Below is a range of Q&A’s to help you understand what is normally being asked about the different types of tracking technologies being used. Further below are common questions we get asked by Petrek users which can help some new Petrek users troubleshoot problems they may face, if any.
Q1?There are so many Q&A’s below! How am I going to find the answer I’m looking for?
A.Easy! Press control on your keyboard which is shown as “Ctrl” and at the same time, press the “F” button. This will come out likely with a Find/search menu somewhere at the bottom or top of your browser. Simply type in the search keywords you are looking for e.g. GPS, battery life, trouble setting up, waterproof, etc.
Q2? Will the iPet app work on any phone?
A. The iPet App can be installed on any iPhone or Android (e.g. Samsung) smartphone.
Q3? How does it actually work?
A. The Petrek3G tracker uses GPS satellites to determine its current location and then uses the mobile phone network to transmit that data to your phone. The free, easy to use iPet phone App allows you to do much more like setting a Geofence, using Location History to see where your pet has been any day in the past week, using Heatmap to see where she or he spends most of her time, checking the strength of the GPS signal and GSM or mobile network signal, changing the icon and name displayed on your phone for each tracker etc.
Q4? Is the tracking in "real time"?
A. You can choose how often you need updates from the Petrek 3G tracker. You can choose any of the 3 options - 30 seconds, 5 minutes or to 2 hour updates.. You can set this on your phone via the app. If the tracker is in Sleep mode (designed to save power usage) because it hasn't moved for several minutes, the tracker will update every 2 hours just to save power.
Q5? Can I track more than one pet on my phone?
A. You can track an unlimited number of pets through the iPet app.
Q6? Can I allow my friends or family to track my pet/s?
A. Yes. They just install the free iPet App on their phone and add your pet's tracker to it. To do this you need to give them the IMEI code of the tracker.
Q7? Do I have to be near my pet to track him/her?
A. No - As long as you have mobile service where you are, you can track your pet from wherever you are in the world. You can be having breakfast in a cafe in Rome and check exactly where your pet is in Australia from there!
Q8?What if I use more than one GPS Pet Tracker? Will they interfere with each other?
A.If you have more than one or two pets and you want to purchase more than one Petrek 3G GPS Pet Tracker to track them all there is no problem with interference between the trackers.
The Petrek 3G GPS Trackers are like mini smartphones for your pets. You simply insert a SIM card in each of the trackers, add each one to your free iPet app and you will see each of them represented on the phone. You can personalise the name of each tracker and you can even use a photo of each pet to personalise the appearance of the icon representing each tracker! This makes it easier to identify each of them on your phone and flick from one to another on your Current Location page.
Q9?Does a Petrek 3G Tracker work anywhere? Does it have to have GSM (mobile) reception?
A. Live location updates require both a 3G and GPS signal. The tracker tracks location using GPS satellite technology but sends that data to your smartphone using the 3G mobile phone network. So, before purchasing a Petrek 3G tracker it is very important to check that you have adequate 3G coverage in the area in which the tracker and the phone monitoring the tracker are to be used. GPS signals require clear sight of sky. If the tracker is inside a building with metal or concrete roofing it may affect GPS signals. So for best location updates the tracker requires to be outdoors.
The Petrek 3G GPS Pet Tracker uses a GSM or mobile phone network to send it’s location to your phone using text and/or GPRS. So in short, it’s like a mini smartphone for your pet, which sends you the locations at one of the three time intervals that you have chosen! So if your pet is in an area without reception, then unfortunately the Petrek 3G will not be able to transmit its location.
Q10?What if there is no GPS reception for the Petrek 3G Tracker? What causes it?
A.The GPS receiver in the Petrek GPS Pet Tracker works much like your car's GPS navigation system but with a far smaller power supply and antenna. Like many GPS systems in cars, if you take it inside the house and out of sight of the sky it will, in most cases, lose GPS reception.
So if your pet happens to be under a house, building or anywhere that can cover the tracker from the sky chances are you won’t get adequate GPS reception.
If you enable "LBS Assist" mode, the Petrek 3G Tracker will look for the nearest mobile phone towers to try to calculate the centre point and let you know which area your pet is closest to. In this case each area will differ depending on the number of mobile phone towers in that area - the more towers, the more accurate calculation. For example, Australia’s more heavily populated city areas where there are more towers, a more accurate location calculation would result when in an area with no GPS reception due to the larger number of cell towers compared with more remote or rural areas.
In most cases cell tower estimation of location can be anywhere from tens of metres to several kilometres depending on how many mobile phone towers are available in the area.
Q11?Why is my Petrek 3G GPS Pet Tracker not updating its location?
A. The first thing to mention is if this is happening when you are initially setting up your tracker.....
After you first activate the SIM card it can be 5-15 minutes before your first location update comes through and in some unusual cases there can be a delay of up to an hour before that first update comes through. PLEASE NOTE: When you are first setting up your tracker it is much better to have the Reporting Mode on the iPet app set to Urgent mode (i.e. updating every 30 seconds).
Now if your tracker had been updating normally but then stops updating its location, there are many possible reasons for this....
1)Sleep/standby mode – unit has not moved for 3 minutes so it is saving power
2)SIM card is not activated or has run out of credit
3)No reception - the tracker or your phone is in an area with no or poor network coverage
4)The tracker is turned off
5)The tracker is out of battery
6)The mobile network is overloaded in that area - this can happen in some areas in holiday periods like Christmas/New Year
7)There is a mobile network problem in that area
8)The tracker is faulty
Q12?Petrek 3G GPS Pet Tracker battery life......can it actually last up to 1600 hours?
A. If you turned on the tracker after full charge and left it on standby mode, then yes.
However, that just demonstrates how our Standby mode can help increase battery life. But the principle applies that the less active your pet is, the longer the battery lasts, and the more active your pet is, the shorter the battery life. Battery life shortens depending on how many functions you have on as well.
For example, if you are using Low voltage alert, Geo-fence alarm and also your phone's GPS location function on (which we recommend at all times) and your dog is very active or breathing heavily preventing the tracker from going into Sleep mode, the majority of the time then the Petrek GPS Pet Tracker in this situation would last from 3-4 days to 4-6 hours depending on the number of times you are requesting a location update. So if you are only tracking its location every 2 hours it’ll last many more hours. This is because it takes a lot of power to talk to a satellite dish up in space and then immediately tell you its location through a series of telecommunication towers. Also when the Geo-fence alarm is on, it is checking its location more frequently.
We think if your dog is normally indoors during the night or does not need to wear the tracker when you are around, simply charge the tracker (it only takes an hour from fully discharged to fully charged) and just attach it when it is needed.
Q13? What happens if the tracker is in an area with no 3G mobile coverage?
A. We have addressed many issues in developing the Petrek 3G but this is one that we can do nothing about. If the tracker is in an area with no mobile phone coverage then it cannot send the data to you and will not update on your phone until it moves back into mobile phone coverage.
Q14? How can i check if my SIM activation is OK?
A. Call the mobile phone number you have been given by ALDI Mobile and if it rings and then hangs up and you get a text giving you the current location then all is good. If it goes straight to a voice mail then there is no power to the unit or there is an issue with the SIM card activation.
Q15? What ongoing costs do I have to meet after I have purchased my Petrek 3G GPS pet tracker?
A. The great news here is that there is virtually no added ongoing costs to monitor the tracker because it is all self-managed by you. After purchasing your Petrek 3G there are no ongoing subscription or management fees!!
The iPet app is free and the data usage in the location updates is minimal.
We recommend using prepaid SIM cards in your Petrek 3G tracker. In fact, we supply the trackers pre-fitted with a SIM card from ALDI that operates on the Telstra mobile network. Although you can use SIM cards from other telcos we use the ALDI Telstra SIM card as it offers 12 month expiry on data usage.
The APN to allow your tracker to send location data to your smartphone has also
already been set up for you.
The SIM card has $5 prepaid credit on it that will generally last at least 3 months but the SIM card needs to be activated for the tracker to work. Easy to follow instructions come with the tracker to allow you to activate your SIM card.
You can add credit to your SIM card at any time by simply logging on to your new ALDI account. Even with the most frequent location updates $15 credit should last a full year!
If you prefer to use an alternative SIM card such as Telstra mobile, Vodafone or Optus you can replace the pre-fitted SIM card with the SIM card of your choice. In these cases you may have to set up a new APN specific to the SIM card brand you are using and be aware that these telcos may charge you monthly fees as part of their data plans and this may be more expensive than the ALDI rate.
The APN for other providers are as follows:
To setup the APN send the following text message to the number linked to your tracker. The following example shows you how to setup the telstra APN on your tracker.
So the only ongoing cost is the data usage on your SIM card and, in the case of the pre-fitted ALDI SIM card, that will be only about $15 per year!
Q16? Is the Petrek 3G waterproof?
A.Yes the Petrek 3G has an IP67 waterproof rating which means that the tracker can be submerged in water 1 metre deep for up to 30 minutes! To attain this IP67 rating we needed to go through independent and internationally certified testing. BUT PLEASE NOTE: If using in saltwater, the tracker must be rinsed in freshwater after each use. If not, the residual salt can damage the waterproofing seal and corrode the electronics.
Q17? My pet has a microchip, will I be able to find out where he/she is via the microchip?
A.Unfortunately not, a microchip does not have any sort of “location tracking” based technology in it. It is a passive transponder that is activated by the energy from the scanner and this unique number then links to all of your pet's details on a national animal microchip registry database.Your details are protected but can be accessed by authorised personnel and this then helps animal shelters, vets and council officers etc identify who the pet belongs to when found.
Q18? How long does a microchip last? Does it require battery replacements?
A. A microchip lasts almost forever - certainly the lifetime of your pet - and does not require any battery replacements as it does not need any power source to tell the scanner it’s details. That's the beauty of RFID (radio frequency identification).
Q19? Does my GPS Pet Tracker give off any radiation?
A.In short, yes they do, but do they harm anything?......not at all! The GPS Pet Trackers have been CE (Europe compliance) and FCC (American compliance) approved. Meaning we have had to send everything we make to their international testing labs and go through up to 150 pages of safety tests and checks.
This is simply to make sure that all of our products are 100% safe to be used on and by anything! The radiation levels from our trackers are next to none compared to the average cellphone humans use today!