Pet Monitoring/Tracking and Locating System
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- Simple to setup and use, single button-push to begin searching for lost pets with real-time distance and direction feedback
- Simultaneous monitoring of up to 3 pets with 4 programmable "safety zone" areas for each pet
- Works anywhere, totally self-contained, no GPS or cell network required, no monthly service contracts, ideal for traveling with your pets
- Rechargeable lithium-ion battery on pets collar lasts up to 90 days while being continuously monitored
- Saves hundreds of dollars over product lifetime when compared to subscription-based solutions
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The Marco Polo system includes a hand-held portable locator, a collar tag, charger, quick start and user guides. Up to two additional collar tags can be added (sold separately) to allow monitoring and tracking of up to three pets. Collar tags weigh only 1.75 ounces and are suitable for use on pets 10 lbs and larger. Marco Polo's unique tag addressing scheme ensures no interference with other Marco Polo systems. New tags can be added to a system at any time. The ultra-long battery life (up to 3 months) and no monthly services fees provide you with years of hassle-free, cost-free peace of mind. Compared to subscription-based products, Marco Polo will save you hundreds of dollars over the life of the system. When searching for your pet, Marco Polo acts like a personal radar system, scanning every inch of the surrounding area, including the interiors of homes and backyards. The system range is up to 2 miles in open conditions but, as with any 2-way radio system, varies with terrain and obstructions. If your pet is outside the system’s range you can continuously scan hundreds of acres of surrounding area as you drive or walk around. Once within range of your pet the Marco Polo locator will guide you directly to their exact location, within inches if necessary, even if they are injured or hiding. Select one of four safety zone ranges for your pet (in typical areas, smallest range is a 50 ft. radius). Receive warnings in less than 80 seconds when your pet wanders. Marco Polo is the perfect solution for protecting your pets while traveling. Your pet’s selected safety zone follows you as you move. No internet or cellular access is needed so you can take your pets with you to the most remote locations, knowing that you will be alerted quickly if they wander and easily track them if they become lost. With the peace of mind that Marco Polo provides you can read a book or take a nap knowing that your pets are being continually watched over.
Please refer the user manual for the instructions to use.
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We have very spotty cell service, so a system that uses cell signals was no good. We looked at GPS-based systems but they were pretty expensive and we don't have any other GPS systems. The Marco Polo system is self-contained, with one radio transmitter/receiver for me and one for the dog's collar. It works great for us! The instructions say "Up to 2 miles", but in our hilly, wooded terrain, it goes about 500 yards in the hilliest direction and about a mile in the flattest direction, through the woods. If we let Jack out, day or night, the system is in "Monitor" mode and is set up to alarm at about 1/2 mile, which is as far as we ever want him to go. If it alarms, I can immediately switch to "Track", and it will point to where he is. You can tell by the signal at 4-second intervals whether he is moving toward you or away, and know whether to call him or go fetch him. After a little experience, I can tell exactly where he is by the direction arrow and the signal strength.
He knows now that if he gets to a certain point on the farm, that I will show up and take him home, gently telling him that he is NOT to roam and I'm not happy with him. As a result, it has only happened twice in two months, and we are confident that the system will track him well enough for us to protect him from his instincts, and allow us to train him not to do it.
In other words "It does what it says on the tin"!
I have looked far and wide and squandered many $ looking for suitable technology:
Bluetooth based such as " Smead Stick-N-Find Bluetooth Location Tracker"
Pros: makes a beep sound when you ask it to.
Cons: very short range, not water proof and they can dangle right into a water bowl.
Pros: Nice blue dot on a map on your phone. Very cool.
Cons: Expensive, particularly as they need a monthly service fee. Poor battery life.
IMPORTANT, they fail if cat has crawled under something after being hurt, or like my cats, have spent a night in the house of a well-meaning neighbor.
This unit is based on radio technology not unlike what is used by professional field biologists. ( I actually looked into buying pro equipment . . .v. expensive). The unit is tolerated by both of my cats including the one that weighs only 9lbs. You find your cat by monitoring changes in signal strength and you get a crude directional arrow that is accurate to about +/- 45 degrees. More than adequate.
1) Great range. I didn't test its limits, but I walked about a 1500ft from my home (with cats inside my house) and still had enough signal. If they go further than that, I would probably jump in my car and drive around until I got a signal.
2) Customer support. I had a problem with my first receiver. They answer their phone AND they shipped me a new unit before I had even returned the old one.
3) Charge lasts for weeks. (I haven't put that to a real test, as I am paranoid and recharge each week when the units are reporting between 50-90% remaining charge. It’s just a crude indicator light)
1) Tags for the animals have reasonable build quality (although see item 2), the receiver unit, not so much. I haven't had any problems, but it doesn't feel like the receiver would take much abuse such as being dropped accidently.
2) Antenna points downward and protrudes. Cats like to crawl under stuff like fences etc. I have already had an antenna cover break off. Epoxied it back on and all has been well, but I'm sure it will break off again from time to time.
3) Tag is serious ugly. They have missed the Johnny Ives revolution.
My comments based on some of the negative reviews:
1) Range was fine for me.
2) Definitely try the unit several times during the warranty period. Given the device's purpose, it is easy to just turn it on and forget about it. The build quality is really not great, so test test test.
Suggestions for future units:
1) Add the capacity to make the unit chime (like the stick-N-find). Once the current unit is at 100% signal strength, the cats can still be 50 ft away. An injured, silent cat under a bush would be hard to find. I have experienced this indirectly when trying to find the unit after my cats came home without their break-away collars on!
2) Construct the tag in such away that the antenna is not protruding downward and the unit is not so unsightly. Assuming the total volume of such a new tag would have to match the volume of the old tag, I'd love to see an arc shaped tag integrated into the collar. The arc could take up from 20% to 50% ( even 100%) of a circle around the cats neck. It would rest under the cats neck, and the antenna could then either be integrated into the collar, or point upwards on the side instead of down. (If it is part of the collar, the weight could even be increased a bit if absolutely necessary.
3) Can a smaller unit be made? Given the very long battery life, I would happily accept a smaller unit that would need to be recharged more often.
Previously, I have tried GPS systems. They work great when they work but the companies that "support" them have been TERRIBLE. I was going to get a new one, but couldn't find one that anybody likes. So, I tried the Marco Polo.
Radio frequency units like Marco Polo have limited range unlike GPS. But my current dogs don't go far. I had a dog that would run 20 miles away in a thunderstorm but he is old now. So the short range seems enough.
GPS units also come with monthly cell fees.
So...back to Marco Polo...
....It sort of works like it is supposed to
... the battery lasts for awhile (not sure how long...but quite a few days)
... you get better at it the more you use it. So practice a few times.
... the display is terrible. Looks like 1993 technology. I was out looking the other night with a flashlight and reading glasses so I could see it.
... the signal can get blocked easily. My dog was sleeping in the yard and the alarm went off because the unit couldn't get a signal from the unit. It had slipped under her and she was asleep blocking the signal. She saw me, lifted her head and I got 99%
... range is highly variable so you have no idea how far away the dog is. Depends on obstacles, hill buildings, etc
... One day, I just got random signals. I would get 37% and over there...then 29% and that way. Then 66% and north. Then 33% and south. I finally found the dog and the unit said 37% and pointed away from the dog. I rebooted and it worked the next day.
... the charger is unlike any other...so you need YET ANOTHER CHARGER. And it is very fragile. We bent one.