Spark Nano 4.0 Is Perfect Hiking Companion

How many times have you heard stories about hikers going out into the wilderness only to find themselves lost or trapped by the weather? Far too often, these stories have tragic endings for those involved. If you enjoy the great outdoors, you can reduce your chances of becoming another statistic by carrying the Spark Nano 4.0 GPS tracker.

The Spark Nano line from BrickHouse Security is one of America’s bestselling brands of GPS trackers. BrickHouse is known for offering high-quality products that deliver as advertised. The Nano 4.0 is no exception. It improves on previous generations of the Nano line that were already exceptional themselves.


Into the Wilderness

A fundamental rule of hiking and camping is to never head out without telling someone of your plans. That’s still excellent advice today. However, what if weather, illness, or an accident interrupts those plans? What if you never make it to your destination? The Spark Nano 4.0 makes sure you are never out of reach.

Before you leave home, we assume you always make plans to contact your loved ones throughout your journey. You may even inform someone at your destination of your planned arrival date. If those plans are not followed through on, for whatever reason, your loved ones can find out exactly where you are simply by bringing up your GPS tracker using a smart phone or computer.

Even more amazing is the real-time tracking feature that can send updates to a mobile phone or e-mail account as frequently as every minute. If your loved ones notice the position of your tracker has not changed in quite a while, despite the fact that you should still be moving, they can spring into action to find out if there is anything wrong. Whether you are going on a day hike or a week-long camping trip, the Nano 4.0 is invaluable.

As a side note, the Nano is also great traveling companion for your older parents who may still drive alone. Short-term memory loss is no longer a problem because you will always know where they are, regardless of where they go.

Never Be Alone

When you carry the Spark Nano 4.0 on your hiking or camping trips, you will never be truly alone. That’s a great feature in and of itself. Knowing you can always be found should something go wrong is certainly a great comfort. Nevertheless, check out some of the other features offered by the Nano:

  • real-time tracking
  • long life battery
  • accuracy within 2.5 m
  • durable polycarbonate housing
  • internal SIM card
  • AC adapter with optional USB charger.

You will also be pleased to learn the Nano 4.0 is incredibly small and lightweight. It measures just 2.5″ x 1.5″ x 1″ and weighs in at less than 100 g. It is small and light enough to put in your backpack or pocket, where you’re likely to forget it’s even there.

BrickHouse Security has been producing high quality GPS trackers for decades. The new Spark Nano 4.0 is no exception. Before you head out on your next wilderness hike or camping trip, be sure to get one for yourself. This is one companion that could really make a difference should you sustain an illness, injury, or accident during your journey.

Covert GPS Tracking and the Law

It’s not uncommon to see a GPS tracking device advertised as a tool to help you discover a cheating spouse. Indeed, private investigators use the devices all the time on behalf of clients preparing for marriage-related litigation. However, there’s a nagging question: is it legal?

A broader question is whether covert tracking is legal in any circumstance. The question has already been to the United States Supreme Court, at least as it relates to police agencies using GPS tracking devices covertly. The court ruled that the legality of such practices is dependent on number of circumstances.

In order to answer the question concretely, one must check with the state in which he lives. As long as the use of covert GPS tracking follows both federal and state statutes, it is legal. Anything outside of those statutes would obviously be illegal.

It is not possible to provide any definitive parameters for covert GPS tracking, but here are some general guidelines:

  • Marital Relationships – The law generally recognizes there is no reasonable expectation of privacy within a marriage relationship. Provided both spouses still live in the same house, it’s generally legal to use covert GPS tracking. If a couple separates to independent housing arrangements, that’s a different story. One spouse is not allowed to conduct surveillance on another, even inside a jointly owned home.
  • Personal Vehicle Tracking – Individual citizens are generally allowed to covertly track their own vehicles in any way they see fit. Exceptions would include cases where a husband and wife have joint ownership of two vehicles, and each takes one vehicle in a separation situation. One spouse would not have the right to track the vehicle used by the other.
  • Company Vehicle Tracking – This type of tracking is very vague where most state and federal laws are concerned. It appears as though company owners do have the legal right to covertly track company vehicles as they see fit. However, it is generally advised they inform employees of the possibility, even if no details are divulged.

The Trespassing Question

When private detectives use covert GPS tracking devices, there is always the trespassing question to consider. For example, let’s say you want to track the movements of your spouse after he or she has left work for the day. Despite the fact the vehicle is jointly owned, it would be criminal trespass for you to go to your spouse’s place of employment and install the device with the car parked in a private company parking lot.

Where police agencies are concerned, this type of trespass has been concretely defined by the U.S. Supreme Court. Without a warrant, the police cannot trespass on private property in order to install GPS tracking devices. However, cars parked on public streets are not a problem.

In the end, the legality of covert tracking depends on many variables. Before engaging in such tracking, you should always check with a lawyer or the proper authorities in your state.

TrackPort GPS Vehicle Tracker Review

There are portable, personal GPS trackers you can use to track the position of any person or asset. Then there are trackers that are specific to automobile use only. The TrackPort GPS Vehicle Tracker is of the latter type. It is a tracking device designed to be plugged into your vehicle’s OBD-II port for real-time tracking without having to worry about batteries.

Most of the time this type of GPS tracking device will be used by small business owners with company vehicles they need to monitor. And because the device needs to be plugged into the OBD-II port, there’s really no way to practically engage in stealth monitoring.

What You Get

When you purchase the TrackPort GPS Vehicle Tracker, you’re getting an active GPS device that lets you locate your vehicle at any time – day or night – in real time. The BrickHouse software lets you access the data from virtually anywhere, as long as you have an Internet connection. No software downloads are necessary.

Some of the more important specifications include:

  • 32 KB static RAM
  • uBlox NEO 6M receiver
  • Multiple bands – 900/1800/1900 MHz
  • Internal antenna
  • 50 parallel channels

Please note there is a USB port but it is for configuration purposes only. The TrackPort tracker does not have the memory to save historic data over any length of time. Therefore, there’s nothing to download to your computer for analysis later.

On the upside, the BrickHouse server records and saves the data for you. Once you log into your account you’ll have access to that historic data at your leisure. To use the TrackPort GPS Vehicle Tracker you’ll have to sign up for a monthly service plan currently going for $29.95. Billing begins seven days after your purchase.

Business Use

The TrackPort GPS Vehicle Tracker is aimed squarely at businesses trying to manage a fleet of vehicles. As such, BrickHouse offers discounted service plans from multiple devices. If your device remains inactive for 60 days, reactivation will be required, including a new SIM card.

For personal use, the Brick House software allows you to take advantage of several features including what they call “geo-fences.” This feature lets you program certain areas where you do not want your vehicle to go. Should a driver cross the geo-fence boundary, the device will sound an alarm and will also alert you. For the most effective management, you can take advantage the software’s capability of reporting new data every 10 seconds.

If you need the true portability that comes from a battery-operated GPS tracker you can stick in your pocket, the TrackPort GPS Vehicle Tracker is not your best bet. However, if all you need is the capability of tracking your personal or company car, this tracker is an excellent choice. You get the BrickHouse reputation and software in a package that gets the job done effectively.

As of this writing, the price was also very affordable at approximately $140. That’s not bad for a reliable vehicle tracker that gives you real-time data with no hassles.

Super Trackstick GPS Logger Review

If you need a GPS tracking device that works anywhere in the world, you might be interested in the Super Trackstick GPS Logger. Where some similar units only work within the United States, the Super Trackstick has a global coverage thanks to software that relies on Google Earth.

Taking that one step further, utilizing Google Earth means there are no monthly subscription fees required to use this device. All you need to do is purchase and insert the batteries, and boot it up. Nothing could be simpler. You might want to install your Windows drivers prior to plugging the device into your computer the first time.

Super Trackstick Specifications

The biggest downside to the Super Trackstick is that it is a passive device rather than an active one. That means you will not have real-time access to data. In order to get to the data it needs to be downloaded to your Windows computer and reviewed by the accompanying free software.

Here are some of the more important specs:

  • Runs on two AAA batteries
  • 4 MB flash memory
  • Built-in vibration detector
  • 52-second cold start time
  • 9-second hot start time
  • Accuracy within 2.5 m.

The Super Trackstick includes a waterproof case, belt clip, and magnetic mount. This means you could, in theory, mount the device inside a wheel well or under a car bumper for stealth tracking. However, the magnetic mount does not seem very secure. One good pothole and you may lose the Super Trackstick in the middle of the highway.

Using the Data

As long as your drivers and software are set up correctly, the data is easy to retrieve and view. The accompanying software is fairly simple and intuitive, and includes helpful features like a red tracking line that shows you, on a map, the specific route the device took on any given day.

You can monitor location, distance and speed as a way of making sure teen drivers are operating your vehicles safely and responsibly. You can use the data to keep track of the driving habits of older loved ones you are responsible for caring for. You can even use the data to determine fuel efficiency and the appropriateness of certain routes at certain times during the day.

Customization is another big part of the super Trackstick GPS Logger. Users can set tracking time intervals ranging from 15 seconds to 15 minutes. Moreover, because it utilizes low power GPS technology, the batteries last longer than you’d think. Alkaline batteries last up to six days on full power, while lithium batteries can go as long as two weeks.

The Super Trackstick GPS Logger is certainly not the most technically advanced and powerful personal GPS tracker we’ve seen. But it is a good deal for the price. It’s designed to be rugged, durable, and extremely easy to use with little or no experience. For casual tracking using Google Earth, you can’t get much better than this one. Right now, it retails for just under $230.

EON GPS Asset Tracker Review

The BrickHouse EON GPS Asset Tracker is at the top the list of “big boy” GPS tracking devices. BrickHouse markets this bad boy as an affordable option for tracking just about any asset. Nevertheless, it’s clear from the device’s design and construction that the company is targeting commercial vehicles with this one.

For example, their Spark Nano GPS tracker is suitable for multiple assets with its long battery life and reliability. However, in order to mount it on the wheel well of a car, for example, you would need to purchase a separate magnetic box. The EON has no such limitations. It comes equipped with two powerful magnets right out of box, along with a weather and temperature resistant case.

As Tough As They Come

Some GPS tracking devices are not as tough as they should be. The EON GPS Asset Tracker isn’t one of them. It is as tough as they come when compared to most other similar devices. Consider the following specifications:

  • Weatherproof case
  • Operating temperatures between -20° and 55° C
  • Battery life ranging from 90 to 120 days
  • Includes built-in tamper alert
  • Includes built-in motion detection

For our money, the two most important features of the EON GPS Asset Tracker are the built-in tamper alert and the battery saving transmission mode.

The built-in tamper alert automatically sends you an e-mail or text message if anyone tries to remove the tracker from its current location. This makes it ideal for long-haul trucks where drivers spend days on the road unsupervised. There’s no removing or disabling this tracker in order to take side trips that aren’t on the schedule.

As for the long battery life, BrickHouse has built into the EON an energy-saving feature that will reduce the data reporting to once every seven days whenever the unit remains stationary. Once the EON is set in motion again, it will be up reporting data within 5 minutes.

Fleet or Personal Use

BrickHouse understands the ruggedness and long battery life of the EON GPS Asset Tracker makes it a popular choice for fleet management. As such, they offer reduced subscription rates to companies willing to purchase multiple devices. You will have to contact them for detailed pricing.

For personal use, this tracker is ideal for keeping tabs on your teenage drivers, monitoring the whereabouts of your elderly parents, or tracking any sort of asset that’s important to you. Real-time data is available simply by logging into your account using your computer or mobile device. The monthly subscription fee is priced at just $29.95, billed monthly beginning seven days after your purchase.

Whether for business or personal use, you are likely to be pleasantly surprised by the BrickHouse software. With this software, you have access to all sorts of data, which is laid out in an easy to use and intuitive format. You can also set up all sorts of alerts and messages to keep you apprised of the device’s activity. All in all, the EON GPS Asset Tracker is worth every penny.

BrickHouse HCT Pro Plus GPS Vehicle Tracker Review

There are times when a business owner or manager needs to track vehicle usage covertly and over the long term. For this type of tracking the BrickHouse HCT Pro Plus GPS vehicle tracker is the perfect choice. It combines the BrickHouse name and reputation with a solid hardware package unlikely to let you down.

As a long-term vehicle tracker, the HCT Pro Plus is mounted in the engine compartment (or another covert location) and hardwired directly to the vehicle’s electrical system. As long as the vehicle is running, the device is constantly powered and reporting data every 10 seconds. Once the vehicle is shut off, a backup battery with a continuous 12-hour life will keep the data coming.

Perhaps the most important thing to know about HCT Pro Plus is that it can be installed and monitored without drivers ever knowing it’s there. In some states, you might be required by law to inform drivers, but keeping it secret is certainly an option where it is legal to do so.

What’s under the Hood

No long-term vehicle GPS tracker is worth the investment if it’s not beefy enough to handle the job. You don’t have to worry about that with a BrickHouse HCT Pro Plus. It offers:

  • Two-piece ABS enclosure
  • GPS and cellular antenna connections
  • Data connector
  • Shock and vibration protection
  • Water and weather resistance
  • Active, standby, and sleep modes

The default carrier for the device is T-Mobile. However, you can use other carriers including AT&T, Jasper, KORE, and many more. The BrickHouse subscription plan bills at $29.95 monthly, beginning seven days after your purchase. The company also offers subscription discounts for multiple devices.

Using the Software

For speed, efficiency and reliability, the HCT Pro Plus only runs on the proprietary BrickHouse servers and software. However, this is not necessarily a bad thing. BrickHouse has gone to great lengths to make sure their software is intuitive and easy to use.

To get access to the real-time data you simply login to your account using your mobile device or computer. The software displays up-to-date information according to your specific preferences. You will also have access to historic data as well as a full range of analytical tools.

The BrickHouse software even allows account holders to set up an alert system that will send e-mail or text alerts in the case of specific events. For fleet management purposes, this allows company managers to keep track of vehicles without having to monitor the software 24 hours a day.

While the HCT Pro Plus is intended primarily for business use, you could use it with your own personal vehicles as well. It might be helpful if you are sending a student off to college out of state, or you are concerned about an elderly family member who might be driving in an unfamiliar place.

Regardless of your chosen use, the HCT Pro Plus is one of the best vehicle trackers available from BrickHouse. If you need a reliable tracker designed with covert use in mind, definitely consider this one.

Personal Tracking with the Spark Nano 3.0

Using a GPS tracking device like the Spark Nano 3.0 is one way to track the movement of people or assets anywhere in the U.S. However, a legitimate question surrounds these electronic devices: “what practical use is there for a portable GPS tracker?”

There are quite a few uses, but two stick out above the rest: tracking an automobile or keeping tabs on loved ones while they are enjoying the great outdoors. For both purposes, the Spark Nano is a great choice. It is a portable, small, lightweight tracker that lets you know where it is at all times.

Spark Nano 3.0 GPS Tracker

Portability Is Key

Some personal GPS trackers are not truly portable because they must be plugged into a power. The Spark Nano does not have that problem. It’s powerful lithium-polymer battery can last upwards of three weeks between charges under optimal conditions. The unit is also motion activated so you are not wasting battery power when it isn’t moving.

Its small size means it slips in your pocket or the glove box of the car without problem. However, putting it in the glove box may inhibit the ability of the Spark Nano to work properly. If you are going to use it to track a car, you’re better off mounting it on the dash or under the wheel well using a magnetic box available from BrickHouse.

Real-Time Tracking

When it comes to tracking automobiles, the most obvious subjects will be your teen or elderly drivers. This is where the real time tracking software is invaluable. The software enables you to know the position of the Spark Nano at any time and from anywhere; all you need is an Internet connection.

The Spark Nano 3.0 EV comes with something known as “geo-fences”. This feature allows you to set specific parameters for where your teen driver is allowed to take the car. If he drives beyond those parameters, the device will send an alert to you as well as warning him.

The software provided by BrickHouse includes use of their tracking server. When the Spark Nano is purchased for business purposes, companies can use the free software or get white label software for use on their own servers. Finally, users who already have their own software or servers can set up their Spark Nano to work with them.

Spark Nano Durability

Earlier we mentioned the idea of using the Spark Nano 3.0 to keep track of loved ones who are enjoying the great outdoors. This is a great idea given the fact that hikers sometimes get lost in remote areas without anyone knowing where they are. Thankfully, the unit is both water and weather resistant. It can endure extreme temperatures as well as moderate amounts of moisture. The tough outer shell can even resist fairly significant shocks.

All in all the Spark Nano 3.0 is one of the better personal GPS trackers for the money. If you need portability, great price and dependability all-in-one package, you should consider this one.

iTrail GPS Logger Review

When it comes to personal GPS trackers, there are two kinds: active and passive. The active tracker provides real-time information along with the potential for e-mail or text alerts when the device exceeds specific parameters. The passive device simply records historic data, which can then be accessed by downloading the data to a computer.

The iTrail GPS Logger falls under the second category. It is a passive tracker allowing you to see every place it’s been over a set period of time. It’s a great choice for tracking your teen or senior drivers because it accounts for data beyond general location.

iTrail GPS Tracker
iTrail GPS Specifications

Any GPS tracking unit is only as good as its specifications. You’ll be pleased to know that the iTrail offers the following:

  • 750 mAh lithium-ion battery
  • 64 MB memory
  • Built-in motion detection
  • 35 second cold start time
  • USB 1.0 and 2.0 compatible.

In order to download and view the data you’ll need a PC running any version of Windows from 2000 on. Unfortunately, one of the iTrail weak points is that it does not support Mac or Linux. However, it still might be usable with the WINE compatibility layer.

Typical Uses

As a passive, historic tracker, the iTrail GPS Logger is most suitable for tracking automobile use over a long period of time. Parents use it to keep track of where their kids are driving, whether or not they maintain speed limits, and the specific routes they are taking to reach their destinations.

Others are using the device to track the driving habits of older family members. For someone suffering from some sort of dementia condition, this type of GPS tracker can warn you early on if the driving habits of your older loved one is cause for concern.

Even business owners can use this GPS tracker to keep track of company cars. The device makes managing fleet vehicles easier by tracking time, distance and speed. From there other data can be inferred. For example, you can use the distance data to determine fuel efficiency. In fact, there might be no better way to gauge how company vehicles are being used than with a GPS tracker.

Other Things to Know

There are a couple of other things to know about the iTrail, including the process for driver installation. For the least amount of hassle, it’s best to install the driver before plugging the device to your computer the first time. Doing it the other way around can present you with headaches you really do not need.

You should also be aware that the iTrail is not specifically marketed as being water and weather resistant. While the device certainly seems solid, it’s probably not a wise idea to leave it unprotected while in a vulnerable location. Using a weatherproof magnetic box probably is your best bet for stealth tracking.

As a passive tracker, the iTrail is not a bad choice for the money. However, you’ll need to think about a different unit if you need access to real-time tracking.