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Old Dec 12, 2012, 04:12 AM
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ALEX HEWSON's Avatar
Christchurch, New Zealand
Joined Jul 2005
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Finding lost models

Our solution:

http://www.sticknfind.com/

I may get some, as well as a smart phone lol
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Old Dec 12, 2012, 09:19 AM
Dean
A10FLYR's Avatar
USA, CO, Littleton
Joined Apr 2005
3,851 Posts
100 feet is not much range! I don't want to sound like a sales person for FRSky but the telemetry has found planes that we had no idea where they were and some that were not where we thought they were!. Sounds like you guys could have used it this week!

Dean...
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Old Dec 12, 2012, 12:06 PM
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max1's Avatar
Toronto, Canada
Joined Jul 2004
420 Posts
Funny, that looks just like loc8or, which I have and has an effective range of 600' (I know because I have had to use it several times to find lost models). Loc8or takes me to within 1' of the lost object. Try finding a downed plane in tall grass and you will see- In a normal, unaided search pattern, you can pass within 3 feet of it and still not see it. Ask me how I know...

http://www.loc8tor.com/

Better yet, if you can carry the weight, a GPS tracker that texts you the co-ordinates of your plane after its gone down:

http://www.aliexpress.com/item/free-...566141200.html

You need to have a handheld GPS that you can use to get you to the co-ordinates texted to your cell phone. You call it, hang up, and within 1 minute it texts you its GPS location!

I have used this twice now- In both cases the accuracy was within 100' (dont know why its not better) but that didnt matter because I also had the loc8or on it. So for me, the GPS gets me close, and then the loc8or takes me right to it. For the record this was to find lost FPV planes, which if they go down, may be several miles from home base.
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Old Dec 12, 2012, 12:49 PM
Dean
A10FLYR's Avatar
USA, CO, Littleton
Joined Apr 2005
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I've sold my Loc8tor and 20 plus remotes when I started using FRSky. Better range. With Loc8tor I had to be within 20 feet to locate a plank that buried itself in the snow. 600 feet does work LOS but if the plane is in a draw or behind a rock it won't work. (Ask me) That gps is nice, no doubt but I don't have to carry any extra stuff, just my transmitter.
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Old Dec 12, 2012, 01:04 PM
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Daemon's Avatar
Lakewood, Colorado
Joined Aug 2002
28,286 Posts
And the problem with GPS+cellular trackers is they only work if you happen
to lose the plane in a place with good cellular coverage. Many places we fly have
no coverage, or only have coverage at the top of the hill, not down the sides.

One trick I've used with FrSky for a particularly hard to find plane, was to take off
the stock antenna, and mount my 12dB 2.4Ghz Yagi antenna (intended for Wifi applications)
and then not only do I have 3-4x the range, it's highly directional.

Almost any 2.4Ghz RC system with any type of realtime telemetry from the plane can be used in a
pinch to find the plane. At one end of the spectrum is FrSky which can show live RSSI
on a little display so you simply hold the Tx close and rotate your body
and follow either the greatest RSSI, or more commonly go in the opposite
direction of the weakest RSSI. Even without the display, it will beep when
the signal strength is low, so can use simple body blocking, to find direction
to the plane based on most insistent beeping.
At the other is something like XPS which had nothing more useful than a light on the Tx module
which turns from red to green as soon as it gets an acknowledgement of link from the Rx.
I've used it to locate a plane by utilizing the body blocking technique and turning
the Tx on and off repeatedly while watching the light. When it can't link, I know
I'm blocking the signal, and go the other way.
Now if you have something like Spektrum's new telemetry system or Hitec Aurora that are
showing live battery voltage, you should be able to use same body blocking technique
while simultaneously wiggling the sticks which usually produces small Rx voltage
changes. When you can see the voltage changing, you know you have a link. When
the updates stop, you've blocked the signal, and know to go the other way. Basically
anything you can use to initiate a visible change in the telemetry info will work
with body blocking to find your plane, and at much greater range than
any of these standalone locators.

ian
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Last edited by Daemon; Dec 12, 2012 at 01:19 PM.
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Old Dec 12, 2012, 05:23 PM
no pain, no pain
marcioh's Avatar
Brazil, PR, Curitiba
Joined Dec 2006
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I also use the frsky rssi to locate lost models. I have the rssi values on the screen of my open9x upgraded 9x radio. Just need to left the antena straight and move the transmitter looking at the rssi the values. you need to walk into the direction where the lowest value is displayed. pushing the range test helps a lot as soon as you get closer to the model.
I was able to find a trex 450 helicopter 1/8mile away from me inside a deep vegetation after loosing the control with a crazy rudder servo.
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 03:05 PM
Arrarrar!
josh18's Avatar
Australia, NSW, Wagga Wagga
Joined Jan 2010
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Hey, I think Alex's device has a couple of real advantages over tracking with rssi. 1, a lot of time if your plane goes in hard, the antennae are burried, giving you no signal, and second, also if it goes in hard the reciever may be smashed or the battery disconnected. With one of those stickes somewhere near the rear of the plane, its unlikely to be burried, and even if it flies off, it will still be near your model. We were looking for a friends Needle the other day in the bush in New Zealand, we knew where it went down roughly but the bush is so dense we had no chance of locating it, and it went in hard so there was a really good chance the battery would no longer be working. We may have found it with this set up. The plane would have been toast, but Im sure our friend could have salvaged some bits out of it or at the very least taken it home for a propper funeral!
I like your thinking Alex!
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 04:12 PM
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Daemon's Avatar
Lakewood, Colorado
Joined Aug 2002
28,286 Posts
Still the at *most* 100ft range problem.
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 04:15 PM
Arrarrar!
josh18's Avatar
Australia, NSW, Wagga Wagga
Joined Jan 2010
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I reckon one of those stickers, RSSI tracking and a lost model alarm all at once would be pretty good insurance!
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 05:11 PM
Dean
A10FLYR's Avatar
USA, CO, Littleton
Joined Apr 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by josh18 View Post
Hey, I think Alex's device has a couple of real advantages over tracking with rssi. 1, a lot of time if your plane goes in hard, the antennae are burried, giving you no signal, and second, also if it goes in hard the reciever may be smashed or the battery disconnected. With one of those stickes somewhere near the rear of the plane, its unlikely to be burried, and even if it flies off, it will still be near your model. We were looking for a friends Needle the other day in the bush in New Zealand, we knew where it went down roughly but the bush is so dense we had no chance of locating it, and it went in hard so there was a really good chance the battery would no longer be working. We may have found it with this set up. The plane would have been toast, but Im sure our friend could have salvaged some bits out of it or at the very least taken it home for a propper funeral!
I like your thinking Alex!
OK. Then do what Ian does on his FPV. Tape a 450mil lipo to a spare reciever and put it in the back of the airframe that you will be flying at the time. The bush will most likely "soften" the impact. If the plane goes down in the rocks you will eventualy find it, but in the bush??

I read about that loss on the NZ thread and I'm willing to bet the Loc8tor whould have to be quite close to the "tab" because of the vegatation absorbing the weak RF from the little tab.

Not trying to put you down Mate......just telling my experiance. Remember, I sold all my loc8or stuff after getting my telemetry! I have had the "tabs" break apart in a crash as well. and the little batteries are a pain to keep maintained. I ended up buying them in "bulk" on Ebay! I've also had the tabs go off transmitting when the plane was in the van and handheld was not searching or even turned on.
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 05:25 PM
Arrarrar!
josh18's Avatar
Australia, NSW, Wagga Wagga
Joined Jan 2010
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Thats cool mate, I think both have their merits. In the end, I guess if you crash hard enough nothing is going to save you, but in 90% of crashes the rssi would go great
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