happens and I have to try to locate it with the Garmin. It's like airbags in your car, you won't if they really work until you pile into something.

    Cheers,

    Gene
     
  8. GeneL

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    One more update, and I'll put it to rest. If anyone has any more questions about the Garmin GPS tracker that I can help with, feel free to PM me, or check out more stuff at http://paradigmedia.com/Images/garmingtu10.html

    The first screenshot is for the website's tracking history function taken off my Android. It shows location reports from a flight I did this morning.

    I think the points are accurate to be invaluable for finding a lost Phantom, in the non-event that I very much hope that turns out to be. I was flying from the dirt road at the center of most of the markers. As you might surmise, it was a conservative flight as far as distances go.(NOTE: In V 1.0 of this post, I said that the two locations at the top of the image - across the road, were innacurate - as I never flew past that road. Well, after checking the time stamp on those points, I realized they were from my drive in and out of the place, and not a part of the flights! So, the recorded flight locations seem to be pretty spot on.).



    The other screenshot is from my desktop showing an experimental "geofence" set across a road. You can have up to ten of these, and the system will report by email and/or text to my phone when the unit enters and/or leaves the fenced in area. You can define each fence with up to ten points. I don't see where this is of much use for FlyAway recovery, since if you "fence" a boundry around your flying area and the Phantom ventures outside it in a FlyAway...well, you already knew that!
     

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  9. pwright

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    Thanks for the update. I wonder if those two spots that are so far off came from when the Garmin was still getting a good fix on its location?

    Can you get the time stamp for each spot?
     
  10. GeneL

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    I'm glad you posted a reply, since it reminded me I needed to edit my previous post to correct what I said about the two errant locations (the ones across the road). The were actually from my from my drive in and out of the flying location!

    This leads right into a reply to your second question: time stamps. Yes, you can reach back in time and look at the track history 24 hours for the regular subscription (free for first year), or seven days with the "pro" subscription. This is a screenshot of the track history from the Android taken this morning from the track history of yesterday's flight, only with one of the track locations selected. Notice at the bottom it spits out the day and time of that individual location. Again, the two apparently wild locations are from my drive in and out. By the way, the flight locations are concentrated because I put it into "continuous" mode for the period that I was flying, which means it recorded every 15 seconds, rather than every 5 minutes.

    I would like more info, such as lat/long, but it's only available for the current status report. The current status also gives altitude, which would be a super addition to the track history. I called Garmin tech support to confirm that it's not there, but the guy said he would send a note to the engineers as a feature request.



    By and large, I'm really glad that I bought the unit. At least it gives me the illusion, if not the reality, of some additional control over the prospect of loosing the Phantom. As a bonus, I can use it for keeping track of other stuff.
     

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  11. pwright

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    Does sound like a nice little bit of insurance against losing your rig. Thanks again for the detailed report.
     
  12. Adam

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    I haven't mounted mine yet. Are you happy with the position and security of the mount?
     
  13. GeneL

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    I mounted it with some "Industrial Strength" velcro. I put that in quotes because that's what it said on the package. I don't know if it's any stronger than any other velcro.

    Yes, I am very confident of the velcro mounting in this application. I have to pull hard enough to get it off that I figure if it comes loose by accident, then something has happened severe enough that I have a much bigger problem than just the Garmin falling off. As you can see from the picture, I crowded it right up against the GoPro mount. However, it isn't in the way of anything, and there is plenty of surface still mated up against the bottom of the Phantom for a firm Velcro bond.

    I've had a lot of fun playing with the thing aside from the protection I think it gives the Phantom. Of course, I've been a GPS fan for a long time. I can't wait to how it performs tracking my luggage on the flight to Florida next week.

    BTW, I called customer service to ask if an altitude report isn't buried somewhere in the individual points in the track history output. The tech talked to some others the shop and decided no, but promised to pass it along as a feature request. If enough folks ask for it, maybe they will act on it. I'm sure it's just a software thing.
     
  14. lesdit

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    I have a hypothetical question concerning this Garmin GTU 10 GPS:
    Suppose I'm flying along and the Phantom crashes upside down, no longer able to see GPS sats. When I inquire about its position with the smartphone how accurate is it's last known position? In other words how frequently is it recording GPS data that can be later called up via smart phone.
    Is it something reasonable like once per every second, or is it useless like once every minute which could be a mile or two away?
    Thanks
     
  15. GeneL

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    The reporting frequency varies from 15 minutes to 15 seconds depending on which plan you have and how you configure the schedule. No matter whether you're tracking your phantom, or your dog, the Garmin will report where it stops or ends up no matter how often the position is sent. Suffice to say, the unit can be set to report often enough that it will show you a nice clear path to the end of your Phantom's journey.
     
  16. botbum

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    I also have the garmin GTU tracker attatched to my phantom. It works great, and I feel much better about flying after hearing all the "fly away" stories. I'm not sure where I'll be able to mount it if/when I get the new gimbal. From the pictures I've seen it looks like there will not be any room on the bottom of the phantom. Mine is velcroed on the bottom rear right now and works great. Its very accurate.
     

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  17. lesdit

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    I'm really asking more of an internal working question. Say I have it set to report to the cell tower once every 15 minutes. Does the garmin internally sample gps location more often, thereby keeping itself more up to date in the event it looses Gps minutes after last report to the cell service.
    This is not a published specification. Can be tested however.
     
  18. GeneL

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    Nice pictures!

    That's a good question - I plan on I'm getting a gimbal myself, and I haven't thought about the Garmin being in the way until you mentioned it. One thing for sure, I'm not leaving it on the ground now that I have had the feeling of security of having it there.

    Of course, it can't be mounted on the top, and I can't think of a secure location anywhere else. I guess, if all else fails, a simple mount could be fabricated that would fit in with the gimbal configuration. Whoever gets one first and figures it out, post a picture and description!
     
  19. botbum

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    Thanks, I will definitely find a way to make it work with a Gimbal. It might also help to balance out the phantom if positioned correctly. Its a bargain when compared to the extra confidence its brings when flying.

    And it is fun to look back at the tracking history on the maps and see the flight path. I do hope that Garmin will add more details to the tracking history in the future (like altitude) , but even if they don't, the GTU will still be on every flight from now on.
     
  20. botbum

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    You can request the GTU's location at any time through the Garmin App, or PC and get its location instantly no matter what setting you have it on ..15 sec, 30 sec, 1 min, 5 min, 15 min etc. Hope this helps.