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Marco Polo vs Trackimo

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by captain-marvel, Oct 30, 2015.

  1. captain-marvel

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    I'd love to hear some opinions from those that have used either one. I'm a bit torn as they both serve the same purpose in different ways and both have strength and weaknesses.

    As far as I can tell, here is what I am thinking.

    Trackimo Pros
    - cheaper
    - connects to cell towers for tracking making it more versatile in coverage area
    - would be more versatile to use on other things than just my drone (luggage, kids, etc)
    - good battery life

    Cons:
    - Requires cell (may be tricky in remote locations)
    - Requires a charged and working mobile device with cell service as well
    - monthly service fee

    Marco Polo pros:
    - independent system. No cell needed
    - enclosed system no cell phone needed

    Cons:
    - not as versatile (for example: your not going to know where you luggage ended up on, or if your "whatever" it is goes more than 2 miles away from you)

    Thoughts? I guess the best answer would be both ... But I'm not quite keen on dropping 350.00 total on trackers right now.

    Thanks!
     
  2. badbeerbreath

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    I know Trackimo uses cell networks but it must fall back on GPS only sometimes also.

    As an example on Sunday, I was way out in the toolies getting no coverage at all on my cell. I didn't expect it on the Trackimo either, but I had it turned on anyway. When back home I was looking at the Trackimo history for the couple flights I took. It had hardly skipped a beat. I have it set to every minute, and there was only a handful of missed reports. I suppose being a couple hundred feet up it might have been catching a distant cell tower, but I was a good 10 miles from one for sure.

    Edit: sorry, got off topic there! So far, I have no complaints about Trackimo. Does as advertised. Good website and app. I do notice when it's at home that it'll bounce around from distant cell towers reporting odd locations but our house is in a bit of a cell dead zone anyway so I'm sure that has something to do with it.
     
    #2 badbeerbreath, Oct 30, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2015
    clkilljoy likes this.
  3. captain-marvel

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    Thanks for your input. I am leaning towards Trackimo at this point as I could see some other great uses for it.

    Are you using a mount or did you DIY a mount?
     
  4. xave

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    I have the Marco Polo. Service and support are great and the battery life is better than the Trackimo. I don't have to worry about where I travel and hoping there is cell service. I know I'm covered.

    ImageUploadedByPhantomPilots - DJI Phantom Forum1446266257.596823.jpg
    Here it is installed
     
  5. witold

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    Trackimo is a gimmick that can easily let you down when you actually need it.

    I used to live in the center of Washington, DC, about 1.5 mile from US Capitol. Did I get cell phone signal in my yard? No. I did not. I don't think you realize just how terrible cell phone coverage is. My current cul-de-sac (30 miles outside one of the biggest cities in the US) is also deadspot. Cell towers are put up to cover the most people in most efficient way. This means they are in the populated areas - the least likely places most of us fly.

    Moving on to GPS signal... Our Phantom 3 doesn't just have GPS but also GLONASS. It's a ridiculoulsy good setup, with a big antenna inside. And yet, we still have plenty of reports of people losing signal in some circumstances. Our P2 also had great GPS and big antenna and there were plenty of reports of lost GPS signal in pretty wide open areas. When your P3 falls under some trees/next to rock wall/big obstruction, GPS can easily go down. RF signal can be directed, amplified. RF signal can be detectable if you simply approach the tracker from a different direction. (blocked on 1 side, but detectable on the other side.)

    And then you have to worry about SIM cards and keeping SIM valid. It's yet another thing you have to babysit.

    If you work through the numbers, GPS trackers are cheaper to buy initially, but as SIM card fees add up over time, GPS trackers become more expensive.

    My verdict: if you want a real tracker, Marco Polo is the way to go.
     
  6. John Locke

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    Hey Witold, I have Marco polo too. I've done a quick back yard simulated test of using the hand held direction finder, but no real world test. Have you ever actually used it in the field? Will it really go 2 miles?
     
  7. badbeerbreath

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    I use a mount that I got from gimbal-guard.com. It works perfect.
     
  8. bartold

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    Just got Marco Polo system. I had the girlfriend take the unit and hide it about 300 yards away and come back. I had no problem getting within ten feet of it. If I actually had it connected to the drone I would have found it instantly, but I was just testing the system alone. It was hard finding the small tracker by itself.
     
  9. Arvidj

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    why is a tracker needed for your phantom?
     
  10. bobmyers

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    In case of a flyaway or forced landing so you can walk or drive to the exact location and retrieve it.
     
  11. Arvidj

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    okay thanks. :)

    myself i havent been flying so far away yet so dont think i need one.
     
  12. bobmyers

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    you may if you have an unexpected fly away-- rare, but they do occur.
     
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  13. captain-marvel

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    Right. I almost had a fly away once .... It was enough to get me thinking!

    It may seem like an unnecessary expense, but it may come in handy one day.

    I agree keeping the drone close is the best policy, but it's not out of the question for you to lose sight of it even in close spaces.
     
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  14. S5S5G6

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    Depends where you fly and what you want from it. The best answer is "yes" (both) if you REALLY care about 99% of situations.

    For me , Trackimo covered MOST of my concerns , so I went with it.

    I went Trackimo because :
    I wanted a tiny add-on device that didn't require another slot in the carry case or a lot of thought.
    I don't care about some 5$ monthly charge (eventually).
    I fly where there is usually cell coverage.
    Having it for "other purposes" is kind of neat, like following luggage without looking like you're part of the ghostbusters team.
    I didn't want to hope my flyaway happened within 2 miles or not either, that's nothing to a determined quad with a full battery.
     
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  15. Dirby

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    this is what mi use nto track my Free Flight Models.
    not cheep.
    600.00 weight is about 8 grams.
    range on the ground is about 3 miles

    [​IMG]
     
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  16. bobmyers

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    you may have to go further than 3 miles with the P3:D:D
     
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  17. Dirby

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    that is 3 miles on the ground after it lands and 30 miles in the air while it is flying
     
  18. clkilljoy

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    I went the Trackimo seemed to be the best of both worlds. First year covered for SIM card. Rate was not to bad for SIM card renewal compared with other services.
     
  19. apsphoto

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    I actually have both, you then get the best of both worlds. If there is no cell than the Marco Polo will help, That way I have confidence that I have the greatest chance of getting it back if I lose it.

    Alan
     
  20. kenjancef

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    So what's the difference between the Trackimo/Marco Polo and something like the RF-V16 or TK109??