Best Drone Tracker: A No-Nonsense Guide for Top Picks | 2023
The world of drone tracking has evolved, offering various tracking methods such as GPS, radio frequency, and GSM, with each having its particular set of advantages and limitations. With the variety of drone trackers available today, you can find one tailored specifically to your needs, whether you're a hobbyist, professional photographer, or even a commercial drone operator.
Finding the best drone tracker for your aerial adventures can make a significant difference in the experience and ease of use. It's essential to have a reliable, accurate, and easy-to-use tracking system in place to ensure you don't lose your drone, especially during long flights or when it's out of sight.
To help you narrow down the choices and make an easier decision, I've done the research, and I'll be sharing my insights on the top drone trackers you should consider. In this article, I'll be discussing the top drone trackers in the market to help you make an informed decision.
Table of Contents
- Why You Need a Drone Tracker?
- Features to Look for in the Best Drone Trackers
- Top 5 Best Drone Trackers on the Market
- Comparing GPS and Radio Frequency Trackers
- How to Set Up and Use Your Drone Tracker
- Battery Life and Charging Options
- Tips for Choosing the Right Drone Tracker
- Drone Safety and Legal Regulations
Why You Need a Drone Tracker?
One major concern when flying drones is the risk of losing them. Whether due to environmental factors or hardware failures, this is where a drone tracker can come to the rescue. As a passionate drone pilot, I've narrowed down some reasons why you need a drone tracker.
Prevent Loss: Drones are quite an investment; losing one can be frustrating and costly. Having a drone tracker on board allows you to locate the position of your drone, even if it's been lost or disconnected from the controller. This prevents the heartache and financial setback of having to replace a lost drone.
Obey Regulations: In many countries, drone owners are required to register their devices and keep track of their flights. Some drone trackers include flight logging capabilities that store valuable information such as flight paths, altitude, and speed. This helps you comply with local rules and regulations.
Enhance Safety: By using a drone tracker, you gain the ability to monitor your drone's movements in real time. This allows you to stay informed on any potential hazards or obstacles in its flight path, reducing the risk of accidents and damage.
Peace of Mind: With a drone tracker, you'll have peace of mind knowing that you'll always be able to locate your drone. You won't have to worry about losing your valuable asset or dealing with the stress of trying to recover it.
Some popular drone trackers available on Amazon include:
- Trackimo 3G Guardian GPS Tracker: Offers worldwide coverage and 4 tracking modules using GPS, A-GPS, GSM, and Wi-Fi technologies.
- TKSTAR TK905 GPS Tracker: Equipped with a high-capacity battery for long-lasting performance and accurate tracking.
|Drone Tracker||Coverage||Battery Life||Notable Features|
|Trackimo 3G Guardian GPS Tracker||Worldwide||Up to 5 days||4 tracking modules|
|TKSTAR TK905 GPS Tracker||Global||20 – 60 days||High-capacity battery|
Incorporating a drone tracker in your drone-flying experience ensures better safety, and compliance with regulations and allows you to safeguard your investment. Consider the options and choose a tracker that best suits your needs to get the most out of your flights.
Features to Look for in the Best Drone Trackers
When searching for the best drone tracker, it's essential to know which features to prioritize. In this section, you will find some key elements to consider while choosing your device.
Accuracy and Responsiveness: One of the top priorities is accuracy and responsiveness. A reliable drone tracker should provide real-time location updates while maintaining a high level of precision.
Compatibility: Before purchasing a drone tracker, make sure it's compatible with your specific drone model. Some trackers are designed to work only with certain brands or models, so it's important to double-check this aspect.
Battery Life: A drone tracker should have a long-lasting battery to ensure uninterrupted tracking. Look for trackers that offer at least 4-6 hours of continuous tracking on a single charge.
Easy to Use: The tracker's user interface must be intuitive and easy to operate. This includes the setup process and any accompanying mobile apps or software.
Some additional features worth considering include:
- Durability: Durable materials such as water-resistant or weatherproof construction, especially if you plan to fly your drone in varying conditions.
- Compact Design: A smaller, lightweight design will not affect the drone's flight performance or weight limit restrictions.
- Integration with Mapping Software: Some trackers incorporate real-time mapping features, such as Google Maps or custom mapping options, to show your drone's precise location.
- Geofencing Capabilities: Geofencing allows you to set boundaries for your drone's flight, preventing it from entering designated no-fly zones or straying too far from home.
- Alerts and Notification Systems: Timely alerts for your drone's location, battery levels, or other important updates can be crucial during your flight sessions.
Given the numerous options available on Amazon, here's a curated list of three top drone trackers with some of their essential technical specs:
|Drone Tracker||Weight||Battery Life||Water Resistance|
|Marco Polo Drone Tracker||1.2oz||12+ days||Yes|
|Tile Pro Tracker||0.5oz||Replaceable battery (1-year life)||No|
|Trackimo GPS Drone Tracker||1.4oz||4-5 days||Yes|
While choosing the best drone tracker from the above-mentioned list or Amazon, remember to consider the features that matter most to your requirements carefully.
Top 5 Best Drone Trackers on the Market
I've taken the liberty to research and compile a list of the top 5 best drone trackers currently on the market.
DJI Trackimo Tracker
This tracker is specially designed for DJI drones and offers real-time GPS tracking. It's integrated into the drone and lets you monitor its location with the Trackimo mobile app or web browser. Some notable features of the DJI Trackimo Tracker are:
- Real-time tracking with intervals ranging from 1 to 60 minutes
- Worldwide coverage with GSM connectivity
- Geo-fence and SOS alerts
- Battery life: Up to 96 hours
- Available on Amazon for easy purchase
Marco Polo Advanced RC
Marco Polo is a popular brand, and their Advanced RC tracker is made with drone enthusiasts in mind. This system uses radio frequency (RF) technology that works independently from GPS, providing you with a reliable backup tracking solution. The Marco Polo Advanced RC is perfect for areas without cell coverage or when GPS is obstructed.
- The effective range of up to 2 miles
- Battery life: Up to 6 weeks in standby mode
- Waterproof and shock-resistant design
- Track up to 3 drones using a single handheld locator
Flytrex Live 3G
This tiny device offers worldwide 3G coverage, precise GPS location, and flight telemetry. Flytrex Live 3G easily installs on your drone, allowing you to track its location through its website or mobile app.
- Real-time flight telemetry with flight data storage
- Receive notifications on various flight parameters
- Battery life: Typically lasts the duration of the drone's flight time
- Supported drone models include DJI Phantom, Inspire, and Mavic series
As the name suggests, this tracker is a versatile unit that can be used with most drone models. It comes with a long-lasting battery and offers worldwide tracking via GPS and GSM networks.
- Battery life: Up to 5 days in tracking mode
- Real-time location updates with adjustable tracking intervals
- Geo-fencing, SOS alerts, and movement detection
- Mobile app and web portal for easy monitoring
A more economical option, Tile Pro uses Bluetooth technology for short-range tracking. While not designed specifically for drones, it can be attached to your drone with the help of a mounting kit.
- Range: Up to 400 feet
- Replaceable battery with a 1-year life
- Compatible with Tile's smartphone app for easy tracking
Remember, using a drone tracker will enable you to fly your drone with confidence, knowing you'll be able to locate it should it stray or encounter any issues. Consider the options above to find the best drone tracker for your needs.
Comparing GPS and Radio Frequency Trackers
When looking for the best drone tracker, it's important to understand the difference between GPS and Radio Frequency (RF) trackers. These two types of drone trackers have their own set of advantages and drawbacks.
In this section, I'll discuss the differences and help you decide which type might be best for your specific needs.
GPS trackers use satellite signals to determine the location of your drone. They're highly accurate, often providing location data within a few meters. Some of the benefits of using a GPS tracker include:
- High accuracy
- Worldwide coverage
- Real-time tracking
However, GPS trackers also have some disadvantages:
- They may not work well in dense urban areas or heavily wooded environments. Buildings or trees can block satellite signals, making it difficult to accurately track your drone.
- A reliable data connection is required for real-time tracking.
- GPS trackers tend to be more expensive than RF trackers.
Radio Frequency Trackers
On the other hand, RF trackers use radio signals to track your drone. They work by transmitting a signal from a handheld device to your drone, which then sends the signal back to the transmitter, allowing you to track its location. Some of the advantages of RF trackers include:
- They work well in dense urban environments and wooded areas, where satellite signals might be blocked or weakened.
- No data connection is needed, making them suitable for use in remote locations.
- Typically, RF trackers are less expensive than GPS trackers.
However, RF trackers have their own set of disadvantages:
- Limited range, often to a few miles or less.
- Less accurate than GPS trackers, with a location accuracy of about 10-50 meters.
- Tracking updates are not in real-time and may be delayed.
Here are some technical specs for popular GPS and RF trackers available on Amazon:
|Tracker||Type||Range||Accuracy||Real-time Tracking||Data Connection Required||Price (Around)|
|Tile Pro||RF||400 ft||10-50 m||No||No||$34.99|
|Marco Polo||RF||2 miles||10-50 m||No||No||$219.95|
By understanding the differences between GPS and RF trackers, you can make a more informed decision on which type will work best for your specific needs. Remember to weigh the benefits and drawbacks of each type and consider factors like range, accuracy, cost, and environmental conditions when choosing the best drone tracker for your needs.
Please note: All technical specs are derived from product listings and may vary slightly between sellers.
How to Set Up and Use Your Drone Tracker
Setting up and using a drone tracker may seem daunting, but I'm here to simplify the process for you. By following these steps, you'll have your drone tracker up and running in no time.
Step 1: Purchase a Drone Tracker
Firstly, you need to purchase a reliable drone tracker. There are various drone trackers available on Amazon. When selecting a tracker, make sure to consider its technical specifications like range, battery life, and compatibility with your drone.
Step 2: Charging Your Drone Tracker
Once you've got your drone tracker, it's essential to charge it fully before using it. Most drone trackers come with rechargeable batteries, so don't forget to charge both the tracker and the drone's battery before your first flight.
Step 3: Attach the Tracker to Your Drone
After charging, securely attach the tracker to your drone. Make sure it's firmly fixed to avoid losing it during the flight. Some trackers come with adhesive backing or mounting brackets, which makes it easier to install them onto your drone.
Step 4: Sync Your Drone Tracker with the App
Most drone trackers have a dedicated app that you need to download and install on your smartphone or tablet. After downloading the app, follow the on-screen instructions to sync your drone tracker to the app. This process usually involves creating an account, turning on your drone tracker, and allowing the app to detect the device.
Step 5: Adjust Your Settings
Once your drone tracker is connected to the app, you'll need to adjust the settings according to your preferences. These settings might include:
- Flight radius: Set a maximum distance for your drone to fly from its starting point.
- Geofencing: Define specific areas where your drone is allowed or not allowed to fly.
- Alerts: Customize notifications to receive if your drone goes beyond the set boundaries or loses connection with the tracker.
Step 6: Start Flying
With everything set up, it's time to take your drone for a spin! Be sure to maintain line-of-sight with your drone during the flight and keep an eye on the app's interface for any important information, such as battery levels and connection status.
So, there you have it! In just a few simple steps, you can set up and use your drone tracker. This way, you'll ensure a safe and enjoyable flying experience for both you and your high-flying drone.
Battery Life and Charging Options
When it comes to choosing the best drone tracker, battery life and charging options are crucial factors to consider. In this section, I'll discuss the importance of these factors and highlight some popular drone trackers with reliable battery performance and convenient charging options.
A drone tracker's battery life determines how long it can function before needing to recharge. This is particularly important for those who use their drones for extended periods, like aerial photography or surveying. Longer battery life means more time spent in the air and less downtime. Most drone trackers have a battery life ranging from 2 to 6 hours.
Apart from battery life, charging options also play a significant role in the user experience. There are two primary ways in which drone trackers can be charged:
- USB Charging: Many drone trackers support USB charging, making it easy to charge them from your computer or using a standard USB wall adapter.
- Replaceable Batteries: Some trackers use replaceable batteries, allowing users to swap out depleted batteries for freshly charged ones.
When evaluating charging options, it's important to consider the recharging time as well. Most trackers take between 1 to 3 hours to recharge fully. Be mindful of your specific requirements and preferences when choosing the best option for you.
There are plenty of excellent drone trackers available on Amazon to meet various needs in terms of battery life and charging options. Technical Specs for these trackers may include the following:
- Battery Life (in hours)
- Charging Method (USB or replaceable batteries)
- Charging Time
Knowing the technical specs and identifying key differences will enable you to make an informed decision about which drone tracker is best suited for your purposes.
As we can see, battery life and charging options are critical factors to consider when selecting a drone tracker that meets your needs. Don't forget to go through customer reviews and ratings on Amazon to gain insights into real-world battery performance and charging experiences. With this information, you'll be well on your way to choosing the perfect drone tracker to accompany your aerial adventures.
Tips for Choosing the Right Drone Tracker
When it comes to finding the ideal drone tracker, I know that the options can be overwhelming. With so many features and specifications to consider, it's crucial to narrow down your choices based on essential factors. Here are my top tips for selecting the perfect drone tracker for your needs.
1. Compatibility: Not all drone trackers are compatible with every drone model. Before making your decision, ensure that the tracker you're considering is suitable for your specific drone. You can usually find this information in the product description or by contacting the manufacturer.
2. Tracking Range: Different trackers offer varying tracking distances. Depending on your usage, you may need a tracker with a longer range. If you're flying your drone over vast landscapes or at higher altitudes, a tracker with an extended range will be crucial.
3. Battery Life: Long-lasting battery life is vital for a drone tracker, as it ensures continuous tracking even during extended flights. Compare the battery life of different trackers, and pick one that meets your needs.
4. Real-Time Tracking: Real-time tracking capabilities are a must-have feature. It allows you to monitor your drone's location instantly and makes it easier to recover it in case of a malfunction or flyaway.
5. Ease of Use: Choose a drone tracker with an intuitive user interface and straightforward setup process. It'll save you time and ensure a hassle-free experience.
6. Waterproof and Weatherproof: Drones are often flown in various weather conditions. A waterproof and weatherproof tracker is essential for protection against elements like rain, snow, and dust.
7. Price: Drone trackers come at various price points. It's important to stick to your budget but remember not to compromise on essential features.
Ultimately, it's essential to do your research before purchasing a drone tracker. Keep these tips in mind, and you'll be on your way to finding the perfect tracker to keep your drone safe and secure during your flights.
Drone Safety and Legal Regulations
It's crucial to be aware of drone safety and legal regulations. Flying your drone responsibly and safely ensures a pleasant experience for everyone, including non-drone users. So let's take a look at some essential aspects of drone safety and legal regulations.
Drone categories and their requirements
Drones can be classified into different categories based on their weight and intended use. Here's a brief rundown:
|Nano||Up to 250 grams (0.55 lbs)||No registration required|
|Micro||250 grams to 2kg (0.55 to 4.4 lbs)||Registration and basic knowledge|
|Small||2kg to 25kg (4.4 to 55 lbs)||Registration and a certified drone pilot license|
General guidelines for Drone pilots
Knowing the category of your drone is just the beginning. Here are some general guidelines designed to help you fly safely and legally:
- Always maintain a visual line of sight with your drone (use a first-person view - FPV - only with a visual observer)
- Avoid flying over people, in controlled airspace, or near critical infrastructures (e.g., airports, power plants)
- Obtain necessary permits for commercial flights and in certain restricted areas
- Adhere to local laws and regulations, which can vary by jurisdiction
The importance of drone trackers
Now that you're familiar with essential safety measures and legal requirements, what's the role of drone trackers? A drone tracker:
- Helps locate a lost or damaged drone, notably in cases where visual line of sight is compromised
- Provides real-time location data enabling pilots to avoid restricted zones and potential hazards
- Offers in-flight telemetry that can alert you to battery levels, altitude, and speed for better control
To make an informed decision, I'd recommend reviewing the technical specs of each potential drone tracker. Additionally, don't forget to read reviews from other drone enthusiasts to gain valuable insights into the reliability and functionality of the device.
If you're looking to purchase a drone tracker online, consider checking out Amazon or other major tech retailers. Be sure to compare different products and get a sense of their pros and cons before making your final choice.
In the end, the goal is to find the best drone tracker that fulfills your requirements in terms of compatibility, range, battery life, features, and budget constraints. Once you're confident about the drone tracker you've chosen, you'll be able to enhance your flying experience, maintain control over your drone, and secure your investment. Happy flying, and may your adventures in the sky be safe and enjoyable with your brand-new drone tracker!