Pet 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.
When in Track mode, the handheld Marco Polo locator sends a signal to the tag on your pet’s collar 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 pet 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 your pet and note the signal strength getting higher as you get closer. If you are not careful -you will step on your pet!
The Marco Polo tag slips into a ballistic-nylon cloth holder that attaches to your pet’s collar or harness with 4 Velcro straps. The Velcro used is a military grade material that holds with 100 lbs. strength per strap, yet has a soft nylon backing that is comfortable for your pet. When mounted in the collar holder, the tag electronics are well protected and look new, even after years of rough use. When needed, the cloth holder can be economically replaced (see the Accessories page) and can also be machine washed.
In track mode, the handheld locator communicates with the tag every 5 seconds and updates the displayed signal strength and direction on the locator’s display, allowing you to home-in on the exact location of your pet. In monitor mode, the locator is kept in a convenient location, such as your kitchen counter, plugged into its charger, and it “pings” the tag on each of your pets once every 40 seconds. In this mode the locator will warn you if any pet it outside of its programed “safe zone” so you can enter track mode and recover the pet. In monitor mode, the locator will also warn you if the battery is low on any of the pets so you don’t need to worry about them. In fact, if the alarm is not going off on the locator you know for certain that all of your pets are accounted for, all the batteries are charged and everything is working as it should. (Compare this to other systems where everything has to go right for you to know something is wrong!)
The Marco Polo tag only weights 0.8 oz., so it is light enough for most any pet to carry. It does require a minimum collar length of about 7 inches, if you have a very small cat or dog then measuring the length of their collar is your best guide. The cloth holder that we supply attaches to the collar or harness that you pet already wears, from 3/8” wide up to 2 ½” wide – there is no upper size limit to the animals that can wear Marco Polo! If you have a cat that currently doesn’t wear a collar then it is best to get them used to a collar first and then add the tracking tag.
Good news, it is! The Marco Polo Advanced Pet tracking tag meets the IP67 enclosure specification. This means it can be continuously submerged under 3 ft. of water up to 30 minutes. If your pet is swimming, the tag will generally be only a few inches of water and can withstand all day use at the beach or lake.
There are two available accessories that can be used to extend the locator’s boundary warnings:
- The first is an External Alarm Unit. This small, battery powered unit plugs into the locator and generates a very loud alarm siren that will wake you up or can be heard throughout the house or even in the nearby garage or yard.
- Secondly, there is an available Phone Dialer accessory that can, though a land line connection, call up to 4 phone numbers and deliver a voice message that you record if any monitored pet wanders. These 4 numbers can include cell phones, office phones, neighbors, etc.
The longest battery life on the pet’s collar tag is provided in the monitor mode. In this mode the tag’s battery will run up to 6 weeks and the locator will warn you to charge it after 4-5 weeks. If you are continuously tracking your pet (usually only done when they are lost) the tag and locator will run for up to 3 days on a charge. If the locator is not tracking or monitoring the pet’s tag, or if the pet is out of range of the system, then the collar tag can run for up to 15 days on a charge. This explanation may seem counterintuitive, but it is indeed the way the system works. For example, if you are monitoring your pet(s) to make certain they stay within the specified safety zone and it has been 3 weeks since you last charged the battery, then the battery is half discharged. If the pet then escapes, the collar tag will run for an additional week on the remaining charge.
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 pet is beyond Marco Polo’s initial range, you can expand the range by walking or driving around the areal until you come within range. You can also check out this blog post for some customer examples and videos which should provide some additional guidance for determining Marco Polo's range in your particular conditions.
The product is named after the swimming pool game where the player that is “it” closes their eyes and yells “Marco”, all of the other players are obligated to yell “Polo” in response. The player that is “it” follows the sound to tag another player who then becomes “it”. Imagine that you could call your dog’s name really loud, so loud in fact that your pet could hear you calling up to 2-miles away and would then respond with an equally loud “woof-woof”. You could then follow the direction of the sound and know when you are getting close as the return bark got louder and louder. This is exactly what Marco Polo does, only using radio signals instead of sound.
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.