Frequently Asked Questions
SIM Prepaid plans and Information - Petrek GPS/3G
Please note that as per our user guides, you are required to make sure the SIM in the tracker whether supplied by us or not needs to be topped up once a year if they are on a prepay plan such as the Pay & Go. If it is not topped up within 13 months after the first top up it will expire and will require a new SIM or sent back to us for a new SIM setup. This will cost $24.99 + Shipping and you will be required to top it up and keep note of it. If you already have a Vodafone online account you can call Vodafone and quote the SIM 021 number and set a pin for adding the number onto your Vodafone online account to keep track of. You can purchase a new SIM + Setup pack here.
We previously partnered up with Skinny mobile for deals with the Petrek 3G to boost rural coverage. However, as prices have increased we have now referred all our Petrek GPS and Petrek 3G units back to Vodafone which costs around $10-20 a year only.
This means all Petrek 3G units will come standard with Vodafone Pay & Go SIM's unless customers specifically ask for Skinny or Spark in which case we recommend that customers find the best deal and send us a SIM for installation and testing before we ship the unit. Going onto a normal Skinny or Spark SIM will set you back $20 for just a few weeks of usage so we recommend that you check and go for the cheapest minimal data prepay pack available (normally $8 a month) or get a Family sharing plan and provide us with a SIM and we can install and setup together with your order.
For Petrek GPS units this will only work on Vodafone SIM. We give customers the option to choose whether they'd like a SIM fitted by us already or if they have their own family sharing plans which they can make free use of.
The SIM is for the trackers and not your phone and does not matter whether your phone is on Vodafone or other networks.
2Degrees mobile has shut off the 2G network which means now it will only work with the Petrek 3G unit while the Petrek GPS unit is limited to Vodafone network only.
We recommand Vodafone Pay & Go plans for all our GPS based trackers.
Full online setup guide with video instructions
If you have recently bought, received or got given a Petrek or PetFinder device you can find the full latest setup guides Here
This includes guides to inserting SIM cards into your Petrek GPS, best SIM plans to use and how to download the app on your Android and iOS (iPhone)
APN Settings Guide - Petrek GPS only
The APN setup enables your Petrek GPS to make use of the data that is available from the SIM card that is activated, credited and inserted. Every Telco company whether in New Zealand or Australia all have different APN codes so make sure you choose the write APN code accordingly.
To setup the APN for your Petrek GPS, you will need your iOS or Android phone, and the phone number of the SIM card that is currently inserted in your Petrek GPS. Make sure your Petrek GPS has power, is on, and make sure it is shaken every 3 minutes so that it does not go to sleep mode.
Now, simply just send a text to your Petrek GPS accordingly to the APN list below and wait for the confirmation reply as shown.
Vodafone – Send text : 510#0000#vodafone
Wait for reply : SETUP OK: APN=vodafone
2degrees – Send text : 510#0000#internet
Wait for reply: SETUP OK: APN=internet
Once done, please restart your Petrek GPS and take your tracker out for a 5-10min walk, set iPet App to urgent mode and wait for an location update.
Telstra – Send Text : 510#0000#telstra.wap
Wait for reply: SETUP OK: APN=telstra.wap
Vodafone AU – Send Text : 510#0000#live.vodafone.com
Wait for reply: SETUP OK: APN=live.vodafone.com
Optus – Send Text : 510#0000#yesinternet
Wait for reply: SETUP OK: APN=yesinternet
Once done, please restart your Petrek GPS and take your tracker out for a 5-10min walk, set iPet App to urgent mode and wait for an location update.
Note: Do not insert Spark/Telecom or Skinny SIM cards, will not work.
If no replies are given, please double check SIM card is activated and has credit and also check by shaking the tracker and giving it a call to see if it picks up or goes to voice mail.
If it goes to voice mail, check to see if Petrek GPS is on, if it’s on, check if SIM card working by inserting into a phone and dialing it out.
If it rings, hangs up but no text reply, check credit as the credit may not have been loaded.
If all fails, please contact your local Petrek Support.
iPet App information
The iPet app works on both iOS and Android based phones.
It is highly recommended that you have a newer phone with at least 1ghz dual core processor and 1gb ram to run smoothly.
There are some slight differences on the iPet App between the iOS and Android, mainly in history location. Android devices can show a heat map while iOS cannot due to iOS using their own maps.
Settings: (the three dots on top right corner)
LBS location – We highly recommend this to be UN-ticked to save confusion. LBS appears as a purpleicon when there is completely no GPS signal, which happens when your pet enter indoors or into a fully sealed vehicle. When this happens the tracker will look for nearest cell towers and triangulate accordingly to the signal strength. The location given off by this can be anywhere from 50 metres to 8 km accuracy. So we recommend LBS disabled and just wait for your pet to be near a window or outside where there is GPS signal.
Alarm settings – This is required if you’d like to be alerted via notifications on your smartphones for when your Petrek GPS requires charging or when your pet triggers the Geo-Fencing/parameter alarm. Once ticked you can choose the notification/alarm sounds that you want via your smartphone’s own setting menu under “notifications”
Note that for iPhones your Alarm notification settings is under "Geo-fence settings" and "Enable notification"
Geo-Fencing / Parameter alarm: (Slide left menu/ or press top right icon)
Once Geo-fencing is set, you can easily move the circle parameter around via putting your finger on the centre grey pin point and then move the circle around. This is particularly useful especially if your pet normally escapes through one area whether it’s the front door and back fence. You can move the line of the circle to just outside of that fence etc so you may get alerted earlier. the + – logo on the outer circle can be used to adjust the diameter.
Note:Parameter alarms are triggered depending on the update modes. If on urgent you will get an alert within 30 seconds provided there is GPS and GSM reception. If on normal mode you will be alerted within 5-10 minutes depending on when the pet leaves the parameter after it’s last update. If on Power saving mode it will alert you every 2 hours should the Petrek find your pet outside the parameter on that update interval, provided there is GPS + GSM signal at the time of update. When in power saving mode, the App will immediately change to normal tracking mode, provided there is relevant signals at the time.
False alarms can be triggered from time to time due to sway/weak GPS signals so if this is the case please extend your Geo-fencing circle.
We highly recommend using Normal mode on the first month if you have a naughty pet that moves very fast. Only use Power saving mode when you know your pet’s territory and where it goes during the day.
Searching Mode: (location update frequency)
Urgent mode = 30 seconds, battery life = 7-9 (or 6 - 8 hours for Petrek 3G) hours depending on GPS and GSM reception and your pet’s activeness. Best used only in an emergency when you need to zero in on your pet.
Normal mode = 5-10 min, battery life = 14-20 (or 8-12 hours on Petrek 3G) Hours depending on GPS and GSM reception and your pet’s activeness. Best used for naughty dogs that do wander off frequently or when you want to have a good idea of where your cat roams during the day.
Power saving mode = 2 hours, battery life = 3-8 days depending on GPS (2-4 days for Petrek 3G) and GSM reception and your pet’s activeness. Best used for pets you have tracked for few weeks and have learned their patterns and where they normally wander or visit. You can set a Geo-fencing parameter in the area and still get alerted if they decide to go further than they normally do one day, this will switch to normal mode if it is triggered to help you get them back quicker, you can also change to urgent mode immediately.
Icon signs on the map:
Exclamation mark / sign :
Means the tracker is indoor or under thick shelter with no GPS reception whatsoever and very minimal GSM reception. This means you will need to be patient and wait until your pet comes out of where ever he/she is hiding. Sometimes a tracker can be lost under a house and this will make it very hard to find. So we recommend that in this case if your pet has come back without it's collar or tracker, look at the location history and look for a pattern or the last updated location with good GPS signal.
This means The tracker has GSM signal and/or GPS but the there is no movement detected
This means the tracker has certain GPS signal and is updating it's location based ont he GPS signal given. Important part here is to always check GPS signal stregnth so you can determine if it's a weak/inaccurate update or excellent/more accurate location update.
Cell tower sign:
This means the tracker has good GSM/Mobile reception but has no GPS signal whatsoever, so the tracker is very likely indoor or under shelte. As soon as the tracker is out into the open or near a window it should update again.
Sometimes after a update your pet may roam into an area with completely no GSM signal, if this happens you will not get any sort of update and the icon will just stay on whatever mode it was in before. The tracker will not send any updates to the app so the user will need to be patient and wait for the tracker to get into somewhere with signal again. There are cases where pets have been lost and found later on and cases where pet's are stolen and the tracker destroyed. The tracker can only do so much with the current technology so it is vital for the user to understand that we can only help track your pet if there is the relevant signals available.
Note: If you are in power saving mode, as it will be doing it’s best to save power, you may have to wait up to 2 hours for the tracker to adjust to another searching mode. If you have your Petrek GPS around you can change the setting immediately by turn the tracker off and on after changing the search mode. If your pet is missing, just set Geo-fencing parameter alarm, and set to urgent first and wait for notification. As long as tracker is charged prior you will get an update within 2 hours or less, in most cases normally within 1 hour.
Petrek GPS/3G Battery Life
Below is an idea of how long your batteries can last on the modes available.Note these are tested under the condition the tracker has good reception and outdoor at all times. If the tracker spends a lot of time under shelter or indoor it will hunt harder for signal and thus decrease battery life under the rated hours below.
Urgent mode = 30 seconds, battery life = 7-9 hours (Petrek GPS) 5-7 hours (Petrek 3G) depending on GPS/GSM reception and your pet’s activeness. Best used only in an emergency when you need to zero in on your pet.
Normal mode = 5-10 min, battery life = 14-20 Hours(Petrek GPS) 7-10 Hours (Petrek 3G) depending on GPS and GSM reception and your pet’s activeness. Best used for naughty dogs that do wander off frequently or when you want to have a good idea of where your cat roams during the day.
Power saving mode = 2 hours, battery life = 3-8 days (Petrek GPS) 2-4 Days (Petrek 3G) depending on GPS and GSM reception and your pet’s activeness. Best used for pets you have tracked for few weeks and have learned their patterns and where they normally wander or visit. You can set a Geo-fencing parameter in the area and still get alerted if they decide to go further than they normally do one day, this will switch to normal mode if it is triggered to help you get them back quicker, you can also change to urgent mode immediately.
Note: Battery life can change significantly depending on usage and reception. In bad reception areas the Petrek GPS will constantly search for better signal and thus use more power and reduce battery life. If in a area with good reception while with less active pet the battery life will be extend further. If your pet stays indoors frequently the battery will decrease faster.
My Petrek GPS/3G is not giving me an accurate location?
There are many factors to this, first you must understand how the Petrek GPS/3G work, the limitations of it as well as limitations of GPS and GSM reception. In a nutshell, GPS signal is most accurate when directly under the sky, but can also be detected from 1 level homes and/or near indoor windows. Some areas may have worse signal than others so understanding and looking at the GPS signal before searching for your cat or dog is very important. Before using the tracker it is advised to best take your tracker for a walk round your house/area or even a drive to the grocery store to see what your area's accuracy is like. When a GPS Tracker wakes up from sleep mode or goes from indoor to outdoor they do require 3-4 updates before it locks onto 5-6 satellites in space to start providing more accurate updates.
If in doubt in regards to your tracker's accuracy, always do a road test, have it in urgent mode and drive it away on your next grocery run. This way you can confirm whether the product will work when your dog or cat truly wanders far away. On every update, ALWAYS check the GPS signal strength before determining it's accuracy. If you are finding that most of the time it is struggling to update correctly within the specified distance (i.e within 30 metres even with Excellent GPS) outside your house but updates fine as long as you drive out of your property then this is normally a GSM or GPS reception issue round the property.
There are certain areas that can beam off a signal from up to 100 metres or even 300 meters when GPS signal is weak. However when a cat or dog starts moving the accuracy will increase as GPS trackers work best when they are actually moving. You may get some inaccurate readings in your backyard too especially when the tracker is wedged between the neck and the ground. So you'll find when your dog or cat is sleeping right against the house wall, fence or ground the GPS signal will likely not be in "excellent" and thus will be a bit off depending on where they are currently resting.
The Petrek GPS & 3G also heavily relies on Google map accuracy in the area because each location is planted on Google Map. Google map is quite accurate in most areas but also can be up to 20-30 metres off incertain places or even up to 30-40 metres off in new development areas or rural areas. So how accurate the tracker is really depends on
1) GPS Signal strength
2) Google Map accuracy in your area
3)Your area's environmental surroundings/density.
4)If your cat or dog liked to brush their body up against walls, grounds. Trackers getting wedged between their neck and the ground/wall can effect accuracy significantly but normally stabilises after few updates.
For iPet App users:
Please go to “settings” on the top right corner of the app and un-tick LBS mode, this means the Petrek GPS will only update if there is GPS signal. Read the LBS mode below if you like to understand what LBS location means.
On each location update, press and bring out the menu/status bar from the bottom and you will see GPS Signal and GSM signal. GPS is important for location accuracy while GSM (mobile reception) you don’t have to worry too much about.
Under the GPS signal there is four settings:
No GPS = Tracker is under thick shelter, soil etc - Stay patient and wait
Weak = Indoors, accuracy = 30 – 60+ Metres (In extreme cases up to 1km off)
Normal = Under light shelter or hilly terrain, accuracy = 15-35 Metres
Excellent = Outdoors under clear sky, accuracy = 0.5 – 30 Metres +
If your area seem to have poor reception or poor Google Map accuracy, it does not mean you cannot make use of the tracker. You can walk around your area and learn where the bad inaccurate spots are and adapt. So for example, if your tracker is in the garage or by the garage and it's showing 50 metres down the driveway, this means in the future if it shows in that spot again you know the cat is actually by the garage etc.
Please note the Petrek GPS has larger antennas so if you require more accuracy in areas with poorer signals we recommend the Petrek GPS over the 3G unit.
Will the Petrek GPS work without GPS or GSM signals?
The GPS receiver in the Petrek GPS works much like your trusty GPS car navigation, take it inside the house and it would in most cases lose GPS reception. So if your pet happens to be under a house, building or anywhere that can cover the tracker from the sky chances are it won’t receive any GPS reception.
So how will the Petrek GPS find it’s location? It can either search for the nearest cell tower and give you an location idea (If LBS mode is enabled in iPet App) if not, wait for your pet to come out from under the shelter, they normally do sooner or later.
If there is no GSM cellphone signal, you won't get an update either, but chances are they will wander by somewhere that has signal and you will get an update almost within 10-20 seconds.
If I microchip my pet, can I find out where it is?
Unfortunately not, a microchip does not have any sort of “location tracking” based technology in it. It is simply a hidden address tag that helps animal shelters, vets and RSPCA etc identify who the pet belongs to when found. A GPS Tracker requires too many components to be able to be made small enough to fit into a chip, on top of that it requires charging, you don't want to plug your cat into the wall socket every night do you?
Why does a radio frequency tracker have such a short range?
This depends! On the market today are 2 types of Radio Frequency trackers. One normally used on pig hunting dogs and the other for domestic pets. The one used on pig hunting dogs use VHF and are rather bulky with external antennas, these can track up to 11 kilometres. In some countries like New Zealand, these VHF bands used are illegal as they are used for emergencies by the Government.
Lintek RF trackers are smaller domestic trackers running on 2.4GHz RF (Zigbee) which is legal. The downside to the 2.4GHz compared with VHF is the tracking distance but positive being the 2.4GHz is a lot smaller. In saying that, 2.4GHz RF trackers such as our Wi-Leash can still track up to 100 metres, 300 metres for the PetFinder LR and 500 metres for the PetFinder Multi (Based on direct line of sight.
Domestic RF trackers are great to have because they cover the average suburban area and can also act as a proximity alarm to keep your pets close by.
What if my cat or dog comes home without their collar?
If you have a Petrek GPS or 3G, both these devices have clips and fitments made to come off under stress. This means if your cat or dog gets stuck on a fence, tree or in a rabbit hole the tracker will break off to prevent your pet from being strangulated. If your tracker falls off say on a fence, you will likely get good GPS signal and be able to get within 5-10 metres of the device. If you see no GPS is weak GPS signal on the last update, this means your tracker has broken off under a shelter, indoors, or inside a rabbit hole. Unfortunately this means the chances of salvaging your tracker becomes much lower. So best thing to do here is search history and see where the last few updates are. Try and fine a pattern to it, was it heading towards west? East? or South? Look around the area in that certain direction. As menioned in our T&C if you have a lost tracker we will not be liable and will not be able to send you a replacement. However, contact us and we will provide a special discount for returning customers.
If you have a PetFinder, Provided the transmitter tag on the collar is switched on and is still within range of the remote unit you will be able to start tracking down via signal strength. When within 10-20 metres you can switch to mute mode and zero in by beeping sounds coming from the tag when required.
If you are out of range, simply start walking in the areas where you normally take your dogs for a walk as dogs tend to wander in their own territory especially if they are taken out for walks often. If you have a cat start by walking in a 200 metre radius round your house. Chances are if your cat is is out and about it’s normally within the 200 metre boundary, simply keep walking until the remote unit gets an connection within it’s range.
My Petrek is giving me false Geo-fencing alarms
There is a few reasons as to why your tracker might be sending you some false such as having a faulty tracker, weak GPS signal, Google map inaccuracy in your area or both. The most common cause is weak GPS signal, because as you'll read while going through our guides and important notes you'll read that when the tracker is indoor, under shelter, wedged between your pet's neck and the ground or wall the tracker will likely get a weak GPS signal. Which means inaccuracy of up to 200m or more will occur from time to time as the tracker works best when it's out and on the move.
If you set the Geo-Fencing zone too close to home what happens is every time your tracker is indoor where GPS signal is weak, the tracker will only be able to get a signal from whatever signal is being bounced in through a window. This can usually end up with a location outside the Geo-fencing zone. Some areas with bad signals can bounce from up to and over 200 metres away.
So the best way to reduce false alarms is simply move the Geo-fence out a little at a time until the false alarms becomes minimal. Unfortunately due to current technology limitations associated with small GPS tracking devices this is a common characteristic for small size GPS trackers. This is why in our online guide we stress that if Geo-fence is triggered always check the GPS signal strength, if it shows “Excellent” and you see a pattern of your cat or dog moving in one certain direction then you should switch to urgent mode and start walking towards the same direction.
If you find when the tracker isn’t accurate even when out in the open please get in touch with us and our technicians will do a full inspection for you. Ideally to make sure your tracker will work when it's needed the most, switch to urgent mode and put it in the car on your next grocery run to confirm that it tracks majority of the route you drove on. If it does not, contact us so we can get a full inspection and repair done for you.
Do the trackers give off any radiation?
In short, yes they do, but do they harm anything? Not one bit! All Lintek Radio frequency and GPS Trackers have been CE (Europe compliance) and FCC (American compliance) approved. Meaning we have had to send everything we make to their international testing labs and go through up to 150 pages of safety tests and checks.
This is simply to make sure that all of our products are 100% safe to be used on and by anything! The radiation levels given by our trackers are next to none compared to the average cellphone humans use today!
How long does the battery life on the RF Trackers last and they waterproof?
The batteries in the Wi-Leash and PetFinders use small CR2032 button batteries which are cheap to replace and can last up to 90 days depending on model and usage. If you leave it on every day and it is being triggered every day, it may only last a few weeks or less. Both The Wi-Leash, PetFinder LR and PetFinder Multi all come with a silicone splash case(s) for the transmitter tag(s), so are resistant against rain and water splashes but are not submersible, e.g not to be used for swimming.
What if I use more than one RF or GPS Tracker? Will there be interference?
Have more than one pets? Want to purchase more than one RF or GPS tracker to track them all? No worries!
Lintek’s RF trackers have over 20000 unique IDs so the chances of you tracking the wrong pet is miniscule!
As for GPS trackers, well they are like mini smartphones for your pets. You simply insert a SIM card in as many GPS trackers as you like and you can dial the number of whichever tracker you are after for a location. GPS trackers won’t ever interfere with each other and have no limits, you just require a unique mobile number for each.
Can Radio Frequency based trackers give off false alarms?
Indeed! The most common reason for this is radio frequency signals like to bounce off metal and concrete while normal human bodies can also absorb RF signals (not in any way harmful!)
Hence at times if your pet walks behind a wall or 2 that might give off a few chirps! Simply treat it as a reminder to keep an eye on your pet but do expect a chirp here and there at times because unfortunately this is the characteristics of a Radio frequency based tracker.
Why is My Petrek GPS/3G not updating or responding even when its turned on?
Note: We find the most common causes of the Petrek GPS/3G not updating or replying is due to users forgetting to check their SIM card credit. Below is a summary of all other possibilities.
1) Sleep/standby mode – Your Petrek unit has not moved for 3 minutes so it is saving power.
2) SIM card is not activated or has been disconnected
3) No GSM reception, much like someone calling your phone in a no network area.
4) Telco cell tower error - Wait a few hours and attempt again or drive to another area.
8) Cell tower overloaded in area (happens in some areas during Christmas/New Year)
9) No credit on the SIM card – Check and make sure you register your SIM card online for this very reason!
10) No GPS signal, make sure it's not indoor.
Ideally, if you know you have credit, the tracker charges, turns on and off without issue then try putting your Petrek in the vehicle and take it with you on yout next supermarket visit and have it on urgent mode. See if your tracker starts updating. If it does, this means your area lacks the mobile reception requires for the tracker to work.