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What if your drone goes down

Discussion in 'Pro/Adv Discussion' started by Leenanj, Nov 29, 2015.

  1. Leenanj

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    What are your plans if your drone goes down for whatever reason.

    Do you have your name, phone # on it somewhere?

    A GPS so you can locate it?

    Something else!
     
  2. msinger

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    I have a sticker with my phone number and fly with a Trackimo GPS tracker attached. So, hopefully I'll find it before someone else does. And, if I don't, hopefully the finder calls me.
     
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  3. petercelica

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    I have my number on it and $200 reward if found
     
  4. shockwave199

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    What if your drone goes down?

    Marry it :p:oops::cool:
     
  5. TrynFlyn

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    I may marry mine now....it will never go down again
     
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  6. Leenanj

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    I just looked up the Trackimo, seems like a good way to go.
    Where did you mount it?
     
  7. John Locke

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    Don't forget, you must have cell coverage for Trackimo to work. I'm always flying in places without cell coverage, that's why I opted for using Marco Polo tracking. MP isn't as nice as Trackimo as far as the ease and simplicity to find the craft, but you will find it. MP is only good for a 2mi distance, but generally speaking you can quickly get within two miles of the craft by looking at the flight route history on the controller if it goes down. I like that the MP battery is good for 2-3 wks in sleep mode, while leaving another 2 days of tracking mode when it's woke up to send out the tracking beacon. Trackimo you have to charge it a lot more often.
     
    #7 John Locke, Nov 29, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2015
  8. msinger

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    I swap it between my P3P and Inspire 1, so I just attach it to the landing gear with a zip tie. You can find some 3D printed Trackimo holders on eBay. The Gimbal-Guard holder is the best I've seen. The only downfall is that shipping will be slower since it comes from Israel.
     
  9. msinger

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    While fly-aways are not a common event with the Phantom 3, that's really why I decided to buy a Trackimo. If the Phantom 3 really does fly away, I have a feeling it'll go much further than 2 miles if there are no obstacles in its path. If cell service isn't an option though, then MP is surely the way to go.
     
  10. Leenanj

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    Both the Trackimo and MP have there good and bad points.
    If you had to search a block and its in someone's back yard,
    the Trackimo can get you within a few feet, how close can the MP get you?
     
  11. msinger

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    The MP is super accurate too -- if you can first get within 2 miles of your downed Phantom. Here's a video showing how it works:

     
  12. witold

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    Marco Polo is best, but expensive.

    I have Loc8tor Plus which has decent enough range, but not amazing. (250ish feet, through some brush.) I'll still be walking around if my P3 goes down, but I will find it.

    GPS trackers are just widgets with 5 points of failure. I would not bother with them as an emergency tracker tool. And after paying for SIM card validation for a few years, at some point they become more expensive. You keep paying forever.
     
  13. msinger

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    Are you speaking from experience? Or, do you just perceive them to be inferior?
     
  14. RedHotPoker

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    A forum friend with a Label Maker kindly printed me three different sized stickers with "Reward (***) ***-***" and my home phone number.
    One for each of the Drone, Camera/Gimbal. Battery.
    I need three more. ;-)

    RedHotPoker
     
  15. Ronbo.mn

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    What is your opinion of Flytrex?
     
  16. alokbhargava

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    I have my name and number sticker on it. I have also entered all my contact details on SD card. No GPS device. Wish battery had provision to insert SIM too :)
     
  17. witold

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    Please correct me if my understanding of SIM GPS trackers is wrong:

    First, we have to babysit the SIM validity. If something doesn't auto-renew one month/year and we forget, we're out of luck.

    Second, GPS SIM trackers are expensive. Trackimo is $140 for first year, and $60/year after that. For 2 years of Trackimo use, we can buy a Marco Polo and never have to pay another bill again.

    Third, I live on the East Coast 10 miles outside a huge metro. And yet, if I crashed my quad in my cul-de-sac street, a tracker would be worthless because the whole cul-de-sac is a deadspot. There are tons of deadspots everywhere, particularly in less populated areas away from highways (where cell phone towers are). Even in heavily populated regions of the US, there are tons of deadspots for cell coverage. I used to live right in the center of Washington, DC, ~1 mile from US Capitol, and my house yard was a cell phone deadspot.

    Lastly, a tiny GPS tracker may struggle if the crash is in the woods or near other obstructions in the same way my running, hiking, and driving GPS units sometimes struggle in certain conditions. Either it will lose GPS completely, or accuracy of the signal will degrade to a big search perimeter. Anyone who has crashed a quad in the woods knows how hard it can be to find even when we know where to look.

    For at least these 4 reasons, I consider SIM GPS trackers inferior to RF trackers. Depending on where our quad crashes, we might have an easy or hard time picking up signal with an RF tracker. We might be doing a little or a lot of walking. But we will find it because the signal is there to be found. In contrast, a SIM GPS tracker has multiple failure points, as mentioned above. It might work perfectly, or it might not work at all.

    I am not even mentioning things like 48-96h vs 3 months of battery operation, or 12gram vs 40 grams weight...

    Please correct me if I am misunderstanding how SIM GPS trackers work. Perhaps the potential points of failure outlined above are mitigated in some way.

    Also, I swear I don't work for Marco Polo! :p The above is basically my thought process for deciding what I wanted to use as a recovery device in case of crash. I wanted a device I could trust. A Trackimo doesn't even work in my front yard. I decided on Loc8tor Plus because it has decent enough range.
     
    #17 witold, Nov 30, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2015
  18. CactusJackSlade

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    Not a fail safe, but added tool is that I record all of my downlink video... last resort it may give an approximation of location.
     
  19. dirtybum

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    Be sure she takes her props off 1st!!
     
  20. dirtybum

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    I prefer flytrex. When im doing distance runs and lose signal completely i can kick it in RTH mode, keep controller pointed in same direction, then flip it over to the flytrex app and see in live time satelite map coverage that it is indeed heading home. 9 outa 10 times by the time i flip back to the dji app reception is back, i can take back over & zoom home.
    So its not only a tracker but a useful tool to keep connected when your controller loses signal or your app crashes.
    Also the one time my bird crashlanded due to running it down to 0% battery racing home on a run it hit a small patch of woods and via the flytrex flight log not only did my phone lead me straight to it within 2 ft accuracy, i was also able to tell before the search that it crashed to the ground and was not still 70' up in a tree. That along with flight logs and records it seems like a complete no brainer! I do still have my name and number on every bird and a small unnoticeable ring of white highly reflective tape around the leg that shows up from 300yrds with a good led flashlite. Cheap pc of mind
     
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