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This review is from: Portable Car GPS Tracker 102 with GSM Alarm Micro SD Card Slot Anti-theft
Pros: I'd rather do the "cons" first, just to get it all off my chest as listing the positives first seems dishonest to me. It's a royal pain in the you-know-what, because the item's paper documentation is poor and online documentation is non-existent. Looking at the item, there's no manufacturer's name, no model number, nothing to Google and look up and when you finally DO manage to find out what it's called there's almost no comprehensive instructions on how to go from dead piece of electronics to working GPS tracker.
The process involves several steps. First you need a working, GSM SIM card. I'm going to make this short in order to avoid a full-blown rant, but I COULD do one, just ask. Wouldn't take me but 3 seconds to remember how thoroughly annoyed I was just 3 hours ago. The CON: NO DOCUMENTATION NO INSTRUCTIONS (for certain areas) BAD ENGRISH.
Cons: The Good
First you have to know that there are "big" and "small" SIM cards, and this device needs big ones and they need to be inserted SQUARE SIDE FIRST and NOTCH SIDE OUT. The physical dimensions of the SIM card determine how the gold contact things line up to the GPS unit and a small (I think it's called "micro SIM) card's dimensions do not allow the gold contacts to line up right. THIS POINT HERE TOOK ME ABOUT 6 HOURS TO FIGURE OUT.
My LG phone has a micro-SIM card. My wife's phone has a large SIM card. There's NO graphic on the device showing how to orient the SIM card for insertion. The KEY to seeing if it works is that the green LED goes from steady-on to blinking/flashing every 2 or 3 seconds. Once the green LED is flashing, you are gold, as that signifies that the unit has connected to the various GSM satellites and GPS satellites and is ready to work.
Says it's accurate to 5 meters. Will sleep until wakened via phone call, or if it sense vibration. Battery life still unknown at this point. Some online reports say 3-4 days, my initial experience is dramatically less than that, but I can't say for certain if I started with a batter that was charged 100%
Has a microphone and manual says it can "listen" (Not testing this, as I won't ever need it). Has a panic button that will send a text "help me" if you are carrying it and need help (secret agent Jason Bourne stuff here, mang...)
Other Thoughts: Okay, so the BIG QUESTION is about SIM cards, cell phone service, etc... I have MetroPCS and have learned that you can pull the (large sized) SIM card out of a working cell phone and insert it into the GPS unit and get instant functionality (for testing purposes, primarily. Just to make certain the thing works before buying an actual SIM card just for the unit.
I have not yet gone to MetroPCS, but the plan is to purchase a 3rd line on my account, get just a SIM card (no phone) activate the SIM and use that for my GPS Tracker, thereby avoiding the pay-as-you-go charges that you read about so often in reference to these devices. My sense is that any GSM card from any source (major carrier, secondary seller like MetroPCS or pay-buy-the-minute phones like KIC or TRAC), ANY GSM SIM card will work in these things.
The NEXT step is to RTGDM and learn how to communicate with the unit via text messages. Here the paper directions were good, and they spell out all the various functions and how to access them, toggle them, but the main point here (in case you don't know) is that this GPS unit only talks to you via text message. It sends you it's location, battery level, etc... via SMS text message. You call the number registered to the SIM card, the call gets auto-rolled to voice mail, and the GPS unit sends you a text of it's latitude, longitude or whatever else it has to tell you.
I haven't done this yet, but there are services online that will allow you to visually see the GPS's placement, path, route, etc... on a map online. One place I saw online had 3 packages from 6 to 10 dollars a month. Still thinking about that one. Google "GPS Tracking Service" to research various options here.
It's complicated. It will take time. The unit is very nice, packaged REALLY nice, in a fancy box with phone & felt packaging custom-cut for all the various pieces. You get the GPS unit, 1 charger, 1 USB data & power cable, 2 batteries and a plastic zip lock bag.
Pros: I'm giving serious consideration to buying a bunch of these drives. All things considered, they could be a really good deal.
Cons: Recent Engadget article (engadget.aaa/2015/02/16/hard-drive-spyware/) says that the NSA has been infecting hard drives at the Western Digital factory with a stuxnet-like spyware, and days later these drives show up with deep discount and a "white label". Thought people should get the "heads-up" before deciding to buy.
Other Thoughts: If a tool exists to check these drives and remove whatever malware may be on them prior to use, this could be a really nice opportunity for people to get super-high quality drives at a very good price. These appear to be WD Black Series drives, which IMO are the "gold standard" for hard drives in terms of reliability. I'm currently searching for a tool do check for malware and if one is available I plan on buying several of these.READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: Item arrived within 4 days or so, in good condition, undamaged, well packaged, etc... as one would expect from NewEgg. Came with standard (black) installation screws and about 10 small zip-ties, which was a nice extra.
After a brief scare, I discovered the 8 pin CPU connector would split so that I could insert (half of) it into my old 4-pin motherboard.
Has both SATA and old-style IDE power connectors for older motherboards.
Cons: Worst thing I could say is that the SATA cable was a bit short for my situation, but that's not really the power supplies fault. I assume their length is standard. On my machine, the power supply mounts in the upper-left hand corner and the hard drives are in the lower-right hand corner, as far away from the PSU as they could possibly be. The SATA power cables were about 1 or 2 inches short, and so I had to rearrange the hard drives to move them closer. I MIGHT have been able to force the both of the cables to stretch to reach both of my two hard drives, but then I wouldn't have had a SATA cable for the optical drive. I don't blame the PSU for this at all, as I assume the cables are standard length. I'm just mentioning this so other people are caught by surprise.
The only other "negative" I can think of is that the physical dimensions of the PSU made installation very tight, but I can't say if the PSU was a little large, or if the HP case was a little small. Either way, at some point I didn't know if it was going to fit, but happily at some point I broke out the BFH and MADE it fit, and all was well.
Other Thoughts: When shopping for PSU's, the first thing I do is toggle "Active PFC = Yes" in my searches since a power supply that doesn't have it isn't worth having. I don't have the tech knowledge to explain it in technical terms, but having Active PFC means the PSU is going to be more efficient than one that does not have it. It's a fast and easy way of excluding from your searches power supplies that you do not want. I learned this trick years ago and thought I would share it now. You can read wikipedia for what it's about; has something to do with phase, but the main point I'm making is that that all 80%+ power supplies have Active PFC, and all of the power supplies that do not have Active PFC are less than 80% efficient. It's forcing search results to only include those PSUs with Active PFC limits the search to only those PSUs that are 80% efficient or better. From there, I start looking at the number of customer reviews and price.
A cheap Power Supply can kill-off a motherboard, video card, hard drive, CPU or all of the above. Saving a few 10's of dollars could cost you 100's of dollars down the road. Biggest mistake I see people make is going cheap on a power supply. This Corsair was for an old 7 year-old HP quad-core and I couldn't see spending any more than this on this computer.
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