IDC Ecco Personal
Points the way, literally
Review Forgotten where you parked your car? Lost your hotel, tent or even family and friends? For the terminally disorientated, the Ecco Personal Pocket GPS Locator is designed to put you back on track. Indeed, this hi-tech key fob proves to be more than just the novelty item that it first appears.
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Designed for rough handling, a rugged, hard black plastic exterior protects the inner workings and a robust metal loop provides the means to attach it to a key ring or belt loop. The whole unit is a little on the big side for a key fob, but it doesn’t feel too heavy in the pocket.
The unit works by connecting to the Global Positioning System (GPS) and the little beastie is capable of tracking up to 32 satellites and can operate over a distance of 9999 miles. Charging options are versatile enough, hooking up to anything that will provide juice using a USB port. There’s also mains power, a 12V vehicle charger option, and a 5V auxiliary power pack available. Thoughtfully, the low battery warning doesn’t wait until the unit is nearly drained but kicks in when it is about 25 per cent empty.
The internal battery needs a charge cycle of two hours and then lasts a reported five hours in constant use and around eight days in standby. These times are pretty accurate and we found actually were a little on the cautious side. In standby, we discovered the system could last up to twelve days without too much trouble.
Once the charge cycle is complete, you press the power on/off for around three seconds and the unit begins to acquire the satellite data it needs to work. This is supposed to take is around 60 seconds, however, we found this varied considerably depending on where you are standing and your proximity to building/trees, especially tall ones.
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If you are inside, the unit often struggles to get a signal at all. To maximise its accuracy, the device has to be calibrated at the start of its life or when it is taken further than 100 miles or 161km. We found it was worth calibrating even without moving that type of distance, just to maintain a good level of accuracy. To calibrate you press a series of buttons on the unit as instructed in the manual, turn around 180° and turn the unit from its front onto its back and then back again.
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