Disc Golf Disc Finder





Introduction: Disc Golf Disc Finder

This is an instructable for a cheap auditory disc golf disc locator using a key finder! I'll show you my idea and procedure, but it could certainly use some improvement. Be creative and make it more robust it if you like the idea. 

Step 1: Materials

The obvious one is the disc golf disc, but the crux of this project is a wireless key finder. You can pick them up at your local hardware store and every one that I saw was under 10$. I bought a less expensive one but I'm sure the more expensive ones are louder and have a longer range which would be nice. 

Step 2: Modify the Key Finder

This step is pretty straight forward, we just want to make the part of the key finder as small as possible. I stripped off the casing with  a screw driver and then the electronics in a thin layer of tissue paper and tape to provide some support for impact. You want to keep the piezo disc (or speaker) as open as possible so to maximise sound. I kept the plastic part of the packaging and cut it down to use for a little more protection for our tiny noise maker. 

Step 3: Gut the Disc

I anticipated this part of the project being pretty simple, but it was surprisingly frustrating. The goal is to take out just enough of the rim of the disc to slide the key finder into with out punching a hole through the disc. I used a drill to loosen the plastic and then dug it out with a small wood chisel. This technique was effective but the plastic does not really drill out and only kind of separates. Feel free to experiment and figure out a better way. Also note that taking out this section of the rim had almost no effect on the flight of the disc which was a pleasant surprise to me. (The key finder adds up for just about all of the lost weight and in the end the balance of the disc is not even compromised.) 

Step 4: Assembly

As you may have guessed the last step is to secure the key finder into the gutted section of the rim. I simply did this with some masking tape as I wanted to keep the key finder removable so I could tweak this design in the future. There's no wrong way to attach the finder, just try to keep it as light as possible with minimal amount of covering over the piezo. I kept a little cut out section near the on/off switch and I highly recommend you doing the same. 

The finder had a true range of about 50 ft but loud areas outside significantly lower this to an effective range of about 20ft. If you mostly play in very quiet areas this finder may be for you. If your course is busy and the birds are always chirping you may have to find a way to amplify the sound. In the end this was a great way to locate which pile of leaves your disc is buried in in the fall but I still have been hesitant to perform the operation on my better discs. 



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    8 Discussions

    The real issue here is that by doing this, you render your disc no longer usable for any PDGA events. It is an interesting idea, but PDGA standards state that nothing that changes the profile or weight characteristics of the disc can be done to modify it after market, or it is no longer competition-legal. If you aren't playing in any PDGA tournaments, go for it.

    Does this affect the balance of the disc? If so, is there a reason that you didn't just adhere it to the center?

    As someone who has played discgolf in the snow, this would have been a great help to locate a disc that went for a dive in a snow drift!

    4 replies

    tape about 3-4 ft of neon marking tape on your disc. It works really well when you find yourself looking in snow drifts.

    The problem wasn't drifts. It was that the disc would slice through the snow and bury itself under the 2' of powder. It wouldn't have been a problem if it didn't deflect for some reason when it hit the snow. We always ended up clearing out a 10' circle of snow around the entry point to find it.

    Was just talking to someone who plays in the winter and uses some "throwing tape". He tapes a section of ribbon on the disc so it can be found in the drifts....I'll probably try it next year. Here are details on how it's done http://killerbdiscgolf.blogspot.com/2011/01/find-your-discs-in-snow-use-ribbons.html

    That's interesting and a good solution. I could have used it several years ago to help games to keep moving.

    That's going to throw the weight way off. They have small locators you can stick in the center.

    Hey if you look on eBay you can usually find a 3in1 key finder for under $10. Good ible though!