GPS and Radio Frequency Tracking Collars

For many of us, our pets are a integral part of our family. And one of our biggest fears is if our pet cat or dog should get lost. How would you be able to find them?

The good news is there are several solutions that can help us track our lost pet.

One of the most interesting devices I've seen is the Loc8tor. This is a handheld RF transmitter / receiver tracking device that you can attach to your pet's collar.

It's marketed as a general location device that you can use to find lost car keys, luggage, even your wandering kids!

Many people have found that it's great for use as a short range pet tracking device as well. It's small and light enough to be used as a radio frequency dog tracking collar as well as an RF cat tracking collar.


Following is a description of some of the other types of pet tracking systems available today.

GPS Tracking Collars

GPS tracking collars utilize GPS locating technology to give us the exact position of our pet. These types of collars are outfitted with a GPS chip that knows its exact location relative to a satellite orbiting in outer space. This is the same kind of system that allows hikers to know their exact location when they are out walking in the woods.

So this technology allows your pet to know ITS location. What good does that do you? The other component to these types of GPS collars is a cellular phone built into it. That allows it to transmit it's location via the cellular network to a base station that you can access -- typically via the internet. In this way, you can find the exact location of your pet as long as the collar is in an area where there is a cellular phone network.

Radio Frequency Collars

Radio frequency collars use the free radio frequency channels to send relative distance and location information to a receiving device, which is typically a hand-held receiver. This type of technology typically does not exact exact longitude and latitude information like a GPS system. Instead, RF collars normally send a kind of strength indicator that give you the relative distance between the RF collar and the receiver.

The advantage of RF collars is that you don't need to pay any monthly cellular fees like you do for a GPS tracking system. The other advantage is that RF tracking systems can normally work in wooded areas or in places where there is no cellular phone services. Also, RF receivers can be small hand-held devices while normally a GPS system will need a more expensive receiver.

The disadvantage of a radio collar is that it may not have the range and accuracy of a GPS tracking collar system.

GPS Radio Frequency Hybrid Collars

These types of pet tracking collars use both the GPS technology for obtaining pinpoint location information along with an RF hand held receiver that can receive the location information in the field.

The way these hybrid collars work is that the collar has a GPS chip for getting it's longitude and latitude data. This information is then transmitted from the collar via RF signals to your hand held receiver. In this way you can obtain exact location information in the field.