SIM Card Based GPS Trackers

Bruce

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Has anyone used a SIM card based GPS tracker in their rocket? I'm trying to find something more affordable (and possibly with more features) than the Tracki.

tracki.com

The Tracki costs $18 for the tracker plus $20 per month for the service and you can cancel anytime. But the Tracki does not have a SIM card, so you are tied to them for the service.

SIM card based trackers have the potential to be cheaper as you could use them with any service. For example, the SpeedTalk SIM card based service costs $5 per month.

speedtalkmobile.com

Of course cellular service is needed at the flying field for these type of trackers to work.

The Tracki that we use does a good job of showing where the rocket lands and it's self contained with it's own battery. It will fit in a 2" tube, but not a 38mm, so smaller would be better. It updates every few minutes which is adequate, but if it updated more often, that would be better too. It shows latitude and longitude, but not altitude nor velocity, both of which seem like they should be possible...
 

PayLoad

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Discussing here :


I will report back with results on first flight
 

bobbyg23

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This was discussed last week.
And it will be discussed next week. It is one of those topics that will be discussed over and over. It is like a pain or glue thread. And as technology advances, so will trackers and their usefulness. Lots of people can't use these as there is no cell service in launch areas.
 

cerving

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You're going to keep seeing vendors selling the 2G trackers in eBay forever... they want to get rid of their stock, and 99% of the people that buy them and find out they don't work anymore (assuming they ever did in the first place...) won't bother to try to get a refund. 3G is on death's doorstep too, so when they go dead you'll see the same thing. If you want to try a cellular "ping" tracker, make sure it's at least 4G LTE... which means that it's not going to be $18.
 

Bruce

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You're going to keep seeing vendors selling the 2G trackers in eBay forever... they want to get rid of their stock, and 99% of the people that buy them and find out they don't work anymore (assuming they ever did in the first place...) won't bother to try to get a refund. 3G is on death's doorstep too, so when they go dead you'll see the same thing. If you want to try a cellular "ping" tracker, make sure it's at least 4G LTE... which means that it's not going to be $18.
True, not $18, but here are 3 that are less than $20. Any ideas if they would work in a rocket or not?

https://www.ebay.com/itm/1255414768...FxWatqTh3mRY4VyM=|tkp:Bk9SR5DCwPj4YA&LH_BIN=1

https://www.ebay.com/itm/1656948166...F0dVIdZmrFOT5jDN7|tkp:Bk9SR5DCwPj4YA&LH_BIN=1

 

Scott_650

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And it will be discussed next week. It is one of those topics that will be discussed over and over. It is like a pain or glue thread. And as technology advances, so will trackers and their usefulness. Lots of people can't use these as there is no cell service in launch areas.
Yup. Along with the “which rocket for (fill in the blank) should I get” and “why won’t Manufacturer X make/improve/bring back Product Y” topics. I broke my newish rule about never getting involved in a paint thread again on FB the other day… Last time ever, starting now! 😆
 

Handeman

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I know I didn't pay the current price of $340 for my T3 system. I've had it for 3 years now so at $20/month for 6 flying months a year on a cell service system, that would be $360 already. So I'm definitely money ahead with my T3 already. Flying year round and I would hit that point in a year & a half.

I understand the appeal of low cost cell service based trackers, but it's only cheaper in the short term. The systems built specifically for rocketry don't have the cell service dependencies, coverage issues, and are cheaper in the long run. YMMV
 

plugger

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I know I didn't pay the current price of $340 for my T3 system. I've had it for 3 years now so at $20/month for 6 flying months a year on a cell service system, that would be $360 already. So I'm definitely money ahead with my T3 already. Flying year round and I would hit that point in a year & a half.

I understand the appeal of low cost cell service based trackers, but it's only cheaper in the short term. The systems built specifically for rocketry don't have the cell service dependencies, coverage issues, and are cheaper in the long run. YMMV
Most all countries outside of the US have low cost prepaid SIM card services which negate this argument.
 

rocket_troy

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Indeed, I pay $10 AUD every 6 months for the 3G sim card used in a garage door monitor device I built years ago.

I personally wouldn't bother with these devices for where I fly as we're struggling to get coverage at head height, let alone ground height, but with locations with really good coverage, then it might work.

TP
 

Handeman

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Indeed, I pay $10 AUD every 6 months for the 3G sim card used in a garage door monitor device I built years ago.

I personally wouldn't bother with these devices for where I fly as we're struggling to get coverage at head height, let alone ground height, but with locations with really good coverage, then it might work.

TP
That is good, except 3G doesn't exist any longer in the US, except in a few isolated locations and those are going away. Since most of the people on this forum are in the US, this doesn't negate the argument to move to dedicated rocketry trackers, in my opinion.

You may need to upgrade your device to 4G pretty soon.
 

plugger

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That is good, except 3G doesn't exist any longer in the US, except in a few isolated locations and those are going away. Since most of the people on this forum are in the US, this doesn't negate the argument to move to dedicated rocketry trackers, in my opinion.

You may need to upgrade your device to 4G pretty soon.
3G is slated to be deprecated by our major national carrier in June 2024 but given the woeful state of our broadband network I'm not holding my breath. The other carriers haven't even stated a turn off date.
 
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