When you first get a drone out of the box and get excited to explore the many highways and byways of the great outdoors with it, there are always a few different ways that you picture your day going. Grabbing fantastic footage perhaps for real estate or You Tube uses, hovering perfectly above your group of people, and flipping around at just the push of a button are all visuals that are dancing in your head.
We wanted to provide a post for our good friends here at UAV Coach, who have helped many in the drone community with the best known pilot training in the business. Since we have noticed over the months that their posts are some of the most relevant and well-thought through in the industry, we were appreciative when we get a chance to publish on their platform!
Protecting Your Drone Investment
When you’re flying around, you may notice that elements such as wind, trees, and other buildings pose quite a bit more of a threat then you thought! Even if you thought you were going out on what appeared to be a perfect day, you could be shocked when you lose track of your drone, and pretty upset because of the price tag on drones these days!
Thankfully, GPS drone tracking devices are there to help. They come with apps that monitor the drone quite well, and so we definitely wanted to take a look at a few that will help you in this department, so you aren’t driving down the streets late at night calling your drone’s name to return.
The Trackimo Personal GPS and GMS Tracker uses cell phone towers and GPS to track down the exact location of your drone, and also has unique features such as an emergency button to let authorities know if you yourself have lost your way or are in imminent danger.
Something excellent about the Trackimo is that it gives you one year of service completely free, and after that it’s only 5$ a month. This makes it one of the cheapest to use (over time) of all the gps trackers available. It also comes with 10 free text alerts per month, which should be more than enough because these trackers are primarily for insurance against losing your drone, which hopefully shouldn’t happen very often!
The GPS satellites track down exactly where the drone is, and that information is relayed back to the server with AT&T’s wireless network. One really amazing thing about the Trackimo is that it is smart enough to detect if it stops moving, just like some of the technology in items such as the DJI Phantom drones themselves.
With the Trackimo app, you can set up separate geofences that alert you when the device comes and goes from a zone that you clearly define. Even for other devices that are perhaps even more valuable then drones, you can see just where it has been for the last 48 days: imagine the possibilities if you tell your children to ìnot touchî or ìnot useî something, whether it’s your drone or any other device.
One of the best things we noticed about the Trackimo is the way in which its app was designed and developed: you don’t have to be on your smartphone half of the day and be proficient at everything under the sun to use it well. Most who are flying drones around are pretty technically proficient anyways, but it helps that the app is designed with complete amateurs in mind.
I’ve actually spoken to David the owner of Trackimo and he told me they were pleasantly surprised when their product began being used for drone Tracking. Primarily in the past it had been used for gps tracking of cars, or people (For safety).
As far as the bottom line on this device, it is well worth the cost: saving a drone that could otherwise be gone for good is going to keep you as the owner pretty happy!
The Flytrex 3G
Another very awesome product for drone tracking is the Flytrex 3g Drone Tracker. This one is hardwired directly to the batteries in the drone, and so its first huge benefit is that as long as your drone batteries are fully charged, you are ready to protect it fully with this device.
The cool thing about this one is that it’s not just a device that lets you know where your drone has landed, but the manufacturer also had the foresight to include a social media twist: when your flights are logged, badges are given for ìunlockingî various stages, and the ability to share them with other people. With installation on some drones, you’ll need to solder wires to the actual circuit board, and you just purchase a cable that helps with installation for $8.99.
To setup this gadget and install it, you can locate the 15-digit serial number that is printed on the bottom, then manually enter it or snap a picture with your phone to activate the account. Make sure that you do this before you actually put the device on the drone, because once the wires are in place, the code can become hidden against the frame.
When you get it all fired up and ready to go, you can join the account with Facebook, Google Plus, a standard email, or Twitter. Just one short click will share your test flight to others there are that have a fellow pilot’s burning interest. Going to the actual Flytrex web site will show you a lot more information then the app does standalone, but the app does display the last place you hovered, and view your entire flight path.
For some pilots, the competitive aspect of the way this is all set up won’t draw them towards it, but the company was, in our opinion, pretty brilliant to include it.
As far as the actual Sim card and data are concerned, a $10-20 card will usually work for about 3 months of consistent flight data, which is pretty good considering you may not be using it every single minute, and maybe only on windy days or more important journeys. The main difference of this Vs. the Trackimo is the social media updating aspects, and a bit more detail.
Protection Through Drone Insurance
When you begin to think about the possibility of your drone becoming lost or damaged, there is actually drone insurance for this kind of thing as well. Here are some aspects of an insurance plan that we found regarding how you can be covered:
- It can cover impact damage and malfunctions
- Covers the drone and remote control
- Covers damage from water
- 100% comprehensive parts and labor coverage
- No cap on number of claims
- Does cover all of the major manufacturers such as DJI Phantom, Walkera, Parrot, Estes Proto, Heli-Max WL Toys, UDI, and Husban.
- 100% part/labor coverage for Drone Body
- Contracts begin on date of purchase
- Deductibles do apply
- Loss/ theft are NOT covered.
- Most Insurance Does not cover removable cameras.
These two devices we took a look at are a few of the ways that you can make yourself feel a bit more secure when you are getting ready to lift off for the day.
The same technology that brought us drones themselves is bringing us great ways to keep track of them, and assure that you’ll have your favorite unit ready for its next look at the universe.
Note: This is a guest post from Mike over at Dronethusiast.
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