Why do some drones seem to suddenly fly off into the sunset never to be seen again?
Drone ‘flyaways’ are a topic of much debate. Whether you fear a ‘flyaway’, a loss of signal or an out-of-sight crash landing, losing your drone can be an expensive affair.
Luckily, there are some precautions that you can take in order to find your little companion if he ever wonders off.
Although some of the more advanced drones have built-in GPS systems, one of the most common methods of keeping tabs on your flying machine is by using a drone tracker.
There are various types of trackers and these are a great precaution to take if you feel that the day may come when you need to recover your treasured drone.
A tracker is usually GPS-based and gives you the longitude and latitude coordinates of your drone to zero in on its position during recovery. In the next few paragraphs, we will cover some of the most popular and reliable drone tracking methods available.
4 Trackers That Help You Find a Lost Drone:
#1 TK102 GPS Tracker
The TK102 GPS Tracker is one of the cheapest forms of tracking available.
This device incorporates a GSM SIM card and transmits tracking data via cellular networks. In order to find your lost drone, all you need to do is call the SIM card.
This will auto-respond with the time, a link to the precise location on Google Maps as well as longitude and latitude coordinates.
#2 Trackimo Tracker
The Trackimo Tracker is also GPS-based but boasts far more sophisticated features when it comes to keeping a close eye on your flying sidekick.
This light-weight gadget utilizes cellular networks and satellites to pinpoint the exact location of your drone in real-time. This offering is also accompanied by a free app which you should install onto your smart device in order to receive flight and activity data related to your quadcopter.
There is also a browser program for web-based tracking and you can even manually send out alerts to find the coordinates of your drone at that exact time.
It also comes in a waterproof case. This means that no matter where your multi-rotor lands, even if it be in the water, you will be able to recover your lost drone.
#3 Flytrex Live 3G
The Flytrex Live 3G locates the real-time position of your drone using GPS technology and then makes you aware of such coordinates via cellular networks. The device utilizes a micro SIM card that is 3G-compatible.
If you were to experience a flyaway or an out-of-sight crash, the Flytrex will notify you of the exact crash site and will provide you with Google Maps directions in order to get there.
This tracker can maintain signal strength at even the highest of altitudes due to 3G network coverage. Although adept at drone tracking, this device also reports on your drones altitude, speed, ascent, descent, distances and even flight duration. Due to its versatility, this is said to be the “black box of drones.”
#4 TrackR Bravo
There are also less traditional ways of finding and recovering your lost drone but most involve taking precautions before you have actually experienced a flyaway. Some people have noted that the TrackR Bravo works very well. This is a coin-sized product designed to help people keep track of their phones, keys and other items.
It works over Bluetooth for closer proximity losses but also features a Crowd Locate network that can help you find items that are far away.
The TrackR app shows users whether or not they’re getting closer or further away from their lost items. The coin-sized tracking attachments can even sound audible alerts to aid in item recovery. Many have attached this tracker to their drones with much success.
About Automobile and Child Trackers
Many drone owners have tested out automobile and child trackers on their multi-rotors. These trackers are varied but often produce some type of high-pitched noise which allows the searcher to hone in on their target and expedite recovery. Some of these have seen some success but it must be remembered that this is not full proof as this method relies on sound and therefore is ineffective over larger distances. Some flyaways may result in searches ranging many miles in which an audible alarm may prove ineffective.
It is often extremely difficult to find a lost drone if no precautions were taken. Many will simply have to scour the landscape in hope of catching a glimpse of their fallen machine. Some expensive models will have return-to-home functions and others will incorporate built-in GPS tracking.
If you have a drone it is advised to install or attach some form of tracking. There are an array of options available and many of these are relatively affordable. In the long-run, this small, precautionary investment will save you time and money while giving you far more confidence when flying your multi-rotor.