I am personally an avid user and great fan of Flytrex Live 3G tracker.
I think it is important to have a system that seamlessly integrates with your flying platform. There are some devices out there that offer similar functionalities to those that the Flytrex Live 3G offers. (This is our affiliate link that will get you the 3g tracker for $151.99 instead of $189.99
Your Phantom 3 even has some functions integrated into the software application and the quad itself while the old Phantom 2 also had a “Find My Phantom” function. The problem with these functions is that they are great when all your systems perform perfectly and the quad has GPS lock.
The problem comes when the worst kind of flyaway happens, in case your quad loses GPS lock which can happen due to several reasons such as external interference.
Another type of dreadful flyaway is when your quad records a home point two states away next to Aunt Mary’s house and tries to Return To Home there. In this case, your quad will fly as long as it has battery power and then land. In this later case, you might have a chance to recover your quad at the end of the recorded route your app shows, but when you lose GPS lock, the quad will simply not be at the “last seen” position.
Last seen will equal last position when the bird had GPS lock. And here is the key. Most hobby grade quadcopters need to “see” 6 satellites to have GPS lock, while the kind of GPS units the Flytrex Live 3G has will pretty precisely position your quad with as little as 3 satellites being available.
Besides the piece of mind of making sure I know where my quad goes, I also love the social functions of the Flytrex cloud based community and found lots of local pilots to mingle and make friends with.
But that part is all covered in my previous post when I did a hands on review on my old Phantom 2 unit.
Now the fine folks at Flytrex created a plug and play adapter so you can easily install it on your DJI Phantom 3 without having to open the hull which is a very important step forward.
How To Install Flytrex 3G Without Opening Hull
When I saw how easy it is to install Flytrex on the Phantom 3, I was amazed. My first Live unit had to be installed by soldering the cables and opening up the entire top part of the Phantom.
Ok, it’s just two wires, but there are many pilots out there reluctant to do it in fear of screwing up something or losing warranty.
If you would also like to get a Flytrex Live 3G for your Phantom 3 or other device, I have great news for you! Dronethusiast readers can now get a special $38 discount on the Live 3G Plus! This way you can grab the black box here for $151.99 instead of the regular $189.99 price tag.
If you already have one, here is a step-by-step guide on how to do the installation in just 10 minutes, without having to open up the hull.
1. What You Need
To get started you will need your Phantom 3 Advanced or Professional, your Flytrex Live 3G and the Flytrex Phantom 3 Installation Adapter. In addition, with this manual we will be using our optional Flytrex Phantom 3 Mount that offers easier and cleaner mounting of your Flytrex. The Flytrex Phantom 3 Adapter includes the small adapter itself and the three required cables that you’ll need for the installation.
If ordering Flytrex Live from our site you will be asked what aircraft model you use, select the Phantom 3 and our site will automatically add for you the Phantom 3 Adapter. If ordering from a local dealer make sure to include the Flytrex Phantom 3 Installation Adapter together with your Live 3G, this includes all the parts you’ll need. Using the Flytrex Phantom 3 Mount is optional and offers cleaner mounting if used.
2. Disconnect 6-Pin Cable
Turn the Phantom upside down and gently disconnect the 6-pin cable connected to the ultrasonic-sensors using tweezers. The connector should go out rather easily without placing too much pressure.
3. Disconnect 8-Pin Cable
Gently disconnect the 8-pin cable connected to the gimbal. The easiest way to do it is to push the ledge of the connectors with tweezers and twist the tweezers upwards, this will pull the connector outside quickly. We also routed the 6-pin wire we disconnect in the previous step beneath the gimbal, so both disconnected cables are now pointing to the same side between the gimbal boards.
4. Place 3M On Flytrex Adapter
Flip the Flytrex Phantom 3 Adapter and place a single 3M double sided adhesive mounting pad on its right side. See this picture and the following one for the correct position. Do not remove the paper cover from the other side of the 3M just yet.
5. Connect 8-Pin Cable to Adapter
Connect the 8-Pin cable we disconnected earlier from the gimbal to the Phantom 3 Adapter.
6. Connect 6-Pin Cable to Adapter
Gently rotate the Adapter as seen in the picture and connect the 6-pin cable we disconnected from the ultrasonic-sensors to the other side of the Adapter.
7. Remove 3M Cover
Flip the Adapter and remove the cover from the 3M double sided adhesive mounting pad.
8. Position and Secure Flytrex Adapter
Position the Adapter to the side of the Phantom shell and press to secure it using the 3M. Do not position the Adapter too high on the shell to allow the two wires connected to it to slightly move.
9. Connect Flytrex 8-Pin Cable to Gimbal
Connect the 8-pin cable supplied with the Flytrex Phantom 3 Adapter to the gimbal, in the same slot we disconnected the original wire from.
10. Connect Flytrex 8-Pin Cable to Adapter
Now connect the other side of the 8-pin cable provided with the Flytrex Adapter to the Adapter.
11. Connect Flytrex 6-Pin Cable to Phantom
Connect the 6-pin cable supplied with the Flytrex Phantom 3 Adapter to the ultrasonic-sensors, to the same slot we disconnected the original wire from. Only one of the two sides of the cable will fit so make sure you connect the correct side of the cable.
12. Connect Flytrex 6-Pin Cable to Adapter
Route the 6-pin wire below the gimbal and connect the other side of the 6-pin cable provided with the Flytrex Adapter to the Adapter.
13. Insert Flytrex to Mount
Before mounting the Live in this step, you should register your Live with your Flytrex account if you haven’t already and insert a data SIM card for use with the Live. Once mounted, the QR code containing your Live ID will be hidden making it impossible to register and the SIM card slot will be covered by the Flytrex Mount to secure your SIM from any dirt during flight. See here for more details about the required SIM card.
If using the Flytrex mount, insert Flytrex to the mount.
14. Close Flytrex Mount
Firmly close the Flytrex mount cover, this will keep the system in place.
15. Connect Flytrex 4-Pin Cable to Adapter
Connect the 4-pin cable supplied with the Flytrex Adapter to the last remaining slot on the Adapter.
16. Release Two Landing Gear Screws
Release the two internal landing gear screws, one of each side. The mount will be connected to the same screw holes. Make sure to disconnect the screws on the same side we attached the Adapter.
17. Secure Flytrex Mount
Secure the Flytrex Mount to the same screw holes we just released. The mount is provided with two high-quality screws that are slightly longer and should be used. The slightly longer screws were designed especially to secure both the mount and the landing gear to the Phantom frame perfectly.
18. Connect Flytrex Live Plus
Connect the remaining free side of the 4-pin cable to the Flytrex Live system.
19. All Set
That’s it! Your new Flytrex Live 3G will now create a range-free, real-time, GSM data connection automatically each time you go flying. Before taking off for the first time, power your Phantom and see that the Live LED turns flashing green after initialization. This indicates the real-time flight data is now streamed automatically to your Flytrex account. Have fun and fly safely!