Friday, 6 May 2011

GeoPro - the green tracker

Here's another gadget :o) Don't we just love them?

Some time ago I was blogging about the Spot 2 messenger which is basically a one-way satellite tracker. GeoPro on the other hand is a two-way satellite tracker. That means you can send and receive messages: You can write and send a 160 character message as you go. GeoPro uses the Iridium network which has global coverage and is not restricted.  That sound like a nice deal if there wouldn't be a price tag: It's 699.99 USD ... and I guess you'll need some kind of subscription on top of that. So far I couldn't find any information on that.



So how does the GeoPro compare to a Spot2? Let's have a look. I also added the McMurdo  FastFind210 to the list in order to compare both of the trackers with a PLB:

Device: GeoPro Spot2 FastFind 210
Check-in Function: yes yes no
Check-in reminder: yes no no
Tracking Interval: 2 min to 1 day
(adjustable)
10 min no
Custom Message: 160 characters 1 pre-programmable message + programmable help button no
Satellite Network: Iridium Globalstar Cospas Sarsat
Coverage: Worldwide restricted to most land masses excluding Africa and SE Asia Worldwide
Position Finding: GPS GPS GPS + doppler processing
SOS Button: yes yes yes
Waterproof: IP66 (splash and dust resistant) IPX8 (Immersion beyond 1 m) Temporary immersion to 10m for 5 mins. (IP 58, IPX7)
Battery Type: Lithium-ion 3 AAA Lithium Lithium
Battery Life: Up to 1,000 message reports (which would be around 7 days at 10 min tracking) Power on: Approximately three months; SOS/HELP/SPOT Assist: 3–6 days; Check-in/Custom Messages: Approximately 350–700 messages 5 years storage, then 24 hours operating
Weight: 380 g 147 g 150 g
Dimensions: W 6.35 cm x H 12.7 cm x D 3.8 cm W 6.6 cm x H 9.4 cm x D 2.5 cm W 4.6 cm x H 10.0 cm x D 3.4 cm
Price: 699.99 USD 149.99 USD 249.99 USD
1 Year Subscription: unknown 99.99 USD + 49 USD tracking none
Colour: green orange or silver yellow

As you can see there is no real winner of this comparison. (Of course I'd go for the green one but I already spent over 300 AUD for the Spot). Again it really depends on your needs and how much you are willing to pay. If you live in Europe such a device is completely pointless since the GSM network coverage is excessive. If you really think about spending that much money for the GeoPro, you might want to consider to add another 400 USD which gets you e.g. a Thuraya XT satphone including SIM-card.

The Spot is still the cheapest satellite tracker and if I would look for a 2-way device I'd expect it to be cheaper than the GeoPro or I would spend the few hundred bucks extra and go for a full scale satphone.

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