Sunday, February 05, 2017

Update On Track R Locator

You'll recall a few days ago I posted about that Track R "key finder" thing. It came in the mail yesterday so I immediately set out to see how well it worked.

First problem was there were absolutely no instructions with it. I'd read earlier you download a cell phone app to use with it but there was no mention of that with the card that came with it. I went ahead to see if my cell phone had any mention of such an app and found one for Track R. I went ahead to download and install it and it looked like it was downloading so I set the phone aside. After a bit I picked up the phone but found no indication of a Track R app on the phone. 

I looked and looked and couldn't find it, finally giving up and figuring I'd have to see if my bum nephew/ cell phone expert could figure it out. Lo and behold, he conveniently showed up about then. 

He looked my phone over and agreed the app wasn't installed. Looking further he decided my data feed was defective so the download failed- a strike against Tracfone, or maybe just my cheap phone. He said I needed wifi and we might go across the street to his parent's house to use their wifi connection. Then he came up with a neat alternative: He turned his Samsung phone into a wifi "hotspot" by clicking on something that used the wifi from his parent's house and rebroadcast it from his phone. I hooked up to his wifi signal and we downloaded the app real quick. I never knew you could do that, although I suppose it makes sense. Pretty slick.

Once we had the app installed an icon showed on the screen of my phone. You could click on the sound icon and it would make the tracker wafer beep. We tried it but I couldn't hear it, although he seemed to hear it clear as day. He finally picked it up and held it next to me while I beeped it and I could hear it, but just barely. The sound seems almost useless to me for locating things. Weird pitch and not loud enough.

Then we played around with it a bit and found it would point to the tracker disc, but it didn't seem to have much range, as others have already alluded to. He was disappointed as he was under the impression it would track things all over town, as was I. It doesn't seem so, but we'll try it later today to see what it's range is.

We did notice, before giving up on it, a map had shown up on my cell phone showing my block and the local streets with an icon for the discs location. That's how I expected it to work to begin with, but the map showed the disc to be a block away from its location, on the next block. Oh well, at least there's a map, although I have no idea what made the map show up towards the end. From the start, it just had a semi circle with flashing squares in the direction of the track disc.

Then he set it down on my work bench and left. We were in my garage and it had gotten dark out. He showed me where he put it on my bench, but within a couple minutes of him leaving I couldn't find it. I grabbed my phone to see if I could find it with sound, but turned on the light to the garage first and found it before I tried paging it.

This morning I tried the Track R web site hoping they'd have more information there. Not that I could find. All they have is a video which is worthless to me since I don't have sound on this computer. When the wife and her sister go waddling (walking, I always joke with their short legs they look like two ducks waddling) this morning, assuming they do, I'll have the wife take the disk with her and see if it follows her and, if so, how far. I have the feeling I'll be disappointed.

Update: The wife and her sister left to go shopping over 45 minutes ago. The wife took the tracker disc with her. My cell phone shows the disc still here at the house and says the disc was last seen about 45 minutes ago. So, it seemed to lose track of her as soon as she left the house. Doesn't get any better than that, does it?


At 8:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It sounds like the Track R is akin to the device they used to market in the 60s in the Sunday newspaper supplements that plugged into a car's distributor cap to greatly increase both the engine power and miles per gallon.

It also sounds like your nephew is no longer "a bum".

At 9:24 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

The nephew still doesn't have job to speak of, and isn't interested in one.

At 9:24 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

As the nephew pointed out a year or two ago: "Jobs are for sissies".

At 10:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keyfinders use bluetooth. Keyfinders are trackable only within about 100 feet.

Suppose your wife takes the keyfinder with her to the grocery store. If she doesn't have the keyfinder app installed on her own phone, and sync'd to the keyfinder, then she's untrackable. Fred's app on his own phone will have lost track of the keyfinder soon after she leaves the house.

I can't speak for Track R, but the Tile keyfinder uses its network of Tile customers to locate tiles lost out in the wild. So suppose Fred's wife loses her Tile keyfinder in the mall parking lot. I drive through the parking lot with the Tile app installed on my phone. My phone detects Fred's wife's Tile and now Fred's wife's phone alerts her to the location of her Tile (see: Meanwhile, for the safety of Fred's wife's property, my own phone doesn't tell me it did this.

That said, I'm the guy who had bad luck with Tile because the battery only lasted a few months, not close to the stated 1 year. You ship the Tile back to the company when the battery files. I just didn't care enough to do it.

At 10:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

er, when the battery fails.

At 12:03 PM, Blogger Rick Wentworth said...

since you put the APP on your phone its prolly tracking your phone

At 12:35 PM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

No, the app and the target disk are two separate things.

At 4:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's truly a key finder. It's not a wife-no-matter-where-she-is-around-town-finder. You need your phone and the finder to be near each other.

I can track my keyfinder about halfway down my block before it goes out of range. Thankfully, I only use one to find my keys inside my house.


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