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If you are a drone owner this is probably a common question that you wonder about. The problem with this question is it could mean two different things to two different people. It could mean you are wondering whether your drone can be tracked by a third party such as the government or drone manufacturer but it could also mean you are wondering if you can track your own drone that has been lost or stolen.
In this article we will answer both of those questions as well as give you some additional information about your drone and what you can do to track it yourself if you want to.
Drones cannot be tracked by the drone manufactures or by anyone else at this time. You can install trackers on your drone if you want to track it if it gets lost or stolen but those must be added after the purchase.
Drones don’t currently have tracking like phones where you can hop on the computer and track your drone down but that could certainly be added in the future. It’s also possible that drones could be tracked by manufacturers or the government in the future (if they aren’t already tracking them without telling us) but as of now drones are relatively untrackable in both cases.
Drones can be picked up on some specialized radars but that is rare so tracking them because of their small size has proven difficult for governments around the world to keep tabs on which is why drones are outlawed in many countries.
If you are concerned about your drone crashing and getting lost or getting stolen you will likely want to add a third party tracking device to the drone to allow you to find it in the event of either of those happening.
We will discuss the current best trackers on the market that you can use for this next. One thing to keep in mind is that these trackers will add some additional weight to your drone (although some of them are quite light) so you won’t be able to fly as long in most cases with these attached.
Tracki GPS tracker
Tracki makes quite a few different GPS trackers but one that would work perfect for adding it to your drone is the Tracki mini. This model (found here) is surprisingly cheap and also lightweight at only a little over an ounce.
This tracker is an intelligent GPS miniature device that helps you see exactly every move of your drone on your mobile phone or tablet. It ensures the recovery of your drone that might have flown away due to strong wind, loss of line of sight or pilot error. Your tracker can be used to access the location by using either a computer or mobile device from anywhere in the world.
It has unique revolutionary GPS/GSM/Wi-fi/BT hybrid tracking that uses four technologies to accurately locate anything in the world and it can even do indoor tracking using wi-fi. For accurately tracking 10-100 feet within your drone landing, you can use the Bluetooth tracking.
Since it is a GPS-GSM tracking device, a sim is included in the device but you have to pay a monthly service charge to keep it active. This is because the GPS uses cellular towers to pinpoint the location so a service plan is needed.
How is this tracker attached?
This tracker comes with a magnet, Velcro or belt clip that can be used to attach it to your drone. There are also many drone attachment kits (such as this one) that you can use if the tracker comes with won’t work for you. The one I linked to above is made especially with an industrial grade hook and loop strap. This will fit for 95% of all drone types and it only weighs around 3 grams compared to a 30-40 gram plastic mount.
Why use a drone attachment kit?
Compared to a plastic mount, the tracking drone attachment kit is far less likely to detach in case of any collision or a dramatic hard landing. It is also more aerodynamic than plastic mounts creating less air resistance which in turn means that it won’t hinder your flight as much.
It is also almost weightless, weighing in at only 3 grams. This tracker attachment has almost no effect on the balance of the drone itself making it more stable than other attachments to your drone.
What are the special features of this drone tracker?
This tracker has speed alerts that send a warning when the device has exceeded a preset speed. It also has a fence alert that lets you know when the drone is leaving the geo-fence you set.
Another one of the features is an SOS alert, once it’s pressed it alerts the owner. It also offers an app, email and SMS alert and it can also give updates every minute with live tracking.
It also has a long battery life.
It’s battery can last 30 days when not being used for live tracking and can last 2-3 days when live tracking is being used.
It is known as one of the smallest and lightest trackers on the market as it only weighs around 1.4 ounces.
What are the benefits when you use such a tracker?
This drone tracker works great and is incredibly cheap to purchase. That is a huge benefit as you don’t have to put out much money upfront. However the monthly fees can add up quickly so if your drone is not a really expensive one then as long as you don’t lose it frequently you can easily save money by NOT buying a tracking and spending the monthly cost.
It does offer worldwide coverage that you can track via the Internet or using your mobile phone.
GPS and GSM give instant, highly precise location, and history. It also comes with free Android and iPhone apps. Above all, it offers great customer service which is helpful if you have an issue with the tracker or the monthly service.
To see some of the additional features that this drone tracker comes with check out the video below.
Marco Polo Drone Tracker
If the monthly fees don’t sound appealing to you then this tracker is the one that you want! It is considerably more expensive than the tracker that we discussed above but it is a one time charge and then there are no monthly fees after that!
To see exactly how much it is currently selling for you can click here.
It is a long-range drone tracking and recovery system that helps you wherever you go. It does not require GPS, or cellular or internet service so that is how they get away with not charging any monthly fees.
You just need to attach this lightweight compact tag transceiver to your drone and then turn it on. In most cases, you need to turn on the locator by switching it to track mode.
What are the benefits of this tracker?
It works everywhere you go. Yes, everywhere! Unlike most other trackers that require an internet connection, this tracker does not need any connection making it more accessible to drone pilots and cheaper overall. It has no GPS however it does not give you a headache with monthly fees ever! It has the lowest total cost of ownership of any system that is currently on the market.
It can be used with a range of up to 2 miles. It also has a good battery life of up to 15 days per charge.
How it works is you attach it to your drone and then if you lose the drone you simply activate the signal. As long as you are within 2 miles of the drone then you will be able to find it within inches! If you are farther away than that then you just have to walk within 2 miles of the drone to start picking up the signal so it works incredibly well!
It also has two system options; an ultralight system that offers a super lightweight transceiver tag that only weighs around 12 grams (.42 ounces) and an advanced system that weighs 23 grams (.81 ounces) that are enclosed with a waterproof polycarbonate case.
What are the Tag Transceiver battery and charge capacity?
It uses a rechargeable lithium-polymer battery that is included when you purchase this tracker. When it is on its idle mode, the battery life is up to 10 days and while in tracking mode, it can reach up to 3 days. When it is in its monitoring mode, the battery life is around 30 days. Though your experience with actual use may vary.
What is its system radio frequency operational specification?
Its method is frequency hopping spread spectrum with 50 channels. The band is ISM 902.5 Mhz to 906.5 Mhz. It also needs a license, in order to operate under FCC part 15 section 247. Transmits power by 250 mW.
Where can you use this drone tracker at?
Since this drone tracker doesn’t rely on the internet or GPS to track your drone then you can fly anywhere with the peace of mind that you can easily find your drone. If you are “off grid” with no cell service then the other tracker mentioned earlier won’t work but this one will still work flawlessly!
For most people this is the best drone tracker since there are no monthly charges or cell service required to work properly.
You can find this drone tracker on Amazon here.
You can also see a full review of this model in the video below.
There are many reasons why your drone might end up flying away. It might be because of a strong wind that carried your drone far away or it could simply be because of some radio interference that caused a malfunction in your communication system.
No matter the reason why your drone is as lost you can easily find it with these trackers no matter where you are at.
Drones as of now cannot be tracked by the manufacturers or even by the government (supposedly) but that also means that finding a drone that is lost or stolen is difficult if not impossible without a tracker like one of the ones mentioned in this article. If you have an expensive drone it is certainly worth the price to get one of the ones mentioned so you never have to worry about losing your drone ever again.