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April 9, 2008

WorldTracker PLD (Personal Locator Device) GPS Tracker Review

GPSmagazine Rating: 4 of 5

Verdict: Great for Adventure Seekers

WorldTracker PLD (Personal Locator Device) GPS Tracking Device

I've been reviewing GPS tracking devices for the past few months, but WorldTracker's PLD (Personal Locator Device) feature list made me sit up and take notice. This quad mode GPS tracker is capable of two weeks of continuous GPS tracking on a single battery charge, works worldwide with both GPRS/SMS, can be used to place a phone call to a pre-programmed number, and even has an eavesdropping mode that lets you listen in on what's going on around the device.

All that plus some pretty stunning mapping and reporting features, and you've got one powerful GPS tracking device.

Table of Contents

  1. Features
  2. Technical Specifications
  3. What's in the Box
  4. Using WorldTracker PLD
  5. Pros
  6. Cons
  7. Conclusion

1. Features

WorldTracker PLD
Figure 1: WorldTracker PLD

  • Quad mode GPS tracker works worldwide (850/900/1800/1900 frequency bands)
  • Reporting and monitoring for up to 2 weeks
  • Capable of updates every 5 seconds
  • GPS assist and works inside buildings and parking garages
  • GPS/A-GPS with tracking of up to 14 satellites
  • One-way emergency listening and two-way voice options
  • Optional multi-day ephemeris support
  • Time to first fix: 2 s @ 5 m; 2 sec navigation fixes (with assistance data)
  • Motion sensor and vibrating alerts

2. Technical Specifications

Size 100.33 mm x 58.92 mm x 25.4 mm
Weight 136 g
Quad Band 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 MHz bands
GSM Functionality Voice: FR, EFR, HR & AMR
CS Data: Asynchronous, transparent and non transparent up to 9.6 kB
GSM SMS PDU, MO/MT, Cell Broadcast
GPS/A-GPS Autonomous and "Enhanced" with optional multi-day ephemeris service
Tracking up to 14 satellites
Time to first fix: 20 sec @ 5 m avg.
Application Interface Host Protocols: AT Commands, UDP/APU, CMUX
API Control: AT or UDP
Key features: Real-Time-Clock (RTC), Events Engine Scriptable, Friends IP, Wake-Up & Keep Alive, Auto-Activate
Special Features Motion Sensor, Vibrating Alert
SIM Card

Internal 3V SIM accessed via battery compartment

  • Mini USB jack for power and local data access
  • Vehicle power adapter (optional)
  • 2.5 mm headset jack
  • Operating: -20 C to 60 C
  • Storage: -40 C to 85 C
  • Humidity: Up to 95% non-condensing
Power Rechargeable Lithium Ion Battery: 1340mAh Standard, 2000mAh Optional

3. What's in the Box

WorldTracker PLD: What's in the Box
Figure 2: What's in the Box

WorldTracker PLD includes the following items in the box:

  • WorldTracker PLD
  • USB/Charging/Programming Cable
  • SIM Card
  • Battery

WorldTracker PLD, Front
Figure 3: WorldTracker PLD, Front

WorldTracker PLD's case is constructed of rugged polycarbonite gray plastic with protective black rubber backing on the left and right sides of the device.

WorldTracker PLD, Left Side
Figure 4: WorldTracker PLD, Left Side

A 2.5 mm headset jack and Mini-USB jack for power and local data access are located on the left side of the device, protected from the elements by a rubber flap..

WorldTracker PLD, Right Side
Figure 5: WorldTracker PLD, Right Side

The PTC (Push To Call) button is located on the right side of the device. The PTC button is used to initiate a cellular voice call to a pre-programmed number you define, such as emergency services, a family member, rescue team, etc.

WorldTracker PLD, Top
Figure 6: WorldTracker PLD, Top

The top of the device is home to four LED indicator lights:

  • CALL: Blinks yellow when registering blinks for 1/4second every 2 seconds to indicate a missed call, solid yellow during a phone call (incoming or initiated)
  • ON: Blinks yellow slowly for 1/2 second every 10 seconds to indicate the unit is on and active
  • GPS: Blinks yellow briefly once every 2 seconds when receiving satellite reception
  • BAT: Blinks red once every 10 seconds when the battery is less than 20% (this light turns off altogether when battery is below 5%). Blinks fast once every 2 seconds during charging, turns off when fully charged