GPS Tracking device - GL1800Riders
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 10:08 PM Thread Starter
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GPS Tracking device

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.


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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 11:56 PM
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Spot costs more at 150
Monthly service is less at 15
Annual service is 150

So it might not cost more. Depends on how many months you pay top use it.

Also note that the Spot device is the goto for the Iron Butt Rally.
Does the Spytec device allow you to call for help? Does it transmit your location to emergency services if necessary? Can you use it with Spotwalla? How does it function if you are not in a cell service area?

Hard to do an apples to apples comparison.

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 12:23 AM
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It would appear that the Spot Gen3 has more features than the SpyTec Unit. It seems that a more apples to apples comparison would be the Spot Trace GPS Tracker. At REI for $99.95 and 12 month service for another $99.95 Still more than the SpyTec Unit but . . . . maybe something to think about?


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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 02:55 PM
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Good comments so far.

It looks like that gizmo uses cell data to transmit its location. I see no indication in the specs from a quick scan that it transmits out by satellite. It might, I may have missed it.

If data coverage is going to be good enough, then look at Bubbler on Android and Spotwalla (or there's another app if on Apple, perhaps SW Connect) for basically free.

Alaska probably does warrant satellite coverage. Spot and Delorme are two to look at there.

If this really is a one time thing, there might be some places that rent these gizmos. Or friends who are well equipped but not travelling that month.

Note that Mrs. Roadrunner might learn to like being able to creep on you. If that happens, though, you can always fall back on Bubbler & Spotwalla for fairly good coverage when you're not out in the boonies.

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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 04:06 PM
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I want to go too Alaska with you ...........Allen
Like I mentioned earlier, I rode thru Alaska on a rented Harley, a few years ago, I can only tell you Allen, that you won't be disappointed, what a beautiful state, clean ,clean , clean is all I can say.
I can remember sitting in a hot tub at midnight, and it was light out...Totally something you will remember for the the rest of your life for sure...I'm jealous!!!

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more time to motorcycle and complete the "honey do" list..........
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 04:30 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Big_Bird View Post
Good comments so far.

It looks like that gizmo uses cell data to transmit its location. I see no indication in the specs from a quick scan that it transmits out by satellite. It might, I may have missed it.

If data coverage is going to be good enough, then look at Bubbler on Android and Spotwalla (or there's another app if on Apple, perhaps SW Connect) for basically free.

Alaska probably does warrant satellite coverage. Spot and Delorme are two to look at there.

If this really is a one time thing, there might be some places that rent these gizmos. Or friends who are well equipped but not travelling that month.

Note that Mrs. Roadrunner might learn to like being able to creep on you. If that happens, though, you can always fall back on Bubbler & Spotwalla for fairly good coverage when you're not out in the boonies.

I went to their site and honestly can't see what you see as far as using cellular data. I read every line and watched the video, but I am far from understanding the tech that a computer wizard would when reading about it. It says it stores GPS trip data for a year as I believe the Spot products do and that you can use a smartphone, tablet, or other device to watch the tracking on Google Maps but that's about the extent I see as far as using the IPhone. I read that it reports it's location based on GPS satellites. I might be mistaken, but if it's function depended on cellular data would that not make it a non functioning tracker in no cell areas? If it does indeed use cellular data than I want nothing to do with it.


As far as Mrs. Roadrunner she wants nothing to do with the bike now that she has stopped riding about 4 (+/-) years ago. She often tells me take your "sweetheart" out for a ride and don't hurry home.....jealousy is her strongest trait you could say.


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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 04:38 PM Thread Starter
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I want to go too Alaska with you ...........Allen
Like I mentioned earlier, I rode thru Alaska on a rented Harley, a few years ago, I can only tell you Allen, that you won't be disappointed, what a beautiful state, clean ,clean , clean is all I can say.
I can remember sitting in a hot tub at midnight, and it was light out...Totally something you will remember for the the rest of your life for sure...I'm jealous!!!

Ronnie
I wouldn't mind at all Ronnie if you come along....but you've already told me you cannot do any long rides anymore after the Wise seizure. Change your mind let me know.


You are definitely the hot tub king and you need not ever worry about seeing me in a hot tub...just never will happen. People get naked in those foamy bath tubs I have heard and I see no reason to ever take a bath with you or any other person lol.


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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 05:10 PM
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Originally Posted by roadrunner1800 View Post
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.

Good luck,

Bob
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 05:27 PM
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I might be mistaken, but if it's function depended on cellular data would that not make it a non functioning tracker in no cell areas? If it does indeed use cellular data than I want nothing to do with it.

If you want your position information reported as you ride, you are stuck with using a cellular provider. If you don't care about sending data until you get home, there are other options. I have seen a few trackers that use bluetooth to link to your cell phone. However, that means you will not be sending data if you don't bring your phone. Adding BT to the mix adds another failure point.

As far as dead areas, GPS position data is cached and gets sent once you are back in cellular coverage. Some devices might not save cached data once the ignition is turned off. You have to check to be sure.

The other option might be to use the Iridium satellite network but satellite phones are extremely expensive to purchase and to use. I haven't seen any trackers that natively support Iridium. Reporting reliability just isn't that important for most users.

Bob
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 05:36 PM
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I think ... When it says things like "no wireless signal" and "unlimited data", I would assume it is using cellular data to transmit the tracking. (Screenshots below)

That would appear to work exactly like the (free) SWConnect / Spotwalla app on my iPhone except using their data plan instead of mine.

The app on my phone stores my tracks when I am out of cell coverage and uploads it all when it can. I have seen nearly 400 "tracks" in the buffer, waiting for me to get back from the deep woods. During that time family and friends tracking could see when and where I lost cell coverage, nothing more until my phone found another cell tower.





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