Viewing 29 posts - 1 through 29 (of 29 total)
  • Cheap GPS tracking or other device that does not need mobile signal..
  • Premier Icon 5plusn8
    Free Member

    I just want to be able to track my brothers kids and her pals (13-15) on our alps trip this summer. They got lost a couple of times last year and her mobile didn’t work – we used a PVR which worked great, so she radioed me for help but it was hard to work out where she was. In the end she met a hiker with a garmin – he knew where he was obvs… But he was able to pinpoint grid ref so I found it on an actual map and drove over and pick them up.

    Garmin make this https://buy.garmin.com/en-GB/GB/p/561286.
    It allows other people to track you live, and is great for areas where the mobile signal sucks (like mountains).
    Its a lot of dosh – I guess because it has all the nav features etc which I am not sure we need/want – does anyone know anything that just acts as a live beacon (without phone) so that people can track you?
    Isn’t there a tracker thing they use for the Great Divide race? Only within a smallish radius on the mountains but the mobile signal sucks.

    Premier Icon geoffj
    Full Member

    Spot tracker – I think you can hire them.

    Premier Icon jonnyboi
    Full Member

    a lot of trackers use a mobile signal nowadays

    Premier Icon 5plusn8
    Free Member

    The spot tracker looks good – only issue is annual subs required – the garmin doesnt need this. Plus it only updates every 5 mins, or 2,5 mins on the mega expensive annual sub…
    You can rent them, but I was hoping to do a bit of training of the kids over the months leading up.
    Anything else?

    Premier Icon geoffj
    Full Member

    the garmin doesnt need this.

    Are you sure? If you scroll to the bottom of the page on the garmin site there’s a section on subscriptions.

    https://explore.garmin.com/en-GB/inreach/

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Full Member

    The Garmin inReach also requires a subscription, though its possible to sign up for shorter periods than the 12 months that Spot requires. However the device costs a lot more.

    If you can find a Spot for hire that would be the cheapest option.

    Premier Icon 5plusn8
    Free Member

    \Damn! I did not see that.

    Premier Icon whitestone
    Free Member

    It’s either the SPOT or the InReach as far as I know (the Garmin Inreach used to be the Delorme until Garmin bought them).

    The Tour Divide and similar “dot watching” events use the above two devices.

    I’ve used one of the Opentracking devices but these use mobile signals and I’m not sure you can buy them – quite a few Bob Graham Round contenders hire them for the week around their attempt.

    Premier Icon nickjb
    Free Member

    A mobile phone will be able to give a grid ref without a signal so in your first scenario you would be fine without meeting the garmin equipped hiker. Just need the right app and a user that can use it. Maybe a bit of training in phone/gps assisted map reading would be better. Can’t see how you can get lost using a phone if you use it correctly. Also if you have it set to track anybody tracking remotely will get a mark every time they get a signal so you will have a rough idea where they are.

    Premier Icon julians
    Free Member

    It s a bit confusing from your description, but I presume you want the kids to carry something which will tell you their position when you are a few miles away from them without needing a mobile phone signal to relay their position to you?

    So If you cant rely on a mobile phone signal to send the GPS coordinates to you, then you have only two options, one is a satellite phone (which the garmin and spot tracker are essentially examples of), these will be relatively expensive.

    The other option is a hand held walkie talkie with built in GPS , or a hand held walkie talkie without GPS as long as you have another gps device with them that they can use, walkie talkies dont have any subscription costs and are cheap to buy, but the range (is the distance you can communicate with the other walkie talkie) is relatively small, ie a few miles at most.

    I’ve no idea whether this particular walkie talkie is any good, but it is an exmaple of one with built in GPS

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/i/192071506890?chn=ps&adgroupid=13585920426&rlsatarget=pla-142405582626&abcId=&adtype=pla&merchantid=7375754&poi=&googleloc=1007118&device=c&campaignid=207297426&crdt=0

    Premier Icon jimdubleyou
    Full Member

    Inreach looks spendy compared to spot, but it does offer 2 way comms and you can dip in & out.

    I had a hard time justifying my spot sub this year, but if I had inreach, I would have been ok with just turning on the messaging for a couple of months when I’m actually more likely to use it.

    EDIT: or you can just get a smart phone with a GPS & keep your radio (as above)

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Full Member

    jimdubleyou – Member
    Inreach looks spendy compared to spot, but it does offer 2 way comms and you can dip in & out.

    I had a hard time justifying my spot sub this year, but if I had inreach, I would have been ok with just turning on the messaging for a couple of months when I’m actually more likely to use it.

    Yeah, my Spot renewal is due soon and I’ve been considering the inReach but it’ll take years to amortize the capital.

    Premier Icon HoratioHufnagel
    Free Member

    Can’t they just read out some GPS co-ordinates over the Radio?

    Premier Icon 5plusn8
    Free Member

    Julians they have a PVR – this is a hand held walkie talkie and has proven very reliable.

    Premier Icon jeffl
    Full Member

    App on phone can give you a grid ref, or latitude and longitude without needing a mobile signal. Just need a method of communicating that to you. As others have said a radio may be an option.

    Premier Icon nickjb
    Free Member

    Do you mean PMR? What’s the problem with reading out the location from the phone gps?

    Premier Icon julians
    Free Member

    So either upgrade to a PVR (you mean PMR?) that can transmit GPS cordinates, or (cheapest option), give them a cheap mobile phone with built in GPS and teach them how to read the GPS coordinates down the radio to you.

    Mobile phones with built in GPS do not need a mobile phone signal to get a location fix (ie lat/long coordinates) , you just need to download a free GPS app (google my tracks does this – but there are probably others).

    Premier Icon 5plusn8
    Free Member

    What’s the problem with reading out the location from the phone gps?

    Nothing, I had not realised that the gps would still work. So that is most of the solution thanks. The PVR PMR works very well so in the event of no phone signal then we are all good .
    I guess I wanted to be able to track them in real time also, the GPS on the phone won’t do that without a signal.
    It is partly my paranoia, it’s my brothers kid, he doesn’t really ride so I took her and her two mates last year, we are all going this year, my kids are 10 and 8 so they ride with me but want to be able to ride with the older kids (not this year I don’t think) , which I don’t have a problem with they are very good kids and excellent role models for mine.

    Premier Icon richardthird
    Full Member

    There’s very simple apps out there that will just display your coordinates upon opening.

    Premier Icon elliptic
    Free Member

    Bear in mind chaps that the walkie talkie linked to above isn’t the license free PMR446 type…

    It’s one of the newer digital handsets (DMR stands for Digital Mobile Radio) and that one will need a license to use. You can actually get PMR446 compatible DMR radios but with the same limitations (0.5W transmit power / 446MHz frequency band / fixed antenna). Some of them might also have a GPS built in, I don’t know.

    Premier Icon petec
    Free Member

    similar i guess to the Spot Tracker, and does use the phone (although only needs 2G), Vodafone have just brought out this. It also does update every 5 seconds.

    they may of course resent being pets…

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Free Member

    Spot tracker here. Nice physical device, reception a bit ropey and times, but it’s easy to use. You can send pre-programmed messages from it, but you cannot text freely. That Garmin one looks good for proper text communication, but aside from the cost it also looks bigger than the Spot.

    Premier Icon CraigW
    Free Member

    What about a GoTenna. https://gotenna.com/pages/mesh
    Its like a walkie talkie that connects to your phone, so you can send messages and share your location etc. It claims a range of up to 4 miles.

    Premier Icon samunkim
    Free Member

    I realize this isn’t quite what you are looking for but..

    This free app has been really handy for my family, we just text the words to each other.
    No Co-ordinates or Street Names needed & spell check sorts out cold thumb mistakes

    https://what3words.com/

    Premier Icon 5plusn8
    Free Member

    CraigW – Member
    What about a GoTenna. https://gotenna.com/pages/mesh
    Its like a walkie talkie that connects to your phone, so you can send messages and share your location etc. It claims a range of up to 4 miles.

    That looks like the biz. Not cheap but if it can constantly transmit gps from the phone then it might be a good thing.

    I did find on the garmin website their dog trackers – £1k for a handset and collar, but that uses radio to transmit the gps co-ords of the hound back the the receiver. So no subscription. £1k is a lot and I don’t think i could persuade the kids to wear the collar, but the gotenna looks like a similar concept.

    Premier Icon leffeboy
    Full Member

    PMR works very well

    is it not pretty much line of site? So if they are really off track and the other side of a hill you could be in trouble?

    Premier Icon 5plusn8
    Free Member

    Yeah we found we could chat from Morzine when they were over in Chatel. Thats over a couple of peaks.
    Magic?

    Premier Icon dovebiker
    Full Member

    Spot / InReach both work off the Iridium Satellite network – has global coverage. I’ve just cancelled my Spot subscription as it was getting on £200/year and I think they’re a bunch of scammers and they have a subscription model based on the Hotel California! Going to hire an InReach for my next trip to the arctic in February to try-out. Surely a basic GPS handheld and simply use the PMR to transmit co-ordinates?

    Premier Icon 5plusn8
    Free Member

    Based on the radio comms idea there is this kickstarter which looks interesting.
    https://www.gotoky.com/technology

    And a dog tracker thing that has a range of 3 miles using radio. Cheap.
    https://getfindster.com/how-it-works.html

Viewing 29 posts - 1 through 29 (of 29 total)

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