Track drone with Bluetooth tracker
Bluetooth tracking for drones is not a specific market, but the rise of small and affordable Bluetooth trackers have made it an option.
What are Bluetooth Trackers?
Essentially a Bluetooth tracker is a small beeper for keeping track of personal belongings. A modern day take on the old clapping key finder. They can generally communicate both ways, the tracker can sound the phone and the phone can sound the tracker.
The range of Bluetooth is only 100 meters or 328 feet, which is good for losing your keys in the house, but won’t cover a drone runaway. Luckily these trackers also have a crowd sourced network that can locate missing trackers if they are within range of other trackers. This makes it really useful to keep tabs of your drone if it manages to get away from you. You can set it to lost in the app and search near where you last saw it, using the Bluetooth beeper whilst waiting for reports on the app. The search is anonymous, so other users can’t run out looking for your lost drone.
Compatibility with drones
None of them are specifically designed to attach to drones, but they are light enough to just stick firmly to the top or base of the drone without any kind of balance issues. Signal blocking is always a potential issue with drones, but the Bluetooth signal from the tracker has never interfered with anything on the drones we have used them with. You just need to make sure you stick it on well with something like a 3M tab, because it if falls off mid-flight and you crash then you are going to be looking in the wrong place.
The size of the Tile Slim is 54mm x 54mm x 2.4mm and weighs only 9.3 grams. Which leads us on to our recommended choice of Bluetooth tracker.
Bluetooth trackers offer the same functionality for the most part, a lot of the quality is in the app. Our go-to tracker is the Tile Tracker , mainly due to the fact that they are established in the area and have a large user base. Tile boast that they have the largest community with over 8 million tiles sold and 1 million items found every single day. The tracker itself is sturdy and even water resistant to a degree. Tile’s app is available for free for iOS and Android.
You can get a Tile Tracker for around $20 / £20. The app is free to use and there are no ongoing subscription costs to use the features. The only limitation of the Tile is that it only lasts a year and the battery is not replaceable. So you are essentially paying $20 / £20 a year, but we find that it is worth it as you can switch between using it on keys, drones, luggage and everything else in between.
Tile do offer the ReTile program, where you can send back your old Tiles and save up to 50% off a new one and they will recycle the old one.
Other Bluetooth Trackers
Bluetooth trackers are really now becoming adopted by the mass market and the price tags are very competitive. A lot of the quality of the tracker does rely on the user base of the product to aid the quality of search data. This will get better over time, but we always recommend spending the extra and going will a well established product with a good track record.
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