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Marco Polo RC tracking unit for Inspire 1, Good or Bad investment?
4962 20 2015-1-8
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chato1974
lvl.4
Flight distance : 2630909 ft
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United States
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Has anyone used the Marco Polo RC or Pet tracking unit for their quadcopter before?
Is it worth the $200.00? or is there a better unit out there?

And is there a spot on or in the inspire 1 that it will fit the small transmitter? (maybe under the plastic?)

http://eurekaproducts.com/product-category/buyrcmodelsystems/


Specs:
System Radio Frequency Operational Specs.
  • Method – Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum (FHSS) 50 Channels
  • Band: ISM 902.5 Mhz. – 906.5 Mhz.
  • License Requirements: ISM/unlicensed, operates under FCC Part 15 Section 247
  • Modulation: FSK
  • Single Frequency Dwell Time: 50 msec. once every 4 mins.
  • Transmit Power: 250 mW
  • Receiver Sensitivity: -125 dBm
  • Communications Coding: Data coding and forward error correction allow the system to operate with a BER as low as 1:10, significantly improving overall system range.
System Range[size=0.7em]†
  • Line of sight: up to 2 miles typical
  • Open terrain, rolling hills with few obstructions: up to .5 – 1 mile
  • Dense suburban areas: 2,000 ft. typical
[size=0.7em]† Ranges shown are typical under controlled testing. Your results will vary with your actual conditions.
System Capacity
  • Up to 3 transceiver tags per Locator
Alarm Capacity
  • Internal audible alarm
  • External siren alarm (optional)
  • External auto dialer (optional – requires telco landline)
Locator Physical Specifications
  • Height: 6 in. (152 mm)
  • Width: 3.5 in. (90 mm)
  • Depth: 1.5 in. (44 mm)
  • Weight: 7.8 oz. (221 g)
Locator Battery and Charge Capacity[size=0.7em]†
  • Rechargeable Li•ion battery (included)
  • 3 days when in continuous tracking mode
  • 8 hours in searching mode
  • 3 days in monitor mode
[size=0.7em]† Battery charge life values shown are typical. Your experience may vary with your actual use, battery age and ambient temperature.
Locator Weatherproofing
  • Light rain


Tag Transceiver Physical Specifications
  • Height: 2 in. (64 mm)
  • Width: .88 in. (22.4 mm)
  • Depth: .5 in. (12.7 mm)
  • Weight: .42 oz. (12 g)
Tag Transceiver Battery and Charge Capacity[size=0.7em]†
  • Rechargeable lithium polymer battery, included (non-user serviceable)
  • 10 days idle mode
  • 3 days tracking mode
  • 30 days monitor mode
[size=0.7em]† Battery charge life values shown are typical. Your experience may vary with your actual use.
Tag Transceiver Weatherproofing
  • None


2015-1-8
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gboivin
First Officer
Flight distance : 1544416 ft
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United States
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Would the transceiver interfere with the compass or GPS? would be my question
2015-1-8
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AnticipateMedia
lvl.3
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I used a GPS tracker on my P2. However, with the Inspire, you always have a track on the map as to where it last was. It's easy enough (in theory) to travel to that point on the map with another GPS as a guide and find it.
2015-1-8
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jebryant10
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Flight distance : 56112 ft
United States
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I have this and used it on my Phantom, drone-mods.com , It cost $130 and $60 a year for service. It is about the size of a box of matches. You can also use it for other applications when not using it for your UAV. I like it!
The unit has it's own phone number, you call it from your cell phone and a link will be sent to you and it will show the location of the GPS tracker. I tested it several times and it has given me it's location within +/- 10 feet. With a full charge it will work for over a week.
2015-1-8
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Helipal
lvl.2

United States
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Chato,

I have used the MP in RC planes, as well as and others in at my flying field. I was present at one time when this was used used succesfully by anouther flyer to locate a plane down in the woods. The electronics can be taken out of the "collar cover" and is quite small. When changed, it can stay active for a long period of time, and does not transmit unless the hand held transmitter actively requests position (I think this makes it ideal for RC applications since the transmitter is not "on" unless you are down in a crash). Range seems to vary but appears consistently greater than 500 ft.

If my inspire 1 ever gets hear (ordered 11-20 from B&H), I plan to make a small wood box to replace the black weight mounted on the back of the inspire, with similar dimensions (likely a bit thicker), and paint black to look OEM.
2015-1-8
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gwhiz2k
lvl.4

Canada
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What about the RF-V16?

http://blog.sam-thompson.info/rf-v16-gps-tracker-guide/

2015-1-8
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leostrat_54
lvl.4

United States
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gwhiz2k Posted at 2015-1-9 06:04
What about the RF-V16?

http://blog.sam-thompson.info/rf-v16-gps-tracker-guide/

Well....it's GPS unlike the MP and apparently you have to pay $2 every time you use it, unlike the MP which you own.  It's Tmobile, enough said and it probably weighs 2 times what a MP tracking unit weighs so it's added payload.  But....it would be WAY better than nothing.
2015-1-8
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Daninho
Second Officer
Flight distance : 70203 ft
Germany
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leostrat_54@yah Posted at 2015-1-9 06:12
Well....it's GPS unlike the MP and apparently you have to pay $2 every time you use it, unlike the ...

Not really, the inspire is not a phantom. the  marcopolo weights 12g compared to a 27g GPS tracker. For the inspire no difference. The Marcopolo is not allowed in many countrys, has no CE signs as well. Furthermore the marcopolo has a good range of up to two miles within the line of sight but this is not realistic. When the inspire crashes the marcopolo unit will be laying flat on the ground, probably in gras. The distance will then probably be half a mile or less. Better than nothing but if a inspire fly away or a phantom than those things can fly several miles away.
2015-1-8
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leostrat_54
lvl.4

United States
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Daninho Posted at 2015-1-9 09:26
Not really, the inspire is not a phantom. the  marcopolo weights 12g compared to a 27g GPS tracker ...

Daninho
Some of the points you made are good, especially concerning the range of the Inspire. The MP IS allowed in the US and several other countries so it is a good option there. Even buried in grass I have used it up to a mile but that works well for the Phantom maybe not as good for the Inspire BUT it is easy to drive around and find it if you have roads or fields to drive. GPS is just so spotty in EVERY country so I don't trust it all that much. I am experimenting with a system that can track several times what the MP can (probably not legal in your country though). I will let you know how that works.
2015-1-8
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Daninho
Second Officer
Flight distance : 70203 ft
Germany
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leostrat_54@yah Posted at 2015-1-9 13:33
Daninho
Some of the points you made are good, especially concerning the range of the Inspire. The  ...

In Germany the marcopolo is mit allowed, 900mhz is for cell phones here. In the EU you normally need a CE sign as well. I like the marcopolo idea and i was close to ordering one at readymaderc. I think it even needs more punsh or maybe an even lower frequency to penetrate trough objects better? The problem with quadcopters is that they are flat and the antenna will be flat on the ground after a crash, this is not ideal. I like the easy to use concept with the handheld unit. Which device you are working on? The weight of the marcopolo is ideal, really nice for phantoms since the payload is very limited
2015-1-8
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leostrat_54
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United States
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Daninho Posted at 2015-1-9 13:46
In Germany the marcopolo is mit allowed, 900mhz is for cell phones here. In the EU you normally nee ...

I will probably put an MP on the back and on the top of my Inspire to insure one of them is getting out a signal in a crash.  The system I am working with isn't on the market yet but it has a couple of features that make long range tracking very feasible. I hope to have more information in 30 to 45 days.
2015-1-9
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Daninho
Second Officer
Flight distance : 70203 ft
Germany
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leostrat_54@yah Posted at 2015-1-10 11:39
I will probably put an MP on the back and on the top of my Inspire to insure one of them is gettin ...

Something like the Marco polo is good because the TX is not active, its in sleep mode all the time and only receives. When the handheld unit is turned on the small TX/RX unit will send with 250mw. Another thing is its only 12g. The h andheld unit is also very nice for beginners because you can just hold it in the air and see the position of the crashed plane with an arrow. Such a system with maybe more power, longer range would be awesome. Will your system be like that or more complex to operate?
2015-1-10
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SkySight
Second Officer
Flight distance : 143566828 ft
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Leostrat_54 please pass on what you come up with in 30-45 days. In fact, if you don't mind contacting me directly,here  is my email address  dearme11@live.com. I'm also looking into putting a transponder on it so the ATC can know where you are and know you are not a threat. It might go a long way if ever stopped to show that we took all the precautions possible to be as safe as possible.
2015-1-10
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Georgedives
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United Kingdom
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Hi leostrat_54, after reading this page i'd be really interested to hear what you've been working on and how effective it is. I have however just bought a Marco Polo for my P2 since i live in an area of very poor mobile coverage and the gps falls in and out. If you have something more powerful under your sleeve to catch those long distance trips that our drones seem to enjoy from time to time i would be fascinated to know what it is. My email is gtdavie999@gmail.com if you have time to pm me. Cheers
2015-5-14
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PureSQNut
Second Officer

United States
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I have the Marco-Polo tracker on my I1. Pretty solid and works well. range limit I have found is about 1 mile depending on surroundings. I recommend taking the case off of the transmitter (reducing weight) and encasing it in something like shrink wrap etc. I had to modify my antenna as I mounted mine below the peak  of the I1 casing in the center of the  overall unit.  My only complain is I wish the display was backlite so it can be seen in darker conditions.
2015-5-15
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leostrat_54
lvl.4

United States
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Georgedives Posted at 2015-5-15 15:22
Hi leostrat_54, after reading this page i'd be really interested to hear what you've been working on ...

George,
I tried to email but got the email kicked back.  I have posted a review of the tracker I use made by Johnson Telemetry under the heading 'A Long Range Tracker'.  Like PureSQNut posted I like the Marco Polo also.  I have tried posting a photo of 'Blackie' with the tracker to no avail, but you can find a picture of him under 'Plastic Dipped My Inspire'.  Good flying!
2015-5-15
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leostrat_54
lvl.4

United States
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Hmmm.....Apparently 'Plastic Dipped my Inspire' is gone.....
2015-5-15
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DJK
New
Flight distance : 44154 ft
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i use the trackimo that Radio Shack was discounting at $50
2015-5-15
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Akio Sato
lvl.1

Azerbaijan
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Have you heard about Loko? Loko

it is a good backup GPS tracker for drones
11-8 05:05
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P2-L1-P4-Mav
lvl.4
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Akio Sato Posted at 11-8 05:05
Have you heard about Loko? Loko

it is a good backup GPS tracker for drones
Thank you for the info, it’s definitely a far better product than the Marco Polo. I only fly short distances, so if I crash I just walk over to here I know it crashed and the Marco Polo unit work fine for me.  If I were to ever buy another one, I  world be thinking about the new one. Mines really old but it still works.
11-8 15:16
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ro_walker
First Officer

Brazil
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Would the transceiver interfere with the compass or GPS? would be my question
11-8 16:22
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