The most common issues stem from getting a signal.
Remember the device needs three things simultaneously in order to send a location point to your map:
2. Reception from the GPS satellites
3. A cell phone tower signal
You can think of it like a checklist. It goes through the checklist and when it has what it needs, it sends it away. If it doesn’t, it’ll keep trying until it does. Then after a successful attempt, it waits 60 seconds and goes through it again.
Below you’ll find some ways to check to make sure each of the three requirements are met.
GPS Tracker for Custom Applications:
Whether you’ve just hooked it up for the first time or you’ve had it working just fine in the past and suddenly it doesn’t, check the source. If it is a standalone trailer battery for instance, check if other lights or systems attached to that battery still work. You can also use a circuit tester pen to verify power by touching the leads straight to the battery itself.
Then if that’s successful, continue moving outward down the circuit until you get to the wire that feeds the device itself, checking it against the ground you’re using. If that didn’t work, keep part of the circuit tester on the hot wire that feeds it and check different grounds; it could very well be a bad grounding spot.
If all of these tests prove successful, move to step 2.
If they didn’t, charge your supplying battery or create a better ground.
Magnetic Tracker and Car Tracking Device (OBDII):
These are a bit simpler because the device itself allows you to see if the lights are on. (The magnetic tracker lights are under the rubber seal flap. Give it a light shake if you don’t see lights to ensure it’s not in sleep mode.)
If the lights are on, go to step 2.
If the lights are not on, either charge the magnetic device using the USB cable provided, or for the OBDII plug tracker, make sure your car battery isn’t dead. Some vehicles might require the key to be “on” for the OBDII plug itself to receive power.
At any given time there are between 6 and 12 GPS satellites visible to any one spot on Earth. Since you only need four, it’s not terribly difficult but there is plenty that can mess up the signal.
For instance, make sure you have the best, clearest view of the sky as possible while still hiding the device out of sight. Things that can alter the signal include trees, any metal, a building, or heavy cloud cover.
Some examples that might show how much metal is too much:
One customer had his device up near the top of his enclosed trailer above the side door. Good location, but he keeps his trailer parked up against his large race shop (giant metal building). There are also trees surrounding the property. Generally, he can assume there’s no signal while the trailer is parked, but every time he pulls away, it immediately begins transmitting again. Apart from picking a new parking spot, this is a normal result.
Another customer has the magnetic tracker and stuck it to the side of his toolbox (similarly, one direction of the sky is entirely unusable by satellites). Above the toolbox is also his row of aluminum cabinets, making it harder still. Once he opened the trailer door, signals began up again. We advised moving it somewhere else in this case.
Others have the magnetic tracker in the trunk of their car with no issues, and anyone with the OBDII tracker has it under their car’s dash with no issues.
If all else fails, all of our devices feature some kind of internal battery for at least a one hour back up. If you’re sure you have power, you can disconnect the device and take it to a more open spot to see if it sends the location.
If it does, you’ll know your current mounted location has too much blocking its path.
This is a lot like step 2 above, so you might glance through that as well.
But you’re probably pretty familiar with how cell phones work and making sure you have bars for reception and everything else. This is just like that, only you can’t see the bars.
Luckily we’re with a great network with amazing coverage all across the United States. However, if you’re used to having spotty service where you live, well, not much anybody can do about that anyway.
Again, make sure you have a clear a view of the sky as possible with the device and see if it sends the data. If it’s still spotty, check the next time you are on the Interstate (nearly every inch of Interstate has cell signal from every major carrier) or you are in a more populated town or city, check it then.
If you’ve gone through all the steps in detail and there is still no response, contact us using the form below, or you can call or text the number at the bottom of each page.