Tips for Passive GPS Tracking

If you’ve ever used a GPS tracking device, like the iTrail for example, you know how valuable they can be in gleaning necessary information. But like any electronic device there are some tips and tricks that will make the results more reliable. We have included our five best tips for the SleuthGear iTrail GPS Logger below. Keep in mind that the iTrail is but one option in the crowded passive GPS tracking market. Each different make and model has its own quirks and nuances.

1. Keep the Battery Charged – The iTrail GPS tracker utilizes a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. Unfortunately, it is hard wired into the system rather than being replaceable. That means it is extra important for you to make sure your device is fully charged before you deploy it.

2. Purchase a Magnetic Case – If you plan to deploy your iTrail where it will be exposed to the weather you should buy a magnetic case. Even though the iTrail is water resistant and rated for temperatures between 14°F and 122°F, no piece of man-made electronics is perfect. Utilizing a case will add an extra layer of protection and allow for quick deployment if you are placing the device on a car.

3. Choose Deployment Area Wisely – One thing many GPS users are unaware of is the fact that signals between satellites and devices like the iTrail can be easily interrupted. In order for your iTrail to work properly it needs unobstructed access to satellites. For example, when mounting your iTrail on a car make sure that it’s not fully surrounded by metal. You’ll need at least one open area to allow signals to get in and out.

4. Perform Frequent Data Dumps – Even though the iTrail can record up to 120 hours of movement it’s not wise to let it go that long if you can avoid it. Doing so is not a mechanical or electronic problem, it is a mental one. In other words, sifting through 120 hours of data and trying to make sense of it all can be extremely taxing; far better to download the data in 10 or 20 hour increments to make it easier to analyze. At the same time, doing so also provides a built-in reminder to charge a battery.

5. Remember the Motion Detector – The iTrail has a built-in motion detecting sensor which allows the device to go to sleep once it’s been a rest for a certain amount of time. You can conserve battery power and use up less memory if you learn to utilize this feature. For example, if you want to send your iTrail with your teenager headed to an amusement park, have him carry the device in his backpack rather than his pocket. The backpack will remain fairly stationary when is on a ride or standing in line. On the other hand, an iTrail stuck in the child’s pocket will usually wind end up with constant movement throughout the day.


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