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Trackers?

Discussion in 'Pro/Adv Discussion' started by Wolfiesden, Jan 13, 2016.

  1. Wolfiesden

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    Seems like quite a few folks put a tracker device on their copters. Which one seems to be the lightest weight and most reliable for the cost?

    Seems like there is a heck of a variety out there from tracking luggage, to kids, to pet collars (hunting dogs for example). Are there any that have stood out amongst yall for their weight to function ratio?

    Devices range from audible alarms (press a button and the kid tracker beeps) which would help finding the copter if it were down in tall weeds. Others have directional beacons to home in on.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. msinger

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    I'm using a Trackimo tracker and it's been working well for me. I fly in areas that have good cell reception, so I haven't had any trouble connectivity-wise. You can find a list of trackers commonly used with Phantoms here.
     
  3. Keith Lampman

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    Light weight – .42 oz (12 g)
    Range up to 2 miles
    Highly accurate, locate within inches
    Long battery life, up to 30 days
    Simple to use – press one button to track your drone
    No Cell Account needed (can be used anywhere)
    not GPS
     
  4. Wolfiesden

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    It doesn't really have to be GPS. Any form of tracking would assist in finding a downed bird. As long as you have some method of saying "its in that direction". Whether that be GPS coords or RDF, either accomplishes the goal of finding the downed craft should it land in less than ideal locations such as brush, forest or high grass/weeds.

    Looking for light weight so as not to affect flight characteristics or flight time, reasonable range, couple miles at least, reasonable cost, and preferably no fees.

    Right now its winter. The phantom is white. Just saying.
     
  5. Wolfiesden

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    I was looking at the Loc8r but I am not happy with it on 2.4g, same frequency as the copter's radio and video feed. Wouldn't want anything else on that band.

    Also looking at the FMkit as its on a much lower frequency. However, would require buying an extra UHF handheld as well as building a RDF antenna to go with it. Both doable. More putzing though.

    But, I am kinda liking the Marco Polo now that I see some specs on it. The range, the battery life and the integrated locator handheld all is leading me toward that. However, I find it curious that the "pet" version is $197 and the RC version is $219. WTH? RC isn't on sale so its $22 more expensive when it doesn't even have the waterproof shell on the transmitter (just shrinkwrapped). Seems like I could save $22 and get the pet version. I could chop it out of the shell to save weight and the battery on the pet version lasts substantially longer (probably a larger LiPo cell) 90 days instead of just 3.

    Thoughts on which way to go on the Marco Polo?
     
  6. Keith Lampman

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  7. Keith Lampman

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    I just bought this one brand new off of fleaBay
    Screenshot002.jpg
     
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  8. Wolfiesden

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    There ain't none on there at that price. They are all $200+
     
  9. Keith Lampman

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  10. Wolfiesden

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    Rofl, I don't do the bid thing. I am not going to sit and monitor and last minute cram bid. Did that. Done with it. Buy now or I move on :)
     
  11. KAD

    KAD

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    I bought a Trackimo but had to send it back. Not enough cell signal close to the ground. Ordered a Marco Polo.
     
  12. Keith Lampman

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    I hate that too, well you see that guy that mod'd the "pet" version, if your good with electronics that's a good way to go also
    A lot like the Trackimo , I just don't like paying another "cell" bill and I fly in non-cell areas
     
  13. Wolfiesden

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    Electronics is not an issue for me. I put out a LED Christmas show that had over 7000 data channels and by Halloween next year that will be increased to over 30,000 channels and will include multiple smoke machines and DMX lighting. Simple enough to swap out a cap for an inductor and solder on a proper antenna to convert the pet version.

    I don't know why they put the sale only on the pet version. Just seems odd. There is more work that goes into manufacturing the pet version given the plastic case, than the RC version. If they would put the RC on sale, I would grab that and simply solder on a bigger battery if I need it later.
     
  14. Wolfiesden

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    Yea, the cell issue may come up for me too. The cell service at the rifle range is marginal at best.
     
  15. Keith Lampman

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    Mine will be in today, the only big deal will be where to mount it, all four legs have "ant", I see some guy's are mounting on bottom rear leg. Top of quad is out, tomorrow I'm adding a mayday/mars unit so maybe I'll wait and see after that. I know the marco doesn't transmit till it gets the tracker signal, I worry about "harmonics", maybe up there at 900mhz it won't matter......
     
  16. Wolfiesden

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    Well, given that 2.4ghz isn't a harmonic of 900mhz, should be ok. And neither are the 1.5g and 1.2g GPS signals so 900 should be a good option.
     
  17. Keith Lampman

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    I'll have to range test the quad after I mount it, maybe first try on one of the back legs
    Hope there is no "inter-action"
     
  18. Wolfiesden

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    Why not mount it in the middle of one of the Y arms?

    [​IMG]
     
  19. Dirby

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    here is where i mounted mine.
    this is a Hybread version of the marco polo.
    that is rc version with a bigger battery that lasts longer.

    [​IMG]
     
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  20. Keith Lampman

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    Thanks, I'm going to try here, I hope, if the parachute works, it won't crash here, plus it will fit in my case too !! (still have to add a zip tie)
    DSCF4442.JPG