Self powered buzzers have built-in LiPo battery. They can help locate your crashed RC model even after the main battery is ejected. We will compare a few popular options to help you decide which one to get.
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Self-Powered Buzzers Comparison: Weight, Volume, Power Time
Here is a basic spec comparison of all the self powered buzzers:
|ViFly Finder V2
|ViFly Finder Mini
|Vifly Wireless Beacon
|FullSpeed Lucky Box
|Aurora AR Tracker
* Weight is measured without any wires ** Volume is measured with a sound level meter, at 20cm from the buzzer
See this article for other standard active buzzer options. Buzzer volume is measured in dBA (decibel), here is a chart to give you an idea how noisy each dB level is with examples.
HellGate FPV Buzzer
Slogan: NO QUAD WILL BE LEFT BEHIND
Where to buy
- 3x 10cm silicone wire (black, red, white)
- 2x spare heat shrink
- Sticky double sided tape
I am surprised how tiny the HellGate buzzer is, it’s only slightly bigger than standard buzzer.
By connecting it to your FC, it acts as a normal buzzer (can be triggered with your TX). When the LiPo is connected, it charges the built-in battery so it’s basically maintenance-free. There are three wires, GND, Buzzer+ (or 5V) and Buzzer-
It doesn’t have any button, to stop the beeping you just need to power cycle your quad (plug in and unplug battery once).
Despite having a tiny battery (40mAh), HellGate claims to be able to beep for up to 2 weeks! This is achieved by cleverly reducing the beeping frequency as the battery level decreases. Hopefully you would have found the model by then :)
Conclusion: An original idea/product, durable and easy to use, but it’s not as loud as other options. I really like the compact form factor, only if the price could come down a bit! I have way too many quads, and I don’t think I can afford putting one in each of them… The volume is nearly as high as a standard buzzer already, but louder is always better.
Slogan: Never Lose Your Drone Again
Update (Dec 2018): They released a new version, which we reviewed in this post.
Where to buy
Accessories include a manual, zip tie and cable.
Everything is bigger in the VIFLY Finder compared to the HellGate: the buzzer, the battery as well as the PCB. It also has a push button so you can deactivate the buzzer by either power-cycling your quad, or holding down the button. I wish it had more advanced functions, for example selecting different beeping patterns/modes.
The connection is the same as the HellGate, GND, Buzzer+ and Buzzer –
By connecting it to your FC, it acts as a standard buzzer, and when the LiPo is connected it charges the built-in battery.
The buzzer is noticeably louder than the Hellgate, it’s so loud it actually hurts my ear when testing it on the bench. The battery is twice as big as the HellGate’s, but I don’t know the exact capacity as there is no label on it. My guess is around 80mAh just based on the size.
Despite the bigger battery, run time is only up to 6 hours. This is mainly due to the beeping pattern as VIFLY sets it to beep continuously in the loudest volume when activated (main battery disconnected). VIFLY explained this is to maximize the chance of finding the crashed quad in the first few hours.
Conclusion: Cheaper and louder. Unfortunately it’s pretty bulky and doesn’t last as long as the Hellgate does. I wish they can introduce an optional, more durable mode that lasts longer, it would be useful for the long range pilots, where hiking to the crashed site could take hours…
A side by side size comparison between the HellGate and VIFLY Finder.
Not yet tested, but seems to be the cheapest option so far. The downsides are the large form factor, and much heavier weight than the rest at 7.4g! It’s equipped with a high power LED and push button. You can get it from:
- Banggood: http://bit.ly/2Lbt5UF
FullSpeed Lucky Box Beeper
I haven’t tested this beeper yet. It seems to be another tiny beeper, the dimension and weight is similar to the Hellgate. It has a button for disabling the buzzer, as well as selecting different beeping modes. It also has an LED built-in but there is no mention about it in the manual.
- Banggood: http://bit.ly/2Bv1PRs
Aurora AR Tracker Mini
Another affordable option featuring a large battery of 100mAh, an onboard bright LED and a claimed 100dB buzzer.
Can’t afford any of these expensive buzzers? Or are you just looking for a challenge? Why not build one yourself?! :)
Here is a tutorial on how to build a DIY buzzer with built-in battery.