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GPS trackers

Join
Aug 29, 2018
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Age
33
#1
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

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May 27, 2017
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#2
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.
 
Likes: Drizzt90
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Nov 5, 2018
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55
#3
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.
 
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msinger

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#5
Ping is a good option for a GPS tracker. It's larger than the Marco Polo, but one of the smallest GPS trackers available.
 
Join
Jan 11, 2019
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73
#6
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.
 
Join
Apr 15, 2018
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Age
69
#7
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.
 
Join
Jan 11, 2019
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73
#8
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.
 

lmel2005

Well-Known Member
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May 15, 2018
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392
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60
#11
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.
 
Join
Jun 21, 2018
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52
#13
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

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May 27, 2017
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#14
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
 
Join
Apr 15, 2018
Messages
14
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Age
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#15
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-Extend...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.
 
Join
Jan 11, 2019
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#18
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.
 
Likes: McCloudSpark
Join
Jan 11, 2019
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#20
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
 

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