As with all software a good understanding of the program's functions, will help you get the best out of what is a very sophisticated product. Please understand not all users will have all these options available, as a few of the options will depend on the package you have, but most of what you see here is available on our most basic package. This help file is not meant to be a step by step guide to the product, it is more a device to steer you in the right direction and help you experiment. It does however assume a basic understanding of how to use computer programs.
Caution as mentioned above these instructions are based on someone with administrator privileges not all the options, or adjustment are available to all users. Therefore some menu displays will look slightly different. Also all the controls and screens mentioned assume you are using the full size (PC) version not the smaller smart phone option. Remember if you are struggling to understand something please email us for help, like all help-desks we are always happy to help a customer who has at least tried to 'RTFM'.
Before we get down to detail here is a quick overview of what the Work Area looks like and a brief explanation of the major controls.
The Workspace in more detail
All that follows assumes you are using a PC's full size screen, not the much smaller and limited phone screen. Once you have logged into your screen, you will see a page like that partially reproduced below. If you are not already on it, click the Objects Tab: in the top left hand corner of the screen. You will then see all the objects in your group (An object is anything you are monitoring be it Boat, Car, Caravan and so on and you may only have one or several depending on your package). Next to your objects icon will be a couple of 'Tick Boxes' if you have several objects in your group then you can use one to hide & show an object in the group. The other box allows you to follow an object as it moves across the map. Clicking on the objects name will centre the map on that object, clicking on the actual icon will do the same but it will also zoom in on it location.
The type of Map used, can be selected from the drop down menu in the top right of the map screen. In the example image above, 'Google Street Maps' has been selected, but boat owners may want to use the Bing, or Google ‘Satellite’ view. Please feel free to experiment to see which map best suits your needs best. You can manually zoom in and out of the map with the plus and minus signs, you should also find your mouse wheel (if fitted) will also work for zooming. You can also hold down the left mouse button, to drag the map.
Back in the object box you can see the date and time of the last update from the object, you can also see an approximate speed. Next to that is a radio symbol which if green indicates the object is logged into the map screen (don’t worry if it is not green at that moment as this will come and go, depending on many factors like is it time to transmit).
Grey icon - Not Connected (asleep)
Orange icon - On line but no GPS signal
Green icon - Online and good signal
With some packages the objects' strip may also change colour to highlight objects that are moving, as shown above with Joe and Via Nova. The last column is a quick access or short-cut menu, to some commonly used options that are also available from the main menu.
Below the plus and minus signs you will find some other symbols for different options, that you may find useful if for example you are a fleet operate. The first (arrowhead) switches the objects Icons on and off. Beneath it is the ability to switch 'Map Markers' on and off. Next is the routing ability and then the ability to switch Zones on, or off. Next is Clusters (some fleet operators who have a large number of objects may split them into groups, which according to map zoom level will reveal content). The last icon only works with Google Road Maps and allows you to see live traffic information. Very useful if you are tracking a road vehicle. Feel free to experiment with the different maps views to see which you like, as explained above some marine users may prefer to use the satellite view option. Referring back to the top image you will see next to the Object tab, you also have 'Events Places' and 'History',
Events Tab: The event tab allows users to set up events,which may be when an object enters, or leaves an area. It could be when a speed is exceeded and so on. You can set this up by going to ' event' in the 'settings' menu (see image below). However it is important to remember there are many report options offered (like the ability to say if the GPS aerial lead has been cut) but they will only work if the unit fitted in your object has that ability built in (which most systems do not as standard).
Example of an Event: We think the best way to learn is to play, so go into settings and and then events click the plus sign (A. below) to create (add) an event. Now in the new box (B) give this a name, say 'Fred is speeding'. Now select activate and over-speed, set the speed to say 60mph. Now click on the Notification Tab and on the new screen (C) select 'system message' for this event to pop up on this computer. Try a sound as well, if your computers has a speaker. If you have paid extra to have the SMS, or email options, then you will have had that set up for, you but if not ignore and just go to the Objects Tab. On this screen apply to your object, or if have more than one select as many as you want and now most important click save
If you have done it right, you will now get a noise and a screen notification each time Fred goes over sixty. Once you have finished playing go into the Events Tab in settings and click on the dustbin symbol to delete this event. Note this area is explained in more detail further on.
Standard account customers, have the ability to Ring-fence (put a zone on the map) so when your object leaves or enters that zone it will trigger an event in the same was in the example above.
Going back to the second screen above you can see there is a tab called 'Places Tab:' (next to the 'objects' and 'event' tabs) This tab is one that most customer will probably not use straight-away, but again if you want to have a play, you are unlikely to come to harm. The first thing you will see is you can places (markers) to the map, for example your home base. You can also edit refresh and delete the markers from here.
There is also a useful option in this section called Zones which is ideal for setting up a Geo-fence . To use this click on the 'Zones tab' and then the add zone icon (Note with all the icons just leaving your mouse over them will tell you what they do). Give the zone a name and then draw it on the map - it is not easy to see how to do it at first, but play with it till you get it right (and if you don’t just click cancel and start again. One important note there is a software limit to the number of points used to make up a zone, which is forty of the large white dots below you can in one of the image below. Double click when done and save it. You can now use in events (see above) to do something when someone leaves, or enters that zone, the same as you did with Fred's speed.
Below are two examples of the sort of zones you could create and things you could do with them. The first is the London Congestion Charge Zone and can be set to trigger a warning if one of your objects enters the area, The other is a zone drawn around the Isle of Wight that could warn you if an object left the island, or the waters around it. (has anyone else noticed the similarity of the two shapes?)
Remember to set up an event based on the zone you have just drawn refer to the section above 'Events Tab' only this time set the event to be triggered when an object leaves or enters a zone.
The next tab is History Tab: and it is here you can run just about any report you could ever want! The most common use, is to play back objects routes from the past few weeks. The system will store location data for up to 12 weeks and you can always save a report to view it at anytime in the future. First you need to select the object (if you have more that one). Then you can select a time span from the 'Filter' option or manually set one from the inbuilt calendar.
Example of a Report: In the example below we have selected our Doha based agent on the 24th November 2016 from 11am to midnight and decided that a stop will be stationery more that 10 Mins. The result is shown on the map and reproduced below. If you put a tick in the 'Data Points' box it will show the route as a series of joined up dots. Clicking on any dot will tell you at what time, speed, etc the object arrived at that point.
On the left of the image can be seen a brief summery of the journey, showing how long the vehicle took to travel each stage and the time parked. Not shown in the above image is a playback button (it's off the bottom of this image), which will actually show the vehicle driving across the map at scaled speed. There are many other things you will be able to play around with, including a graph of the objects speed during the trip. You can also export the report in a number of formats, including spreadsheet (CSV) and most importantly GSR format. If you save a report in GSR format, you can re-import it at anytime and replay it over and over again (see more information below).
Above can be seen a close up of another report, this time it is one of our customers with his Jet Ski, having fun South of St. Helier Port, Jersey. In this example one of the Satellite view maps has been chosen as a background reference. The 'P' indicates the location where the object was parked for more that a predetermined number of minutes (which you can set when configuring the report). By clicking on any of the 'Data Points' that make up the route display, a box will appear like the one in the picture showing full details about the object at that point in its journey. Again the report although shown as a screen display here could be saved in GSR format (see below) and then re-imported it at anytime in the future.
Exporting / Importing Graphic Reports as mentioned above you can also export the report in a number of formats, including spreadsheet (CSV) and most importantly GSR format. If you save a report in GSR format, you can re-import it at anytime and replay it over and over again. To give you an example of this go to the 'History' tab and run a standard report on one of your objects for the last week. Now run the report and make sure it gives you what you want. If it is right select the 'Import/Export' tab, Export the report in GSR format and then clear the map screen with the 'Hide' tab. Now go back to the 'Import/Export' tab and select load GSR, you will then be prompted to find the file on your hard drive (by default it should be saved in your computer's 'Download' folder. Once reloaded you will see all the information you had before. This method means you can keep all reports for as many years as you want, unlike our system that just stores the information for a couple of months
Regular Text Reports If you need to run a report on a regular basis you may want to create a 'master report' to do this click on report symbol (looks like a spreadsheet, or graph with two arrows). Click the plus sign on the new menu to create it. You have a huge range of options to select from and the best way to understand them all, is to create a report and see what you get, if it is not what you want try something else. To get started use the 'Drives and Stops' option in 'Type'. Now Select which object you are going to report on and set 'Stops' to something realistic for your needs (say 5 Mins). Leave the 'Schedule boxes' for now,
Now you need to define the 'Time Period' lets say for the sake of this example you want the report for the period of last week, select 'last week'. Lastly in this example select your preferred format (HTML will do for now) and click generate. This should download for you an HTML (web page) report to view in your browser. If this is what you want then give the report a name and save it for future use. If not go back and try different options, but remember these reports are largely text and not graphic reports.
Scheduled Text Reports Once you have got a report working how you want it, then you can tell the system when you want the reports run and the email address you want them to go to. The options are:
Daily - reports will be sent daily for previous day.
Weekly - reports will be sent weekly, every Monday for the previous week.
Send to e-mail - Where you enter the e-mail addresses to send your reports to (You can use multiple address if separated by comma).
All these text reports will be stored under the 'Generated' tab for a few weeks.
If you are going to have them emailed then we suggest the PDF format is best, because you can store them and also easily print them off.
About Time and Date: The entire world use Coordinated Universal Time or UTC (or GMT if you prefer) as the base for its time and satellites are set to follow that. If this is inconvenient for you, there are a number of things you can do, but the quickest and easiest solution is to go to the 'Settings Icon' (3rd icon in top right - looks like a graphic equaliser) and select the 'User interface' tab. Scroll down to bottom where you can off-set the time by whatever you want depending where in the world your tracking device is working. If you want to go a stage further you can tick the box underneath for DST and put in the dates the clocks go back and forwards. The system will then adjust this automatically for you.
Often connected to above is a problem where when you run reports for the last hour and get nothing. To resolve this please take the following steps
1. Check your computer time is correct.
2. Log on to map program Using your normal name and password
3. Go to 'Settings' (looks like a graphic equaliser top left)
4. Select the 'User Interface' Tab swipe all the way to the bottom
5. In 'Time Zone' enter the correct time for your time zone i.e. UK 'UTC 00.00', Doha 'UTC -3:00' and so on.
Now you have to make a decision do you want everything to be at that time all year round, if so save and exit (don’t forget to save).
If however you want it take in to consideration daylight saving time, then go to the box below an place a tick in it. Next select the dates for DST that year and then the time difference. Note: Doing this may throw any reports out until the system has caught up with the changes (usually after a couple of fixes have comes in from a unit). Now save and exit (don’t forget to save).
More About The Top Bar:
The top of the page has other symbols shown above. These are from left to right About - Which tells you the software version. Help - A link to this page. Settings - Where you can change something, this will be looked at in greater detail next (Note: depending on your package some options may not be changeable). Map size - Adjusts the map to show all your objects at once. Ruler - Allows you to get a rough idea of 'Crows Flies' distance. Show - Allows you to got to pre-entered coordinates. Search - lets you find locations, like towns, villages, organisations, etc. Reports - Lets you run reports. RFID, Objects, image and Chat - all will have separate help files, if if that service is available to you in your package. At the top right hand side of the screen, you will also see a Telephone Icon, if you click on this the whole program will change, with everything optimised to work on a Smart-phone screen. Use this option when viewing with a small screen device.
If you enter Settings (third one in at the top of the page) and select the 'Objects Tab', you will see an entry for all the objects you can monitor (may be one, or many). Click on the edit symbol (pencil) and you will see a screen like one of those below. It is here you make adjustments to your objects. Start with 'Main' and you will see its given name, which you can change. Next is your units unique Identity, then you can add the type vehicle / vessel, followed by its identification number and its registration number. Of course you can also leave them blank if you want to. Group is next for those that have many vehicles and want to put them into groups. To use this, you must have first defined the groups in the group section under settings. Next is Driver which like groups, you must first defined your drivers in the driver section under settings. Next is Trailers and that is also as the last two. The next two GPS Device and SIM are best left alone, or the unit may no longer function and we may get very, very cross with you!
The last options on this page are there to give you a 'rough' idea of distance travelled and hours with the engine running. The mileage one works on the distance the unit has moved and the accuracy depends greatly in how it is used. For example in a city a vehicle can travel 20 miles across town, but the unit may say 18 because that is the total of the 'crows flies miles' it has measure. If however you are going straight up a motorway like the M40, it will be more accurate. Likewise a Sailing Boat will be less accurate than a Power Boat, because of Tacking over the course, The 'engine hours' one will only work if you have your unit connected to ignition.
The next tab in Edit objects is the 'Icon' one, here you can select how the object is shown on the screen, it can be an arrow, or an Icon. If you select an Arrow then you can configure different colours for moving and stopped states, etc. Clicking on the icon itself, will take you to a new screen where you can select from some 80 icons. You can even make your own and upload them to the Custom Icon page. You may have noticed when your object moves it leaves a tail to show you its direction, on this page you can adjust the length of the tail and its colour. After changing any of these setting don't forget to SAVE it. Hint: See also the section below on how to use the Arrow rather than the Icon
The next tab is Fuel Consumption which will give you a rough idea of how much fuel you are using. Select the measurement unit (KM / MPG) and enter the cost
Arrow or Icon As mentioned above it is possible to use either an Arrow, or an Icon to represent your unit. By default most people use the icon, but let’s look at what you can do if you change the icon for an arrow.
From the Objects section select the object you want to change (1) and then on the sub menu select Edit (2). Now change the selection from Icon to Arrow (3). Below the selection box you have the option to use different colours for different conditions. For example when there is no connection to the network (sleep mode or out of coverage) it can show red. When the unit is stationery it can change the arrow to another colour. If as in the example above you set the arrow to blue when moving you can see at a glance when the unit is underway, you can even show a tail as to where the unit has come from, in this case it is green. The length of the tails is set in ‘Tail Points’ the last item on this option menu. Also notice that unlike the icon which never changes direction, the arrow always points in the direction of travel.
Understanding the Accuracy of Route: We all want an accurate trace of our journey including the route taken, so lets talk about the way you can achieve this with our system. The traditional way all standard tracking devices work is to report in at set time intervals. In most cases this will be something like every 120 seconds when moving and every hour when not. Now clearly the hourly update is 'of interest' because it lets you know your vehicle was where you left it (up to an hour ago).
Once it is moving however more updates are needed now in the example of Articulated Vehicle trundling up a Motorway or a large Schooner crossing from England to France, putting a marker on a map every 120 seconds may well be all you need. If however it is a Service Van on the driver on the phone to you wanting direction to the pick up, or a power boat avoiding rocks, then something extra is needed. All of our professional systems take it further in this way - We still use timed updates, but we also send an extra one when the angle of travel changes by a pre-set number of degrees! We also look at the speed and if there is rapid acceleration we can send another extra fix. Lastly we can send a further update when a certain distance is covered.
This is best demonstrated with the map below, where we sent a test vehicle on a short journey, fitted with both a standard OBD tracking device (upper map) and one of our professional units (lower map). At first glance the upper OBD plot is adequate, it show the vehicle going and returning and there is enough information to work out its probable route. Because it is a time based, the fix is more accurate when moving slowly, but as you can see (especial when leaving the car-park on the left), it has large gaps between points on faster roads.
Once you zoom into an area as we have done below the difference is much more notable. It shows the standard unit on the right map and our professional one on the left) It is imposable to tell which of the two traces on the right is the 'coming' and the 'going' trace, where as on the left you can easily see on the roundabout which one is which. Clicking on the round points will also show you the exact 'Satellite Synchronised' time the vehicle was at the point, useful for example when someone make an allegation against the vehicle, you can confirm if it really was there at that time.
Detailed Example of an Event: If you now go back to the Settings (third one in at the top of the page) and select the 'Events Tab' you will see a screen like the one on the left below. There will be a list of events if some have been set up, but otherwise that part will be blank. Clicking on the plus sign in the bottom left hand corner will allow you to create one and brings up the 'Event Properties' screen. Here you can give the event a name, switch it on, or off and select from the drop down menu the type of event. In this example we have selected 'Over-speed' and set it to 60 mph. The next tab 'Time' lets you configure when the report will be active, but by default it is 24/7. The next tab 'Objects' lets you say which object this event will apply to (hold down ctrl key to select multiple objects). The 'Routes Tab' allows you to select a pre arranged route so the event can be triggered if there is a route variation and 'Zones' is the same, but tells you if someone strays into, or out of a prearranged zone.
Clicking on the 'Notification Tab' will bring up the page above right and it is here you determine what this event will trigger. The first option is to place a message on the screen, which you can also auto hide after a few moments. You can play an alert if your computer has a sound system, there plenty to select from. If you have the extra modules to send an email, or the one to send a text, they can also be activated from here (charges will apply with SMS). With some system you can even send a command to the object, perhaps triggering and event there. As with all of these screens, you must remember to save any changes you make.
Nearly all of the modern tracking devices we sell have the ability to tell you when something happens to the unit. Some are automatic like when it moves it tells you where it is, along with its speed and heading (marine versions). If you are prepared to do a little more work during the installation, then it is possible to get much more from your unit! When connecting the unit up for the first time you must supply power, both Negative and Positive. However you will notice there are other wires which will be labelled 'IGN' or 'DIN1' These can be connected to external devices, but please check with us before you do it so we can confirm your idea will work. We will deal with some example of this below
Above are shown a few examples of things you can connect to our tracking unit's extra wires. Normally you would pick up the live feed to the piece of equipment you want to monitor, this is OK as long as it is positive and between 10 and 30 volts. Lets start with the obvious one - an engine. All engines will have an ignition feed that is live all the time the unit is running, find this and connect via a one amp fuse. Another easy one is the PTO as this will almost definitely have an obvious warning light, one side of which should go positive when switched on (if it is live all the time and it is ground that is switched, than a relay will be needed).
The same is true of roof warning beacons and other hazard lights with a dashboard indication light. In the case of a power winch it will be the 'Motor Power Feed' you are looking to pick up with your fuse. Warning: Caution is needed in this area, as there will usually be two feeds (one for up / in and one for down / out), The simple option is to decide which one is important to you. For example most Recovery Control Room staff would only want to know when the winch is coming in, because this means the Operative is loading, or has dropped off and is 'stowing the kit'. It is possible to get an indication on both however, but you will need to use two relays (talk to us because other customers have done it and we know how!).
Now that you have the unit sending you a notification that something has happened, you need to set up an 'event' as show in previous examples. Create the event with the 'plus sign' on the 'Events Tab' under 'Settings'. Now give it a name lets say 'PTO in Use' and from the drop down menu in 'type' select 'Parameter'. Then under 'Parameter Condition' select Digital Input one (di1) or ignition (ign). Note: different option will be offered depending on the age and type of our tracking unit you are operating. What you have done is to tell the system that when power is applied and the unit sends a message this is what to look for it.
On the next tab you can set times for this to apply, so for example you may say Midnight till 6am only, so that if you have wired to the cab's Interior light and it comes on during those times it will tell you the vehicle is being broken into, but will ignore that event during the day. The 'Object Tab' lets you decide which units to be monitored for this effect and lastly as in the previous example, you need to select how you want to be informed using the 'Notification Tab' This may just be a short message that pops up on the screen, or one that plays a sound and pops up on the screen to warn you, or it could be an email. Remember not all customers have the email, or SMS options and in those case that will not work until you activate it with us (charges will apply for SMS operation)
The remaining Edit Object's Tabs are best left alone, at least till you get to grips with what we have covered so far, but if you feel you need to adjust something here urgently, please email our Help Desk for further instructions.
WARNING As you can see there is an incredible amount of options to notify you of events and a large number of reports you can produce, but remember all the information used is sent to you via a radio network and the internet. This means that 99% of occasions it should work. However as we all know 'Sod's Law' dictates that instances of failure increase in direct proportion to the importance of the message. In simple terms this is not a security system and although it can complement security, it does not replace common sense and a good alarm.