SportDOG Brand TEK Series 2.0 GPS Tracking System
SportDOG Brand TEK Series 2.0 GPS Tracking System
Price: CDN$ 866.78
This is about the most sophisticated and well-built hunting tool I have ever been able to get my hands on
This is so much more than a collar or training system which means that reviewing it will take more than a few words. There’s no way I could give a comprehensive review of the whole system in the space I have here so I strongly suggest you go through the makers site to see all of the available options and accessories. The whole package includes more than just a collar and hand held receiver, there’s a ton of information on how to train your dog including the DVD which contains a wealth of information that’s provided by experts in the field.
The hardware is rock solid, the kind of thing that you want heading into the bush on a hunt. It’s rugged, water resistant, and full featured. If this drops it’s going to be working when you pick it up again. While the display is bright and provides excellent colours it is not touch enabled. In order to keep things rugged and water tight everything about the display is controlled though the use of various buttons and the multifunction control located at the top right hand corner of the unit. It’s easy to use and intuitive.
Here’s a quick overview of the receivers various capabilities:
► Will work as a simple GPS device to provide you with your own location information as well as track the dogs
► Track up to 21 dog and/or handheld units and view location of each at the same time or individually
► Provide each device with its own name (label)
► Electronic compass that works
► Set GeoFences to provide alerts if any tracked device leaves a specific area – See GeoFences below
► Collar has a 24 hour operating ability per charge based on 3 second reporting, this can be reconfigured if desired
► Hand held can operate up to 8 hours per charge
► Charging for both devices is through mini USB cables, charger is included as are the cables, these are mini USB to USB A cables
► Options are built in for choosing different mapping based on your location
► Connecting the receiver to a PC was easy, then the process to download and install updates was all automatic, no glitches
► The system allows for customization in almost every aspect
► The receivers battery compartment is well sealed against water
The tracking collar is tough and well designed:
► The collar itself has plenty of length which allows it to be used on medium to large sized dogs
► Any excess collar is easy to trim off in order to keep it from catching on brush
► To power it up or down requires depressing the button for a 3 seconds
► A green LED flashes every 5 seconds when on
► GPS and radio antennas are well fastened and positioned for use
► The button is positioned so that it can’t be accidentally depressed while worn by the dog
► The collar is completely sealed and requires the use of a special bracket to charge it as there is no USB connector on the collar, just contact points that the bracket connects to.
More details, the long story:
Because of the time of year I received the set we weren’t able to get a real live hunting test in the bush but we were able to get the new girl set up and let her roam about providing us the ability to see how well it worked in real world conditions. While letting her run we were able to see how well the antennas stayed in position while she was romping though he bush. The way the collar and antennas are set up everything stayed in position, the transmitter – battery pack/GPS – receiver unit is heavy enough to keep the antennas situated up high where they need to be. We were also able to see if the antennas would cause any problems for her as she wound through the brush. One concern we had was that the collar doesn’t have any kind of a break away but the collar didn’t seem to offer any real resistance and she never got hung up.
The first rule of hunting is safety first. By being able to know where you’re hunting partners are at any time without being able to actually see them is a huge increase in safety. All it takes is each hunter in the party to be equipped with a hand held and to have them all set up correctly. That way everyone in the party has a complete overview of every other member.
A word about range. The maker states up to 10 miles (16 Kilometre) which is a possibility only not a fact. Because the collar reports directly to the handheld receiver, rather than communicate by cellular, range is affected by numerous things. Any time you have a hill, you’re in a valley, or on the wrong side of a metal building from the other device the communication distance can be severely reduced. You’ll see the term “line of site” which means exactly that. If you have a direct line of sight between the two devices you could get up to 16 kilometres range. On the other end of the spectrum if you have a metal shed in between the two devices you could be 10 meters away and not be able to communicate. This is a fact of radio communication and the reason cellular systems use so many towers to provide coverage in urban areas.
This particular set did not include the optional “E Collar” which is used to train a dog and while not included there’s information in the kit on how it’s used, how to equip it, and the various features it has. If your dog is in need of training and you’ve considered a shock collar then consider this as a viable option to a single use item like a simple anti-bark collar. The DVD has a lot of very good information on how to introduce your dog to, and use a shock collar. I would suggest viewing it before using any shock collar.
GeoFences are areas that you set up within the hand held that represent a geographical area or range. GeoFences are commonly used in systems that track vehicles and assets. There is nothing physical about these fences and they can be deleted as needed and new ones created. Multiple GeoFences can be set up at the same time to provide alerts when devices (collars or other hand helds) move from one area to another of if one of them has left an area when it shouldn’t.
This is not a toy by any means and anyone who is serious about safety while hunting and getting the most out of your dog’s performance will appreciate how well this system is thought out and designed. After being able to really put this through its paces I have to believe the advertising that the company owners are avid hunters isn’t a marketing tactic, men in suits wouldn’t be able to design something like this.
I nice touch is the water resistant zippered bag that is included, this makes it easy to keep all of the included gear, and more, together in one location.
There is one item where the receiver could use improvement:
♦ I wasn’t completely happy with the power switch. It’s a small button located between the GPS and radio antennas located on the top. It’s difficult to get at when you have large fingers like mine. I also found that I had to depress it in just the right place in order to work it.