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Powerful benefit for you, new activity sensor added to our smallest GPS

November 11th, 2009

Not only will you know if the animal moved, you can set a threshold below which movement data is not recorded so that you are in complete control over what types of movement are logged into the GPS collars’ memory.  You will also know the intensity of the movement.  You may set the sampling rate from 4 times per second to one time every four seconds.   The activity programming is in your hands and is very flexible.

Interpreting the activity data output is made easy for you in 2 ways.  First, pre or post deployment you can connect your Quantum 4000 Enhanced GPS collar to your PC or laptop by USB cable and make various movements with the collar.  This allows you to observe, in real time, how the activity sensor indicates different movements.  Second, when connected by USB cable checking movement data in real time you will not only see the numerical output but you will also see the activity displayed in a graphical format.  Again, these are strictly to facilitate your understanding of how the outputs relate to the movements being made.

But you can also request x,y and z outputs and if you so desire we can tie the activity feature into the GPS functionality so that the GPS will not turn off is no movement is detected for some period of time before a scheduled GPS location.  For small collars with limited GPS battery life this is a great way to increase the lifetime (and therefore the data) that you can expect from a small GPS collar.

Image left, no activity....image right, intense activity

No activity vs. activity

But where are your small ones?

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

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

Better antenna, better remote downloads

August 13th, 2009

Matt recently made a trip to Sequoia National Forest where he range tested various antennas for our wireless GPS remote data download system.  The results were impressive and we now offer an antenna for downloads that should increase the maximum data download range from your Quantum 4000 Enhanced GPS collars.   And it’s smaller too!  Here he is outside of our office using the new antenna.

Small data download antenna increases download range.

Direct client involvement

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.

Quintin