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Using a smart Phone to track GPS coordinates

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Glasspack

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Well I have just shed a tear and parted with my long time flip phone.

Since my new Samsung Galaxy S7 can use GPS, I want to ask if any of you have any luck using
your phone to input GPS coordinates ? (like from my Beeline 900) Then having the phone give
you the direction to walk or take the ATV to recover your model?

My first thought was to use my TomTom GPS to enter the Coodinates but I am afraid it will
always want me to turn around to find a road...... If an App on the smart phone works,
then I don't have to buy a Garmin hand held unit.

I am hoping it would work fine..... don't even need maps as long as it just points the right way....


Thank you

Paul ...
 

timbucktoo

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Yes, use my iPhone for such with an app called MotionX. Works really well even!
 

Buckeye

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Yes, lots of apps for Android also. I still use my Garmin handheld, though! Old habits...
 

dhkaiser

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Look for GPS Waypoint Finder in the Play store. Gives distance and direction and it is free.
 

Glasspack

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Yes, use my iPhone for such with an app called MotionX. Works really well even!
Tim,

Looks like that App is only for the IPhone. At least that is what it looks like to me so far.....
 

watheyak

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Tim,

Looks like that App is only for the IPhone. At least that is what it looks like to me so far.....
I used MotionX for a long time, then switched to the Galaxy S7 as well. You're correct, MotionX is iPhone only. I haven't needed to track any rockets since switching, so I'm also interested in what other Android users have been using for a GPS app.
 

Glasspack

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I am still testing and playing with my Beeline BRB900 and am getting frustrated with the testing using Google Earth.
Using my home PC right now for all the testing.... I will try it with GPS software APP when I find a good one.... I

am picking up the coordinates from the TXmitter on the LCD Screen of the Receiver and when I finally figured out
how to enter them correctly into Google Earth, they show a position that is like 800 yards off from where the TXmitter
is actually sitting..... I am going to recharge both parts and try again after work.
 

Banzai88

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I just input the coordinates from the last known fix into the google maps app resident on my S5. Walks me right to it.
 

Glasspack

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I just input the coordinates from the last known fix into the google maps app resident on my S5. Walks me right to it.
Banzai, Is it really that easy.. just enter the latitude and longitude into Google Maps Application ........ Directs you right to it....

I will try that app first then.....
 

ksaves2

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Banzai, Is it really that easy.. just enter the latitude and longitude into Google Maps Application ........ Directs you right to it....

I will try that app first then.....
If one uses that strategy make certain you have your input units correct; degrees/decimal degrees, degrees, minutes/decimal minutes, degrees, minutes, seconds. You have it set incorrectly and you'll be off on a wild goose chase.
Also, make sure you carry your BRB900 receiver with you. If your rocket lands far away, your last received packet could be a fair distance away from where the rocket is actually lying. If you get to the site and no rocket is seen, as long as you
get a new position received you can input new coordinates and proceed to that position. If your receiver "hears" nothing, you'll have to guess and proceed in the direction where you think the rocket may lie until you get into the
ground footprint of your tracker.

I suggest you test your ebay with your BRB900 tracker by laying it down in a field and walking away until you lose the signal. Remember, the range will be significantly decreased if the bay lands in a depression on the ground.
You can get an idea of your tracker footprint on the ground if you do this test.

I contacted Greg one time to inquire about the position strings from the BRB900 as I was hoping they were like the straight NMEA strings seen with the EggFinders. He uses a different string pattern. I was hoping to be able to
say the the Android program "GPS Rocket Locator" worked with the 900Mhz Beeline but unfortunately that isn't the case. (That was quite some time ago unless he's changed protocols.)

Tracking live on a map can help develop a drift line so if you arrive at the last known position and don't see the rocket nor receive a new position, a glance at your map will tell you what the drift direction was when the rocket was coming in on descent.
That is hard to visualize with just a lat/long on a digital display.

If one is not flying an extreme project, they should be perfectly satisfied with the BRB900. Nice turnkey setup. Just make absolutely certain you input your positions correctly into your phone or handheld mapping GPS. Kurt
 

fulldec

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Yes, use my iPhone for such with an app called MotionX. Works really well even!
Question about MotionX on iPhone. I fly mostly LPR. Can I use MotionX to get a line on a model as it drifts away, or over a hilltop or row of trees? Then follow the line to retrieve the model. In other words, I won't have a tracker on board to give me a GPS location to walk towards.

Thanks,

Don
 

ChrisAttebery

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There is an app called Triangulate that you can use to get a sight line on an object.

Question about MotionX on iPhone. I fly mostly LPR. Can I use MotionX to get a line on a model as it drifts away, or over a hilltop or row of trees? Then follow the line to retrieve the model. In other words, I won't have a tracker on board to give me a GPS location to walk towards.

Thanks,

Don
 

timbucktoo

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Question about MotionX on iPhone. I fly mostly LPR. Can I use MotionX to get a line on a model as it drifts away, or over a hilltop or row of trees? Then follow the line to retrieve the model. In other words, I won't have a tracker on board to give me a GPS location to walk towards.

Thanks,

Don
Don't think so and if it does I'm not aware. All you can do is basically take a compass bearing and start walking.
 

ksaves2

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Question about MotionX on iPhone. I fly mostly LPR. Can I use MotionX to get a line on a model as it drifts away, or over a hilltop or row of trees? Then follow the line to retrieve the model. In other words, I won't have a tracker on board to give me a GPS location to walk towards.

Thanks,

Don
See the replies above. There are Garmin handheld mapping GPS devices, those that end in HcX or CsX that have a "Sight 'n Go" feature. That is, one can sight across the device along two arrows on the face of the screen, push a button and the device
will lock at tracking line to where you have it pointed. Doesn't tell you how far away the rocket is of course but you can walk the line and keep on walking looking right and left as you go. Better than trying to visually sight and keep track.

Sight n' Go is great if you get the line, come up to an obstruction and have to walk around the obstruction. It keeps pointing in the right direction.

I once launched a rocket without a tracker and forgot to have my Garmin at hand. It went farther than I thought it would. I lost "sight" of the visual line I had on the rocket and starting walking out to see if I could find it. I picked up the Garmin out of my supply box and went out to the end of the field. Hmmmmmm............. When did the farmer dig that 15 foot drainage ditch? I walked back and forth along that ditch that was just before an east west road. Sure enough the wind picked up and I saw a chute go up further south in the cornfield over the ditch and the road. I whipped out the Garmin, hit the Sight "n Go and shot a line on the Vista HcX to the chute I saw blowing up in the wind from my downed rocket. I could see the chute but not the rocket in the corn stubble. I then had to walk parallel 3/8ths of a mile to the west to get to a point where there was no drainage ditch and I could cross to the south over the road. All the while the Sight n' Go feature kept the course line pointed in the direction of
where I originally shot the line. By then the wind died down and no more chute seen. I kept walking back to the east on the bearing line on the GPS and sure enough, I came upon the rocket and recovered it.

Apogee Aspire on an F10-8 was coming in and landed in waist high grass. Grass was sort of bent over and I was hoping with the long shockcord the lighter metallic streamer would lie on the surface of the bent grass. I followed it down with the Garmin and shot a line just before it disappeared. I was able to walk straight on. direct bearing and just kept walking. Sure enough I found the rocket and the glint of the streamer was seen when I was practically on top of it. It was farther out than I thought it was. It usually is. The rocket is found farther than you think.

I suggest if one is interested the Vista Hcx has this feature as does the Garmin 60 CsX or Google and find out which GPS units have the "Sight 'n Go" feature. Go to the Garmin site and peruse the instructions, if it's what you want, go to ebay and scope out the prices. A lot of these devices are available reasonably used. If you only intend to use it to "Sight 'n Go" to rockets you don't have to worry about the maps too much but if you want an updated mapset,
go to: http://garmin.openstreetmap.nl/. You can download pretty good maps, slap them on the micro SD and be good for the terrain. The OSM maps don't have good listings of gas stations, hotels, places to eat etc. so don't
count on them for that. Kurt
 

mccordmw

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I use an Eggfinder GPS system. I put a Bluetooth chip on the receiver so it can pair with my phone. From there, I use the app, Rocket Locator. Works great to track your rocket by plotting its coordinates automatically and then drawing a line from your current phone's GPS location right to the rocket. Also has audible beeps for when you're facing the rocket.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.frankdev.rocketlocator&hl=en
 

CORZERO

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I clicked on this thread just to see if Ksaves wrote another tracking documentary
 

soopirV

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I use an Eggfinder GPS system. I put a Bluetooth chip on the receiver so it can pair with my phone. From there, I use the app, Rocket Locator. Works great to track your rocket by plotting its coordinates automatically and then drawing a line from your current phone's GPS location right to the rocket. Also has audible beeps for when you're facing the rocket.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.frankdev.rocketlocator&hl=en
That link told me it wasn't available in my country yet...is it just called Rocket Locator? I'm at work, so it may be my corporate IT policy acting up, but I'll search from home tonight...would like to see if this works on my Win10 Tablet. Right now using MotionX on iPhone, manually entering coordinates received from Eggfinder LCD. To be honest, I haven't "needed" the data yet, all flights have been visible recovery, but still good to practice.
 

fulldec

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There is an app called Triangulate that you can use to get a sight line on an object.
Thanks for that. Can't beat the price. I downloaded it, went outside and was able to find the other side of my yard! Seriously, it looks like it might do the trick. I will try it next time I launch. Biggest problem may be getting an accurate sighting by just pointing the iPhone. A little practice should help.

Don
 

Banzai88

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Banzai, Is it really that easy.. just enter the latitude and longitude into Google Maps Application ........ Directs you right to it....

I will try that app first then.....
On page 25 of 31 of the Eggfinder LCD instructions it tells me how to configure my output of my tracker. Using that information, I simply followed these directions to find a format that worked: https://www.techwalla.com/articles/how-to-enter-gps-coordinates-in-google-maps


Practice in your back yard. One of those inputs will work beautifully for you. I'm not sure what I have mine set on, I'll have to dig it all out and turn it on. I'll report back when I get it out again.
 

Glasspack

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Thank you all ............

Banzai, I think I got it figured out with the help of Greg from Red Bee. The format that I need is ## ##.####

Still playing with it now......... Want to have my son hide the txmitter somewhere so I can track it.........
 

ksaves2

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I clicked on this thread just to see if Ksaves wrote another tracking documentary
Nah, The latest is that GPS Rocket Locator does offline map caching so any Android device can be used. Only problem is the labelling in the upper left corner says the
same thing for all three lines once the GPS is locked but the top line is the all important distance to the rocket. Bottom line is go out and practice with whatever modality
one is using. Kurt
 

CORZERO

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Nah, The latest is that GPS Rocket Locator does offline map caching so any Android device can be used. Only problem is the labelling in the upper left corner says the
same thing for all three lines once the GPS is locked but the top line is the all important distance to the rocket. Bottom line is go out and practice with whatever modality
one is using. Kurt
I still don't understand the headache everyone has been making of GPS coordinates and offline mapping.

If you can receive GPS coordinates (from whatever tracker system you are using) then you can use Google maps offline, with any device.

Google map caching for offline use has been around forever.

Here is just one instruction set from 2013:

https://www.cnet.com/how-to/how-to-cache-offline-maps-in-google-maps-7-0/

Google maps requires decimal coordinate entry. Simply cache the area you want on your android (or other) device prior to your launch date (some devices and/or settings will dump the cache/cache will expire in 30 days). When at the no-network launch site, pull up the cached area, enter your GPS coordinates into Google maps in decimal form and boom, done. All offline.

Crazy simple.

Oh, here's another pro tip:

Use this:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B017YQL8F8/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20

to adapt to your tablet, smartphone or any other device with micro USB. I use this to plug my Eggfinder Rx straight into my Galaxy S4 and run whatever GPS programs I want.
 
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ksaves2

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I discovered in the past caching was limited and unreliable with the apps I wanted to use it with. I tried and found if one didn't have an internet link to "check it" it wasn't reliable. I will admit, I have not used a mobile device, phone or otherwise that had live internet links. The method described in the link you posted should work for someone who wants to download a map to an Android device and then manually input it. Good but I say automatic is a heck of a lot better. Practice setting it up, get out to the field, fire it up and one doesn't have to worry about units. Doesn't take much more than a $6.00 HC-06 Bluetooth board to get that utility from an EggFinder LCD and a bluetooth compatible Android device. Being adept at manual input is nice for backup but one can just set their handheld mapping GPS if they already have one and not have a fancy phone. I guess Motion-X is the only
option for iPhone users? Kurt
 

Sattlit

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Android store offer many interesting free GPS waypoint traker apps so you can randomly pick up one. Here are some apps i found great:
GPS Waypoint Finder
As dhkaiser recommended, i think this is the best app on Play Store, as good as the sensors in your device.

Waypoint Tracker uses GPS is another good app to calculate direction and distances,so for best accuracy use it outside with clear view of sky. (Google Play| apk if you can't get it from Play store)
also, there's a paid app (Waypoint GPS Tracker). You can purchase this app, i think this app is the best.
 
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