Offshore GPS Tracker Suggestions?

hdra

Anarchist
650
145
We need a new tracker for our boat.  We've had a Xaxero SkyEye on it since 2008, which worked great, but it has finally shit the bed, and they don't make them anymore.  Wondering if anyone has suggestions on a new Iridium based GPS tracker that can automatically ping a position to a website every hour.  The old one had an integral battery and solar panel, so we could just bolt it to the stern arch - ideally would like the new one to be similarly independent of the boat's power supply.

Yellow Brick, Redport XTracker, any others I should be considering, any experiences with them?

 
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hdra

Anarchist
650
145
Looking for family and friends to view.  We already have a Go - do you know if the GO can be set to automatically send updates, or does it need to be triggered manually?  Ideal would be something that can just go and do its thing without any human interaction, and ideally be independently powered from boat - the GO would be OK, but ideal is also that it keeps pinging even if boat has some sort of issues with its own batteries.

 
I've got a SPOTX B - the one with the keyboard and two way comms and it just pings away every 10 minutes and lasts a good 10 hours.

Pings go off to the website for people to be able to track you and you can change the pings to every 30 mins or even an hour to massively extend the battery life.

I'm just about to set mine up with a USB lead wired into my portable power bank which I'm guessing will give it a weeks worth of juice quite readily and keeping it in a watertight phone bag with the lead coming in through the bottom with loads of goop around the cable and I also put on some roofing repair tape like this stuff:

https://www.screwfix.com/p/bostik-flashband-grey-10m-x-100mm/57969?tc=LB6&ds_kid=92700058021678352&ds_rl=1249407&ds_rl=1241687&ds_rl=1245250&ds_rl=1245250&gclid=CjwKCAjw3pWDBhB3EiwAV1c5rLWBs21EsNULqITMWJRgBDkGNxwFIQCnviZksKfVMZtb3RWMx9IrIxoC-mMQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

I'll see if the signal still works ok inside there shortly and report back, but assuming it will then good to go.

We will still have easy access to the SOS function etc, just need to find a mountain bike waterproof case that it fits into snugly.

 I've used the goop and roof tape on my phone in a mounted case for years and had no issues at all with it. The lead goes off to my powerbank or fixed battery depending on what boat I'm in. The mounting ensure it is always hanging down and I've never had any water ingress issues.

 

WGWarburton

Anarchist
993
741
Scotland
...keeping it in a watertight phone bag with the lead coming in through the bottom with loads of goop around the cable and I also put on some roofing repair tape like this stuff:

...

 I've used the goop and roof tape on my phone in a mounted case for years and had no issues at all with it. The lead goes off to my powerbank or fixed battery depending on what boat I'm in. The mounting ensure it is always hanging down and I've never had any water ingress issues.
Have you tried something like this?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/MyMAX-Super-Fast-Wireless-Compatible-USB-Black/dp/B08GKQZDJZ

 These look like a good solution to waterproofing, assuming they work OK through the bag (they are OK through a normal phone case, so I don't see why not).

 If you've tried and they don't work, please let us know.

Cheers,

               W.

 
I did look at using one of my wireless chargers but as you still need the cable to connect to the power source it makes no real difference.

It was a bit annoying to keep the phone close to the charger plate as keeping it vertical to help with keeping any water out made it quite awkward.

I tried strong elastic bands and it was kind of ok but then made taking it out of the bag annoying and meant I couldn't use the screen as the band interfered.

If I could find a case that both would fit in very snugly it without the band it might be useful but don't find a real problem with the current set up.

In addition it still works really well to connect to the waterproof speakers via bluetooth so we can have radio/music on quite happily.

 
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Has anyone tried any of these trackers? Some waterproof, one claims 3 years battery life w/ 1 update per day, one claims 3 years with 2 updates per day, two claim six months "in sleep mode" whatever that is.

Need a tracker for an ocean data bouy that will be out 3 months+

With Warm Aloha, Tim
 

us7070

Super Anarchist
10,229
243
inreach mini 2 has greatly improved battery life over version 1 - they claim 14 days w 10 min tracking interval.

even if it's only half that it's still great.

i'm swapping my mini for a mini 2.

supposedly the ios app interface is much better too
 

SimonGH

Member
408
88
Westbrook CT

battery lasts a pretty long time, or you can connect it to DC power... the waterproof DC cable will take 8-22v DC, but the basic charging cable is USB. If you look at the waterproof cable it looks like it has a regulator that takes the 8-22v DC and makes it 5v (USB). So if you want waterproof you could remove the regulator and hook it directly up to the usb output of something like this:


5 min updates constant movement gives you 8 days on internal battery. Assume you change that to 60 min intervals means 12x longer = 96 days on the internal batteries alone. Add that power bank at 26800mAh (vs 1200mAh for the AAA lithium internal batteries) and you get... 2144 days (22x longer than internal alone). So 6 years from now you'll have to recharge the power bank by unfolding the solar panels...
 
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Ocean View

Member
383
6
Australia
Has anyone tried any of these trackers? Some waterproof, one claims 3 years battery life w/ 1 update per day, one claims 3 years with 2 updates per day, two claim six months "in sleep mode" whatever that is.

Need a tracker for an ocean data bouy that will be out 3 months+

With Warm Aloha, Tim

Have a look at Myriota
they are doing some great stuff in the ag and research space with multi-year year battery life and 3 or 4 pings per day


Ideal for long term yacht tracking but they are not consumer focused - so of no use of the original poster
 

hdra

Anarchist
650
145
We ended up going with the Yellowbrick YB3i - not 100% what we wanted, as had to be wired to the boat's battery system (and didn't want to fabricate a tiny solar panel & external battery for it) but has enough internal battery capacity that if the boat loses power it will still transmit for quite a while. It's cheaper than the XGate offering and cheaper to operate as well, as you can pause it and change frequency of pings.
 

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