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I had always assumed the spider tracer was a gadget invented by Peter Parker, one that sends a signal to some receiver that Spider-Man carries around when he wants to track a tracer.

However, I recently started reading the 1960s Amazing Spider-Man and I have yet to see Spider-Man carrying a receiver. Furthermore, the comics almost seem to imply that these tracers are tied to his spider sense. Hence the question:

How does Spider-Man's spider tracer work?

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  • Do you mean how would it work in real life? Because in the comics ...it just does...much like everything else. - marvel.wikia.com/wiki/Spider-Tracer
    – Paulie_D
    Commented Nov 23, 2016 at 17:00
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    I'm mostly curious if it is purely a Peter Parker invention anyone could use or if it's tied to spider sense.
    – Sethen
    Commented Nov 23, 2016 at 17:06
  • That's all answered at the link.
    – Paulie_D
    Commented Nov 23, 2016 at 17:08
  • I'm pretty sure that I remember him carrying a receiver in the '60s era cartoon, can't say I recall seeing one in the comics.
    – Seeds
    Commented Nov 23, 2016 at 18:03
  • To the close voters: do you have any reason to assume this question is not asking for an in-universe explanation?
    – SQB
    Commented Nov 30, 2016 at 20:41

2 Answers 2

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From the Wikia

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Spider-Man uses a small electronic receiver to follow the signals of his tracers, ...

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but eventually he modifies the tracers to emit a signal he can follow with his spider-sense so that he will be able to know whether or not he is in the proximity of the tracer

Also from the Wikia

A teen Spider-Man invented his first Spider-Tracer to find Doctor Octopus. In those early times he invented a receiver device as well. Spider-Man eventually found out that changing the frequency emitted by the Tracers he could trace them with his Spider-sense.

As for others using the tracers

Besides Spider-Man, Daredevil can pick up the signal with his Radar Sense from the Spider-Tracers due to his heightened sense of hearing being able to hear the signal. Unlike Spider-Man, it is more difficult for Daredevil to follow the signal, as he must drown out all other sounds around him to maintain focus.

And then:

Using his resources at Parker Industries, Peter Parker built an improved version of the Spider-Tracer. He made it available for commercial use, having the option of being linked to a webware. The new spider-tracer featured a two-year battery life, was water-proof, and was super durable.

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Depends on if it is an older Spider-Man or newer; from as early as the 1960s cartoon, we have instances of him using a mechanical receiver to track his tracers. By the 1990s, he had found a way to attune the signal to a wavelength which his natural spider sense could resonate with, and thus he could track it within a 5-10 mile radius without any external device.

Give me some time, and I can find both the videos of the 60s cartoon, and a few scans from specific 90s comics where both are used.

I'm guessing after Spider-Man: Homecoming, at least in the MCU, that would be a function picked up by his Stark-built tech suit.

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  • Have you watched Homecoming at all? He uses the Spider-Tracer in the film and it comes from the suit Tony gives him.
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Commented Sep 16, 2019 at 8:14

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