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Visionaire GPS Review

Find out what we think to the VIsionaire GPS - a tracking system for your Land Rover.

Ben Gribbin

Ben Gribbin

November 30, 2010

Hello, I'm the editor of FunRover. I'm a massive Land Rover fan. Currently own a TD5 90. 2015 MR Blogger of the Year
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The Land Rover Defender is now the 4th most stolen vehicle in the UK, with over a thousand predicted to be nicked this year alone. The problem is increasing year on year (evident by the Defender moving from 4th to 1st place since publishing this article) and other Land Rover models are seeing rising thefts. You need to start getting serious about security for your cherished Landy.

GPS trackers have seen a large increase in popularity recently and these units are now well within the budget and ability of a DIY enthusiast to own and install. Units such as Skytag and Tracker have established themselves within the industry, but both have their down sides.

Skytag is a managed service, that can only be activated once you have a crime reference number. The Skytag yearly subscription weighs in at a fairly weighty £79.99. Tracker unit detectors are not necessarily fitted to every Police vehicle. Step in Visionaire and their 24/7 Live Tracking system.

Features

  • 12 months history with snail trail
  • Access 24/7 from any internet PC or phone
  • Alerts by email and text
  • Record mileage
  • Check journey times
  • Monitor speeds
  • Track employees or equipment
  • Handheld units
  • Panic button
  • Movement alert by SMS and or email with map
  • Real-time live tracking
  • Individual log for your access
  • Internal back-up battery
  • No monthly subscription charges

You can already see some of the potential benefits of the Visionaire unit over others. The biggest advantage has to be the ability to track your vehicle directly from the internet, using a reliable and accurate Google Maps based system. Online tracking is real time and also offers a selection of useful capabilities, such as location history and device 'reports' or notifications. We'll look into this in a moment. The Visionaire GPS system is also great value for money, there are no on-going subscription costs for the device, once purchased it's paid for. The only running cost is paying for data, which is £36.00, or a mere £3 per month.

Our unit's specs:

Visionaire sent us the optional external GPS antenna which makes a covert installation easier. They also sorted out the data plan for the device. Allowing the guys to pre-arrange this meant once we received the unit we were able to literally pull it out of the packaging and start using it. There was no delay in having to set-up an SMS plan or waiting for the postman to deliver any contracts.

The Visionaire GPS Device

Fitting the unit

Fitting the device is pretty simple, though the team at Visionaire will guide you through the process if you're not an auto-electronic master. All you need are some basic tools and about 1 hour (depending on your technical ability). Here's what you'll need:

  • Screwdrivers (for taking apart trim)
  • Drill
  • Soldering Iron + Solder
  • Electrical Tape, heat shrink
  • A multi-meter type gadget will greatly help too
  • Wire cutters

We've decided against showing pictures of the device fitted in the vehicle, as it is being used to secure our own test vehicle. The guys at Visionaire have worked out a very cunning Defender specific location that works perfectly and ensures the unit is able to function correctly. The item is very well concealed and in the event of a theft, will remain undetected long enough to allow you to contact Police and set them onto the case. The beauty of the Visionaire unit over others is that you can set the device to send you alerts via email or text - so if any of a large number of configurable triggers are set off, you'll know about it.

It's advised when you do come to fitting, to install the wiring loom first. This can help prevent shorting the system or incorrectly activating it. Once installed and you've done your final checks, you simply hook up the wiring to the unit and wait around 20 minutes for the device to configure itself.

The unit is also perfectly sized for hiding away and there's no obvious branding on the external casing to give away it's purpose, which shows some great forethought from the designers.

Control Panel / Tracking System

The Visionaire GPS Tracking system is based entirely around Visionaire's own unique internet based tracking site. Upon purchase, you are provided with a unique login username and password (the latter of which you should change to something more memorable and secure). Entering these details will grant you access to your very own control panel - this initially is configured to your device, though more can be added later. You could then use the panel to track employees, possessions, important parcels or teenage drivers. Of course we're using it here to monitor our Land Rover and provide a means of recovery should it ever be stolen.

Almost everything is tweak-able, from the measuring unit for distances, to colors used for trips, language and your password for more security.

Once logged in, you'll see a map with a list of your GPS devices. To the left of the map sits a sidebar offering each devices current status. This section gives a brief overview of whether the device is at rest, moving and if so, where. It also allows you to set automatic location fetching, rather than manually refreshing the current location. There's also the option to view past journeys, track-point by track-point. A track-point is created with a signification change of heading or speed. In other areas, such as tracking employees, this can be useful in determining their speeds at various points. When tracking your own vehicle this will help you give the police an accurate location, speed and heading. You can also provide your log in details to the police so they can follow it as well.

Overview of a recent greenlaning trip, not only handy for potentially tracking your vehicle when stolen, but also just for logging trips or allowing family and friends to keep up-to-date with your whereabouts on your over-landing adventure.

You'll note the device makes use of the Google Maps service for relaying location information, which is great as this is very accurate and also has the options of viewing either a map, satellite (which is essentially an aerial photograph and could help when locating your Land Rover in an industrial estate or similar) and terrain view. The control panel is easy to use and looks good and keeps 12 months history of each trip so you can track back day by day.

Detailed back-up means you can go back to any day or trip during the last year.

Setting up a notification. Notifications are activated when a specific code from the unit is transmitted. These include Ignition On, Tow Alert, Speeding, Power Loss and Bonnet Open as well as the “panic button” option which can be fitted to the dash which is useful to send an alert in event of an accident or a carjacking,. The device is operated via a remote which when locked activates the secure mode and when unlocked (i.e. when you're using the vehicle) disables alerts.

You can also share the device information and location with other users, simply by dropping their email in. Very handy for allowing multiple users access to the device, should your internet be down at the time of a theft or for keeping family members informed of what you're up to. Also comes in useful when on holiday.

Another example of a route log, at street level. You can clearly see the tracker follows the road perfectly, unlike some GPS units which can give you a position within 100ft e.t.c

Clicking on the black dots (or tracking points) brings up information as to heading (i.e. N, S, E,W) and speed / time.

In terrain view

You can even view the map and location info on a mobile. We tried it on the iPhone and it works perfectly.

The online control panel is absolutely spot-on. It's easy to use, simplifies the process of managing your device and offers up plenty of incredibly useful features.

Test

How do you test a security system like this? By pretending to steal your own car (or just leaving the unit locked before setting off). We then drove to Retford on the motorway. The unit worked flawlessly, and when we returned we were able to view information about the trip. The system even allows you to work out how long you were at your destination. The whole trip can be viewed in an archive featuring speed and position information. You can view events too, such as engine start-up or speeding. It's a very concise, clever package.

Setting off in the car triggers an SMS and email to your chosen recipients. It's near enough instant. On the right, you'll see where we were tracking the device in the post van on route to be delivered to us. Very cool!

Whilst testing, we travelled through rural areas, on motorways and into places that our phone had little or no signal and yet the unit took it all in it's stride. We were very impressed with this fit and forget item.

Related items for sale on eBay

Covert Magnetic Gps Tracker TK104 Tracking Device Car Vehicle Spy Hidden -104
Covert Magnetic Gps Tracker TK104 Tracking Device Car Vehicle Spy Hidden -104
£79.99
104-PRO Gps Tracker Tracking System Car Vehicle Hidden Tracker Magnetic TK104
104-PRO Gps Tracker Tracking System Car Vehicle Hidden Tracker Magnetic TK104
£79.99
Genuine GPS Tracker Magnetic Car Vehicle Personal Tracking Device 102-NANO TK102
Genuine GPS Tracker Magnetic Car Vehicle Personal Tracking Device 102-NANO TK102
£39.99

Verdict

  • Build Quality
    ICON ICON ICON ICON ICON
    5/5
  • Value for Money
    ICON ICON ICON ICON ICON
    5/5
  • Ease of Fitting
    ICON ICON ICON ICON ICON
    5/5
  • FunRover Rating
    ICON ICON ICON ICON ICON
    5/5

14 Comments

  1. John says:

    Seen this at the Land Rover show, brilliant device and will be fitting one to my new truck very soon. Good value.

  2. Adebayo Samuel says:

    Pls i want to know if other tracker device can be use on your software, i mean can other device work with your software?
    Thanks

  3. Wuff Wider says:

    It is because of all of these facilities this unit has why I chose Skytag instead! These facilities are great for employer’s wanting to keep an eye of their employees but it smack’s of Big Brother and besides, do you really need all this information?

    Skytag works on the principle of KISS, Keep It Simple Stupid.

    • John says:

      The big problem with Skytag is you have to wait to find out it is stolen before they try and find it, with this system if tells you there and then, gives you time to do something about it, it also does far more than Skytag and is half the price, no brainer really, well that was my take on it and we had two units one for the Land Rover and one for our Motor Home, both also have switches on the doors so we know if they are opened when we have left the trucks somewhere, it is simple! We ordered on a Monday morning and they were here the next day! Engineer fitted on the Wednesday, a great service and we are very pleased.

  4. Carl says:

    Got one of these for my Landy, Great product Initially, it’s worth the money if it helps to get your Landy back.

  5. David says:

    I bought one of these for my van as I am a self employed builder and was worried about my tools etc. It really is better than I thought, not only do I have security I can now prove to my customers how long I was on site- no more people moaning when it come to pay their invoice. Also my wife can see where I am and what time I will be home.- maybe not everyone wants to do that so dont give her the password 🙂

    really chuffed with it.

  6. Graham says:

    Happy with system but wish they had been up front about running costs. Its not free as they first suggested, clever use of words there, yes you can access the website for free but fat lot of good that is without feeding the sim card. So far I’ve spent about £20 in under 3 months!!!

  7. John says:

    Graham- my SIM was prepaid for 12 months, now had it 9 months and spent nothing on it, it is working fine, I know it will cost me £36.00 again for another whole year. So £3.00 a month which I think is OK.

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  9. simon Turner says:

    Is there an App for my iPad for this system?

  10. Janet Baker says:

    This has all changed now – £72 a year-half for the sim/data and the other half subscription. Even their web site doesn’t make this clear!

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