Super Trackstick Mini GPS Review
Introducing the Super Trackstick, a product of the Southern California-based Telespial Systems. Last year, they broke new ground with the Trackstick Mini, a compact yet powerful passive tracking device. Boldly, Telespial asserts that this device, with its exceptional sensitivity—seven times greater than their other systems—stands as the market’s most enduring GPS vehicle tracker. Are you ready to explore the credibility of these claims? This article will guide you through an in-depth review of the Super Trackstick’s features and performance.
Top-Rated GPS Car Tracker On Amazon
Telespial GPS Data Logger
Those new to GPS tracking technology quickly learn that there are two types of GPS vehicle tracking devices: passive and active. Both acquire GPS signals in the same manner. The difference is in how that data is handled and viewed/read.
All GPS systems are receivers. They capture signals from satellites and calculate the unit’s location with a mathematical formula called triangulation.
If the user wants to see that location information immediately (real-time), a method must be used to transmit it “live” to a computer server. A modem and cellular data technology are usually the solutions. This type of active solution is known as a real time GPS tracker and involves additional monthly subscription fees for data.
Passive vehicle tracking systems have no monthly fees because the location tracking data is stored in the device’s internal memory. The user later retrieves the tracking system and downloads the data onto a PC for viewing.
Most consumers initially prefer a real-time solution. But the no monthly subscription fees – and often an annual contract – could be financially burdensome. Passive devices work equally well and are cost-effective. They also can store significantly more data than real-time units.
Trackstick Mini GPS Tracker Model Specs
Two important qualities in GPS tracking devices are always debated: power and signal acquisition. Usually, to get a consistently good signal, GPS devices need a clear shot at the sky. That is the case with GPS navigation devices.
Passive devices like the Trackstick Mini must prove themselves worthy in less-than-ideal conditions. Covert installation is sometimes necessary. The Telespial pitchman addresses this on the company website. The Trackstick Mini has a 360° internal antenna, so, the company says; it doesn’t need to have its face to the sky.
Does the Trackstick Mini operate on internal lithium?
The ion battery is recharged through a computer’s USB port. The thin design of the unit and the black color are appropriate for covert placement. As an added layer of environmental protection, the Trackstick Mini includes a soft rubber sleeve that surrounds the recording device. The magnetic clip permits quick mounting on metal components. Another improvement includes a significant gain in sensitivity as identified by the manufacturer. The Trackstick Mini is supported by Trackstick Manager software. The same is being used on the company’s other passive models.
- 5-second sampling rate
- Motion sensor/vibration detector
- On/off switch
- Built-in USB port
- Magnetic mounting surface
New Features Include:
- Sleek, water-resistant housing
- Soft rubber boot surrounding the enclosure as added protection from the elements
- Significant gain in sensitivity (Seven times, according to the manufacturer’s website)
- Lithium-ion rechargeable battery
AMC Trackstick Mini Testing
We conducted an extensive test of the Trackstick Mini GPS tracker to assess its performance. The device was fully charged and placed under the driver’s seat of a four-door sedan. Over the course of the test, we moved it to different locations in the vehicle every two days to evaluate signal acquisition and analyze the accuracy of the readings during data download.
The rotation of placements included under the seat, under the vehicle on the frame, inside the glove compartment, near the rear window in the trunk, and inside the rear bumper. Importantly, the Trackstick Mini retains all data in memory even when the battery is depleted, ensuring data integrity.
The Trackstick Mini features an LED light on the lower right corner, serving as an indicator for battery and GPS status. The flashing GPS status confirms each recorded position. However, the battery status cannot be checked without connecting the device to a PC. When locked onto a GPS signal, the LED light flashes green every 5 seconds, and the unit shuts down when the battery expires.
Throughout the test, which involved driving about 40 miles per day for approximately two hours of recording time, the Trackstick Mini consistently displayed a good, continuous GPS lock in every placement position, even in challenging circumstances.
After eleven days, the Trackstick Mini stopped tracking due to a lack of power. Our test revealed that the battery lasted around 25 to 30 hours of driving/recording time, significantly less than the manufacturer’s advertised 80 hours.
Having completed the test, we proceeded to download the data and assess the overall performance of the Trackstick Mini.
USB Port Downloaded Data
The Telespial Trackstick Manager is a user-friendly software program that allows for easy extraction and display of GPS tracking data on a PC. The software interface is accessed through the USB port, and it is worth noting that the Trackstick Mini’s lithium-ion battery recharges during the data download process.
Once the data is downloaded, users can select specific dates from the recorded data to view. The software provides the option to create a Google Earth file (KMZ) for a graphical representation of the recorded latitude/longitude positions. The Google Earth map displays the path connecting these positions, with stops marked by red dots. While the stops are not individually identified, hovering the mouse over the dots reveals the corresponding details. The software also includes sequential position records with links to Google Maps for geotagging purposes. A summary at the bottom of the list provides information on the number of positions recorded, hours traveled, and miles traveled. Users can modify the breakdown and generate daily summary reports by isolating specific dates and times.
The data display provided by the car tracker is satisfactory and does not mislead. However, the travel replay feature on Google Earth can be occasionally choppy and may deviate from designated roads. Other GPS tracking products on the market offer more mapping and viewing options in their software.
- Battery Life: The Trackstick Mini lasted 11 days on a single charge, driven about two hours per day, falling short of its claim as the longest-running vehicle tracker. The GPS device requires a one- to two-hour recharge when drained, lacking a secondary power option. The motion sensor conserves battery life.
- Signal Acquisition: The Trackstick Mini has improved signal acquisition compared to predecessors, thanks to a more powerful receiver and 360° antenna. However, its performance is average compared to other products. A more frequent sampling rate could provide smoother tracking.
- Accuracy: The Trackstick Mini provides acceptable accuracy, though other products offer better performance. Graphic replay sometimes shows the vehicle drifting off the road, likely due to signal acquisition, device placement, or data interpretation.
- Software: The user-friendly, menu-driven Trackstick Manager software functions well. However, it lacks diverse viewing options found in other products.
- Device Design: The compact and portable Trackstick Mini has an attractive design. The GPS tracker includes a protective cap for the USB connection and a magnetic mount. A rubber case or boot would enhance weather protection. The dual-purpose GPS signal/battery indicator light is impractical; a separate low-battery indicator would be beneficial.
Overall, the Trackstick Mini offers satisfactory performance but falls short compared to some competing GPS tracking devices.
Final Thoughts On The Super Trackstick
For a discreet and user-friendly passive vehicle tracking device, the Trackstick Mini is a viable option. With improved signal acquisition and accuracy compared to previous models, it performs well, but falls short of some competitors. While power capabilities are advertised as superior, our test did not meet those expectations. We recommend considering live GPS trackers or more efficient GPS data loggers like the LandAirSea vehicle tracker for better performance.
- Improved signal acquisition
- User-friendly software
- Weatherproof rubber boot
- No low battery light
- The battery requires at least 2 hours to recharge
- Limited data viewing options
- Data often shows vehicles drifting off-road
Frequently Asked Questions
Is the Super Trackstick GPS a reliable tracking system data logger?
Yes, the Super Trackstick GPS is a reliable tracking system data logger. The device’s compact design, along with its 4MB flash memory, allows it to record months of travel histories, making it useful for tracking long journeys. Its ultra-long battery life outperforms many competitors, ensuring you’re covered for weeks on typical use.
How does the Super Trackstick integrate directly into Google, and can it display the exact location on maps?
Yes, the Super Trackstick GPS integrates directly into Google. The device’s data logger can interface with Google’s mapping technologies, showcasing your location in 2D maps and 3D terrain. Using GPS mapping technologies, the exact location can be shown, providing you with a comprehensive view of your travel histories.
Are there any motion-activated features in the Super Trackstick GPS?
Absolutely! The Super Trackstick GPS includes a vibration detector for ultra-sensitive motion detection. This means your device only records when it detects movement, conserving battery life. In addition to this, it features an integrated USB for easy data transfer and a detachable magnetic mount for versatile placement.
Can the Super Trackstick GPS be used for covert vehicle tracking?
Yes, you can covertly install the Super Trackstick GPS as a vehicle tracking system. Its weatherproof case and detachable magnetic mount make it perfect for discreet placement in various parts of a vehicle. Whether you’re keeping an eye on a suspecting cheating spouse or monitoring your vehicle’s movements, the Super Trackstick provides exact, real-time location data.
Does the Super Trackstick GPS come with any additional features?
Definitely! The Super Trackstick GPS comes loaded with features. For example, it has a built-in temperature recorder, a vital feature not commonly seen in other GPS vehicle tracking systems. Moreover, it operates on AAA batteries, but it also includes a rechargeable battery, offering flexibility in power sources. With these features, the Super Trackstick proves itself as one of the featured products in the GPS tracking world.