Live GPS tracking of other vehicles, not through PC

Discussion in 'GPS 101 - Which GPS For Me' started by Zen Overland, Jan 23, 2013.

  1. Zen Overland

    Zen Overland Adventurer

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    We're planning a fairly optimistic Sahara crossing, leaving very soon. After the last 'Mondo Sahara' trip, it became clear that it would be a huge advantage if it was possible to GPS track vehicles within the group.

    On this trip we'll be travelling with a 4x4 support vehicle, and it would be great if (as a minimum) the driver of this truck could pinpoint the riders on his GPS screen.

    Ideally every vehicle could see the other vehicles on their screen, but I understand this may be more difficult.

    Does anyone have any advice they can offer, has anyone else on here done this?

    The support vehicle is a Landrover, and it seems likely we'll be on Honda XR400 bikes again. (They did incredibly well on our trip a couple of months ago)
    Probably 4 or 5 riders.

    Many thanks in advance
    #1
  2. dlh62c

    dlh62c Long timer

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    You might look into the Garmin Rino Series of gps's

    Rino 655t's unique Position Reporting capability lets you send your exact location to other Rino users so they can see it on their map page. Plus, improved audio performance means it's easy to communicate with any other conventional FRS/GMRS radio in the area. It can be useful in an emergency, or just a handy way to keep tabs on your hunting party, hiking partner, family or friends.

    daryl
    #2
  3. Zen Overland

    Zen Overland Adventurer

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    Daryl,

    Thanks very much, that looks like it might just do the trick.
    Though reading through the blurb, it seems it'll only share your location with other users at the moment you press the send button?
    ie. you have to send your position to the other units rather than this info being constantly relayed
    #3
  4. lmychajluk

    lmychajluk Long timer

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  5. Zen Overland

    Zen Overland Adventurer

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    Yeah the dog systems do look like a possibility, only hesitation I'd have is the quoted 9 mile range.

    I'm assuming the distance they quote is something of a best case scenario (maybe line of sight), in which case this could easily drop to 5 miles or so in a dune field, at which point it's not quite so useful.

    The support vehicle will often be much further than this from the bikes.

    The screenshot looks good though, exactly what we're looking for.
    [​IMG]
    #5
  6. dlh62c

    dlh62c Long timer

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  7. River Pilot

    River Pilot "Razor Six"

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    Good afternoon Zen Overland,

    You may want to a true two way communication system that utilizes global satellites through the Iridium network.

    Geospace is also available for emergency extraction. Friends and family can also track the team via the web.

    The system is from Delorme and is called "InReach". Its comparable to the Spot conifguration but is more advanced. It's been in use for a year now and supports Iphones and Android devices as well as the Delorme PN-60w dedicated device.

    Here is the master page and here is the product page.

    We have been, and still use the Spot Satellite Messenger system. Its has worked all over the world with good results. However, the Delorme InReach is a now taking that concept to a new level with the ability to communicate real time.

    You would purchase one kit for the lead rider and one kit for the van driver. Then you can send short text messages back and forth. The position of both parties is attached and sent with each message so each person can see the others fix location on a map.

    If you have a smartphone, you can download worldwide maps for free to ensure that your phone has a map even when there is no cell coverage.

    You could still load and bring a set of Garmin Zumo 660LM's for your main navigation and this setup as a secondary set of screens for comms along with Iridium satellite phones for lengthy discussions.

    Good luck on the ride.

    River Pilot
    Cheyenne, WY. U.S.A.
    Web: www.riverspilot.com
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  8. dlh62c

    dlh62c Long timer

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    Before you consider Delorme's "InReach" with the PN-60w, do your homework regarding gps map availability for international travel.

    I replaced a Delorme PN-40 with a Garmin 62s due to lack of maps outside the USA and Canada. I think Delorme now has a subscription service to download international maps, but I'm not sure if you pay by the continent, region or square kilometer.

    daryl
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  9. Zen Overland

    Zen Overland Adventurer

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    Thanks very much both to River Pilot and Daryl.

    Food for thought. Not too keen on the subscription element of the Delorme, but maybe that's still the best option.
    #9
  10. abhibeckert

    abhibeckert Long timer

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    From what I've seen of SPOT I'm not sure if I would trust it. Never used one myself, but I've followed other riders who have one and it doesn't seem to be as accurate or update as frequently as I would want.

    For sharing my location I personally use MotionX GPS for iPhone and/or iPad, combined with a weather/shockproof mount. It requires some kind of internet connection, but if you can get that sorted (Iridium has various solutions) it works very well. You pick a channel (any 5 digit number) and as long as you're all connected to the internet everyone will see a map with a dot for everyone else's current location. I'd recommend an iPhone on each bike and an iPad in the 4WD's. MotionX is also a great GPS for navigating rides like that, giving you tools for navigating by compass and so on.

    If you set it up right, it won't use much data, but it looks like Iridium charges by the minute, not by how much data you use. Perhaps some smaller network has coverage where you're riding and has more reasonable data rates?

    Obviously in an emergency you want a good old radio distress beacon or something, but for sharing your location MotionX works great. It's accurate to ~3 meters with line of sight to the sky and can update every few seconds if you're willing to use that much data.

    Travelling in the desert, you might find the device needs to be kept in the shade or else it will overheat. I've found riding in Australia on hot days it's OK as long as my riding is creating a fair amount of wind, but perhaps in the desert that won't be enough and perhaps your mount will block the wind more than mine does.

    People at home will be able to follow along too, there's a webpage where you can see all MotionX users (check out the default channel (11111) now at: http://gps.motionx.com/iphone/liveupdates/).
    #10
  11. RodRoo

    RodRoo n00b

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    Bump:

    Anything new in this area? I am in the same situation as the OP. I am contemplating using Raah Tracker (www.raah.co) but want to make sure I am not missing a better solution.

    Rodney
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  12. DRTBYK

    DRTBYK All Things GPS

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    I don't know what the OP finally decided upon but your Raah Tracker is only good for when you have cellular. If you want real world remote capability, the Delorme inReach is the best solution.
    #12
  13. lmychajluk

    lmychajluk Long timer

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    Does the DeLorme InReach allow you to see other units / users on its screen?

    Edit for the OP - Have you looked into APRS (Ham Radio Service)? If you just need for the support vehicle to know where the other vehicles are, you can put a MicroTrak on each 'tracked' vehicle, and an TinyTrak and compatible GPS (like an AvMap) in the support vehicle. Watch this video to get an idea - https://www.youtube.com/user/w6gps#p/u/5/K5qZBRvM2UM. Being a ham service, though, you can't really use this for any commercial venture.
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  14. DRTBYK

    DRTBYK All Things GPS

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    Before it was released, I was told by inReach Tech Support that the Explorer will show the location of another inReach on it's "map" display when you receive a Message from them directly to your inReach. They don't really have maps but you would have a "relative" location to your own showing on the display. I don't have an inReach Explorer (I use an SE) so it would be worth contacting the inReach Tech Support to verify it personally before purchasing.
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  15. RodRoo

    RodRoo n00b

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    Hmm, OK. Thanks for the help guys. I may end up with the inReach later on, but I will spend some time playing with Raah for awhile first.
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  16. duggram

    duggram Been here awhile

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    Great. I use the inReach Explorer with an iPad Mini. I can picture this working on the Mini because it is Bluetooth paired with the Explorer. But I really don't know whether it would work. I know that when I send a text message or email from mine it is supposed to include the coordinates. Not a dynamic update but it could be helpful.
    #16