Giant Leap Trackimo?

Discussion in 'Product and Vendor Reviews' started by DAllen, Nov 19, 2015.

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  1. Nov 19, 2015 #1

    DAllen

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  2. Nov 19, 2015 #2

    djkingsley

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    It does not list what GPS module it uses so be careful it's not a GSM tracking device. There is a big difference between using the GPS satellites and the GSM towers for tracking.
     
  3. Nov 19, 2015 #3

    mikec

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  4. Dec 29, 2015 #4

    Worsaer

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    Bumping this thread...

    Anyone have first-hand experience with one of these? Any issues?
     
  5. Jan 8, 2016 #5

    freddiejojo

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    Dear Mr. DJ,

    I have information direct from the sales manager of Trackimo, Jim Pradine:

    "Trackimos rely on GPS to locate it's position and uses the cell network to transmit to the owner the location. The ONLY time a cell network is used for location ( triangulation) is if the unit is inside a building making it impossible to receive the GPS signal"

    So the upshot of that is as long as you do not fly rockets inside a building, you are good to go.

    On another issue, people are saying the Trackimo will not work soon because the "2g" network is going away, again I quote Mr. Pradine:

    " AT&T is in the process of transitioning from 2g to 3g networks during the next two to three years. During this transition phase, Trackimo units will continue to work normally. At the end of this transition, Trackimo, Inc. will contact all registered owners of their units and offer a brand new Trackimo (with a new rechargeable battery) to the customer for $25."

    Hopefully, this has answered questions and shows Trackimo is standing behind their product and why GLR is selling them.

    Kent/glr
     
  6. Jan 8, 2016 #6

    djkingsley

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    That is good news, I have seen plenty of people show up with "trackers" bought on amazon, aliexpress, and other sites that claim to be GPS trackers but in reality they are GSM only.

    Thanks for taking the time to find the answer.

    Dennis
     
  7. Jan 9, 2016 #7

    Swissyhawk

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    I have a Trackimo. I've now used it on 5 flights.

    It has an indicator light that tells you if you are connected to a cellular network and another indicator light if you are receiving gps.

    I use the Trackimo website on my Ipad to follow the Trackimo. The fastest update rate is once a minute, so it is really only for recovering your rocket. You won't get a flight path or an altitude out of it.

    It has successfully worked on 4 of the 5 flights I've used it on. On the second flight my rocket drifted out of sight. By looking at the Trackimo website, I could tell it had landed close to a road on the other side of the field, so we took the car and drove over there. That saved a lot of time walking. We drove right to the dot on the map, and there was the rocket hanging from a tree just off the road. It would have been tough to find without the tracker.

    On the one flight were it didn't work, the tracker updated when I moved the rocket to the launch pad, but that was the last update. I don't know what happened or why it never updated again. That same day I used it on a later flight and it worked fine.

    One thing that I don't like is that you don't seem to get an update if it's not moved since the last update, so that kind of leaves you wondering if its working or not until it moves. I haven't spent a lot of time with it, so there may be some setting that I could change.

    It's fairly small, but I wish it was even smaller. I put it in a small plastic bag and wrap it in a small nomex blanket. Then I wire tie it to the eye bolt in the nose cone. There's really not much else to do with it.

    It's pretty simple to use right out of the box. About a year ago, I looked into other cell phone based GPS trackers and they all had monthly costs of $20-30. That was too high for me, so I passed on those. The Trackimo is free for the first year and then $5 month after. I figured I could afford that.

    As fast as things change, I'm sure there will be a better/smaller gps tracker next year. I don't think Trackimo is perfect, but it's pretty good.


    Edit: I wanted to clarify when I said I wish it were smaller. It is pretty small. It will fit in a 54 mm tube, but it won't fit in a 38 mm tube. Also, the battery is internal and you charge it with a USB charger, so you don't have to worry about finding room for an external battery.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2016
  8. Jan 9, 2016 #8

    Worsaer

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    Gregg,

    Thanks for the update. This is very helpful.
     
  9. Jan 9, 2016 #9

    freddiejojo

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    Dear Mr. Hawk,

    You have my curiosity up in regards to the one flight it did not record. I am going to share your experience with the company and try to get a fix. Will advise.

    Kent/glr
     
  10. Jan 9, 2016 #10

    freddiejojo

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    Mr. Hawk,

    In speaking with the Trackimo guy just now, he stated it will NOT update if it does not move (per your experience sitting on the launch pad) because that is a battery saving feature. Okay, makes sense, but I do understand your concern if it is working. As for why it did not work on that flight, I don't have an exact answer but a question for you: did you ever shut the unit off between flights? Maybe it got "jarred" on the previous flight? Maybe we need to shut-off and then fire back up to reset the unit between each flight? His comparison was like a computer that needs to be unplugged and then plugged back in to make work.

    Anything else?

    Kent/glr
     
  11. Jan 9, 2016 #11

    scsager

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    Sales managers are NOTORIOUS for not understanding the product and saying ANYTHING to make a sale.

    Don't be fooled - carefully read and understand the above in red. The rocket MUST be within cell coverage to SEND out its location, and your cell phone must have cell coverage to RECEIVE the location.

    Bottom line - this system is used to track luggage that gets sent to the wrong airport - it is TOTALLY dependant on cell phone coverage at both ends.
     
  12. Jan 9, 2016 #12

    woferry

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    In all fairness, that's not an issue for some places, though it obviously is for others. Two of the three fields I launch at have excellent cell reception, much better than I get at my house in a major city. The third place I launch is a total cell phone void. So for some people this thing would work great, for others not so much. The GLR site description clearly says in the first sentence that it works where there is a cell phone signal, so I don't think they're trying to fool anybody.
     
  13. Jan 9, 2016 #13

    Swissyhawk

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    I launched three rockets with Trackimo that day. Trackimo failed on the first flight.

    The flights were
    1. Black brant - 13.0 lbs on the pad - J570W. Trackimo showed it on the pad, but never after the flight.
    2. MDRM ~ 3 lbs - H128W. Trackimo showed it on the pad and after it landed.
    3. Canadian Arrow ~ 3 lbs - H178DM. Trackimo showed it on the pad and after it landed.

    After the first flight, I remember checking and Trackimo still had power on. I cycled power before using it on the second flight.


    I went back to the Trackimo website where the data is still available. This is what it shows. I added the annotation.

    Trackimo Map 12-13-15.jpg

    Interestingly the plot does not show the last two rockets on the pad, so I downloaded the data from the Trackimo website into an Exceel spreadsheet.

    The downloaded data contains 83 data points, so the plot from the website clearly doesn't show everything. I'm not sure how the Trackimo website is picking what points to plot. Clearly by looking at the time stamps and plotting the google map links, the recovery from the first rocket is not in the data.

    I would still like to find an app to plot all the lat and long from the data file just to get a good visual of all the movement.


    Gregg
     

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    Last edited: Jan 9, 2016
  14. Jan 9, 2016 #14

    Worsaer

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    I am not a Google Earth guru, but if I understand it correctly, you should be able to merge the coordinates into a KML file that will do what you're looking for.
    (Maybe when I have some spare time I'll give it a try, since I'm interested in practical use of one of these.)


    After a couple of minutes searching.... check this out. You can paste the coordinates and generate a map that shows the waypoints.

    http://www.hamstermap.com/quickmap.php
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2016
  15. Jan 9, 2016 #15

    Swissyhawk

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    Hey Bill, thank you for posting that website. It worked very well.

    I can clearly see the RSO table, the A-rack (where the 2nd and 3rd rockets were launched from) and the B-rack (where the first rocket was launched from).

    Once again, I added the annotations.

    Trackimo all data 12-13-15.jpg
     
  16. Jan 10, 2016 #16

    freddiejojo

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    Dear Mr. SC,

    Your statements give me pause to say the least, then my frustration begins to enter into the mix. I am betting that the Trackimo sales manager knows far more about his product that either you or I and has been nothing but upfront with me every step of the way and not once sold me a "bill of goods". Show me otherwise. He has never lied to me once so your "ANYTHING" all inclusive statement goes down in flames right there. Secondly, I-GLR and Trackimo is nothing but upfront about the requirement of cell phone service to transmit the location provided by gps. Where have we once said otherwise? Please show me.

    There have been questions-issues in this discussion which are more than valid and deserving of answers. I have done my very best to answer those questions and issues in a forth-right, open and positive manner.

    And so what if it was developed for luggage? Using that line of thought does that disqualify all the other products we use which were not made "specifically" for rocketry? I.E. cellulose wadding (used for house insulation), all-thread, quick-links, nuts and bolts. I have seen so many rockets that look like they were born in a hardware store. Kevlar? Used in tires and abrasion resistance situations, are you applying your rational to that?

    We are nothing more than a "blip" when it comes to economics and the majority of the things we use would not be available if that product was dependent on our tiny little hobby's sales for the majority of it's income. And your comments re-enforce why you rarely see me on any forum.

    Kent Burnett
    Giant Leap Rocketry, done that for fifteen years now
    Kloudbusters, L3, TRA # 3065 and whatever other bilge you want
    620-727-0045
     
  17. Oct 13, 2016 #17

    MadCityFlyers

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    Any new reports on the Trackimo? I'd like to give it a try as the price is not too bad.

    Appreciate any recent experiences with the device used in southern WI or northern IL

    Thanks
     
  18. Oct 15, 2016 #18

    warnerr

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    Kent - i ordered one from you- looks like an easy to use gps for those fields with good cell service. for those that dont i will use other solutions. good to see you on here!
     
  19. Oct 16, 2016 #19

    JP Morgan

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    Ditto!
    And thank you Sir for your devoted time to this wonderful hobby!
     
  20. Oct 16, 2016 #20

    ksaves2

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    The bottom line is if one doesn't want to mess with the technicalities of Rf hardware, have cell service at their launchsite and don't mind a service contract, this is an "out of the box" remedy to avoid a lost rocket. It's a real bummer when one
    sees their creation descending under chute ever so nicely, at the limits of their vision and can't find it when they go out to recover it. Buy the device, put it in the rocket and go. Consider this as a recovery aid to find the resting place only and not something that gives frequent updates for tracking recording purposes. Kurt
     
  21. Oct 16, 2016 #21

    Lowpuller

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    I agree and I've always had great service from GLR!
     
  22. Oct 30, 2016 #22

    freddiejojo

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    Dear Mr. Low,

    Thank you.

    I wanted to give an update on best practices in using the Trackimo product. This comes directly from a flyer with multiple (approaching ten) flights and the last was a high speed shred last Airfest at Argonia. He mounts it on edge (vertically) on his av-board with the "T" of the Trackimo logo embossed on the unit pointing "up" (towards the nosecone).

    This flyer has pushed his Trackimo hard and it has worked like a Timex watch for him.

    Kent/glr
     
  23. Oct 30, 2016 #23

    warnerr

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    Good info- cant wait to play with one. It sounds like a great item to leave in the car- especially if wired to power- you can find your car- especially if someone has decided to take it from you - this would track in Mexico where my truck now lives.
     
  24. Dec 8, 2016 #24

    MadCityFlyers

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    Well I have a mixed customer experience to share. I purchased the 3G Trackimo back in a October with the intent to use it at Midwest Power 14. The unit arrived on time but would not charge. I immediately contacted their customer service and was told that I would receive a replacement battery. So I waited.........and contacted them every week for the next 6 weeks until finally a replacement battery arrived. The long delay and need to contact them repeatedly was really a drag in addition to losing out on the chance to try it out at MWP.

    So how does it work? Well it took a little time to figure out how to start it up correctly and sync it with the GPS signal. What seems to work is to be outside under open sky when first starting it up. If the unit is blocked from the GPS signal it tries to locate using the cell phone GSM signal, which gives a much less accurate location. The tracking info is communicated back to the iPhone using the 3G cell phone network.

    I've been starting the unit and setting it to check location every minute and then putting it in my coat pocket and driving to work. I loaded the Tracking mobile app on my iPhone. So far it has been fairly reliable and gives accurate locations to within maybe 25-100 yards of true.

    Unfortunately I'll have to wait until spring to see how it does in an actual rocket out at a launch site like The Bong in SE Wisconsin. The unit uses the ATT 3G network which has decent coverage so hopefully it will work.

    The first year of use was included free with a $5/month charge after. So total out of pocket for year one was <$200. If it doesn't work for rocket tracking I guess I can sneak it into my teenage sons car 😜

    Cheers all

    Matt
     
  25. Dec 9, 2016 #25

    freddiejojo

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    Dear Mad,

    I would not be happy either, that is not cool. Even though I am out of GLR, I will contact Trackimo directly and see if they will show some love. Will advise,

    Kent/post GLR
     
  26. Apr 6, 2017 #26

    edmuntech

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    hi Mad,

    Same thing I did to activate my 3G Trackimo. I use mine to track my Phantom drone for safety coz i dont want another fly away and never found drone of mine again. If it has decent coverage of network in the area then it will work as you expect it to be. Drones, rockets..its a good thing to track down this valuables with this gps tracker-http://trackimo.com/gps-drone-tracker/

    Godspeed on you rocket launch!! :D :D

    Cheers,
     
  27. Aug 30, 2017 #27

    MadCityFlyers

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    Launched a MadCow Tomach 2.6" on a J570w to an altitude of 7,115 ft. Without the Trackimo on board we would have never found it as it was out of sight almost immediately after ignition. The launch site was the Richard Bong Recreation Area in South West Wisconsin.

    The rocket came down ImageUploadedByRocketry Forum1504066741.095931.jpg almost a mile from the launch site. We tracked the Trackimo on an iPhone. Using the iPhone app got us to within approximately 100ft of the rocket. The funny part of the story is that we slogged through marsh and cat tails for 30 minutes before coming out into the open to find the rocket nice and dry in the grass.

    The trick was to keep refreshing the location so it would generate a more accurate fix from the GPS signal.

    So our first real world test worked!

    Matt
     

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