Sat Trak 24

Submitted: Friday, Nov 21, 2003 at 23:03
ThreadID: 8672 Views:3579 Replies:1 FollowUps:1
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To the Exploroz team, I noticed you are the official testers of this new technology and I was wondering how things are going.
How about an update for forum browsers.

I'm sitting on the fence at the moment when it comes to purchasing equipment for Navigation, Communication and personal security, this looks like the way I and others may wish to go.
One of my questions is, will it replace the need for downloaded mapping from Hema etc.
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Reply By: Michelle from ExplorOz - Monday, Nov 24, 2003 at 17:34

Monday, Nov 24, 2003 at 17:34
John,
Didn't see your post, as this is not the way to communicate directly with us, but with readers of the site - we're normally too busy on the phone with advertisers, writing content for the site and reading our email to even read the forum....Anyway, now that I've seen the post I'll respond to you and everyone in on the status of Sat-Trak24 to the best of my knowledge.

The SatTrack24 system was not ready for a full trial when we departed from Perth in July but we did install the actual tracking device. This was a round disc mounted to the external body of the car (we actually strapped it to a 100mm pvc pipe that is permanently mounted to the side of our Rhino Roof Luggage Tray). We configured (via request that all subscribers will have option to do) to run a 2hrly position check between 8am - 4pm (assuming we'd be immobile outside those hours). We had no other interaction with the system during our 6 week trip, however we did get a phone call the second we drove into mobile coverage in Broome asking why we got so far in one day? (ie. Halls Creek to Broome) in contrast to our "slow" progress for the previous 3 weeks. They were concerned something was wrong with our 3yr old and we were rushing to medical care - that was nice to know someone was watching.

So, the tracking of vehicle works through the network no worries. The 2 major areas still needing product development at the time were: the in car navigation/display system and the family/friends optional website showing your progresss on a map.

They nearly had the website progress tracking ready when we left but were having some troubles with securing the deal with the mapping company - ie for rendering the maps online with all the right scaleable functions etc. From Broome, they phoned and asked if we had a family/friend member who would like to trial it as they had it ready for testing. My father (also an avid outback 4Wd traveller who is a Research Scientist at CSIRO RadioPhysics in Epping, NSW) agreed to be the one to test the online tracking. We also had Juliana, who works in our office packing shop orders and keeping the business running in our absence, also test it. Feedback at the time was that there were some anomolies with position as a result of the maps beng sourced.

They have changed the maps being used for this, and in fact I think they are using 2 different sources of maps - one for internet use, one for the actual in-car navigation as this has to be Windows CE compatible and most internet mapping isn't in the right format etc.

David was recently shown a test window of the new mapping he has sourced for the online mapping and this problem is now all sorted out.

The in-car navigation system is a lot more complex. We haven't yet seen it, but have seen the hardware via internet documents showing the base product he has imported (2 versions, either a palm size PDA or the larger tablet version) and this is top of the line stuff. Their team has then been developing their mapping engine to run the online maps just like you get with your moving map software, with the need for a GPS or third-party mapping software. Yes - you are correct that they are aiming to provide a product that is both new technology hardware but customised software that completely combines the current capabilities of GPS, digital maps and mapping software plus utilise the network for its position tracking capabilities and its inherent communciation advantages that rivals HF radio and enables email and new communication tools from a vehicle ... but the cost is still going to be the deciding factor as to whether this solution is the one for you. Probably yes, if you don't already have all the separate components, but maybe no, if like us you are already fully setup with all the gadgets.

Hope this helps - I should probably update the SatTrak24 feature page with this too shouldn't I.
AnswerID: 38275

Follow Up By: John Russell - Tuesday, Nov 25, 2003 at 00:38

Tuesday, Nov 25, 2003 at 00:38
Michelle,
Thankyou for the update, as I have not yet invested in any gadgets other than an Epurb, it sounds as though this maybe the answer for us, and if it takes awhile to sort things out I can be patient.
To have a system that virtually does everything without the need to have a Laptop, GPS, Mapping system, Satellite phone, HF Radio ,Epurb, etc, sounds fantastic.

Regards
John
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FollowupID: 27839

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