The Oyster3 can be mounted on the asset to be tracked using screws, bolts, cable ties, or industrial adhesives. When choosing a mounting point, you have two competing goals:
- To minimise the chances of the device being accidentally crushed, dislodged or discovered by a thief
- To maximise the GPS and mobile reception and provide adequate ventilation.
Key mounting notes:
- Avoid installing the box completely enclosed in a metal box
- Avoid installing in a location that will result in elevated temperatures. For instance, mounting the Oyster3 in direct sunlight on the dash of an non-ventilated cabin may cook the batteries, leading to abnormally short service life.
- Try to orient the GPS antenna towards the sky where possible (screw heads facing down)
- If installing in a potentially low signal environment, check the signal strengths reported in device data
Maximising GPS Reception
Since the Oyster3 is a battery powered device, reception is critical to its performance.
The Oyster3 has several key features that allow it to get a GPS fix in difficult, low signal environments:
- High quality GPS receivers
- Low Noise Amplifiers
- GPS Aiding Data
This allows the device to get a fix where others wouldn't. However in reduced signal, the device will work harder (use more battery) to get a fix. Resulting in reduced battery life.
The best possible mounting location for optimal GPS reception is one that gives a clear, 180 degree view of the sky and free from obstructions. This is not to say the Oyster3 must be mounted here, in fact many are installed in difficult locations such as the undersides of trailers, and underneath car seats.
Test GPS Signal Strength
Turn on GPS Debug logging and check the signal strengths. See GPS Troubleshooting
Perhaps we are installing a device in a covert location within a vehicle. If the vehicle is otherwise completely out in the open, we are in the 'best' reception the device is ever likely to see. If at this point the GPS signal received is fairly low in strength, then the device might fail to get fixes in more 'difficult' locations like when the vehicle is parked near tall buildings.
If we'd simply checked whether or not we could get a fix, and not signal strength, the reduced strength might go unnoticed.