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GPS Tracker for Lost Drone
1693 13 2017-12-6
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Mark S
First Officer
Flight distance : 41801 ft
United States
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Has anybody tried one of these:

https://thelightbug.com

This is a 33 gram GPS tracker that only reports on a slow rate and has a solar panel to keep it charged.

I started looking for trackers used by wildlife researchers that are put on eagles and I was amazed that they cost over $1,000 but this little gadget is $139 plus a data plan.

2017-12-6
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dedreiix
First Officer
Flight distance : 194911 ft
Germany
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Looks nice. But how would this affect the flight-attributes of the Spark?
2017-12-6
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S.J
Captain
Flight distance : 322454 ft
Kuwait
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33 gms is ok if u use without guard option
2017-12-7
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_KERBEROS_
Second Officer
Flight distance : 98179 ft
France
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What do you think about Loc8tor Lite? https://loc8tor.co.uk/everyday/
Only 7 gram. No GPS, ony RF.
2017-12-7
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dedreiix
First Officer
Flight distance : 194911 ft
Germany
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_KERBEROS_ Posted at 2017-12-7 01:19
What do you think about Loc8tor Lite? https://loc8tor.co.uk/everyday/
Only 7 gram. No GPS, ony RF.

Looks also nice.
But I think the range is too short. :-(

2017-12-7
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dedreiix
First Officer
Flight distance : 194911 ft
Germany
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S.J Posted at 2017-12-7 00:32
33 gms is ok if u use without guard option

But would it fit on the top of the drone without getting collisions with the propellers? Otherwise you would have to fix it somehow on all your batteries on the bottom.
2017-12-7
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S.J
Captain
Flight distance : 322454 ft
Kuwait
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I actually don't know where the GPS module is located inside the SPARK.  If we are lucky , some position at the bottom would be better.  The solar cells may not be useful in this case but the it has enough duration for a full flight time for the SPARK.
2017-12-7
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S.J
Captain
Flight distance : 322454 ft
Kuwait
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_KERBEROS_ Posted at 2017-12-7 01:19
What do you think about Loc8tor Lite? https://loc8tor.co.uk/everyday/
Only 7 gram. No GPS, ony RF.

This is a recommended tracker for the SPARK....V. good
2017-12-7
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Mark S
First Officer
Flight distance : 41801 ft
United States
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I had not seen the Loc8tor tags before.  If you know the general area of your drone you should be able to find it with this type of tag.  And yes much cheaper plus no on-going subscription fee.  Also much lighter.  I assume the extra weight on a Spark would use some battery life for the LightBug.

The LightBug would work if you did not know where you crashed based on a total fly away that went out of sight and the direction or location was not know.  The Website says it has a battery and in total darkness it will report for 8 hours of continuous signals or 8 days signaling every 15 minutes.  If you have some sunlight it will apparently signal "forever".  Since it is truly a live GPS you could track your drone of somebody picked it up unless they took off the tracker.

I suppose the best idea would be to not have a fly away .... but based on reports here sometimes it is not the fault of the pilot.  But there is no point in spending on a tacking device that becomes as expensive as a replacement aircraft over time due to a subscription service.
2017-12-7
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Mark S
First Officer
Flight distance : 41801 ft
United States
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I think I have been looking in the wrong place for tracking devices.  There are many pet trackers that would work as drone trackers.

The Whistle 3 on Amazon is about $55 and it is a true GPS tracker.  The subscription service is more expensive ($7/month if you pay 2 years up front or $10/month) but it is only about 28 grams and thinner.  It will apparently run about 2-3 days then requires a recharge.  It appears to report via WiFi and not GPS/Cellular if you connect it to your home WiFi network.  I think that is to save power when your pet is "home".  Does not exactly apply to a drone.

2017-12-7
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DJI Elektra
Administrator
China
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Hi, mark. Please note that the extra weight of tracker can affect the performance of spark. Thanks for your support.
2017-12-7
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djiuser_Kf4iPA3
First Officer
Flight distance : 276293 ft
Israel
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This whole thread would have been funny if it wasn't actually quite sad.
The fact that people are discussing the need for a GPS tracker for a drone that has GPS...
2017-12-8
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OwlPic
lvl.3
Flight distance : 26 ft
United States
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Right, has GPS and WI-FI.
2017-12-8
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Mark S
First Officer
Flight distance : 41801 ft
United States
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Yes I am sure the extra weight would could be a problem.  And, yes it is sad that I have been looking for a GPS tracker for a device that has built in GPS.  Ironic.

I did think this would be a worthwhile discussion so anybody here that is considering a GPS tracker would have some info and understand the options and limits.  I also suppose I am a bit paranoid about having a flyaway based on all of the posts about lost Sparks.  Next year I hope to buy a Mavic and that price will make me even a bit more paranoid.

I have not bought anything and won't unless I could find something in the right price and it is very light..  My 4 prop guards weigh 38 grams combined.  My thought would be any tracker would need to be about 30 grams or less and I would fly without the guards.  It would also have to mount near the center of gravity.  I probably would not fly with the GPS unless I was planning a higher or longer flight.

I have found one that weights 26 grams and seems to be well reviewed.  The subscription for the location service is the only big negative.  The device itself is under $60.  At this point I am not sure how it would fit on a Spark.  https://www.whistle.com

I also recognize that a crash could cause the battery to pop off or otherwise disable the electronics in the Spark AND any attached GPS tracker.  But with DJI Care if I can return a "bag of parts" I am probably covered ... but I have to find the crash site.

So .... There is no easy solution for a flyaway other than fly with care.

NOTE TO Elektra - Thanks for your support and pragmatic feedback.

AND - Thanks to all here on the forums.  I browse here each day and almost always pick up a tidbit of information that makes me a better pilot.
2017-12-8
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