Bluetooth marker: largely usesless?

Posted by: Bingley

Bluetooth marker: largely usesless? - 03/07/21 04:12 AM

https://guaranteedsurvival.com/products/breadcrumb-bluetooth-marker

It looks like this gadget has a range of up to 150 yards. The range strikes me as too short. The cost also seems too high for something you might lose. Maybe one day they'll come up with a better tracker, but this doesn't seem to be it. What do you guys think?
Posted by: Phaedrus

Re: Bluetooth marker: largely usesless? - 03/07/21 06:28 AM

Looks way too expensive for such limited capability.
Posted by: M_a_x

Re: Bluetooth marker: largely usesless? - 03/07/21 07:52 AM

Itīs a marker not a tracker. The range may be limited even further when there is not a clear line of sight for the radio frequency. I think that range is adequate for the advertised applications. Tracking or finding a missing person is not one of them. Bluetooth is more of a short range technology (you surely noticed that they call 150 yards "long range"). There are better trackers using mobile phone technology or APRS (e. g. the PicoAPRS which has about the size of a matchbox).
I would not buy one of those Breadcrumbs at that price point.
Posted by: Ren

Re: Bluetooth marker: largely usesless? - 03/07/21 01:03 PM

Think there is more capable technology out there?

Like LoRa (short for Long Range) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LoRa low power wide area network stuff. Each device has GPS and a LoRa radio. So each device knows where it is, and can talk to other LoRa devices in range (or out of range as long as there are other LoRa devices to forward on the message).

But not there yet as a usable off the shelf product for regular folk to use.
Most seem to be buy a bare electronics board (<$30) with some soldering possibly required.

There is a Android phone app that allows you to pair your LoRa device with your phone.

https://www.meshtastic.org/
Posted by: chaosmagnet

Re: Bluetooth marker: largely usesless? - 03/07/21 03:21 PM

Getting 150 yards out of a Bluetooth device strikes me as highly unlikely. I would expect more like 20 yards max in the real world.

LoRa is pretty neat but as Ren says it requires significant tech know-how. Unless you have a bunch of tech savvy friends or want to have a number of LoRa devices yourself its use will be sharply limited.

There are ham radio HTs with features that might be more useful — APRS reporting can work for some miles without a repeater, and far longer with one. This requires licensing and expensive equipment.

For worldwide capability without a license exam, something like a SPOT could be a viable option.
Posted by: haertig

Re: Bluetooth marker: largely usesless? - 03/08/21 12:38 AM

Question: What works better at 150 yards, is much cheaper, and does not rely on any technology on the receiving end?

At night: A blinking LED flashlight!

During daytime: A beeping piezolectric buzzer!