Spark Nano 4.0 Makes Halloween Safer

Even as this blog post is being written, we are just eight days away from the 2013 Halloween holiday. Just over a week from now, kids will be going door-to-door, dressed in costumes and looking for tasty, candy treats. Parents of younger children will undoubtedly accompany them on the neighborhood trek. However, there will also be parents of older children; parents who will be, for the first time ever, letting kids go trick-or-treating by themselves.

Enter the new Spark Nano 4.0 GPS tracker.

Spark Nano 4

If you’ve been thinking about purchasing a GPS tracker, it’s hard to do better than the Spark Nano line from BrickHouse. The new 4.0 is the latest upgrade to what has become one of the best-selling personal tracking devices in the country. It is a great GPS tracker to use with your kids this Halloween.

Real-Time Tracking

Right off the bat, you should know the Spark Nano 4.0 is not a data recorder. It is a real-time tracker enabling you to know where the device is located at any time of night or day. All you need is a mobile device or a computer with an Internet connection. Just by logging into your account, you can track the location and speed of your Nano whenever you want.

Spark Nano 4.0

This incredible little device packs a lot of features we’re sure you’ll love. But the three most important improvements over the previous model are:

  • New Design – The Nano 4.0 has been redesigned to be more sleek and covert than ever before. The device is very easy to conceal thanks to its small size and definitive lines. It measures just 2.5″ x 1.5″ x 1″. It’s the perfect size to throw into a candy collection bag or attach to your child’s Halloween costume.
  • 1-Min. Updates – The default update setting on the 4.0 is set to 1 minute to provide even more accuracy than previous models. And as you probably know, regular updates are the key to real-time tracking. Updates can be sent to your smart phone or e-mail account.
  • Extended Battery – The battery in the Nano 4.0 is a bit larger to its predecessors, offering 24 hours of continuous tracking before needing a recharge. The battery will last up to two weeks based on one hour of tracking use per day.

Other Uses

We love the fact that the Spark Nano 4.0 is great for keeping track of kids while they trick-or-treat on Halloween night. However, this handy little device can be used for dozens of other things. It is the perfect real-time tracker for both people and assets. Use it to:

  • keep track of teen driving habits
  • monitor children, and to and from school
  • monitor company assets (computers, office equipment, etc.)
  • monitor company cars.

Of course, the new Spark Nano offers you the same rugged dependability and state-of-the-art technology BrickHouse products are known for. The 4.0 comes already activated and requires a monthly service fee of $29.95 billed every 30 days. That’s a fair price to pay for the security and assurance real-time GPS tracking affords.

We recommend the Spark Nano 4.0 as one of the best options for personal or business real-time GPS tracking. It also makes an excellent gift this holiday shopping season.


Tracking Fleet Vehicles & Stealth Surveillance

The Spark Nano 3.0 is one of the most popular GPS tracking devices on the market. It’s used by individuals for a variety of purposes as well as companies wanting to track fleet vehicles. Some companies are small businesses with just one or two cars, while others are large companies with an entire fleet of trucks and sales vehicles.

GPS tracking can be an important tool for managing company fleets in that it helps improve efficiency, lower vehicle costs, and deal with employees who might be using company vehicles inappropriately. At the same time, monitoring fleets this way does raise some concerns that have not yet been addressed in a court of law.

Critics of GPS vehicle tracking claim that utilizing devices like the Spark Nano are a violation of worker privacy. They believe workers should be trusted unless they give sufficient reason otherwise. Proponents of GPS tracking claim that it’s no different than a shop manager observing workers on the floor. The manager who does his job correctly is constantly monitoring what employees are doing, how hard they’re working, and how they are using company equipment.

Tracking Fleet Vehicles

Openness Is the Best Policy

Because of GPS tracking enters a whole new realm of law that hasn’t been adequately addressed, it’s best for companies to be open with their employees about GPS tracking unless stealth surveillance is needed for very specific purpose. In other words, when you first install the tracking system inform all of your workers who use company vehicles of your plans. For new workers, inform them during the interview process that your vehicles are tracked. If that bothers the candidate, that’s the perfect time to decline a job offer.

There’s an added benefit of informing your drivers about the presence of the Spark Nano or other tracking device. That benefit comes by way of an incentive for each worker to be responsible. If the point of tracking is to prevent excessive speed, reckless driving, or wasting time, there doesn’t even need to be one instance if a worker is informed ahead of time his behavior is being monitored. Stealth surveillance may provide you the evidence to confront an employee acting improperly, but it does nothing to change the fact that inappropriate behavior was engaged in.

When Stealth Is Necessary

Certainly there are times when stealth surveillance is necessary. For example, if you suspect your company vehicles are being used in the commission of a crime, it’s more desirable to have evidence needed for arrest and conviction rather than simply trying to persuade the worker to cease and desist. Similarly you may require a certain amount of evidence in order to terminate the employee who is violating company policy. In either case you might need to use a tracking device without informing workers.

The point of all of this is that GPS vehicle tracking is still fairly new in the US marketplace. If you’re planning to utilize it, ward off any potential future litigation by being upfront whenever possible.


Protecting Mom and Dad with a Spark Nano

There are lots of great uses for the Spark Nano 3.0 GPS tracking device, uses that help provide a certain measure of peace of mind to users. Often we hear of these devices being used to track the movement of teenagers, and their driving habits as well, or to find out whether or not a spouse is misbehaving. But more and more GPS trackers are also being used to protect our aging parents.

We’ve all read newspaper stories of older people going missing without any reasonable explanation other than the fact that the victim may be suffering some sort of dementia or amnesia. Oftentimes these stories are accompanied by pleas for help from the general public in finding a lost person. If the victim requires medication or other medical treatments on a regular basis finding them becomes much more important. That’s where the Spark Nano can really come in handy.

Spark Nano 3.0 GPS Tracker

Spark Nano 3.0 GPS Tracker

The Spark Nano can keep you informed of its whereabouts all over the country, 24 hours a day. Installing one on your elderly parent’s car or asking him to carry it on his person is a great way to assure him that you’re watching out for his safety. If your elderly parent gets lost while out walking or driving, one push of the panic button sends an e-mail or text alert to you instantly. Or, if your parent fails to show up somewhere at a predetermined point of time, you’ll know enough to find out his whereabouts using the tracking device.

A Medical Lifesaver

A medical alert system is something we use in conjunction with home alarms to protect our loved ones in the event of a medical emergency. Yet those systems seldom work outside the confines of a home. Why not offer the same sort of security using Spark Nano? The GPS tracking device means your loved ones are never out of contact whether going to the park, enjoying an afternoon fishing, heading out shopping, or just going for a stroll through the neighborhood.

In case of any medical emergency all individual needs to do is hit the device’s panic button. It couldn’t be any simpler than that. And at less than $30 a month it’s protection most of us can easily afford.

It’s a Positive, Not Negative

If you plan to purchase a Spark Nano for your elderly parent, be sure to present it as a positive rather than negative. It’s easy for parents to become defensive because of the perception that they are no longer trusted. Explain to your parent it’s not a matter of trust, it’s a matter of being able to respond anytime there’s potential trouble. It’s like having your own personal assistant always there to help. Framed in those terms you’re a lot likely to get a supportive reaction.

Hopefully you’ll never have occasion to take advantage of the protections offered by the Spark Nano 3.0. But you’ll be glad they are available if they ever become necessary.


The Spark Nano Is an Active Device

The new Spark Nano 3.0 is a high quality GPS tracking device used by individual consumers, businesses, private investigators, and members of law-enforcement The company’s excellent reputation, combined with the quality of the device, makes it one of your best options for tracking movement. Perhaps its greatest feature is the fact that it is an active device that is customizable to maximize potential according to your needs.

So what is an active device versus a passive one? Keep reading to find out.

Active GPS Tracker

Using a car mounted device as an example, the active GPS tracker is one that collects data as the car moves and sends it to a computer server via a mobile phone signal and the Internet. For example, the active Spark Nano 3.0 can provide the owner with its exact location — within 10 feet — anywhere in the US; the company offers an international tracking option as well. It can also send data about speed and whether or not the device has moved beyond predesignated parameters.

The key to getting the most out of an active GPS tracker is having a data plan that provides you with the results you’re looking for. The Spark Nano sends detailed reports and can be configured to do so on one, five, or 10 minute intervals. Reports are sent to a mobile device or e-mail account. Just remember that the more frequent the reports, the more battery power that’s being used.

Passive GPS Tracker

A passive tracker usually has fewer features and is less expensive than an active device. It still collects data, but it doesn’t report that data in real-time. Instead, the user installs the device and lets it run for a predetermined amount of time. Afterwards the tracker is retrieved and the data dumped to a computer for analysis. The biggest drawback to the passive system is that it’s impossible to tell where the tracker is when it’s not in your possession. You simply have to wait till it comes back to get a hold of it.

Which one to Choose

Whether or not you need a passive or active device really depends on what you’re trying to accomplish. The active device is typically used by those who are attempting to conduct live surveillance on the vehicle in question. That’s the whole point of the real-time data. An application that doesn’t require up-to-date information, such as recording how many miles your teenager drives in a week, is where you’d most likely see a passive device. The passive tracker doesn’t have a monthly fee attached to it like an active device.

If you’re planning to do live surveillance you’re going to need an active GPS tracker. And as long as you’re going to invest in one, you might as well choose the Spark Nano 3.0 from Brickhouse Security. It has everything you need for effective tracking whether it’s your vehicle, your children, or your spouse.


The Priceless Panic Button

Personal GPS tracking devices like the Spark Nano 3.0 have a variety of great uses like tracking vehicles and monitoring driving habits. Heaven forbid; you can even use one to help determine whether or not your spouse is really cheating on you. But, have you ever considered the possibility of using one during family vacations? It’s a great idea – especially given the fact that the Nano has a built-in panic button.

The panic button is one feature you’ll never realize the importance of unless you have to use it. Hopefully, that day never comes. But if it does the panic button could mean the difference between a happy ending and a miserable one. For that reason alone, the Spark Nano 3.0 is worth its weight in gold.

Letting Them Go

There comes a point in every parent’s life where he has to give a child some measure of freedom to go and do what he wants. A family vacation to a large resort area presents that very scenario. While the six or seven year old would be terrified to navigate a monstrous theme park without parents at his side, the 12 or 13-year-old is itching to go do his own thing with siblings or friends. Sending the child off with a GPS tracking device allows you to give him the freedom he desires while still being able to pay attention to where he is.

Just clip the Spark Nano 3.0 to your child’s backpack, belt loop, or shirt pocket, and you’re set to go. You can monitor his or her whereabouts with your smart phone or other mobile device. If you’re back at the hotel you can keep track of the GPS location using a PC with an Internet connection. It couldn’t be simpler.

Calling for Help

Before you send your child off you should thoroughly instruct him in the use of the panic button. Then, while he’s out wandering around, he’ll be able to reach you in an instant if he gets in trouble. The panic button sends an immediate e-mail message or text alert based on the parameters you set up.

The panic button is a priceless tool that helps protect your child in both casual and serious circumstances. For example, a child who ventures off into the theme park alone for the first time may find them self lost after a couple of hours. Hitting the panic button sends a message to you that he is in need of help. You can immediately go to exactly where he is by following real-time data using your mobile device. For more serious circumstances, such as injury or harassment by strangers, the panic button becomes even more important.

If you haven’t invested in a GPS tracking device yet don’t even consider buying a unit that doesn’t have a panic button. Such a feature raises the price of the unit very little yet could end up saving you a lot. The panic button truly is priceless; use it.



Spark Nano


Placing a GPS Tracker on a Car

If you’ve purchased a Spark Nano 3.0 and plan to use it to secretly track the movement of a vehicle, there’s a right and wrong way to do it. Done correctly the device could be a goldmine of valuable information. Done incorrectly it could yield no useful results and land you in jail.

In terms of federal law the only concrete “regulations” we have come from a Supreme Court ruling sent down earlier this year. But that ruling is very narrowly focused to only include law enforcement agencies and some of the surveillance practices they use. We have no federal guidelines about the private use of GPS tracking systems.

State law is a different matter. As far as we know they’re only a couple of states (Texas is one of them) that regulate GPS tracking. But you should check with your state before you go about planting your Spark Nano on a vehicle.

As a general it is legal to track a vehicle in this way if you or another family member living in your household owns it. In the case of a vehicle not owned by you or a family member you can only install a GPS tracking device if:

  • you are using it to obtain the same information you would through physical surveillance
  • you don’t have to enter the vehicle to install it
  • you don’t have to trespass on private property to install it
  • the vehicle is in plain view during the installation
  • you don’t hardwire it to the vehicle’s electrical system

In a nutshell, you’re allowed to do whatever you want with your own cars. With the vehicles of other people you are limited to a temporary installation on the outside of the vehicle using a battery operated unit. It seems pretty straightforward.

Placing the Spark Nano

If you’re working with your own cars the only thing you need to know is that metal interferes with the device’s signal. Therefore, putting your Spark Nano in the trunk is a bad idea. You might try under the seats, in the glove box, under the carpeting, behind the door panel, or even high up under the dash. If you’d prefer an external installation you can attach it underneath a plastic bumper, behind the plastic in the wheel wells, between the grill and radiator, etc. Just so long as the device is not completely surrounded by metal you’ll be fine.

All-Weather Magnetic Case For Your Nano & Battery

All-Weather Magnetic Case For Your Nano & Battery

If you’re placing the device on a vehicle you don’t own you need to be very careful. The quickest and easiest way to do so is to purchase a magnetic case the Spark Nano can easily be slipped into. You can quickly reach your hand underneath the car and attach it to one of the side rails of the frame. The quicker and easier you can make the installation or less likely you’ll be discovered and the less likely you’ll be in violation of the law for altering the vehicle in question.


Is Private GPS Tracking Legal?

In November of last year the U.S. Supreme Court was hearing a case having to do with the legality of GPS tracking for police investigations.

At the heart of the case was a lower court ruling that threw out the conviction of a suspected drug dealer because the FBI did not obtain a warrant before installing a GPS tracking device on the suspect’s car. The Supreme Court’s eventual ruling on the case was very narrow, dealing only with certain types of police actions.

That leads us to ask whether or not private GPS tracking is legal. In other words, can you track your spouse if you suspect he or she is cheating on you? Can you track the movements of your children without informing them you’re doing so?

A General Summary

Though state laws do vary there are some generalities which apply across the board. Before we list them here however, it’s important to say that you should always check with your state before using a GPS tracking device like the Spark Nano 3.0. As long as you know and follow the law you’ll have nothing to worry about. That said, it’s generally acceptable to use GPS tracking as an individual citizen if:

  • you own the vehicle or piece of equipment being tracked
  • you can install the device on the outside of a vehicle or piece of equipment you don’t own
  • the vehicle or piece of equipment is clearly in the public view
  • the vehicle or piece of equipment is not located on private property belonging to someone else
  • information you obtain from the device could also be obtained by physical surveillance

In most cases you cannot legally use a tracking device if you must open the vehicle or equipment to install it, connect the device directly to an existing electrical system, or enter an area where the subject of your tracking is legally allowed to expect privacy. That means you can’t break into a car, break into someone’s private garage, or hardwire a GPS device to a car battery.

Family Use

It’s generally understood by the courts that there is no right to privacy among family members living in the same household. Therefore, it’s completely legal to use a GPS tracker to monitor the whereabouts of your children, keep track of their driving habits when they get their licenses, and conduct surveillance on a spouse. Whether or not it’s wise to do such things is the domain of the individual GPS owner. But it can be done legally nonetheless.

When it comes to your own vehicle you are protected by the law as well. You have every right to install a device like the Spark Nano 3.0 regardless of who might drive your car in the future. And you don’t have to warn other drivers about it. Whether you want to monitor how fast and safely the car is being driven, or give yourself some measure of protection against theft, your car is yours to do with as you please.


Five Tips to Help You Get the Most of Your Spark Nano 3.0

As far as the GPS tracking devices go the latest version of the Spark Nano is one of the best on the market. The Spark Nano 3.0 gives you all the features you need in a reliable device that can be used for both personal and commercial tracking purposes. You can use one of these devices to protect your kids, monitor your vehicles, and manage various parts of your business. All in a unit that costs less than $30 per month to operate.

Whether you’re currently a Nano owner or you’re planning to purchase your first device here are five tips to help you get the most out of it.

  1. Get the Magnetic Case – In most cases your Spark Nano 3.0 will be exposed to the elements from outdoor use. One of the best ways to protect it is to invest in the magnetic case from Brickhouse Security. This magnetic case allows you to mount the unit on any magnetized metal surface; it’s ideal for cars, trucks, RVs, boats, and more.
  2. Set Maximum Time between Reports – The Spark Nano 3.0 has the option of programming your reports to be transmitted in one, five, or 10 minute intervals. Every time you request the unit to report its position it’s using extra battery power. Unless you have reason to believe there’s an emergency, you can preserve your battery life by making the default setting 10 minutes. If you suspect you do have emergency you can always increase the frequency of your reports.
  3. Utilizing Geo-Fencing – Brickhouse Security has included a unique feature in the Nano called “geo-fencing.” This feature allows you to program into the device certain areas where your teenage drivers are allowed to go. If the vehicle goes outside of those predetermined areas you will receive an e-mail or text message informing you of what’s going on. From there you can track your vehicle’s movement and know where is at all times. Geo-fencing is one of the best ways to make sure your kids don’t go where they’re not supposed to.
  4. Don’t Hide the Nano from Kids – Typically we think of a GPS tracking device as a method of stealth surveillance. While it may be true, when you’re using your Spark Nano to monitor your teenager’s driving habits, stealth is not helpful. You want the teen to know up front so that he avoids undesirable behavior. It doesn’t do any good to find out after the fact, especially if you’re teen gets in trouble in the interim.
  5. Add It to Your Daily Planner – Nothing is worse than tracking an activated GPS device only to have it die because the battery is completely spent. If you utilize a daily planner use it to remind yourself to charge your GPS device on a regular basis. A fully charged Spark Nano is one that always functions the way you’re expecting it to.


Spark Nano 3.0: Peace of Mind in a Small Package

Let’s face it, there are things all of us worry about. Some of us worry about our teens when they’re out with friends on the weekend; some of us worry about our cars when they’re parked in the long-term parking lot at the airport. So if there was one simple thing you could do to erase those worries and get back your peace of mind, would you do it? If so, the Spark Nano 3.0 may be just what you’re looking for.

Spark Nano 3.0

Spark Nano 3.0

The Spark Nano is a small GPS tracking device that’s been on the market leader ever since Brickhouse Security released version 1.0. Today’s 3.0 version is the best one yet, offering you the most features in a rugged, durable unit that will provide reliable service for years to come. You can use the Spark Nano to keep track of items prone to theft, stay abreast with the whereabouts of your children, monitor your teenager’s driving habits, and so much more.

Buy Now >> Spark Nano 3.0 Real-Time GPS Tracker

Spark Nano 3.0 Specifications:

Any electronics device is only as good as the components used to make it and the capability of those components. Under the hood, the Spark Nano 3.0 packs a lot of power. Take a look at this:

• reliable uBlox 6 GPS Chipset
• 1300mAh battery; 3.7V Li-Polymer backup battery
• external GPS antenna connection
• GSM Phase 2/2+ Compliant
• quad-band 850/900/1800/1900MHz
• mini-USB port (connecting/charging to PC)
• water resistant (rating: IPX-5)
• temperature resistant (-40° to 185°F)
• accurate within 10 feet
• GPS sensitivity – 50 Channels
• cold-starts in 29 seconds; hot start in less than 1 second
• multiple monitoring options (Brickhouse server, white label software, third-party software)

Spark Nano 3.0 Best Features:

When you purchase the Spark Nano 3.0 you’re getting a GPS tracking device packed with plenty of features. One of the best is the detailed tracking reports you can receive according to parameters you set up. For example, your reports can be configured to keep you updated of the device’s location in one, five, or 10 minute increments. The real-time tracking allows you to always know where the device is at any given time. International tracking is also available. Even better, you can track your device using virtually any PC or mobile device without the need for any expensive software or smart phone apps.

Every Spark Nano customer has the option to utilize the Brickhouse security server, purchase white label software that can be installed and run on your own servers, or use the device with your existing software and servers. The tracking options provide the most flexibility to make using the Spark Nano as easy and cost effective as possible.

Commercial Use:

The Spark Nano 3.0 is ideal for both small and large businesses that operate company vehicles. There’s no better way to keep track of where your vehicles are, how safely they are being driven and, of course, their location if one is ever stolen. For companies with large fleets the Spark Nano represents a very cost-effective way to manage your fleet and the drivers who operate it. With proper management is GPS tracking device will help you get maximum efficiency out of your vehicles.

Personal Safety:

For personal use the Spark Nano 3.0 is also a great tool. Give them to your kids to carry whenever they’re out of house and you’ll always know where they are 24/7. Mount one in the car and you’ll be able to monitor how it’s being driven, when it’s being driven, and whether or not the vehicle is being used without authorization. And for teenagers just beginning to drive on their own, detailed reports will tell you if the car is being striven safely and at reasonable speeds.

You could even use the Spark Nano on family vacations when everyone splits up to go their own way for a couple of hours. There’s no more getting lost in large crowds, wondering where your spouse is, or trying to remember where your central meeting location is. There’s so much you can do with this cutting-edge tracking device that once you have it, it’s hard to imagine what you did without it.

Buy Now >> Spark Nano 3.0 Real-Time GPS Tracker