Tuesday, April 14, 2009

TrackStick Review

I’m such a gadget guy. This one is pretty high up on my cool factor and I give it two “thumbs up” a commercial grade GPS Tracker called Super TrackStick.


They seem to put a focus on marketing towards Law Enforcement “The best choice for government agencies, police, intelligence, and homeland security personnel.” Website also has uses listed for tracking your kids and for those jilted lovers, where is your husband now type stuff, not what I had in mind and that’s kind of scary now that I think about it.

Can also be a great adventure tracking device which is why I want it, if you have a GPS unit, probably provides much of same type of waypoint tracking but I doubt you will find it anywhere close to the historical capture, ease of use and battery life this thing provides.

Depending on where my budget ends up I may pick one of these up, a little pricy at around $225 CDN, they have an entry level version for around $150 which does essentially the same thing just not as versatile and missing a few functions. I will call out the differences at the end of this “Couch” review.

It’s a low powered GPS receiver that runs on 2xAAA lithium batteries for 6-8 weeks of usage, it has a built in 4GB memory card which is capable of storing 16,000 waypoints. They appear to sample once a minute so that gives you about 30+ days of continuous data gathering, realistically you aren’t moving 24x7 so you can get months worth of data saved before you need to clean it out. Connects to a system of 24 satellites and tracks up to 12 at a once providing resolution down to 2.5 meters at speeds of up to 300mph, it also tracks temperature readings in case you needed that too.

It doesn’t provide real time updates and stores everything locally on the internal memory card, when you get home, it has a built in USB adapter to connect to your computer and download all the data and has full integration into Google Earth, supports GeoTagging on your pictures so you can also include those in your map.

Not waterproof but does come with a weatherproof case so can probably deal with a couple of splashes from rain, would have to put it in a waterproof pouch of some sort around the water. Vibration activated so when you aren’t moving it goes into power save mode and comes with a magnetic adapter which allows you to attach it to metal surfaces.

I just like the fact that you can turn the thing on and forget about it, get home and get complete detail of your trip.

The smaller version called the TrackStick II has only 1GB of memory and abysmal battery life, no waterproof case, no vibration activation and no temperature readings and no magnetic adapter. Other than that they work the same way, for the extra $50-75 I would go with the Super TrackStick

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