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Lost Plane help

#1
I've been in the hobby for 18 months now, and I'm enjoying flying and building FT planes. My problem is I have lost one plane recently. I fly at some soccer fields when there is no one around. The fields is sourounded by bush and I have lost one of my favourite plans in the thick trees and shrubs. As usual I thought I would walk straight to the plane, but after 2 hours of looking I couldn't find it. I'm now worried about building bigger and better planes thinking they may end up with the same problem. Is there any way of tracking the plan with a module or tracker?? I have seen the TILE but I don't thing the limited range would work for me. I use a 9x transmitter and I have been trying to work out if I change the module and receiver could I get some sort of system that could track a lost plane.

Any help would be appreciated
 
#3
If you have telemetry, you can use RSSI signal and antenna pointing to help find the plane. Only works if the battery wasnt disconnected in the crash, and I dont think its possible or easy to get RSSI numbers from a frsky module on the 9x (you get beeps for low/critical RSSI, but thats about it).

You could get a FLD-02 display for that, but if you add up the costs, one has to consider if its not better to upgrade to a taranis or 9XR pro.

Other solutions include lost&found beeper that you connect to the receiver, like this one:
http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__20578__Turnigy_Be_Found_Lost_Model_Beeper.html

it will beep on no pulses (ie, when radio is off). This doesnt work if your receiver has a failsafe function. If you have one (stock 9x does not), you could just get a remotely activated beeper. Same caveats apply, you'll need battery power.

Best solution however: dont fly out of sight or range ;)
 
#4
Yeah thanks for that good advice. I'll look into those options. It was my bad for the lost plane, the battery was going flat and it was down wind and didn't have enough power to get back to me. I guess this is how you learn. I'll working on a bit of a budget at the moment so Ill see how I go, and thanks again.
 

pressalltheknobs

Posted a thousand or more times
#5
If you have telemetry, you can use RSSI signal and antenna pointing to help find the plane. Only works if the battery wasnt disconnected in the crash, and I dont think its possible or easy to get RSSI numbers from a frsky module on the 9x (you get beeps for low/critical RSSI, but thats about it).
You can use one of these...
http://alofthobbies.com/frsky-fld-02-lcd-display.html
https://thebreizmaker.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/fld-02.pdf

For the D series module. There's a different model if you have an X series module.

Probably a bit overkill when $2 beeper will probably do the trick. I like the strobe idea but if you use a battery alarm then it will likely exhaust the battery before it gets dark.

A battery alarm like this..
https://store.flitetest.com/battery-voltage-alarm-1-8s/

is a good thing anyway if you don't have main battery telemetry and will act as a lost model alarm once the battery gets down to a critical level - which might take a while so it's not the perfect solution. After that it will continue to beep for several hours. The good thing is that it will eventually exhaust the battery so you not leaving a potentially dangerous half charged lipo hanging in a tree forever if you can't find it or get it down. You will have a bad battery if you don't find it within a few hours but it's a small price to pay.

Depending on the size of the plane you could use the strobe, the lost plane alarm and the battery alarm in combination. None of them are very expensive.
 
#6
Stick one of these inside the plane to light it up like a lampshade.
Wait till dark and go get your plane.

http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__26239__LED_PCB_Strobe_Green_3_3_5_5V.html

also this diy article on the forums if you have the skills
http://forum.flitetest.com/showthread.php?10581-Light-up-the-night-with-cheap-LED-strips
I've never seen these before, they look good. Only problem, have you seen the snakes in Australia?? Lol, they are no fun to come across in the night.
 

Enea

Junior Member
#11
What you are looking for is a GSM/GPRS GPS tracker. The guys mentioned in one of the episode (I personally found out about those devices thanks to them) and David used one in his 33K ft adventure!!!

Just go in websites like aliexpress/ebay/amazon and search "GSM/GPRS GPS tracker" ... and choose what your pokets can afford!!!

A few advices. IF you want to go cheap you will find the cheapest prices on aliexpress (not sure althought about US custom fees). BUT be aware. There are TWO kind of this trakers.

One kind uses ONLY the GSM/GPRS network to retreive the GPS coordinates (normal cell phone comunication. Good enougth in populated area with good cell phone reception, much much less in rural area).

The second kind uses instead real GPS coordinates from the GPS constallation (or even better A-GPS, using both GSM/GPRS network and the GPS one)

Read careful the product's specs before purchasing the item and ASK the seller wich method it uses. BEWARE that there are a lot of dodgy advertising in those cheap chinese website!!!

Almost forgot. Those are very easy to use. Just put a SIM in the module, send it a SMS and it will send you back the GPS coordinates of the plane. There are with internal GPS antenna and very rugged so very hard to break!!

Have fun
 
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