For private investigators, law enforcement, or even an individual who might be utilizing a covert GPS tracking device, finding the best place to magnetically mount the unit underneath the vehicle is absolutely critical to its performance and effectiveness. Without getting too technical, in covert vehicle tracking applications when a device is beneath a vehicle, the satellite must still be able to communicate with the unit WITHOUT the devices’ antenna having direct line-of-sight with the sky (the signal bounces off of the ground into the devices’ GPS antenna) . In some cases, depending on the quality of the unit, this scenario can lend itself to spotty performance in the field….and an unreliable GPS tracking device can cause headaches or even refunded money due to irate clients. AND NOBODY WANTS THAT!
Fortunately, in most cases, this can be an easy fix. As a rule of thumb, depending on the vehicle, optimal position for a covert tracking device should be on the frame-rail, directly behind either rear tire OR directly underneath either bumper. If you experience spotty results in any of these locations, simply make a slight position change to the device. It’s important to know that “1 INCH”….just 1 inch can be the difference between a tracking device not working at all and working perfectly. Depending on the web-based tracking platform being used, the number of satellites that the device is communicating with should be available in real-time. In EasyTracGPS’ ComTrac Total Tracking Solution, the minimum # of satellites that the unit can receive to operate properly is 4….anything below that and the device will not report its location (the maximum is 14). Obviously, the more satellites being received the better, but average reception in covert tracking applications is between 6 and 8 satellites at any given time. Make sure to communicate with your client in advance that access to the vehicle might be necessary to reposition the GPS tracking device…or that they might need to do the repositioning themselves. This will help to avoid any uncomfortable customer service issues and potential refund requests. Deploying a covert GPS tracker can be a powerful tool in any investigation….as long as the limitations of the technology are understood and planned for ahead of time.
Daniel Villalobos – Director of Sales & Marketing, EasyTracGPS Inc.