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Locating a lost drone

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Brad Vickery, May 5, 2015.

  1. Brad Vickery

    Apr 20, 2015
    Likes Received:
    Joshua Tree Ca
    I recently lost a small Syma X5C-1 with out a gps. I was in the mountains and have searched high & low. The needle in a hay stack becomes a drone in a forest. With the GPS on a P3 will it make this task effective? Is there a tracker or even a chirp device I could use? I have diminished confidence in my flying abilities and am concerned about my new higher priced investment. But still haven't cried......
  2. Hangover

    Apr 25, 2015
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    Dont get down and out on your flying ability. The Phantoms are so much easier than the X5c-1 (I own one) I learned quads with a little $30 Amazon gold box special. I was amazed how easy the Phantom is. In GPS mode it does exactly what you want it to do. As long as you FALLOW the start up procedures, meaning satellites connected and compass calibration Every time you fly. I have never had a problem.

    To address your question, I to wish for a "crash tracker" but truly if you pay attention to your battery and dont have a mechanical error you will always get your quad back, if you have a good foundation of RC piloting experience, to remain calm and stay focused on orientation and control you will be fine. Thing to remember if you ever get panicked just let go of the right stick and push up on the left and get more altitude. One great thing I didnt believe, is how well GPS works. You can let go of the sticks recommend at least 10 feet up, and the craft will just sit in place with no input from you. I hope this helps
    Brad Vickery likes this.
  3. SteveMann

    Aug 27, 2014
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    Westford, MA
    I have a Flytrex 3G on my Phantom. It's not cheap but it beats possibly losing my Phantom and GoPro.
  4. Hughie

    Nov 22, 2014
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    Leeds, United Kingdom
    I use a Flytrex 3G and a RF-V16 Tracker.
  5. Tom Gauger

    Mar 17, 2016
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    Through a miscalculation in "Return Altitude" on a pre-programed flight using AirNest, my drone flew into a live oak tree in Florida. I could see the location of the tree on the flight path screen. But as the tree was draped in Spanish moss, I could not see where the drone wound up. (The tree was 75' tall!)
    Why not have a way to turn on the 'squawker' that the drone makes when you power it up? It would sure help in locating the aircraft.
    A tree climber dude got it out of the tree. He got $185 from me and I was happy to pay him.
    The link below shows the short flight into the Spanish moss.
    Dropbox - Saved by Spanish Moss.mp4
    JBJO likes this.
  6. WetDog

    Oct 18, 2015
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    If you search the forum you will see a whole bunch of threads on this very topic. For some reason, we like to lose the birds.

    TLDR you have a couple of choices. The Flytrex / Trakimo cell phone and GPS based systems. Works great if you have GPS and cell phone signals. Has an ongoing cost. The 'Marco Polo' type systems which began life as a pet tracker and are just a radio locator system. Works without infrastructure, has limited range, needs a receiver which you have to carry around.

    Your tablet / Go App will give you basic GPS coordinate of where the craft was last heard from. If you just run it into a tree, its likely to be accurate. If you lose RC signal, not so much.

    I'm playing with some little strobe lights designed for RC aircraft (Flytron) - mostly to increase the visibility of the P3 but it would have the advantage of being a visual signal in the event of a loss. I can power two very bright strobes for close to six hours with a Lipo battery stolen from a Hubson X4. Not bad...

    The annoying squawk noise on power up is from the ESC's. Not sure you can control that but a loud piezeo buzzer would be light and robust. I'm actually a bit surprised that OSHA hasn't required us to put a backup horn on UAVs. They seem to like them for everything else....
  7. rcheing

    Feb 29, 2016
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    Don't calibrate the compass every time you fly. You could be replacing a perfectly good calibrated compass with an incorrect one due to the environment of where you are calibrating. It only takes one bad calibration to make your bird do faulty things. For more information: Compass Calibration, A Complete Primer
  8. Mark The Droner

    Aug 26, 2015
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    Fytrex Live 3G user here. Tickled pink with it.
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