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Latest developments

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.

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.


GPS collars are like racing motorcyles.

April 1st, 2009

My motorcycle racing career was extremely brief.  One race.  I didn’t care for the ruling body and they didn’t care for me either.  So I relegated myself to becoming the pit crew for a friend who raced.   Before a race we would get everything ready, everything double and triple checked.  Then he would go out for a few practice laps.  Inevitably he would come back to the pits and start futzing around with the motorcycle.  I would get frustrated with him and remark, “Leave it alone, it’s ok, it’s ready to go.”  He would reply that he needed to adjust one thing or another.  We argued like this on and on.  Finally I just told him, “Less brake, more gas.”  But he still fiddled around with it every chance he got. 

GPS technology is similar in that you can keep tweaking and tweaking it forever.   Our products incorporate cutting edge components.  We test them and finally offer them for sale.  Then it seems like the next day something new comes down the pike.  A case in point is GPS antennas.  This week our engineering department released into manufacturing an upgraded GPS antenna.  The previous one was good, the new one is better.  It’s smaller and works better in heavy cover. 

Let’s see what next week brings in the world of GPS technology.  And by the way, I was right about my friend.  He never did win a race and I attribute it to too much brake, not enough gas.


Is everyone doing the job of at least 2 people?

February 17th, 2009

Telemetry Solutions is at 38 degrees north latitude and it’s February.  So why am I still arriving at work and leaving in the dark?  I used to drive away to a local coffee shop after lunch just so that I could see other humans and get a glimpse of the weather during the workday.  But I find that I get a bit more done when I stay here so that’s out now.  My day is organized but I never seem to get everything done.  One big thing that has gone begging lately is updating our website with all of the new possibilities that we now offer.  What kind of businessman am I….keeping it all secret.  In the encapsulation room this morning I saw a very nice GPS collar for female fisher.  It’s really a thing of beauty.  It’s going out the door at 40 grams.  I have a special guest worker arriving at the office within the hour to begin testing of our newest drop off which we have not even advertised yet.  We’re talking small and light.  Because we don’t use fabricated housings on our lightest GPS collars there is no way to incorporate a drop off into the end of a housing.  If we could it would be very light but there would be the enormous bulk of that housing to contend with.  It’s out of the question.  So instead we have to add the drop off externally.  Until now that meant that species the size of foxes could not handle our existing drop off.  We’re excited by this new development.  How long will it be before we get it onto our website?  That all depends upon whether or not I intend to see the sun anytime soon.  When the day comes that I arrive home and the dog starts growling at me because she forgot who I am then I know I’m in the office too much.  If you need something that you don’t see on our website, call me.  Tiny GPS data loggers for birds, GPS pods that attach to your existing large mammal GPS collars, GPS collars for bears or rabbits or anything in between.  If you have an idea that requires some GPS device that you can’t find because no one offers it, call me. 


It looks like the technology that you used to be told was years away is here.

February 6th, 2009

GPS for lizards, snakes and all manner of animals that have never been tracked using GPS before is now an everyday occurence.  GPS for quail are shipping this month. After 3 years making GPS collars we have settled on two designs that lend themselves to applications for a very wide range of species.  The GPS pod that clients bolt onto their own VHF collars took off in a direction other than I intended.  I thought, “Finally, a standard, off the shelf product.”  No such luck.  After the first two sales of that product requests came in for slight variations.  Those turned into much bigger variations and now we have 4 different GPS pods available with more on their way.  The pods are a great way to add a GPS data component to projects with limited budgets and either existing VHF collars or plans for new VHF collars.  Presently the lightest pod is 156 grams.  We have several new configurations waiting in the queue, all of them lighter than existing GPS pod designs.  They come to you with everything you need to attach them to your collars, a hole punch, rivets and a riveting tool. 

Implanting GPS is now possible too.  This is fairly new idea and there is a thin antenna that must be outside the body.  Other limitations exist with this technology but at least it’s moving in the right direction.  We are offering some GPS units with rechargeable batteries and while this may not apply in 99% of the cases it is invaluable in that narrow 1%.  An “always on” mode is available for those of you who need a line on a map rather than a bunch of dots.  Remote data download is available with the addition of 1.3 grams weight, not much of a limitation any longer.  And we just increased the download range for the third time this year.   With the word of all this new technology spreading fast in the wildlife community we have customers from the four corners of the earth.  We support these customers with only a 6 hour gap in our customer service system, we need a little bit of sleep.  You should not have to wait for a response just because everyone in California left the office. 

We have a new video coming to the website in February and we think you’ll like it.  Please check back around Valentine’s Day.