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Old Apr 05, 2014, 05:26 AM
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gardenroute's Avatar
Czech Republic, Karlovy Vary Region
Joined May 2013
372 Posts
Marco Polo locator - setup for the my Phantom

My Marco Polo locator arrived, but a little problem, because in the EU we still have to pay duty and VAT on goods from the USA
Marco Polo is the solution for tracking and recovering lost RC models, with light weight, long range and ease of use.

I ordered version for RC airplane - beacon TAG have only 12 gram. The pictures show my setup for the my Phantom.

Marco Polo Tag (900MHz beacon) is functional (and will actively transmit) only after the remote activation from handy locator.

Marco Polo works up to 2 miles (3.2 km) in line-of-sight situations. Expect approximately 1/2 mile (.8 km) in mildly rolling terrain with moderate vegetation. Your individual performance will depend on the specific conditions in the area of use, such as terrain, vegetation, and obstructions. If your lost RC model is beyond Marco Polos initial range, you can expand the range by implementing a search strategy using a vehicle or by walking (manufacturer quotations)

The my price was USD 223, incl. USPS shipment to Europe (Czech), Tag Modification for RC Model Tracking (11 g Configuration) and 10% discount Open Pilot.

On my already installed folding landing gear (by Simensays Design) I added only one more short CF tube and external battery tray (Simensays Add-On Kit Big, printed by Shapeways 3D printing technology) with a small piece of Velcro. The total weight including tag Marco Polo is 20 grams.
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Old Apr 13, 2014, 06:43 PM
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Wouterjansen60's Avatar
The Netherlands, NH, Amsterdam
Joined Jun 2013
538 Posts
Marco Polo test:

I bought aswell this unit but not happy with the first results. I have red some positive reports but i have other experiences:

- As i life in Amsterdam center, i am not able to use the unit for more than 100 mtrs distance true buildings.
- too often i get the message " change position". The manual say it a normal message but at that time you not get any directional information and thats why i have this unit for .... This message also come up in the closer vecinity. Irritating!
- the arrow does often not direct in the right direction but even 90 degrees of is not rare.

Ok, this was the city test, and appears to be useless. The manual mention approx 600 mtrs but 100 is more the reality.

I still have to test in an open LOS aera. Obviously if the open field los test is also bad i will contact the supplier, but really i needed to share this other, more negative report of MarcoPolo.

Sofar i would not recommend this unit. I have the RC version.
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Old Apr 14, 2014, 08:39 AM
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Czech Republic, Karlovy Vary Region
Joined May 2013
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So far I have not really tested it, the weather is still bad ....
Probably removed from the Phantom, and we'll go test it somewhere in the countryside. But I've seen tests on YT, and they were more than favorable ....
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Old Apr 14, 2014, 09:00 AM
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United States, NM, Clovis
Joined Oct 2011
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Marco Polo states that it is 3.2k in LOS and much less (.8k) in rolling hills with slight vegetation. I would think that a city setting with big buildings to interrupt would be even less... Also states Dense suburban areas: 2,000 ft. typical but depends on your actual setting.
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Old Apr 14, 2014, 01:10 PM
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Joined Feb 2014
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Landing Gear

Quote:
Originally Posted by gardenroute View Post
My Marco Polo locator arrived

Heya, I am seeing the landing gear you have put on he phantom, can you please tell me what this is?
Thanks..
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Old Apr 14, 2014, 06:16 PM
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Wouterjansen60's Avatar
The Netherlands, NH, Amsterdam
Joined Jun 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DamonH View Post
Marco Polo states that it is 3.2k in LOS and much less (.8k) in rolling hills with slight vegetation. I would think that a city setting with big buildings to interrupt would be even less... Also states Dense suburban areas: 2,000 ft. typical but depends on your actual setting.
It would be fair to exclude or reduce the figures in city environments as advertised imo. If you buy a a pet locator, just know it may just be unreliable in a city environment as all other solutions.

I would obviously accept 300-500 mtrs in a urban aera but the tested 100 mtrs (300') with many "change position" notifications ( no bearing info) and reception blockage was a dissapointment. Honestly in the same test FMkit had some difficulties too to penetrate this one block building in a normal urban aera using 60mW (Fmkit can however be boosted till 100mW if i am correct).

Perhaps i was too enthousiastic based on their advertisments.

Edit: the open area test was way better, MP performed flawlessly.. I did not tested the max range (yet).
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Old Apr 15, 2014, 04:49 AM
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gardenroute's Avatar
Czech Republic, Karlovy Vary Region
Joined May 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snake Plissken View Post
Heya, I am seeing the landing gear you have put on he phantom, can you please tell me what this is? Thanks..
In my post are the relevant links, so once again :
"...On my already installed folding landing gear (by Simensays Design) I added only one more short CF tube and external battery tray (Simensays Add-On Kit Big, printed by Shapeways 3D printing technology)...."
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Old Apr 15, 2014, 12:56 PM
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Gardenroute, did you ever solve your RTH issue from before?
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Old Apr 15, 2014, 04:36 PM
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Joined Feb 2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gardenroute View Post
In my post are the relevant links, so once again :
Much appreciated, thanks
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Old Apr 16, 2014, 01:44 AM
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Czech Republic, Karlovy Vary Region
Joined May 2013
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strange RTH

Quote:
Originally Posted by ElGuano View Post
Gardenroute, did you ever solve your RTH issue from before?
That only happened once during an expedition in Africa (see this video), the more times it happens again ...
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Old Apr 16, 2014, 10:41 AM
Open the bay doors... HAL
United States, OH, Mentor
Joined Jun 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wouterjansen60 View Post
Marco Polo test:

I bought aswell this unit but not happy with the first results. I have red some positive reports but i have other experiences:

- As i life in Amsterdam center, i am not able to use the unit for more than 100 mtrs distance true buildings.
- too often i get the message " change position". The manual say it a normal message but at that time you not get any directional information and thats why i have this unit for .... This message also come up in the closer vecinity. Irritating!
- the arrow does often not direct in the right direction but even 90 degrees of is not rare.

Ok, this was the city test, and appears to be useless. The manual mention approx 600 mtrs but 100 is more the reality.

I still have to test in an open LOS aera. Obviously if the open field los test is also bad i will contact the supplier, but really i needed to share this other, more negative report of MarcoPolo.

Sofar i would not recommend this unit. I have the RC version.
Wouter,

I'm curious why you tested this unit within a city (especially one with tall buildings). It would really surprise me if the manual even implied a 600m range in any area other than very flat terrain. Buildings of any size are going to interfere with and even significantly reflect signals making a directional beacon impossible to use.

Hopefully you'll get better results outside of the city. Thanks for posting your results and let us know what kind of results you get at other locations. I'm seriously considering getting one of these units....

Edit:
Just read your post 5167... Good to hear your getting better results elsewhere. Where did make later tests?
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Old Apr 16, 2014, 07:40 PM
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Wouterjansen60's Avatar
The Netherlands, NH, Amsterdam
Joined Jun 2013
538 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJI27 View Post
Wouter,

I'm curious why you tested this unit within a city (especially one with tall buildings). It would really surprise me if the manual even implied a 600m range in any area other than very flat terrain. Buildings of any size are going to interfere with and even significantly reflect signals making a directional beacon impossible to use.

Hopefully you'll get better results outside of the city. Thanks for posting your results and let us know what kind of results you get at other locations. I'm seriously considering getting one of these units....

Edit:
Just read your post 5167... Good to hear your getting better results elsewhere. Where did make later tests?
Hi DJI27,

I tested in a city bcs this unit is basically sold as pet-locator and for $20 extra it's modified for RC use as the housing will be removed and a smaller battery is attached. I was also thinking to put an aditional tag on our cat if it worked well while in live in Amsterdam. Within my aera (a city with 15 meters tall apartements) there seems too many mutipath errors, so the MP can not cope that well. (fair enough, i can understand the difficulty). The lastest test was in a open aera, say 400 meters (more applicable for RC purposes), and that worked flawlessly. The 2-3 km LOS i still need to do, but i have confidence it will perform.

It is a bit annoying however that a supplier just "shameless" mention 600 meters in leaflets for urban areas and therefor do set a certain kind of expectation, while in real life shows that 100 meters seems the limit in order to work properly as pet-locator.

I use both now, FMkit and Marco Polo (MP).
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Old Apr 17, 2014, 07:49 AM
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Joined Feb 2014
9 Posts
H3-2D gimbal tilt hack

I've replaced the gimbal tilt potentiometer in my DJI TX with a 5k rotary pot but am having major problems. Even after calibrating, the pot records 1000 at either end of it's rotation and moves towards -1000 at the centre of it's travel, but when i stop it it jitters and doesn't hold a constant value. This obviously translates into a jittery movement of the gopro. The only position the camera will hold steady is pointing straight down.

Anybody have any ideas??
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Old Apr 17, 2014, 10:38 AM
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eirlink's Avatar
Ireland
Joined Mar 2013
2,248 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by m_pirie_171 View Post
I've replaced the gimbal tilt potentiometer in my DJI TX with a 5k rotary pot but am having major problems. Even after calibrating, the pot records 1000 at either end of it's rotation and moves towards -1000 at the centre of it's travel, but when i stop it it jitters and doesn't hold a constant value. This obviously translates into a jittery movement of the gopro. The only position the camera will hold steady is pointing straight down.

Anybody have any ideas??
Have you calibrated it in the RC Assistant as well as the regular phantom assistant?
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