Today I received the new TL1000 GPS mileage logger from TripLogik that I talked about in my earlier blog, GPS Logging – The Best Way to Track Business Mileage. It came shipped from Canada, so allow for the $21 shipping cost. I initially wonder if there is a less expensive shipping option, as my earlier GPS logger (Milo by SatLogix) didn’t charge me any shipping fee. Although the unit cost was $30 higher. Perhaps SatLogix just built the price of shipping into the unit.
The unit arrived well packaged, and it took about 10 days to receive it. I don’t often receive packages from other countries, but this is probably about average for shipping time during the busy holiday season. I’d expect for a 3-5 shipping time outside of the holidays.
I was happy to see that the device came with all the extras I could possibly need. You’ll notice in the box is the actual device, which is smaller than what I imagined. It’s smaller than a hockey puck, and encased in a metal — aluminum I think. It feels like a very solid device, which I appreciate. It has a single rubberized button, which will also light up or flash to indicate various states. From my limited reading thus far, you use the button to set the trip type (personal or business) and to tell the device if you start a ‘new’ trip without stopping the vehicle for at least 5 minutes.
You’ll notice several cords are included in the package. The preferred way to install the device in your vehicle is using the included OBD II cable. All vehicles built later than 2006 include a port under the dash that you can plug the device into to receive power. This will keep your cigarette lighter port free and also provide uninterrupted power.
OBD II is a diagnostic port used to troubleshoot vehicle problems, but it also can be used to power accessories. This device only uses the pins in the OBD II port which provide power, it can’t access your vehicle computer.
Of course now you are asking 1) my car is older than 2006, or 2) I already use my OBD II port for something else. TripLogik covers you there by sending a cigarette lighter adapter. You can use the included cord which syncs the device with your computer also to plug directly into the cigarette lighter adapter.
So, essentially, you want to power the device in one of the two provided ways, and then place the device on the dash of your vehicle. To do this they provide a removable ‘sticky’ pad which will hold the GPS logger in place. The directions on the website says that when the pad loses its ‘sticky’-ness that you can simply wash it with water and it will be as good as new.
One thing that was conspicuously missing from the package was any type of installation instructions. The blue paper you see in the picture is a brochure explaining the device and what it does. I did find that there was a manual included with the software that you download from the website, and the manual is also available as a direct PDF download from the website. I would guess that TripLogik did not want to include a printed manual to keep costs down, which is fine in todays digital age. I would have liked to have seen a CD included with the software and the manual. Again, these are easily available for download on the TripLogik website — it just seems like the package would be more complete if it was included.
The TripLogik package is very well put together, and the hardware seems to be very sturdy. The included cables that you can use to power the device enable to you place it pretty much anywhere you need to. I’m excited to get to try the device out over the next several days. In Part 2 of my review you’ll get my impressions on installing and using the device in my vehicle.
If you’d like to find out more about the TL1000 GPS Logger from TripLogik check out their website.
Read Part 2 of this review: Review: TripLogik TL1000 Mileage Logger – Part 2