Archive for the 'Passive GPS Tracking' Category

Feb 15 2010

Telespial Builds Improvements into Trackstick Model

Telespial Systems makes some big claims in advertising for its Trackstick Mini, a passive tracking device that was introduced to the market last year. Among them, the southern California company boasts that the compact GPS unit has seven times better sensitivity than any of its other tracking systems and that it’s the longest-running vehicle tracker on the market.

In fact, the Trackstick Mini represents a complete overhaul over Telespial’s three other passive devices – the Trackstick II, the Trackstick Pro and the Super Trackstick. Set beside its predecessor, the Super Trackstick, this new device is certainly different in size, shape and color. Putting appearance aside, the other features of the Trackstick Mini begged for a road test. Continue Reading »

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Apr 04 2008

GPS Tracking Key

GPS Tracking Key

GPS Tracking Key Review

Upon receiving the LandAirSea GPS Tracking Key, we noticed that the retail quality packaging provides customers with easy access to the unit as well as convenient storage when the device is not in use. Complete with installation disk and an easy to follow instruction booklet, the Tracking Key is ready to be put in service as there are no pre-programming steps required. This makes the GPS Tracking Key attractive to those individuals wanting to deploy the device quickly or when a PC is not immediately available.

Specifications from the website state that battery life depends upon the number of hours a vehicle is in motion per day. The Tracking Key incorporates a cylindrical motion sensor that places the device in a sleep mode after the vehicle sits idle for more than three minutes. This saves the battery life when the vehicle is not in motion.

Initial Setup/Software Installation:

With the Tracking Key doing its thing, we decided to complete the installation of the LandAirSea Past Track version 8.2 software.This was relatively simple, as instructions on the screen walked us through the process. Once the installation was completed, it placed a shortcut program icon directly onto our desktop. This icon can be removed if the customer does not want it displayed on the desktop.

Cover and Concealment:

The compact design of this unit made it easy to conceal.With the dimensions of 1.3” X 1.5” X 3.8”, the Tracking Key is roughly the size of a 10-pack of gum and offers a wide range of covert installation options. With traditional GPS tracking systems requiring clear views of the sky, we had reservations when LandAirSea claimed that their Tracking Key could record GPS positioning data in locations that included under the vehicle, under a car seat, in the glove box, trunk, etc. We decided to take this challenge and compared it to another passive tracking unit called the Super Trackstick®. For additional and specific information regarding the Super Trackstick, please refer to the individual review within this site.

When inserting the two AAA batteries into the Tracking Key, we noticed two LED’s that illuminated to identify unit power and GPS status. It should also be noted that the the green power light will change to red when the battery level runs low. If the power runs out prior to retrieving the device, there are no worries –the memory is non-volatile and the data will be waiting for you once new batteries are inserted. The GPS light will flash once per second when locked onto the GPS signals and is consistent with the recording frequency of once per second. One potential issue with these LED’s is that anyone with sensitive night vision may see these lights once installed.We placed a small piece of electrical tape over the LED’s and this seemed to do the trick although we did not keep this tape on during the test.

To take on the full challenge, we decided to attempt the recording of data in all of the locations identified above. This test was conducted over a period of four consecutive days and the device data was downloaded after each test. We felt this was important to isolate each recording day’s effectiveness.The device was moved to its new position immediately after the USB download in preparation of the next test.

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Apr 03 2008

GPS Tracking Review

What Is GPS Tracking?

GPS tracking uses a system of satellites orbiting the earth to find an approximate placement of the receiver within a few meters of its actual location. These systems are known for their accuracy and reliability and can generally give you a precise reading within a few feet of your position.

Are GPS Tracking Systems Difficult To Use?

Ease of operation varies from product to product. But in general, GPS tracking systems are very user friendly. If it is a software-based system, which many are, the consumer gets: the hardware (GPS tracking unit); and the custom software, that allows viewing and interpretation of the data. A personal computer is also needed for tracking of vehicle, asset or person. Consumers who are not particularly knowledgeable about GPS technology should seek out a provider with an effective, established method for fielding questions and feedback. This could be a live phone call, e-mail or a live chat on the Web site. Technical support is key.

Types Of GPS Tracking Systems Available

Basically two types of GPS tracking systems exist today: passive and real time. A passive unit maintains a record of every location it has traveled to in a particular vehicle. This information can then be downloaded onto your computer and viewed using the manufacturer’s software that is included with your tracking unit. Real time, or active systems, allow you to view the vehicle’s location whenever you desire. They collect the same information, but usually transmit the data in “real-time” via cellular or satellite networks to a computer.

Cost Of GPS Tracking Devices

A good quality passive GPS tracker unit will cost approximately $200 dollars, depending on the options available on that particular unit. On the other hand, a basic real-time GPS tracker will generally start at around $350 dollars and could cost up to thousands of dollars. Both real-time and passive trackers are commonly cellular based systems, which use cellular towers in the surrounding area to upload data they receive from satellites. If tracking in a remote area, where cellular service is not available, is desired, a two-way satellite system would be necessary. These, however, are much more expensive to purchase and operate.

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