Frequently Asked Questions

How many different operational types of tracker are there?

There are 3 main types of trackers:

  • Vehicle trackers: These report frequently and are installed within the vehicle dashboard and wired to electrics.
  • Personnel trackers: These are always battery powered, rechargeable and portable.
  • Asset trackers: These can be wired in or just battery powered or both. They report infrequently when static but alert if asset moves with more frequent reporting.

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How are trackers powered?

There are 3 ways trackers are powered:

  • External power: From host, by hard wiring.
  • Battery backed: Hard wired from main power supply and recharging with back up internal battery should host supply fail or device wiring broken/cut.
  • Battery powered only: Generally, the batteries are rechargeable, however, normally long life batteries option are not rechargable.

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How do they work?

The tracker contains 2 main elements. GSM (like a mobile phone) and GPS (like car navigation system) all contained in one enclosure. Both require antennas and these are often external to the device for vehicle applications or internal in the device for personnel trackers and asset trackers.

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Can the trackers fail?

Trackers are now extremely reliable. However because they rely on both a good GSM and GPS signal the conditions for both have to be suitable.

GSM coverage across the UK is wide spread but some areas with some networks vary. When a connection is lost most devices store the data and send it as soon as the connection is re-established. GPS however is a different type of signal and all GPS antennas need exposure to the GPS signals normally by line of sight to the sky. The GPS single will not travel though any metal component so a fully enclosed antenna by metal will not work. The latest GPS receivers are very, very sensitive and can pick up the weakest of signals normally found when the GPS signals are being bounced from objects such as metal and even the ground. This means internal antennas in vehicles works well and can be concealed as long as not totally enclosed by metal.

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Will the devices work in houses or any buildings?

The GPS signal has to be able to be detected by the device for it to work. Generally the typical house will allow GPS signals to penetrate or bounce around. Garages will do the same, but any building with metal roofs will cause a problem especially if the device is away from windows or sky lights.

Large office blocks and underground car-parks will definitely cause issues with the GPS signal and more often than not will not be detected by the tracker.

As far as the GSM is concerned, buildings generally do not cause problems.

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