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RockSTAR User Guide

Below is the content of the RockSTAR user guide. If you require a PDF copy for download, please find it at the end / bottom of the article.


IN THIS ARTICLE

  1. Using the Device, the Basics
    1. Orientation, Set-up and Key Features
      1. User Interface
      2. Orientation
      3. Powering the Unit
      4. Charging

  2. Features and Facilities
    1. Operating Modes
      1. Deactivated
      2. Deactivated
      3. Accessing the menu

    2. The Alert button
    3. Accessing Settings
      1. Tracking Options
      2. Alert Options
      3. Advanced Options

  3. Battery Life Expectations
  4. Device Maintenance
  5. Fault Finding and Support
  6. Helpdesk and Support Details



Using the Device, the Basics

Orientation, Set-up and Key Features




User Interface

Out in the field, the RockSTAR can be controlled in two ways:

  • Using the TP CONNECT App
  • Using RockSTAR's integrated menu system

The user interface consists of a mono display (2) and 6 buttons - one alert button (3) and five navigation buttons (5).


The device is designed to be used in conjunction with either:

  • YBlog system, designed for individual/consumer use.
  • The comprehensive Core management system, designed for corporate use.

The behaviour of many features of your device, including the alert features, is configured by changing settings in integrated menu system, the TP CONNECT App.


Orientation

Your RockSTAR is equipped with both Iridium (1) & GPS (4) antennas located at the top of your casing. For best results when in use, it is important to be mindful of the orientation of your device. To ensure a good satellite signal, the antennae should be clear of obstructions and have a clear view of the sky.


Examples of obstructions include a heavily wooded area, or the inside of a vehicle or building.

Environments such as these offer very little, if any, view of the sky. In these instances, it would be best to reposition your device so that it can have a clear view of the sky, such as in a clearing, on the dashboard or rear window of a car or on a windowsill.


Once switched on, your device will try to obtain a GPS signal. The time taken to obtain a signal will vary from a few minutes when the device has never/seldom been used, to a few seconds when the device is regularly used.


Powering the Unit

We recommend charging the internal battery for a minimum of 8 hours before first use. Your RockSTAR can be charged from any USB-compatible charging device, although the provided charger should be used whenever possible.


Input Voltage

USB (5v)
Power consumptionTx/Rx: 8W Max
BatteryLiPo cells, 5.3Ah
Power I/OUSB
ChargingUSB 5Vdc @ ~1100mA*


The USB charger supplied with your tracker is capable of outputting 2100mA. While the tracker does not require all of this, it's worth noting that USB ports on your computer and on some other mains adapters may not output sufficient power to charge properly.


Charging

To charge the RockSTAR:

  • Connect the charger to a wall outlet
  • Attach the USB cable to the charger
  • Unscrew the cap from the bottom to reveal the USB port
  • Plug the USB cable into the USB port on the bottom of the device
  • When charging, the LED on the front of the RockSTAR's keypad will flash red.



Note: If left plugged in, the battery will automatically cycle between around 90% and 100%. This is done to protect the health of the Lithium Ion battery inside, and maintain the device's battery life.


The estimated time to fully charge the device is 7 to 8 hours. The device can be used whilst charging, however, the charging cycle will complete faster if the device is deactivated.


The device can be used with a partially charged battery. When your device is ready for use, you can turn it on by pressing and holding the OK button for 5 seconds.


Features and Facilities

Operating Modes

Deactivated

When the RockSTAR is deactivated, the OLED display will show the date on the top left and the current battery percentage on the top right. ‘NOT ACTIVE’ is displayed on the centre of the display.


In this mode, the Device will not transmit or receive any position reports or messages. This is the equivalent of ‘Flight Mode’ and is suitable for transport.


To activate the device, press and hold down the "OK" button.


Activated

When Activated, the RockSTAR will show the logo on the home screen. The display will automatically turn itself off after a predefined interval (default is 20 seconds) in order to save battery power. To wake up the screen, simply press any key and the following information will be displayed:

  • In/Out – How many messages are waiting to be read, or are waiting to be sent
  • Battery power (% of battery remaining)
  • Status – what the tracker is currently doing
    • Status of Bluetooth (On/Off) - The Bluetooth symbol is displayed if Bluetooth is on.
    • Status of the GPS (On/Off) - A "G" is displayed if GPS is active.
    • Status of the Iridium Connect (Active/Inactive) - An "I" is displayed if an Iridium connection is active.

With Tracking set to On, the RockSTAR will automatically send position reports and send/receive messages as per its current settings. 

With Tracking set to Off, the RockSTAR will only send position reports and send/receive messages manually.


Pressing the UP or DOWN button while at the home screen will also display the details of the last position report.


Accessing the menu

The menu is navigated using the OK, UP, DOWN and LEFT keys. Text input section screens will also utilise the RIGHT key, but this is not used for menu navigation.


From the home screen of an active device, press the OK key to enter the main menu. Navigate up and down the menu options using the UP and DOWN keys, press OK to enter a sub-menu or select an option. Pressing LEFT once will go back one step in the menu, pressing left repeatedly will continue to go back through the menu all the way to the home screen.


The Alert button

The Alert button is located under the flap at the bottom of the RockSTAR unit as shown in the picture below.


To trigger an alert, lift the flap and hold down the Alert button for 5 seconds. The screen will display Sending Alert and the device will try to transmit an alert message.


If you are in an alert situation, ensure that you give your alert the best possible chance of sending by considering the orientation of the device. Ensure it has a good view of the sky, or as good a view as is possible. The better the view of the sky, the more likely it is that your alert will be received.

To send a distress cancellation and resume normal tracking; navigate to the Alerts menu by pressing OK and scrolling to Alerts and pressing OK




Message Menu

New Message

From this menu, you can choose to send a new preset message.


Messages sent using the RockSTAR will go to your chosen destinations which are pre-setup using either your YBlog (individual customers) or back office system (corporate customers).


You can choose whether you would like an acknowledgement from the recipient and if you wish to send the message immediately (or if not, the message will be sent on the next scheduled transmission).


When you are finished choosing/writing your message, pressing OK will put the message into the outbound queue ready to send.


Remember - if you chose the ‘Send Immediately’ option then the RockSTAR will try to send straight away. If not, then the unit will queue the message and attempt to send it at the same time as the next scheduled position report.


Freetext

You can also send free text messages, using a ‘pinball style’ on-screen keyboard. Note, we do not recommend this for long messages!! To do this, go into free text, use the left/right/up/down buttons to move around the keyboard, and press LEFT and RIGHT together to choose a letter. When you have finished, choose EXIT to confirm and send your message.


As mentioned, this is NOT an efficient way to send long messages, and we would suggest either pairing with a smartphone/tablet or using preset messages where possible.


Inbox

This page allows you to cycle through messages received on the RockSTAR. You can choose if you wish to delete messages, or reply to them.


Message details shown are the date/time, source, and message itself.


Sent items

This page allows you to cycle through messages sent from the Device. You can choose if you wish to delete messages. Message details shown are the date/time, destination, and the message itself. The Device will also indicate if the message was successfully sent, and if it was acknowledged (if an acknowledgement was requested).


Outbox

This page allows you to cycle through messages waiting in the queue to be sent. You can review these messages and delete them from the outbox if you change your mind and do not wish to send them anymore. From the outbox, you can also force an immediate retry-send of all messages waiting to be sent.


Inbox checking

This setting can be used to force the RockSTAR to check for new messages every X minutes. It is set by default to Off. Be aware, inbox checking uses up credits just like normal position reports.


A normal tracking report also checks for new messages, so you do not need both Tracking and Inbox Checking set to ON. You will use up twice as much credit if you have both items turned on.


Remove all

If you want to clear all old messages from your inbox and sent items then you can do so using this option.


Custom Preset Message Lists

It is possible to customize the preset message list on your RockSTAR, to better suit your own personal needs. Facilities and instructions to do this can be found in your YBlog admin panel (for individual customers) and in the back-office system (for Corporate customers)


Sending Messages to your RockSTAR

Every Device has its own e-mail address which you would have been provided with at registration.


People can send emails to this address, and those emails will be forwarded through to your RockSTAR and picked up at the next transmission. New messages will go into the Inbox.


Any messages you send from your RockSTAR to e-mail contacts will also come from this e-mail address, and people can reply directly to those emails as well. Similarly, people can reply to any text messages they receive from your RockSTAR and these replies will also be routed through.


Note: Only registered contacts are allowed to send you emails – to add contacts to your ‘allowed’ list, use My TracPlus to add the email address to the white list.


Waypoints

Mark Waypoint

Using this feature you can mark interesting points and send them to the back office for display. Choosing ‘Mark Waypoint’ will allow you to choose the type of waypoint, and the system will then take a GPS fix and transmit the waypoint to the back office.


Custom Way-points lists

It is possible to customize the waypoint type list on your RockSTAR, to better suit your own personal needs. Facilities and instructions to do this can be found in the back-office system.


Accessing Settings

To configure the RockSTAR unit, please download the TP Connect for iOS app from Apple App Store.


Through TP Connect, you can configure your device’s settings, transmit forms and send/receive text messages via email, SMS or TracPlus software. There will be some differences between what you have available in the menu depending upon what device type you are connected to. 


Using the TP Connect app

First, you need to make sure Bluetooth is enabled on your iPhone or iPad. Go into the "Settings" area, and check that Bluetooth is ‘ON.’ The RockSTAR will need to have the Bluetooth set to "App" from the main menu. 


When you first download and open TP Connect, it will ask you to choose a device to connect to. Please tap the ‘Start’ button on the "Discover Devices" screen. Once you have connected for the first time, TP Connect will remember which device you connected to the previous time and will automatically connect to it the next time.


PIN Code

The default PIN is 1234. Here you can set a PIN code to access the device and configuration options using the app.


GPS Wakeup time

By default, the unit will wake up 20 seconds before the automatic position reporting time, in order to obtain a GPS fix before transmission. In challenging conditions, or where visibility of the sky is limited, it may be required to increase this wakeup time to allow the GPS more time to get a fix.

Options range from 20 seconds to 3 minutes. By increasing this time, battery life will be decreased.


Send Config

This menu option will prompt the device to send a configuration report detailing its current setup to our systems for support purposes. Your device will automatically do this every time it is activated, so you only really need to use this option if asked to by a support engineer.


Further information can be found on our Knowledge Base (tracplus.freshdesk.com).


Tracking Options

To access the tracking, alert and advance settings, open TP Connect app. Connect to the device (when prompted Pin: 1234 - to access the device) then Go to Configure section and tap on Custom (which will ask for another Pin: 4321) which will show you these options.


Tracking Status On / Off

Choosing this option allows you to turn the automatic position reporting on or off. When turned on,  the device will automatically obtain a GPS fix and transmit it at a set frequency.  


Report Frequency

Using this option the frequency of automatic position reporting can be viewed and set. Options range from ‘Continuous’ which will obtain and send reports as quickly as possible, to 12 hours, allowing for  2 automatic reports per day. There is also a BURST mode.  


Burst Setting

Burst mode allows the device to collect many GPS reports, in order to get more accurate tracking information but to send them as a batch in order to keep airtime costs down. For example, the device can collect a GPS fix every 5 seconds, and then transmit those positions once per minute.


To set burst mode, in the Report Frequency you need to choose Burst. Then, in the Burst Settings menu, you can choose how often you wish to take a fix (Burst fix) and how often you wish to transmit  (Burst transmit).


NOTE: This mode will use power more quickly than other tracking modes, since GPS is kept on all of the time. 


Although airtime costs are reduced using burst mode, depending on your settings you may use more than 1 credit per transmission. 1 credit will pay for up to 3 positions inside a single fix. So, for example, if you are taking a position every 5 minutes, and transmitting every 15 minutes (so 3 fixes transmitted), this will cost 1 credit per transmission. If you take a position every 5 minutes and transmit every 30 minutes (so 6 fixes transmitted), this would cost 2 credits per transmission. 


Activity Sense

When Activity Sense is active, and activity is detected, the device will switch to using Burst Mode settings. When no activity is detected, the normal Report Frequency is used. 


Activity Sense can be particularly useful if you want to transmit more often whilst moving, for instance when tracking vehicles or aircraft. Turning activity sense ON will mean that the tracker will switch between the normal ‘report frequency’ when stationary, and transmitting using the ‘burst settings’ when moving.


NOTE - THIS CAN COST SIGNIFICANT NUMBERS OF CREDITS, ONLY TURN THIS ON IF YOU  KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING!  


Activity sense can be particularly useful if you want to transmit whilst you are moving, and then transmit at a much slower rate when you are not moving. For instance, tracking vehicles or aircraft.


There are sensitivity levels inside the Activity Sense menu that are useful to tweak when the device thinks it is ‘moving’ - this will depend on your exact situation, but we have found that setting both options to ’24’ is a good start, and works for most situations.


Notes:

- Bump is good for walkers, or in something which is continuously bumpy, such as a 4 x 4 car.

- SOG is good all the time, but uses a lot of power as the GPS is on all the time in this mode.

- Bump+SOG gives optimum power usage; for example when the aircraft initially is 'bumpy' on tarmac to activate it, but then when in cruise it is smooth (and so needs the SOG mode to keep burst going).


Log to file

The RockSTAR device can also wite tracking details to a log file that is stored on the device which can be downloaded at a latter time. The default setting is off.


When On you can select to record a GPS fix from 1 second out to 60 minutes.


Note: Logging uses more battery power.


Alert Options

Timer Alert

This option allows you to set an alert message to be sent after a pre-defined interval. This is useful if you would like to send an alert in the eventuality that you are not able to cancel the alert within a pre-defined time. Timers can be chosen between 5-minutes to 4 hours.  


Temperature Alert

Should the temperature leave your defined range (e.g. 0 degrees to 40 degrees) then an automatic alert will be sent. This option allows you to turn this alert type on/off and set the temperature over which the alert will be sent. 


Power Loss Alert

The Power Loss Alert is a one-time alert that will notify your provider should your device lose external power. It will not put the device into distress mode, and this alert cannot be cancelled.

The Power Alert function is OFF by default.


Geo-fence Alert

The Geofence Alert allows you to set your current position as the Centre Point of a circular geofence, and then set the Distance (radius extending from the centre point). Should the device leave the defined geofence, an alert will be sent. Alert Frequency is the frequency with which the device compares your position within the geofence.


Collision Alert

The Collision Alert notifies you when the device is subjected to a physical impact. The Collision Threshold defines how many G-forces will set off the alert, and the "Collision Duration" defines how long that force needs to be constantly applied.


At its lowest settings, the alert will detect a simple ‘tap’ on the device. At the highest settings, it will not send an alert until a very strong impact is detected.  


We suggest you experiment with the settings to find what works in your particular situation.


Advanced Options

The advanced options contain a number of features, dependent on your device model. These features are for advanced use only, and should only be adjusted under instruction from a member of support staff or following specific instructions. 


We will not be held responsible for any additional charges incurred or problems caused if you adjust these settings without advisement.  


A few of the more important options in this category are:  


GPS Quality

The RockSTAR requires a certain quality of GPS fix before it is allowed to transmit data. One of the options is whether it accepts a 2D or 3D fix. A 3D fix generally has more accurate altitude data but requires more GPS satellites to be in view.


By default the RockSTAR requires a 2D fix.


GPS Hot

In some situations, you may want to immediately mark a position with a manual report whilst travelling at speed. At that time, you want to be able to rely on an instant GPS fix when you fire a manual report.  


With GPS Hot turned ON, this means GPS is continually keeping track of your position so there is no delay between the time you fire a manual report and the time the position is marked. This mode will use power more quickly than other tracking modes since GPS is kept on all of the time. 


GPS fixes

RockSTAR requires a certain number of ‘good’ GPS fixes in a row before it will accept the fix and transmit. This setting controls how many consecutive ‘good’ fixes are required. The default is 5.


Mail Checking

This setting can be used to force the device to check for new messages every X minutes. It is set by default to Off. 


Whenever RockSTAR transmits information via satellite, it will also check whether there are any messages waiting to download. This suits most modes of operation, and there is often no need to use specific ‘Mailbox Checking’.


However, if you are predominantly running in cellular mode, you may wish to have the unit check-in with the satellites every so often, just to download any messages waiting for you, since otherwise, you may not get them. 


To do this, you would turn on Mailbox Checking and set the Frequency to suit your preference.


Again, for most customers, this feature is not required or useful, and excessive mailbox checking will incur satellite costs. Contact TracPlus Support for more information on this and for specific advice.


WARNING: Be aware, inbox checking uses up credits just like normal position reports. A normal  tracking report also checks for new messages, so you DO NOT need both Tracking and Inbox  Checking set to ON. You will use up twice as much credit if you have both items turned on. 

Battery Life Expectations

These battery life predictions for your RockSTAR assume the following:

  • No display usage
  • Bluetooth set to off
  • GPS early-wake set to 20 seconds
  • Clear sky conditions


Transmit rateTransmissions per dayExpected Days
Every 1 minute1440~2
Every 5 minutes288~9
Every 15 minutes96~26
Every 30 minutes48~52
Every 1 hour24~104
Every 4 hour6~400


The battery in your device should maintain its ability to charge to at least 90% of capacity through 1000 charge cycles. This means that if you charged the unit every day (unlikely) the battery would need to be replaced every 3 years. If you charged the device once a week, it would need the battery replaced once every 10 years.


Realistically, you do not need to worry about replacing the battery - but keep in mind it's not user-replaceable; it can only be replaced by your device service provider.



Device Maintenance

Cleaning

To clean your Device, turn off / deactivate. Then use a soft, slightly damp cloth to clean any dirt. Do not use alcohol or abrasive substances to clean your device.


Periodic lubrication of the USB rear cap (using a silicon lubricant) will reduce the risk of water penetration. 


Battery Replacement

Rechargeable batteries have a limited number of charge cycles and may eventually need to be replaced. The Device battery is not user replaceable; it can only be replaced by the TracPlus Support team.


Firmware Updates

The manufacturer releases firmware updates to allow any new software performance or bug fix improvements into the latest version. For troubleshooting and the latest updates, we highly recommend users to frequently check and update the device firmware.


You can confirm this by performing the following steps:

  • Download and install the TP Connect App. At the moment, it is only available for iOS.
  • Turn on either Network, Wi-Fi or Mobile Data on your phone.
  • Turn on Bluetooth on your phone.
  • Ensure Bluetooth is also enabled for the TP Connect App itself (Go into your iOS settings, scroll down to TP Connect, and Allow TP Connect to Access Bluetooth.
  • Start up the TP Connect app on your phone.
  • Tap Connect to Device in the app (you may first have to select Change Device to rediscover the RockSTAR). If this is the first time connecting, you may be asked for a PIN. Unlock the device with 1 2 3 4 and tap 'Unlock Device.'
  • Select the RockSTAR device from the list of available Bluetooth items.
  • Select Firmware Update, and tap Update in the top right-hand corner.

If there is a firmware update available, the RockSTAR will start downloading it through your phone's internet connection. This may take up to 15 minutes to complete and during this time the phone will need to remain in the proximity of the RockSTAR to finish the download.


It may be necessary to keep the screen 'alive', but either changing the lock screen settings or just tapping the screen intermittently during this process.


Once you hear the audible beep noise to indicate RockSTAR has been updated then please check which firmware version it is now on. To do so go to About -> Device Firmware to see.


After upgrading, the tracker’s settings will be retained but we recommend that you double-check your configuration and set your desired tracking frequency etc. We highly recommend using the Maritime profile available in the TP Connect app under the Configure tab.


Fault Finding and Support

Troubleshooting

If RockSTAR isn’t communicating/sending position reports, please run through the following checklist before contacting customer support.


Step 1 - Is your device connected to external power?

Check that your tracker is sufficiently charged. We ideally recommend to maintain the battery levels below 20% at all times. 



Step 2 - Is your device activated by us on SAT networks?

The devices we ship out normally are not activated on networks by default, we request our customers to get in touch with us to request them to be activated. 


Email support@tracplus.com for more information.



Step 3 - Does the device have a clear line of sight to the sky?

Your tracker is designed to work outside. If you are inside a building then the tracker will not work reliably, if at all. You may find it works sometimes from a windowsill inside a building but this is not advisable and results will be highly inconsistent.

The best line of sight available in satellite terms means you can see horizon-to-horizon, 360 degrees around the tracker. If you are in a built-up area, near buildings or trees then the tracker's view of the sky is diminished. This may result in longer transmission times or even complete failures to send/receive data. 



Step 4 - Have you tried performing a soft reset?

If the steps above haven't helped then we recommend a soft reset. hold down the Down key and the Red Alert button at the same time for 10 seconds, and then release.



If neither of the above work, then please get in touch using the details below. 


Helpdesk and Support Details

For assistance, please contact the TracPlus support team by emailing support@tracplus.com - it would greatly help us if you provided the following information: 


• Name and contact number.  

• Serial number of the Device (see serial number label).  

• Symptoms of the fault.  

• History of action taken to attempt to rectify the fault.

Please remember that the more information you can give us, the better we’ll be able to help you. 


Contact: 












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