GPS Tracking is something that we have seen a lot on the big white screen and it´s always working as a charm. Exact positioning to the meter, instant start and battery capacity for a lifetime.
That´s not something you get with low budget tracking device but you could get close enough with a small amount of money.
AliExpress.com Product – Real Time GSM Mini GPS Tracker GPRS Tracking SOS Communicator RF-V16
The key selling point with today’s GPS Trackers is child security, elder security and car security. The reason why I bought this one is because I want to keep track of one of my kids. I will in two follow up reviews look at another, even cheaper, device and a iPhone solution.
I wanted I device that where not to difficult to handle, with battery time for at least one day and the possibility to update as close to real time as possible.
So, the RF-V16 Mini GPS Tracker is really small and the cost is around $50. The size of the unit is 40×34 x14mm and weights 27g.
It´s used with a micro-SIM that needs a data plan for the communication. If you use a completely new card (I use a cash prepaid card) you need to do the card activation from a cell phone before using it in the RF-V16.
It´s not charged when delivered so I had it connected to a charger over night before starting to use it.
The micro-SIM needs to be inserted before the device is turned on and when you do a small melody is played at a rather high volume. The you have flashing leds: one for the GSM and one for the GPS.
When its turned on and at least the GSM is flashing rapidly it needs to be configured by SMS. It´s really important that the texts are written in lower case and without any spacing at all. First I had a hard time to get it working because of faulty spacing.
The first thing configured is the master number from where all the SMS commands are sent. When that is done we are all set to go.
Example of commands:
dsp# – device responds with it´s id, GSM signal, GPS signal, Battery life and Operating mode
dw# – device responds with it´s present location
tim,5# – device sets to update it´s position every 5 mins
How I have used it:
After that I send a SMS with the text “tim,1#” to get the unit to update it´s position every minute. The frequency of the updates affects the battery time. According to the manual an frequency of 10 minutes will make the battery last 50 hours.
It is possible to set up geo-fences but I think they are a bit limited because the only possibility is to create the as circles.
When my child is at the arrival point I send a new SMS text with the command “tim,20#” which means that the device only updates its position every 20 minutes.
It´s possible to get some statistics from the device at the web page. I haven´t used it at all but some might have interest in it. There is also a function to playback the route the device did travel..
Pros and Cons
+ Small – doesn´t take much space
+ Reliable – haven+t failed me once in 4 weeks
+ Quick – connects to the GSM/GPRS quickly as well as the GPS
– Technical – not to easy to set up
– SMS – only way to configure and get feedback
– Support – where to get it?
Do I recommend it?
Yes, it´s a good device that for a small amount of money solves the tracking task with decent quality. I would like a better user interface, but managing with SMS is good enough for my needs.
To who do I recommend it?
Any parent that needs to have knowledge of where there kids are, this is really a GPS Tracker for kids.