Welcome DJI Spark Pilot!
Jump in and join our free Spark community today!
Sign up

GPS trackers

Drizzt90

Member
Join
Aug 29, 2018
Messages
7
Age
33
So I see these posts about fly aways. Makes me slightly nervous. The other day I briefly looked into a GPS (not Bluetooth but actual GPS) ?transponder? that could be attached to the Spark so if it flys away I should be able to find it almost no matter what. Has anybody found any good small ones that aren’t super expensive? I’m assuming it would need some sort of subscription plan. I’m actually kinda surprised these drones don’t have a GPS locator built in already.
Thanks guys/gals!
 

msinger

DJI Drone Expert
Approved Vendor
Premium Pilot
Join
May 27, 2017
Messages
2,448
Loc
Harrisburg, PA (US)
Web
www.Spark-Help.com
Has anybody found any good small ones that aren’t super expensive?
Unfortunately, none of the trackers are inexpensive.

The Marco Polo is a radio tracker, but it's a good option due to its small size. You can find some other options here.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Drizzt90

OB TV

Member
Join
Nov 5, 2018
Messages
7
Age
56
The Whistle 3 GPS I have on my dog is quite small. I think I paid 70 bucks for the unit and then it's 10 a month for the subscription. It's smaller than most remote key fobs for cars.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Drizzt90

msinger

DJI Drone Expert
Approved Vendor
Premium Pilot
Join
May 27, 2017
Messages
2,448
Loc
Harrisburg, PA (US)
Web
www.Spark-Help.com
Ping is a good option for a GPS tracker. It's larger than the Marco Polo, but one of the smallest GPS trackers available.
 

Ozmoron

Member
Join
Jan 11, 2019
Messages
8
Age
73
I have ordered through aliexpress a child's gps tracker Q528 (this is prob one of many type no but have a look at the photos.) this is 3G which is very important in some countries. Cost $30 delivery free. It does not use wifi or BT to give location on phone, so should have no interference (wait and see) and is very small. Anyone tried this.
 

Bill Melody

Member
Join
Apr 15, 2018
Messages
14
Age
69
All,

Be careful where you place any tracker on the spark. Top dead center is the only easy spot to attach the tracker. Unfortunately that spot is directly over the GPS antenna in the Spark. It can/will attenuate the GPS signal possibly causing a dreaded fly-a-way. The sides of the spark are where the WiFi antennas located so the sides should be avoided as well. The only safe place would be under the battery. But mounting under the battery requires longer landing gear.

Sometimes you can't win for losing.
 

Ozmoron

Member
Join
Jan 11, 2019
Messages
8
Age
73
Another interesting attribute (if it works, we will see when I get it) of the device I mentioned above Q528 is that the device being a smartwatch is that when you are near the drone after using the gps, you can ring the watch ph no and you will hear it ringing. These watches maybe a better bet than the other gps devices.
 

McCloudSpark

Well-Known Member
Join
Dec 24, 2018
Messages
325
Age
65
Any thoughts on how you will attach it to Sparky?
 

lmel2005

Well-Known Member
Join
May 15, 2018
Messages
563
Age
61
What about interference?

After so many suggestions to turn off our smartphones, even our smart watches, any Bluetooth devices etc, and using cable instead of WiFi, how a Bluetooth tracker installed ON spark doesn't have impact on range, lag etc?

Just wondering. Maybe guys who tested them, can tell their experience.
 

DaveTN

Member
Join
Jun 21, 2018
Messages
24
Age
52
Would using an active tracker..one that sends OUT a signal not interfere with the radio system of the spark?

Also, would attaching anything to the plastic top effect the GPS signal?

David
 

msinger

DJI Drone Expert
Approved Vendor
Premium Pilot
Join
May 27, 2017
Messages
2,448
Loc
Harrisburg, PA (US)
Web
www.Spark-Help.com
Would using an active tracker..one that sends OUT a signal not interfere with the radio system of the spark?
I'm not aware of any trackers that cause interference with the Spark (or any other DJI drones).

would attaching anything to the plastic top effect the GPS signal?
It could. It would be best not to cover the GPS receiver.

1547392124571.png
 

Bill Melody

Member
Join
Apr 15, 2018
Messages
14
Age
69
I was experimenting with the Marco Polo tracker. I placed the puck on the top of my Spark and attempted to fly it around my yard. On the flight I lost GPS several times or saw "Weak GPS " error many times. I had never seen this GPS error prior to placing the puck on the drone. I landed the Spark and removed the puck but did not reboot the Spark. On the second flight without the Marco Polo went the entire flight without any GPS errors. That was enough for me to abandon trying to attach anything to the top of the Spark.

I am an RF engineer and a Ham radio operator and I know better than covering up the GPS antenna but the center of the Spark is not directly over the GPS antenna so I gave it a try. It did not totally stop the GPS from functioning but greatly reduced its sensitivity. I ended up placing the Marco Polo under the battery on a landing gear I purchased from Amazon.

https://www.amazon.com/CEARI-Extender-Fast-Landing-Spark/dp/B074BQ8T4B/ref=sr_1_10?ie=UTF8&qid=1547390616&sr=8-10&keywords=spark+landing

Someone needs to design a locator that turns on on impact. Or even better a locator that has a timer function that switches on the locator after 30 minutes. So before every flight you would press a reset button and the locator to reset the timer. If the 30 minute timer expires the puck turns on and hopefully you could track your drone. After flying for the day there would also be an on/off switch that turns the locator completely off.

However I have got over the fear of losing my drones and do not use any locators at all. I do have my phone number, FCC reg # and "REWARD if FOUND" sticker on them.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Eye in the Sky

lmel2005

Well-Known Member
Join
May 15, 2018
Messages
563
Age
61
I agree. I have searched in the past for a locator with timer, didn't find one.
 

Ozmoron

Member
Join
Jan 11, 2019
Messages
8
Age
73
Have now tried kids watch Q528 pro and it works. Cheap at $25. 00. This one uses a sim card and is 3G for Australian conditions also 2G. You register with a website which seems to be free called Se
Tracker. It does not use wifi or BT but uses the internet. You can speed up the locator to every minute but I have been using every 10 minutes. It has been accurate after 20 minutes to about 5 metres and uses Google maps. When you are close you can then ring the the watch's phone number which I could hear at about 7m when there was no background noise. It has about 3 days with minimum use. Being a phone you can use it to make and receive calls, sms and a geofence. So far, happy.
 
  • Like
Reactions: McCloudSpark

McCloudSpark

Well-Known Member
Join
Dec 24, 2018
Messages
325
Age
65
Picture please and also how did you attach it to the Spark?
Did you/can you weigh it?
 

Ozmoron

Member
Join
Jan 11, 2019
Messages
8
Age
73
Bought through aliexpress company called junior care official store, be careful a lot of these gps actually rely on gsm or lbs not very accurate. Also if using this landing gear, cut back around the sensors otherwise they will interfere. IMG_20190122_151720_resized.jpg
 

McCloudSpark

Well-Known Member
Join
Dec 24, 2018
Messages
325
Age
65
Bought through aliexpress company called junior care official store, be careful a lot of these gps actually rely on gsm or lbs not very accurate. Also if using this landing gear, cut back around the sensors otherwise they will interfere. View attachment 8447
Thanks!
 

New Threads

Forum statistics

Threads
9,532
Messages
79,978
Members
13,639
Latest member
timmraie