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Reporting fear.

December 30th, 2008

The news is full of doom and gloom these days isn’t it?  But here at Telemetry Solutions we have never been busier.  I recently wrote to one local news anchor complaining that he focuses too much on a poor economy.  I suggested that he would not be remiss in his duties if he skipped a day reporting on the bad economy and instead focused on something a little more positive, an interview with me for example.  Needless to say I didn’t hear back.

We are pressing on with new developments in 2009.  Certain projects were slated to get underway and get underway they will.

Ringing in the new.

November 25th, 2008

Here, at the end of 2008, we are set to deliver our first GPS system under 10 grams.  Everyone here feels like it’s a great way to end 2008 and we are looking forward to some more new products and services in January 2009.  Several major changes are happening at Telemetry Solutions.   Customer support is being overhauled and starting next week will include video tutorials as well as regular support updates.  The product line has changed dramatically this year and this has changed our manufacturing process here at the factory.   Advertising is also undergoing an overhaul.  You may have noticed that we didn’t attend the Wildlife Society conference in Miami this year.  We had attended that conference every year since 1987 and now seemed to be as good a time as any to introduce new advertising.  After all, it is 2008 and we do have options that were never before possible.  It is always good to meet customers in person and we plan on continuing that, but in a new way.  We have many times more business than we used to have and we don’t like people to wait for replies to sales inquiries so we have a new system for that too.  You should never wait more than 1 business day for a reply to your inquiry or customer support issue.  For you, the customer, all these changes boil down to better products, better service and great prices.  That’s our recipe moving forward, we hope you like it.

Happy Thanksgiving

Quintin

Concept cars, why not concept GPS collars?

October 25th, 2008

There is one person in particular here at Telemetry Solutions that can never be found at his desk.  “Has anyone seen Aaron” is a commonly heard phase.  We find him by calling his cell phone.  “Aaron, where are you,” we say.  “Oh, I had to go out to get some carbon fiber.”  Sure, that makes sense…..carbon fiber.  Apparently no one told Aaron that we don’t build race cars.  But it does appear that we build concept GPS collars.  Carbon fiber is stronger than steel and when you have a rigid collar made from it the comfort factor is surprising.  And it’s very light.  It’s a bit expensive and very labor intensive but apparently we are setting aside a section of the shop for fiberglass and carbon fiber housing production.  At this stage it is experimental but I’m willing to bet we have it in field tests by The New Year.  Next comes flexible solar panels incorporated directly into the collar and ultra capacitors replacing the big GPS batteries. 

Quintin

Last week while I was range testing our new Quantum 4000 Enhanced data download we were pleasantly surprised.

October 9th, 2008

Testing under best case conditions, flat terrain, no trees……we expected our short range data download to work out to about 100 meters.  We walked 350 meters away and were still able to communicate with the collar fine.  But our office is in town so we couldn’t go further than 350 meters without having buildings in the way.  So we did a new test Monday.  We found that the maximum range of the Quantum 4000 Enhanced is 1.5 kilometers.  This is without a large receiving antenna, but rather just a 20 cm. whip antenna on our base station.  Again, this was under best case conditions.  The Quantum 4000 Enhanced with remote download can be built under 30 grams including the collar, batteries, transmitter, everything you need.  We’ll have some new images of the Q4000E coming shortly.  And we have another “first” for the wildlife telemetry industry coming this month.  Stay tuned.

Quintin

Another perfectly good weekend.

September 26th, 2008

The American Psychiatric Association’s DSM-IV defines Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder in part as, “…recurrent obsessions or compulsions…that are severe enough to be time consuming (i.e., they take more than 1 hour a day) or cause marked distress or significant impairment….”  I had to look it up to find out that I don’t exactly qualify.  But it seems that evaluation of our GPS collar performance never ends.  A few weeks ago I blogged about a test that I would do over the weekend.  I was testing from Friday evening until Sunday evening, constantly downloading GPS data, sorting it out, evaluating the results and then uploading new schedules into the collars.  My wife had absolutely no interest in the results but I had no one else to share the fascinating information with.   

We did get some excellent information from that test.  First, it only takes a few seconds (in many cases only 1 second) for our Q4000 series to acquire satellites and it does not matter much if the position interval is 5 minutes or 2 hours, they work about the same.  But more interesting than that is our GPS Additional Time feature that I keep harping about.  Forcing the collar to remain on for x number of seconds more after it acquires satellites results in <2.5 meter accuracy.  The overall amount of time required to get this accuracy is under 60 seconds.  The tests were always performed with the GPS right on the ground.  There was foliage around but it wasn’t a forest by any stretch of the imagination.

Last month we sent a Quantum 4000 collar to a biologist in San Diego California.  He was on his way to the jungles of Peru.  He and a colleague wanted to determine if the collars would work in the jungle where they do their field work.  Initial results from that test are that they do indeed work there and they work well enough that we have already received interest from others working in Peru.  Word of mouth is a wonderful thing.  These tests are being performed in an area with no roads other than the river.  The tests in Peru continue.  As soon as we have the newest results they will be posted on our website.  Now I think I better go wash my hands, it’s been 30 minutes since I did it last. 🙂

Quintin