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A Long Range Tracker
1002 3 2015-4-14
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leostrat_54
lvl.4

United States
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For the last 2 months I have been test flying a new tracker.  I fly in many places that have poor or no cell service and I have been needing a tracker for the places cell trackers don't work.

I love my Marco Polo for my Phantoms because it has proven to be reliable in the range that Phantoms can escape to.  I have used it on my I1 but I have always had that nagging feeling when I am flying in really rugged places that the I1 could outfly the tracker.

Also, in some places I have flown it would be convenient to know almost exactly where the aircraft landed because there have been obstacles (mountains and canyons) that might be avoided and private or government land that might need permission before I just trail tracked the bird.  Finding it that way might prove to be difficult.  Using a triangulation method this tracker can give you the approximate location of the transmitter.

The tracker is said to have a 10 mile overland effective range.  I have tested it to 6 miles in a suburban area.  It should work better away from all the power lines and other RF interference.

Having said all that, I don't think this tracker is for every I1 pilot.  If you fly only where you have reliable cell service a cell tracker makes a lot of sense and where you can drive near the downed aircraft I think a cell tracker AND a Marco Polo would be the perfect combination.

The next thing to address is - this is an active radio transmitter in the 21 MHz band.  For those of you that believe this is a problem for you, don't take it out on me.  I am not an engineer and this is not my product.  What I DO KNOW is I have flown this unit on my I1 for 2 months and on several Phantoms with zero problems!  At first I was very nervous because everything I have read on this forum made be believe it was the 'kiss of death' to do this.  In my case, not a single problem.  You need to decide for yourself how you want to approach this, but I have tested it and I don't leave the ground with my I1 now without it and especially in the 'no man's land' I fly in.

The cost is significantly more than other systems so Phantom pilots need not apply (unless you are running a 'tricked out' Phantom).  I believe for the transmitter and tracking antenna it sells in the mid $500 range.  That is cheap insurance for an I1.  What you get is a high quality, rugged aluminum tracking antenna, transmitter, and a carry bag.  I tested an aerial antenna flown on a Phantom which should extend the effective range out to about 20 miles.  When or if this option becomes available is up to the company making these systems.

If you are one of those people who fly in the American Southwest, West, Canada, Alaska, South or Central American, Australia, Africa, etc. this is a product worth considering.  The company is Johnson Telemetry and their phone # is 417-876-5083.  The product is called the AirHound.  

I will post a photo of my I1 with the tracker on it when I can
2015-4-14
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REDBARON
lvl.4
Flight distance : 2456043 ft
Canada
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I use a tracking and marcopolo at the same time. Seems to cover most situations well....
2015-4-14
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leostrat_54
lvl.4

United States
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REDBARON Posted at 2015-4-15 02:47
I use a tracking and marcopolo at the same time. Seems to cover most situations well....

I agree Redbaron, that's why I recommend it, unless you fly in the other areas mentioned above.
2015-4-14
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leostrat_54
lvl.4

United States
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I can't seem to find the paperclip to upload a photo but you can see the transmitter on Blackie on the post 'Plastic Dipped My Inspire'
2015-4-14
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