Use of GPS trackers for expeditions is rising in reputation. In case you are contemplating utilizing them, then it is very important perceive their capabilities and their limitations. There are a number of common sorts of GPS tracker; SPOT, Iridium, and GSM.
SPOT trackers was once a extremely popular selection for Duke of Edinburgh expeditions, however their reputation has waned lately as different competing tracker expertise has emerged available on the market and turn into extra reasonably priced. SPOT supply a number of various kinds of tracker, however the most well-liked unit is the SPOT Gen3 system. Because the identify suggests, it is a third-generation tracker. It’s vastly improved on the era 1 and era 2 and is significantly smaller and has a greater battery life than earlier incarnations. SPOT trackers are powered by,four x Lithium batteries which might final a number of weeks, relying on how steadily the unit is used. The Lithium cells are costly, so the price of these ought to be factored into the prices of yearly possession. The era three mannequin can even function from a 5v cable, and from NN12 rechargeable cells. These NN12 cells are costly, and the battery life is lower than utilizing the lithium equivalents, however common customers may choose to make use of these as an alternative.
SPOT trackers transmit to direct to the Globalstar satellite tv for pc community, which supplies them an excellent global-coverage however it isn’t 100% of the globe. You will need to test the producer web site to see if the areas you’re travelling to have dependable protection. As a result of the tracker transmits direct to satellite tv for pc, it requires a transparent view of the sky in all instructions, so ought to at all times be mounted on the surface of a bag, on the prime. SPOTS don’t work beneath heavy cover, and might generally wrestle to reconnect and ship updates if they’ve been out of sign. Typically a reset of the system is required to deliver it again on-line.
SPOT trackers will not be two-way communication gadgets, however they do have the aptitude to ship a pre-set (prematurely) “OK”, “customized”, or “ship assist” message to the SPOT monitoring web site. These are activated by buttons on the system. The producer recommends these buttons should be left energetic for a minimum of 20 minutes to present the message the utmost likelihood to be despatched. SPOT trackers have an emergency SOS button, which can contact a world rescue service (GEOS), if the consumer has paid additional for the annual subscription. Lastly, tracker location sharing will be activated with one other button on the system. This should be activated each time the tracker is powered on.
SPOT Gen3 have a minimal subscription time period of 12 months, which prices 200 Euros + Vat per 12 months (based mostly on 2019 costs, and cost in full prematurely). It isn’t attainable to Pay as You Go, every month, like you may with Iridium and GSM trackers. The usual SPOT subscription will permit the system to transmit one location message each 10 minutes. This may be modified to as soon as each 5 minutes and can be modified to as soon as each 2.5 minutes if an additional 85 + VAT Euro annual premium is paid.
SPOT trackers natively show their location on Google Maps on the SPOT web site. Google Maps will not be very best for many Duke of Edinburgh (D of E) expeditions, which favour use of Ordnance Survey Maps. With a view to present the SPOT location on Ordnance Survey Maps, subscribers should search use a third-party service who concentrate on expedition monitoring who take the info from the SPOT web site and current it on one other GPS monitoring portal on the Ordnance Survey Maps for a small month-to-month payment.
SPOT trackers are usually dependable, offering they’re fastidiously positioned on prime of a bag, and never used beneath heavy tree cowl. They’re the most costly trackers to function for Duke of Edinburgh use, as a result of the contracts should run all 12 months round. In distinction, Iridium and GSM trackers can each be used on demand, any month of the 12 months. I’ll focus on the professional’s and con’s of the Iridium and GSM trackers in separate articles. Hopefully this text has offered some helpful data that can assist you resolve which tracker is best for you.