ATP GPS Photo Finder Mini review | GPS Functions
ATP Photo Finder Mini operation
If the many operating elements that are currently found on products tend to worry you, then the GPS Photo Finder Mini will be a godsend, and you can leave all your concerns at home. This photo tracker namely carries only one button. It serves to turn the GPS data logger on and off. The status indication of the device is offered by using LED lamps, which means the poorly-readable monitor of the Photo Finder that was tested earlier has been removed entirely. If the device is turned on, a red LED lamp will light up and by keeping the button depressed, it will turn to green; a sign to indicate that the GPS signal is being retrieved.
GPS receiver functions
Functions of the GPS device
Above this LED lamp, two similar LEDs are placed. The centre blue lamp will light up as soon as the GPS signal is retrieved. If it blinks once every second, the GPS signal is activated and active. If the LED blinks twice as fast, GPS information is being received. That leaves us with the yellow LED lamp, this one will blink every 30 seconds when GPS data is being written to the memory card. If the yellow lamp shines continuously, the memory card is full. The LED lamps are integrated very deeply into the housing, which makes it easy to see them.
I t is not possible to remove the battery, although there is a compartment for an MMCmicro memory card and a small USB connection. This enables connecting the device to a docking station as well as to the battery charger. Below the USB connector, there is also a reset function available. I am not at all pleased with the compartment's cover. The rubber cover used is simply too flexible and fragile. Closing the compartment of the previous ATP Photo Finder was too difficult, whilst the one on the Photo Finder Mini works the exact opposite. Just as well the compartment is placed on the rear of the device, otherwise rain would undoubtedly find a way to get it. The memory card on the other hand, is placed firmly inside the device and will not come tumbling out for no reason.
ATP docking station
Multi functional docking station
The ATP GPS tracker sits firmly inside the docking station, although here too the rubber cover is in the way again. The station is light, just like the GPS receiver. It does tend to cause you to easily push it aside unintentionally. The docking station of the ATP Photo Finder Mini is multifunctional. Naturally, it does what is expected from a docking station, namely recharging through the computer, that's why the station owns a USB cable. Besides that, it is also possible to insert the memory card of your digital camera into the docking station, and it doesn't matter whether it's a CF, SD, MMC or MS card. This allows you to add GPS information to the pictures. The docking station however, does require electricity, which restricts you somewhat in the location from where you can transfer GPS data.
Placing the memory card into the station
Display on the docking station
On the topside of the docking station, a monitor is found with a foursome buttons positioned right underneath. The so-called Sync, No, Yes and Mode buttons. There are three modes available; adding GPS data to pictures is carried out by the Sync mode, writing a KML file to a memory card is enabled through KML mode, and a so-called Self Test can be carried out by the Test mode. The KML file contains data that enables projecting the route you took onto Google Earth; a genuinely precious function not found on the ATP Photo Finder. The Self Test allows you to search for firmware updates. Operation of the docking station is smooth and fast, and the monitor is also well-readable thanks to its bright blue background light.
Recording data & Battery
T he built-in Li-Polymer battery guarantees 16 hours of playtime. Recharging is possible through the ATP GPS device itself and the docking station. It is not possible to change the battery, however, according to the specifications the battery should be able to store approximately 1000 hours of GPS data, considering a log interval of 10 seconds. I am certainly very pleased with the energy consumption. Not once did it unexpectedly fail. If it does happen, however, it certainly will be unexpectedly, since the device does not offer a battery status indication.