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Articles

13 November 2017

How to choose a GPS vehicle tracking device

The choice of the required GPS tracking device depends mainly on the purposes and conditions of its application. Nevertheless, even for the same monitoring task different solutions may fit. How to navigate in the numerous options and technical parameters of the devices on the market? In this article we consider the key aspects to focus on.

Estimate product design

First thing, we pay attention to is, how the GPS device looks like. You can easily distinguish a good tracker by high-quality materials, whether it is plastic or vandal-proof metal. Make sure, the housing is smooth, there are no excess gaps, and the details fit neatly to each other.

The proof to you overall impression would be ingress protection rating, quality certificates, CE marking or ISO certificate, which are given only after independent laboratory tests and show the compliance with high quality management standards.

Select antenna type

Depending on how you intend to use the tracker and where to install it, you need to choose the antennas. The GPS tracking device with built-in antennas is more advantageous for the hidden installation in the car interior, for example, under the front panel. The reception quality of the satellite signal is not lost, but the risk of sabotage on the part of drivers is significantly reduced.

If you want to mount the device in diesel locomotives, bulk carriers, where the materials are not transparent for the signal – of course, it is better to use the device with external antennas. How to evaluate the quality of antennas? The easiest way is to trust a reliable tracker manufacturer, since a high-quality device set includes antennas. This is important, because the antenna must match the type of module.

Make a list of necessary inputs and outputs

To fulfil the tasks, it is necessary to understand how many and which external devices need to be connected to the GPS tracker in addition. If you are going to connect only digital fuel level sensors, then you need one RS485, no analog inputs are required, unless you need to connect something else like the alarm button or the ignition sensor.

To control the actuators, for example, a dump truck or a gasoline tank truck, you need to select a vehicle tracker with a large number of analog inputs. In this case, it is best to choose such a device, inputs and outputs of which are multipurpose. In some cases, an analog input means only discrete. In the best possible option one input embodies several functions and can measure voltage, count pulses, work as a trigger, as on Galileosky tracking devices.

It is important to define, whether you need the digital inputs. Now most of the additional external devices can be connected both via RS232 and RS485 interfaces. RS232 is a must-have for say a refrigerator. RS485 is more versatile. At least one 1-wire should be in the list for connecting humidity or temperature sensors, as well as an RFID reader or i-button.

In addition to interfaces that act as communication channels for different devices, it is important to pay attention to the supported protocols – their communication language. Qualitative GPS tracker not only excels at its wide list of supported protocols, but also is flexible implementing new protocols. Thanks to Easy Logic technology, any protocol for connection via RS232/ RS485 interfaces can be realized in Galileosky tracking devices.

The ability to work with the CAN bus is a separate criteria for evaluating the capabilities of the tracker. Nowadays there a plenty of different ways, how to implement this functionality, which has already become a must. It is essential to look through, which protocols for reading data from the CAN bus are supported by the tracker.

Find out the capabilities of the built-in battery

If you want to receive data regardless of the car's ignition is turned on or not, take the tracker with built-in battery. For example, thanks to the built-in battery, the Galileosky vehicle trackers can work autonomously for 8 hours and you don’t have to worry about the data safety. The larger the battery capacity is, the more points will be recorded in the device memory. The quality tracker is protected from any impulse voltage surges, and in case of prolonged overvoltage is capable not to crash up to 200 V, the optimum battery capacity is 600 mA.

Pay attention to additional functions of your GPS tracking device

Additional, but not less important, criteria of choice can be the possibility of connecting two SIM-cards, which is especially crucial for international cargo transportation or transport, working in different regions. If you set special parameters for data transmission in roaming, you can save costs on cellular services.

Furthermore, having the tracker with internal memory might be the advantage, because all data will be received and saved even out of GSM coverage. Best of all if the tracker is able to record at least 400,000 points.

The ability to install SD card will add functionality: storing photos, audio files for the “autoinformer” function and more. Voice communication function will allow you to set up a two-way communication between the dispatcher and the driver.

As a conclusion, it should be noted that the manufacturer itself plays an important role. Buying equipment of the famous brand, which is appreciated on the market, you get a quality guarantee and a long service life. Preference should be given to those manufacturers who not only use high-quality electronics and accessories, but also provide excellent service. Having reliable support of competent technical support specialists, you can solve monitoring tasks of any complexity, and leave the end customer satisfied.