How To Find A Lost Drone

How To Find A Lost Drone
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Perhaps we are all too keen on testing and flying out our new UAV that our newly acquired toy flew off into the distance, never to be seen again. In this article, we’re going to discuss how to find a lost drone.

Losing a drone is probably one of the worst things a hobbyist dreads. Whether you are a novice pilot or an experienced and skilled aviator, there is still a risk of losing your apparatus and never being able to find it.

Hundreds or even thousands of dollars’ worth of equipment down the drain. On top of that, hours of raw footage in your drone’s integral memory are now missing with it. In addition, if anyone were to find it, there is also the possibility that it would not be returned to you.

There are multiple reasons why you have lost your drone in the first place. Knowing how can save you the effort in having to go look for it.

Fortunately for you, there are also a number of ways or precautions you can take to help you locate a lost drone.

Loss of signal

The first step in order to find your beloved drone is to determine the cause in the first place.

Disconnection or a loss of signal is one of the main reasons as to why this event occurs. When the signal is lost, you will not be able to control your drone from your phone or remote controller, disabling the feed to your camera.

Events like this will lead to your drone crashing. Quick thinking will allow you to determine which direction your drone was flying prior to being lost, so looking for obstacles in that direction may aid you in finding it.

Luckily, GPS-based trackers exist, and most of the technically advanced drones have built-in GPS trackers. For those without this feature, numerous drone trackers are available externally.

You can purchase them and equip your prized drone without adding too much additional weight to your drone when it flies. These GPS-based trackers help you zero in on your lost drone by providing you the latitude and longitude coordinates.

Some advanced drones also have a setting where a loss in connection will make it hover in place. Better yet, some feature a setup where disconnecting will make your drone automatically return home.

Setting up these integral features beforehand will ease your mind whenever you lose sight of your drone.

A great example of this would be in Parrot’s flagship model, Bebop 2. In case of disconnection between your mobile device and the drone, the Bebop 2 automatically returns to its takeoff point after a certain amount of time.

This setting can be adjusted using the “return delay” feature also present in the drone. Another great feature is that it has a built-in map mode.

When the Bebop 2 is flown towards an area without an internet connection, it can still be located on this map as long as you preloaded it before takeoff. These features make it easier in finding a lost drone.

Interference or wireless traffic

All existing drones are run via wireless technology either from a phone, a monitor, or remote controllers. 2.4 and 5.8 GHz radio frequencies are the most commonly used frequencies with FPV quadcopters. Coincidentally, and in particular, 2.4 GHz is the same frequency being used in most wireless computer networks.

So, it is no wonder that we experience interference or choppy control of our drones, particularly in densely populated areas. This is because most housing areas run through a lot of wireless connections like WI-FI.

Fortunately, there are also available apps that could help us find the location of our lost drone. These apps sync your mobile device with your personal drone.

In case you lose the drone, you can easily track it because these apps give you the map coordinates of the location of your drone. Furthermore, some apps have a built-in compass that can help direct you towards drone, saving you a lot of time.

Accidents and out-of-sight crash landing

The most terrible event that could happen in case you lost your drone is that you might have crashed it into a concrete obstacle or in an inaccessible area. Some examples of which are densely lit forests, a lake, or worse, the ocean. Locating them can be done using the aforementioned ways, but recovering them calls for other approaches.


How to find a lost drone? The simplest way is to take precautions before flying your drone such as not flying it in areas where you can expect to experience a lot of electronic interference with your remote signal, and having location-finding features on your drone will assist you in tracking it if it does vanish.


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