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I already have a tracker in my car and my partner having now bought a new vehicle it seemed a good idea to fit one to her car too. This one seemed a good budget choice.
This new GPS Tracker from XCSOURCE is a robust and waterproof GPS tracking unit that is mounted or hidden inside the car and allows the location to be monitored remotely.
Inside the simple but robust product box was the tracker itself, a USB to micro-USB charging cable, a SIM card release tool, two cleaning cloths, a SIM card adaptor and a water resistant carry bag. No SIM card is included but any 3G standard sized SIM card can be used.
The unit is larger than I was expecting but large enough to hold the long life battery and powerful magnet. There are no controls on the device but inside a grommet protected bay there is the SIM card slot, a micro-SD charging port and a status LED. When the LED is Red it shows the device is charging, solid Yellow means no mobile network signal, Flashing Yellow means mobile signal found, solid Blue means no GPS signal, flashing Blue is GPS found. The device is switched on by inserting a SIM card and turned off by removing it. It has a small lanyard mounting slot on one end to backup the internal magnet.
You can monitor the position of your car in three ways: from the TKSTAR GPS Android or iOS app, through the mytkstar website. You have to register to use the app or website both of which have clearly been translated from Chinese. Here you can do live tracking and playback previous journeys up to three months old . The device is orientated around SMS commands, for which no registration is needed, and experienced users will find this the easiest and most direct way to communicate with the tracker.
As soon as the SIM card is inserted you can start using the device. Call the tracker SIM card or text G123456# and the tracker will text back a message showing the tracker’s latitude and longitude, current speed, time of day, battery strength, device ID and a Google maps link to the current location. Of course this is not secure as it will respond to any phone that queried it. Again using SMS you can define an Admin phone number and this will be the only one the tracker will then respond to.
The tracker should work with any 3G data card but first you have to find out the card’s APN number – this allows the card to connect to the mobile data network. You can do this by putting it into your phone or by doing a Google search for the carrier name and APN number. For a Tesco Mobile SIM, for example you would SMS the following commands to the Tracker:
gprs 123456 (this tells the tracker to turn on data)
apn 123456 prepay.tesco-mobile.com
apnuser 123456 tescowap
After each command the Tracker will send back an OK message
You can do more than just get the location of the tracker. By SMS commands you can get it to send alert messages when the vehicle travels at above a preset speed, time of last good GPS signal, when the device detects movement (handy as a parking alarm), when the device is tampered with , battery low alert. You can define sleep times for the device to save battery life. You can define set the internal clock of the tracker to ensure alert timings are accurate. You can define a Geo fencing area to send alerts if the tracker leaves a certain location. If something goes wrong you can reset the tracker by yet another SMS message. According to the Amazon page the unit also offers voice monitoring – the unit calls back to play live audio the internal microphone detects – but this is not mentioned in the User Guide.
The 3.7v 5000mA battery should last up to 90 days depending on how much the device is used. If you use a PAYG SIM this will have to be topped up from time to time.
For the price this is a great buy. Setting it up is a one time chore but once done the device should work well provided GPS and mobile network signals are fine. At one time a sophisticated unit like this would have cost several hundred pound, that it is available now for just £38.99 is remarkable.
Good build quality
Three monitoring methods
Good battery life
Excellent User Guide
Phone app real time alerts
Complicated to configure
Registration needed for App/Website
No Voice monitoring instructions