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Archive for the 'FYI' Category

But where are your small ones?

Monday, October 26th, 2009

It seems that just the other day a 200 gram wildlife GPS collar was considered really light.  I was at a wildlife conference last month, a 50 gram GPS collar was on display on our table.  Someone picked it up, looked at me with disappointment and said, “Where are your small ones?” I took that kind of personally.  But as Tom Hayden said, “It’s business Sonny, not personal.”  Ok, so I got over it.

Friday we built our smallest GPS unit ever, 6.7 grams. We built this for a bat, it slips onto a Holohil VHF collar using the passageway at the bottom.  Seems that we have come a long way since 200 grams was the lightest GPS collar for wildlife.

GPS for bats

GPS for bats

Small GPS for birds

Thursday, August 20th, 2009

I recently had an opportunity to travel to a bird research station located on an island in the western USA.  After inquiring about our Quantum 4000 Feather-Lite GPS units for birds, the biologists involved were kind enough to extend an invitation to their field site.  Keeping the GPS at or below 13 grams is the goal for the project.  We will use a solar panel to charge the power source for the GPS unit.

It was certainly refreshing to get out of the office for a change.  More information about these small GPS units will be available in September.  Quintin

Approaching the island Residents

Direct client involvement

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

It is our clients and potential clients who inspire our new designs at Telemetry Solutions.  Your needs are what drives us every day.  This week we will ship a GPS collar that was specifically designed for cougars.  All it took for the client was to say that he wanted a package on the collar that was narrow (in the direction of chin to neck) because the cat needs to open its mouth wide.  And email isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.  For brainstorming ideas with a client the telephone or a meeting in person beats email hands down.  So I encourage any of you to phone me or email me and ask me to phone you.  I digress….back to the cougar GPS collar.  We design and manufacture all of our own housings for all of our GPS collars.  This was a pretty small order but that’s ok, I put Thinh on the project and we ended up with a great new housing.  Thinh may work for days on the initial design, bring it to me and then I call the customer to tell them what we came up with.  Sometimes it’s just what the doctor ordered and sometimes it’s back to the drawing board.

Last week I had an email from a scientist who is not a wildlife biologist, he needed to track an animal that is very small and he had pretty much given up finding what he needed.  I arranged a phone call.  After I understood his requirements I told him that we could build him a GPS datalogger that weighs 15 grams and it will be made exactly as he needs it.  Micro GPS is not really easy to make but we have been working on this for a long time.   This is the part of the job that I love.  So, if you have a need that isn’t being met or if you don’t even think it can be met, give me a call.  I practically live in my office and I’m easy to reach.


Latest developments

Tuesday, July 21st, 2009

2009 is a great year for us. We have added new products to the lineup, new people to the organization and many new customers. Product development is moving ahead at full steam, we have several projects in various stages of development. The newest system will become available next month and it’s not like anything else on the market. Before the end of the year we will surely have one or two other new systems available.

When we started developing and producing our own line of GPS collars in 2006 you could have played a ball game in our facility, there was plenty of space. We now have electronics and people everywhere, you couldn’t toss a paper airplane without hitting something. It’s time for a move. By August we will be in our new facility which will not only provide ample space for what we are currently doing but provide the space for the planned growth of Telemetry Solutions.

Keep watching the site, we will have a some big developments showing up next month.

GPS, skateboards and monkeys.

Sunday, June 28th, 2009

Last week Matt McDermott joined the Telemetry Solutions’ team. Matt is settling nicely into his role as our customer support specialist. He’s new and he has a lot to learn but he is eager and a faster learner. During the training process we occasionally get off of the topic of GPS for a moment or two. It was in one of these forays into Matt’s personal life that I learned that every year Matt participates in a 30-mile, long board relay in California’s Lake Tahoe area. His long board is a long skateboard, built for speed and distance travel rather than for annoying pedestrians by repeatedly slamming into various curbs and low walls.

Friday I showed Matt how to program our Quantum 4000 Enhanced in “always on” mode and then asked him to take it outside and gather data so that we could go over the new outputs, velocity and direction. Always on mode is just what it sounds like, the GPS is always on. We’ve just added velocity and direction to the output from this device. I suggested to Matt that in order to actually get velocity data that shows some change, it would be great if he wouldn’t mind running with it a bit. It was about 40 degrees C. outside, but what’s he going to say, he’s new… he went along with me.

That’s when the long board came into play. I didn’t know he had it in his car and he didn’t mention it. But he got the job done by skate boarding around outside for awhile.

Enter the monkeys. We have a customer on the east coast of The United States that studies Howler Monkeys in Central America. He wants that velocity data and Matt will be supporting him. It’s a little difficult to support something that you have never used and Matt is going to be busy for the next few months using our products in every way possible. So here is Matt’s next problem; how will he find out how well the GPS works when the monkeys are hanging upside down from trees? We have trees so I hope Matt brings good climbing shoes and gloves Monday.