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I've just watched the EF video of the GBDURO (well worth it..https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e74xncSCoqw). I was thinking how useful such a 'dotwatching' facility would be for everyday rides, for my family to see where I am at any moment. I know Strava do a 'beacon' on their paid subscription but I'm not sure that's real time, more like it pings a location every now an again. Is there anything out there anyone is aware of? Is dotwatcher.cc only used for these endurance events?

Would be most useful if the tracker could be hidden on the bike, so if it got pinched you could very simply track it down. Google seems to lead me on a wild goose chase. Thanks.

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TheLonelyOne [396 posts] 3 months ago
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I use the free Glympse android app on my mobile phone.

So long as you are in a "mobile data" area, it pings your location to Glympse. You can send a link to follow the track by email or sms to the people you want to be able to follow you. There's other ways to use it, but that works for me.

Tracking lasts for as long as you want it, up to 12 hours.

 

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Zermattjohn [347 posts] 3 months ago
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Thanks for that. Only problem with that is that you need to use your 4G data and be in a well-connected area. The dotwatcher stuff seems to rely on something else - there's very poor connection in rural Wales and across Europe on the TCR, yet the dotwatcher website is very accurate and updates constantly. Any tech gurus know how these trackers work?

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ConcordeCX [1185 posts] 3 months ago
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Most of them need a cellphone data connection. If you want something that is always available you will need to use a satellite tracker such as the Garmin inReach. The devices are quite expensive and you also need a paid-for account with the satellite service, such as Iridium, which isn’t cheap either.

 

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JMcL_Ireland [27 posts] 3 months ago
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Garmin will do it via Connect. I haven't tried it myself, as despite it being a free service, they insist on a data grab of your contacts to enable it, which I believe is in breach of GDPR. It used to be a case of just share a link with somebody and they could track you, but they can think again if they want my contacts.

Another cruder option if you use WhatsApp is to share your location. I do have problems with WA being in the dreaded Facebook fold, but it'd be an uphill battle to get anybody to use anything less evil

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fukawitribe [2903 posts] 3 months ago
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It's not really something you'd want to leave on the bike, but if you're using an Android phone you can (or could) let people track your location via Google itself

https://support.google.com/maps/answer/7326816?co=GENIE.Platform%3DAndro...

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Zermattjohn [347 posts] 3 months ago
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Thanks all. So what is used on TCR for example? Is this something that the organisers/entrants pay for, so that their tracker is always 'on' as it were?

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ConcordeCX [1185 posts] 3 months ago
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Zermattjohn wrote:

Thanks all. So what is used on TCR for example? Is this something that the organisers/entrants pay for, so that their tracker is always 'on' as it were?

according to Wikipedia: 

"Racer positions are monitored using GPS satellite-based tracker devices mounted on all participants' bikes that upload their positions every 5 minutes.[11][13] This information is then posted on the Trackleaders website for racers and followers to view. Many participants also update followers on their progress using social media websites."

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transcontinental_Race

EDIT: the Trackleaders site mentions a couple of devices, SPOT and Delorme. Delorme was taken over by Garmin for their inReach devices. The SPOT devices appear to have less functionality, which might make them better for your purposes, but they still require a subscription, so possibly not cheap. 

 

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HoarseMann [294 posts] 3 months ago
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ConcordeCX wrote:
Zermattjohn wrote:

Thanks all. So what is used on TCR for example? Is this something that the organisers/entrants pay for, so that their tracker is always 'on' as it were?

according to Wikipedia: 

"Racer positions are monitored using GPS satellite-based tracker devices mounted on all participants' bikes that upload their positions every 5 minutes.[11][13] This information is then posted on the Trackleaders website for racers and followers to view. Many participants also update followers on their progress using social media websites."

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transcontinental_Race

EDIT: the Trackleaders site mentions a couple of devices, SPOT and Delorme. Delorme was taken over by Garmin for their inReach devices. The SPOT devices appear to have less functionality, which might make them better for your purposes, but they still require a subscription, so possibly not cheap. 

 

Not too expensive at £150 for the unit and approx £15 a month. They communicate with a satellite, so as long as you can see the sky, you’ve got coverage.

Much more reliable than mobile phone coverage, especially in remote areas. (battery life better too)

https://www.findmespot.eu/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=5&...

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antigee [563 posts] 3 months ago
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recently bought a Lezyne GPS and it is has a facility called Track:

Lezyne Track is a way to share your ride information in real-time with friends, family, or whomever you decide to include

They will be sent an email with a hyperlink that will send them to a map showing your: • Location • Speed • Distance

haven't enabled it yet as not sure if really want mrs antigee to know quite how often I'm out riding or how long I spend at the cafe...so will probably stick with a note by the kettle that can throw away when get home 

 

Edit there are some areas i ride in with no phone coverage (rural Aus' )I'm not too bothered but the brand leader here in Aus 'for trackers for bushwalkers etc is EPIRB not sure if available UK - teen antigee works in Ski/Bushwalking store and they rent them to school groups as an essential