# smallest tracker

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#### rockets

##### Well-Known Member
What are some of the smallest trackers out there??
I have heard of the "MicroBeacon" but other than that, are there any cheap, small ones?? That will fit a 29mm tube?
Thanks,

#### ksaves2

There's this one: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Micro-FM-T...733799?hash=item3d1de7c5e7:g:peMAAOSwGIRXa16F

But you'd have to add something to make noise like a beeper. The other issue is a decent antenna on the broadcast band can be pretty long so the range is limited with this device. You could use it

#### cwbullet

##### Obsessed with Rocketry
Staff member
TRF Supporter
Global Mod
Any smaller ones?

#### dhbarr

##### Amateur Professional
I've never heard of anything lighter than 4-5g; would definitely be interesting to hear of something smaller.

#### cwbullet

##### Obsessed with Rocketry
Staff member
TRF Supporter
Global Mod
I've never heard of anything lighter than 4-5g; would definitely be interesting to hear of something smaller.
I will look at these. Thanks.

Staff member
TRF Supporter
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#### gtg738w

##### FlightSketch - flightsketch.com
If you just want an rf beacon, the wildlife trackers will be hard to beat for small stuff. If you want GPS, packing a good nav antenna on small boards is very difficult. There gets to be a size where the efficiency dives off a cliff and even if the components get smaller you still need the board area because of the antenna. It's a direct trade off between size and performance.

We will still be releasing our tracker whenever ublox starts shipping again...

#### cerving

##### Owner, Eggtimer Rocketry
TRF Supporter
I can tell you definitively that GPS performance with a smaller board is not as good as with a larger one. Ideally, the ground plane for a patch antenna should be at least twice the size of the patch antenna in both dimensions, with no active components, just a ground plane. Pretty much nobody does that... board space is a precious commodity. Sometimes you have to accept reduced performance if "other" things (like size) take precedence.

#### ksaves2

I can tell you definitively that GPS performance with a smaller board is not as good as with a larger one. Ideally, the ground plane for a patch antenna should be at least twice the size of the patch antenna in both dimensions, with no active components, just a ground plane. Pretty much nobody does that... board space is a precious commodity. Sometimes you have to accept reduced performance if "other" things (like size) take precedence.
Ditto,
I played with some small GPS chipsets like as could be had with a cellphone and they really need to be out in the open to function well.
If used in a rocket, might have an issue upon touchdown if the GPS patch is facing the dirt or off to the side. Not as much of a problem with the larger GPS patch.

Kurt Savegnago

#### Scott_650

##### Well-Known Member
The Marco Polo Ultralight Drone Transceiver could fit into a smaller rocket - it is less than an inch across but including the antenna it’s roughly 2 inches long - weighs 12 grams. I’ve seen the M-P system in use, it works very well for the flying conditions here in Ohio where we’re mostly trying to find rockets lost in field crops like soybeans or corn, probably not a good choice for really large recovery areas like open desert or in mountain areas. I thought about buying a M-P set but decided I’d wait for the Flightsketch SST or, if my soldering works well enough on my Eggtimer kits, an Eggfinder setup. As Kurt said in another discussion I think the LoRa stuff is really going to be viable for basic rocket trackers.

#### Gemini Junkie

##### Active Member
I just got the Marco Polo Advanced and it works great it tests. Now to fly it in a rocket. Anyone using the Marco Polo? What's the best way to mount it?

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#### Scott_650

##### Well-Known Member
I just got the Marco Polo Advanced and it works great it tests. Now to fly it in a rocket. Anyone using the Marco Polo? What's the best way to mount it?
Northern Ohio Tripoli (NOTRA) member Andrew Kleinhenz uses the M-P, he’s a member of TRF and is on the NOTRA FB page as well. Hopefully he doesn’t mind me throwing his name out there...

#### gtg738w

##### FlightSketch - flightsketch.com
Ditto,
I played with some small GPS chipsets like as could be had with a cellphone and they really need to be out in the open to function well.
If used in a rocket, might have an issue upon touchdown if the GPS patch is facing the dirt or off to the side. Not as much of a problem with the larger GPS patch.

Kurt Savegnago
Exactly, even the micro size stuff for cell/mobile applications is still designed for a ground plane the size of a cell phone... That's relatively huge compared to what we're talking about here.

#### cwbullet

##### Obsessed with Rocketry
Staff member
TRF Supporter
Global Mod
I just got the Marco Polo Advanced and it works great it tests. Now to fly it in a rocket. Anyone using the Marco Polo? What's the best way to mount it?

View attachment 455947
I wish they has the size posted on their website.

#### cwbullet

##### Obsessed with Rocketry
Staff member
TRF Supporter
Global Mod
That is helpful, but measurements would be better.

#### Scott_650

##### Well-Known Member
That is helpful, but measurements would be better.
You have to drill down through some menus but the specs are there:

Tag Transceiver Physical Specifications
• Height: 2 in. (51 mm)
• Width: .86 in. (22 mm)
• Depth: .45 in. (11.5 mm)
• Weight: .42 oz. (12 g)

#### kalsow

##### Well-Known Member
That is helpful, but measurements would be better.
U.S. Quarter: 24.26mm D x 1.75mm thick.

#### SkyFire

##### Well-Known Member
Email I received today with additional info;

David,

The tag transceiver can be mounted inside the rocket provided that the antenna is not dressed back along the body of the tag and that the outer shell is a non-conductive material (i.e. fiberglass good, metal or carbon fiber is bad).

Attaching to the shock cord also works. Having the tag antenna perpendicular to the ground gives the most efficient radiation and bearing measurement from the handheld locator – being on the shock cord you know the orientation of the tag’s antenna during descent and allows you to get a bearing on the landing zone at a much greater distance vs when the tag is laying on the ground. If you use the ultralight tag, make certain that you don’t place too much pressure on the unit when attaching it to the cord. The Advanced tag https://eurekaproducts.com/advanced-drone-category/ is better for that since it is in a polycarbonate case and has zip-tie eyelets specifically made for securing the tag. You can see in the attached video that the Advanced unit is very rugged.

Regards,

Tim Crabtree

President

Eureka Technology Partners, LLC

[email protected]

www.eurekaproducts.com

866 825-4208

#### cwbullet

##### Obsessed with Rocketry
Staff member
TRF Supporter
Global Mod
You have to drill down through some menus but the specs are there:

Tag Transceiver Physical Specifications
• Height: 2 in. (51 mm)
• Width: .86 in. (22 mm)
• Depth: .45 in. (11.5 mm)
• Weight: .42 oz. (12 g)
Thank you. That is a perfect size for what I need.

#### Scott_650

##### Well-Known Member
Now strap it to the propeller of a speedboat - takes a licking and keeps on...beeping!