Drone System FAQ's
The Marco Polo tracking system operates like a “personal radar”. First, the handheld locator transmits a signal to the tag transceiver in your drone. Then, the transceiver sends a signal back that allows the locator to determine the bearing from your position to the lost drone. Finally, the locator processes the bearing and the received signal strength level once every 5 seconds and puts the results on the LCD display. The bearing indication becomes more and more sensitive as you approach your drone. And together with frequent updates, Marco Polo allows you to home in on your drone’s exact location, to within inches.
No. Marco Polo is a completely self-contained solution for drone tracking and recovery. And because Marco Polo does not rely on GPS, cellular WiFi technology, it can work anywhere.
The possibility of Marco Polo interfering with drone system communications is very small. The tag transceiver in your drone never transmits unless activated by the hand held locator when the “tracking mode” is enabled by you. So, during flight there is no possibility of the transceiver interfering with or desensitizing your on-board radios. Once tracking mode is activated by the locator, the Marco Polo system operates by using frequency hopping spread spectrum (FHSS) on 50 frequencies between 902.5 and 906.5 Mhz. Additionally, Marco Polo only dwells on any single frequency for approximately 50 milliseconds once every 4 minutes.
Well here’s the good news – you have a choice! The Marco Polo Transceiver Tags come in two models.
- If weight is your major concern, then the Ultralight Model is for you. Ultralight tags weigh in at .42 oz (12g) and are very compact.
- If your application requires a rugged, waterproof design, then the Advanced Model is for you. It is IP67 waterproof and the polycarbonate outer shell is indestructible (we tested it by running over one with a car), and yet it only weighs .8 oz (23g).
The Marco Polo tag’s integrated LiPo battery will last approximately 15 days in standby mode waiting for a signal from the locator to activate it, or up to 3-days in continuous tracking mode.
More good news, you have a choice!
- If your application does not require a waterproof Tag Transceiver, then the Ultralight Model is for you. We remove the polycarbonate shell to save weight, however you lose the waterproof feature. If saving weight is mandatory, but you also need it to be waterproof, you can seal the tag inside a small zip-lock bag with the antenna protruding through a sealed hole in the bag
- If you require a waterproof Transceiver Tag for your application, then the Advanced Model meets the IP67 specification and this is the model for you.
Marco Polo works up to 2 miles (3.2 km) in line-of-sight situations. Expect approximately 1/2 mile to 1 mile (.8 to 1.6 km) in mildly rolling terrain with moderate vegetation. Your individual performance will depend on the specific conditions in the area of use, such as terrain, vegetation, and obstructions. If your drone is beyond Marco Polo’s initial range, you can expand the range by walking or driving around the areal until you come within range.
General System FAQ's
Marco Polo is a self-contained 2-way radio system, like a walkie-talkie. When in Track mode, the handheld Marco Polo locator sends a signal to the “tag” you place on the item to be tracked, once every 5 seconds. Each time the tag on the pet “hears” the signal from the locator, it responds with a return signal. The locator then measures the strength of the signal coming back from the tag and finds the direction it came from. Both pieces of information are then displayed on the locator’s screen. Then, you simply follow the arrow pointing to the tag and note the signal strength getting higher as you get closer. If you are not careful - you will step on the tag!
No. Because Marco Polo uses only its own radio signals, it does not need cell service, a clear view of the sky for GPS reception, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or any other external service or device to operate. It will work, literally, anywhere on earth.
Are There Any Monthly Fees or Other Costs? No. There are no service fees or SIM card costs and no batteries to replace (Marco Polo uses long-life rechargeable batteries). The purchase price is all you pay – ever. Over time, Marco Polo is the most economical tracking and monitoring solution available.
Other products rely on GPS receivers and Cellular radios, both power hungry technologies. Using patented technology, Marco Polo tags can run for as long as six weeks on a charge, depending on the operating mode. Most importantly, Marco Polo gives you up to 2 weeks to find a lost tag, compared to a GPS/Cellular based products that generally only run for 24 hours when the device is away from home.
As with any 2-way radio system, Marco Polo has limited range. In excellent conditions the range can be up to 2-miles but in suburban neighborhoods, rough terrain or forests, the range can be considerably less. If the tag is out of range of the locator when you begin searching, you can walk or drive around the area to expand the search. Marco Polo then acts like a personal radar, searching every inch of the surrounding area as you move, including the insides of buildings and backyards.
While Marco Polo does not show the tag’s position on a map, it does guide you to the exact position of the tag through its homing display. Whether the tag is attached to a cat that is hiding in the bushes or a Drone that is lost in a corn field, the Marco Polo locator will allow you to proceed to the exact spot the tag is hidden.
Yes, every Marco Polo locator can be “paired” to a maximum of 3 tracking tags. These tags can be a mixture of any of the available types for dogs, cats, RC aircraft, drones, model rockets and more. In addition there are a range of Accessories for Pet Systems and Drone Systems and replacement parts available for your Marco Polo product. If you have a special application please Contact Us.
If for any reason you are dissatisfied with your purchase you may return it within 30 days for a full refund of the price paid plus the original shipping charges. All we ask is you give us an opportunity to discuss whatever issues you are having and see if we can resolve them. Then, if you wish to return the product, it must be complete and in good condition to receive the full refund amount. Please read our complete Terms and Conditions of Sale and Limited Warranty for more details.