Originally Posted by roadrunner1800
Has anybody ever had any experience using one of these GPS tracking units. Costs a bit less than Spot devices at $69.95 and only $25 monthly when used and activated. Cancellation at any time with no contracts to sign. I was thinking it could be used so the wife will know where I'm at while heading to the 49th State this next June. Based on GPS satellites and not cell service so that is a plus. Any opinions or reviews appreciated.
In a previous incarnation, I was the fleet manager for about 10K GPS tracker equipped vehicles. Each client had different needs and we supported about a dozen manufacturers. I'm not going to directly answer your questions, but let me offer some considerations you might want to address.
1. Power. The STI_GL300 uses one AA cell for power. This necessitates replacing the battery what looks to be every 2 weeks. That will make it difficult to stealth install the device. One of the advantages of a GPS tracker is being able to use it to recover a stolen bike. That is hard to do if the thief discovers it or the battery runs out. Ideally, you want a device that runs off vehicle ignition but has either a backup battery or constant 12V input.
2. Reporting. How often does the device report? Can it be configured to stack reports and send them combined? For example, 1 minute reporting sent every 15 minutes. You can fit quite a few reports in a single data packet so this saves on airtime. Can you set the device to report regularly while ignition is on, yet report once/day or so if ignition is off? Do you have the option to select from several data plans?
3. I/O. Do you need ignition events reported? Anything else? Do you want an accelerometer to automatically report an accident if you crash?
4. Usage. Do you ride your bike year round? Can you suspend your account during months you don't ride?
5. Antenna. Do you need a separate GPS antenna that you can mount in a location with the best reception?
6. Carrier. Does the device use GSM or CDMA? Which carriers are supported? More carriers use GSM than CDMA. You may want to consider selecting a device that supports a broad range of carriers in case the vendor goes out of business.
7. Security. Most vendors supply a web site that you can use to view your tracking info. What security is offered? Can you send links to family/friends to view your location while on a trip and then revoke access when the trip is over?
8. Price. What is the purchase price? What is the monthly charge? Does it require professional installation (and how much does that cost)?
9. Emergencies. If your GPS tracker includes an accelerometer, do you have the option to notify emergency responders? That gives you an extra margin of safety, should you be in a single vehicle accident and be too injured to call for help. Can you install a panic button in case you get robbed?
10. Sensitivity. Most everybody these days uses the UBlox chipset, so GPS sensitivity is similar for most trackers. This is affected by whether the device has an internal or external antenna and where it is mounted.
11. Geofencing. Do you let others ride your bike? Do you need to specify areas where the bike should never go? (For example, the parking lot behind a bar.)
12. Longevity. How long has the vendor been in business? What happens if they close their doors? Can you switch to a different monitoring company or do you have to replace the GPS tracker?
I think once you figure out exactly what you want, you will be in position to choose the best GPS tracker for your needs. There are a lot of vendors out there and competition is fierce.