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Polk Hobbies Tracker III

Old 03-14-2006, 07:55 PM
  #1  
DickCorby
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Default Polk Hobbies Tracker III

Anybody out there have a Polk Hobbies Tracker III Synthesized RAdio system.

If so, what is your opinion of it. There was a good writeup on it in the AMA Magazine, but I still wonder how many people have experience with it.

I bought one back in December and have had nothing but problems with it. It has gone back for repair 3 times now, and destroyed one plane for me. Just wondering if it is the system overall, of just the one I got off the shelf.
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Old 03-17-2006, 08:50 PM
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skypilit
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I do have one and received it back in August. The radio itself I have had no problems with other than the gimbal wire thing. Once that was fixed it has worked fine. Now the Seeker rx's, thats a different story. I have 3 of them and have used 2 of them in flight. Both times I had hard down elevator when I was not moving the stick. The first plane survived, but the second one is RIP.
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Old 03-17-2006, 09:38 PM
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DickCorby
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I've had about 3 successful flights on it since buying it in December, on days when I was alone at the field. When there were others flying, I had nothing but problems/glitches etc. Lost one plane completely - total loss of signal, and broke another on landing - same thing.

The first problem was that the Transmitter was oversensitive at the field. If there was more than one other transmitter on, it found a lot of freq's busy, (10-15 when there were 2-3 other people flying) and often the one I'm trying to fly on. Second day out with it, myself and another member both had the Trackers out, and he couldn't fly because no matter what frequency he tried they were busy. We both sent the transmitters back. I havent heard what was done for him.

Mine came back after about 10 days, and first thing was they had updated the software, and there were changes not in the manual, and I had to do some hunt and peck to get the system to work. Once I got it to talk to the new plane, I found that the sticks were screwed up. Aileron and Elevator were reversed. But even worse, all the surfaces on the plane just kept jittering back and forth and wouldnt settle at neutral. Both with the Seeker Receiver and a Hitec receiver. So it's back to Polk's again.

So it's back for the third time now. Maybe I just got a lemon. We'll see. I agree that it is a lot of Tx for the money, and the ability to choose any open channel at a busy field is priceless. But not if it doesn't work.

By the way, what is the Gimbal Wire Thing?
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Old 03-17-2006, 11:59 PM
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Don Sims
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Hate to read all this about the T-III.

I've got a T-II and it's been an excellent radio. The only issue with it was when I left the transmitter on for several days and had to send it back. It showed busy on all channels. I got it back in a bit over two weeks from them after two calls.
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Old 03-18-2006, 12:54 AM
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jerry3644
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Default Tracker III

I got my New Tracker in September of 2005 and personally it is a very good Radio. It programs easy and does exactly what I set it up for. I have a JR Computer and I like the Tracker better. For me, it is easier to understand and I have had no trouble with it so far. When you are flying with a bunch of other fliers it tends to pick up more frequencies on scan than are actually out there and that is because the harmonics that other transmitters put out are out of range. In general, Radios need to be checked every other year by a professional and tuned so they do not transmit a split band of signals.
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Old 03-18-2006, 01:36 AM
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DickCorby
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Mine is a TIII, not a TII. Perhaps that is the problem, they aren't ready for general use yet.

I know about the third order harmonics, and it does pick them up, but is supposed to show them as a weak enough signal that they should be filtered by any good dual conversion receiver.

Mine was showing strong signals on any day that there were more people flying. And on more channels than one would expect. If I was by myself, it was fine.
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Old 03-18-2006, 04:56 AM
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Jeremy Z
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All due respect, but they sound like real piece of crap radios.

I'd send it back to Polk's ask for my money back, and ask for them to reimburse the materials cost of your plane. They probably won't, but it's worth a shot.

Then get a Spektrum. I've had 0 problems with my Spektrum, and 0 with my Optic 6. There's no excuse for slopply RF these days. The technology is decades old, and has been perfected in many other areas. Is 72 MHz something magical that they can't figure it out?
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Old 03-18-2006, 05:07 PM
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jerry3644
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Default Tracker III -- Cheat The Scanner

I've had several Channels show up on the Tracker III that aren't actually being flown on at the field and there is a way to get around this problem. Say you want to fly on Channel 22 and when you turn your Tracker on it picks up Channel 22 on the scan and won't let you fly on this particuliar Channel; all you have to do is walk about 100 feet away from the rest of the fliers and put your antenna down and turn on the Tracker. It will not see any Channels on the scan and now you can fly. Just pull your antenna up and your in business. -- No Problem.
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Old 07-20-2010, 12:36 AM
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kyleservicetech
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Originally Posted by jerry3644 View Post
I've had several Channels show up on the Tracker III that aren't actually being flown on at the field and there is a way to get around this problem. Say you want to fly on Channel 22 and when you turn your Tracker on it picks up Channel 22 on the scan and won't let you fly on this particuliar Channel; all you have to do is walk about 100 feet away from the rest of the fliers and put your antenna down and turn on the Tracker. It will not see any Channels on the scan and now you can fly. Just pull your antenna up and your in business. -- No Problem.
Fifteen years ago, I designed a computer controlled "Frequency Scanner" that would show what transmitters within about 200 feet were turned on. That contraption picked up all sorts of harmonics and other noise from other transmitters. It was not unusual for it to show 10 frequencies were on when only 5 transmitters were actually active.

Now, you can buy these scanners for far less than what I put into mine.

But, my models are now all 2.4 Ghz Spektrum units, problem solved.
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