I've been looking for good ways to possibly track my quad if it went down when I'm outdoors. I'm new to the hobby, and I just ordered a full FPV setup from BG and I'll be running a micro quad first. I was looking into something to track it because I'm tight on money, and want to protect my investment from catching the wind and flying away. My Eachine QX90 only costs 70 dollars, but that is still 70 dollars I'd like to keep if possible. I thought I might get a Tile Mate (you've prob seen a commercial for this) from Amazon.com, which is meant to track keys and such, because it is really small and light. That seems like a good option, but I'm sure there are better ones out there. Are there any dedicated RC tracking solutions to this that can apply to smaller scale quadrotors, preferably under 2 inches squared or 5 centimeters squared.
Trackers/general good ways to find downed quads
31-Dec-2016, 09:32 AM
You can add a buzzer to your QX90. It can be activated by TX and you will find your quad easily in a big bush or tree or grass or...
actually there are some technologies around finding the stuff... however they are horribly expensive,
as Mephi suggested buzzer is a good idea (i don't like to look for quad without it as you might stand next to it... but it is under a pile of grass... and you look for 30 minutes)
other options i've considered/tried were:
- bluetooth finding chip (you pair it with your phone) and when in range it starts beeping/showing on your phone. -works but it is additional weight
- trying to use the "error" rate/rssi from tx to find it (i didn't mange to get this to work)
what i do now? buzzer only as currently weight is my main concern (on future quads)
All the best
Grzesiek (Grisha/ Greg)
Curently flyable: Nox 5, Nox 3, Minimalist 112, Scrap
Bench / in progres: fixing
thinking about building: 450
31-Dec-2016, 10:24 AM
The buzzers i use are 1.6 grams...
For me it is worth the weight!
31-Dec-2016, 11:15 AM
Here's the smallest buzzer I've found (<1 gram): http://www.banggood.com/5V-Buzzer-Alarm-...00338.html
Here is a video that shows how to install and configure a buzzer (among other things) on the QX90:
31-Dec-2016, 12:38 PM
That small buzzer is a great suggestion for micros, but I don't recommend it on bigger quads - it gets damaged easily and is barely audible then. When you can let those few grams slip, use a 9mm one.
31-Dec-2016, 01:25 PM
(31-Dec-2016, 12:38 PM)KonradS Wrote: That small buzzer is a great suggestion for micros, but I don't recommend it on bigger quads - it gets damaged easily and is barely audible then. When you can let those few grams slip, use a 9mm one.
Yeah, I hear you. I use it more for space-saving than weight saving (I usually incorporate it in one of my 3D printed parts for protection). And my largest build so far is a 160
Here it is in a "standoff" I had to design to clear a wiring harness on a small 4-in-1 esc on an X-Racer 130:
01-Jan-2017, 02:12 AM
Thanks for the info! I'll be ordering that soon.
Buzzers are great but aren't typically that loud, so penetrating long grass or over a reasonable distance can be an issue (of course).
The trick that I've found to be worth it's weight in gold is the use of RSSI through telemetry. The best example is where someone I fly with lost their quad in a very large corn field, we spent a good amount of time looking in the wrong place and trying to hear the buzzer. I then used the RSSI signal strength indicator as a sort of beacon, homing in our position on the strongest signal and ultimately allowed us to find a quad that we would have never found had it not been for RSSI
I keep meaning to make a directional antenna mod for my Taranis, so in future I'll be able to home in on the quad much quicker. This would make a good product actually, handheld device to isolate the source of a 2.4ghz frsky signal
QAV210 - LUX FC - LB 20A ESC - Cobra 2205 2300
QAV210 - LUX FC - DYS XS20A ESC - DYS SE2205 2300
Alien 5" - KISS FC - KISS 24A ESC - Lumenier 2206 2350
04-Jan-2017, 02:48 AM
Great topic and the Number one problem with buzzers and RSSI is if the flight battery is ripped off you are in for a long hunt.
I have tried the following, all with varying success and failures.
BlHeli ESC beacons set to 5 minutes in conjunction with Lost Model Alarm.. works well if flight battery still connected.
Marco polo beacon...works very well, does not need flight battery but has a limited range.
Tried the blue tooth thingies, not worth a pinch of goat poop in my view.
My youtube channel
04-Jan-2017, 05:31 AM
This may not be an 80mm quad sized suggestion but there are plenty of GPS-Cellular based tracker modules that could be used - when you crash you SMS the device and get sent back the last known location etc.
Sure it's more gear, and a cellular cost but it may be the difference between losing $$$$ or finding the vehicle...
10-Jan-2017, 06:21 AM
I know this is a bit out of left field, but has anyone ever tried one of those tile trackers that people use for their car keys and such? I know that with the phone app it will show you where the item is on a GPS overlay and also beeps at you. Since it would be powered by itself if you were to lose your battery in a crash it would still work. It could be zip tied to the frame and can't weigh very much.
10-Jan-2017, 08:26 AM
Or you can try these kind of bluetooth trackers, they have a range of 20 meters and power source independed, it only wheight 9 grams.
A more expensive way would be GPS-capable telemetry or OSD. The former is probably more feasible with miniquads, try considering the FrSky S.Port GPS sensor. 20 bucks or so, plug and play with your regular FrSky RXs, and none of the hassle associated with autopiloting UBlox modules.
This might be a long shot, but triangulating the RC signal based on RSSI seems an attractive option.
10-Jan-2017, 06:54 PM
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