More from: GPS Tracker

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.


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.