Gsat Mi­cro – por­ta­ble – Irid­ium

Yachting World - - Gear Test -

the de­vice

The Spot Gen 3 pro­vides an im­pres­sive bat­tery life – I car­ried it around for over a month set to trans­mit ev­ery five min­utes when mov­ing and did not de­plete the bat­ter­ies.

The de­vice will send alerts and a se­lec­tion of five one-way mes­sages to email or via SMS, but you pay ex­tra for SMS mes­sages. The en­tire unit is man­aged via an on­line por­tal where trans­mis­sion fre­quen­cies, alert­ing and preloaded mes­sages are set up. The Spot must be plugged into a com­puter con­nected to the in­ter­net to change con­fig­u­ra­tion. Edit­ing the stan­dard preloaded mes­sage text is a must – one of them sim­ply says ‘Help’.

Each Spot has its own map­ping page that

An­nual fee – basic – in­clud­ing mes­sages to email £125 En­hanced track­ing (more than 24hrs) +£30 per year

SOS sup­port +£15 per year

Mes­sages to SMS + 10p per mes­sage This is the cut­ting-edge of tracker tech­nol­ogy. It is the small­est Irid­ium tracker go­ing, fit­ting com­fort­ably in the palm of a hand. It also has in­cred­i­bly ad­vanced func­tion­al­ity, in­clud­ing the abil­ity to re­ceive and carry out ad­vanced com­mands via satel­lite.

Its cur­rent uses are mainly com­mer­cial and mil­i­tary, but this is the space we should be watch­ing to imag­ine what stan­dard tracker tech­nol­ogy will be of­fer­ing us in years to come. The bad news is that you need to be a bit of a nerd to con­trol the Gsat mi­cro. But with the right pro­gram­mer you would be able to in­vent, write and test com­mands that could be car­ried out any­where in the world – cut­ting

en­gine or turn­ing in­stru­ments on or off would only be the start of its func­tion­al­ity.

Charges are monthly and re­late to bytes and should be dis­cussed with the provider – I’ve given prices for an en­try-level pack­age with the GTC track map­ping por­tal.

En­try level pack­age, for 12,000 bytes £28 per month Activation fee £37

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