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Welcome to the Spy Equipment UK Help Desk, where we aim to answer any technical questions you might have about our products. If you can not find the answer to a question on this page please feel free to contact us with the question so that we can improve the help desk. Customer input is also very welcome on this page so if you have any comments or suggestions please feel free to contact us through the Contact Us section of the website.

 Help Page Sections:

 GSM

What is GSM?

Global System for Mobile communications (GSM: originally from Groupe Spécial Mobile) is the most popular standard for mobile phones in the world. GSM differs from its predecessors in that both signalling and speech channels are digital, meaning that data communication is easily built into the system.

What does this mean to me?

The GSM network is what allows one person to send speech or data (text message) from one device to another device located anywhere in the world in the form of signals. This is the base for a lot of the 'bug' devices that are supplied and as such allows for their application to be world wide.

Why won't a GSM device work in my country?

Not all countries use the same GSM transmition band, or even use the GSM network for their mobile communications. There are 4 different GSM bands, 900 / 1800 are used in the majority of countries where as some places in the Americas (including USA and Canada) use 850 / 1900 due to the previous two already being allocated. GSM devices will be set up to be either Dual Band or Quad Band. A dual band device will, as a rule, only work in its country of purchase or countries that use those same GSM bands, e.g. A dual band device purchased in the USA will only work on the 850 or 1900 bands and so will be useless in the UK or vice versa. A quad band device will, as a rule, be set to work world wide in any country that use the GSM network no matter what band they are transmitting on.

Why is my GSM device telling me the 'phone is switched off' ?

There are four main likely causes of the problem;

  1. The battery of the unit has fully discharged and will need recharging or replacement.
  2. The SIM card has been inserted incorrectly or has not fully inserted.
  3. There is poor or no GSM reception in the area the unit is being used.
  4. The batteries have been inserted prior to the SIM card.

The sound quality on my GSM device is very poor, what can I do about this?

A few different things can cause poor sound quality with a GSM unit;

  1. Certain networks do not provide good audio quality when used in a GSM 'bug', it is best to avoid O2 and Virgin.
  2. Poor GSM reception can cause poor sound quality.
  3. Most of our GSM units have high gain mics and as such contant background ambient noise can result in poor sound quality.
  4. Poor or dying batteries can cause poor sound quality, it is best to ensure that you always have the unit charged fully or have high quality batteries installed.

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 GPS

What is GPS?

The Global Positioning System (GPS) is the only fully functional Global Navigation Satellite System. Utilizing a constellation of at least 24 Medium Earth Orbit satellites that transmit precise microwave signals, the system enables a GPS receiver to determine its location, speed, direction, and time.

What does this mean to me?

A GPS receiver is a device that will allow you to know the exact location, speed of travel and direction of travel of the device at any given time. A good example of GPS technology in a practical application is the use of Satellite Navigation Devices in cars, this allows you to know your exact location, speed and estimated time of arrival.

What can cause interference or weaken the signal for a GPS device?

Although GPS technology has come a long way since being made publicly available in 1983 there are still limitations and many sources of interference and jamming, both natural and artificial.

The most common cause for GPS failure is due to line of sight, if the unit has little or no direct line of sight to the sky this can cause either weak signal issues or full GPS failure. Most vehicle trackers are mounted beneath the vehicle and as such the unit does not have direct line of sight however as long as the unit has been able to get a strong fix before being deployed this should not cause too many problems. The location of the vehicle, however, can cause problems. if the vehicle is stopped in a heavily built up area, such as ally ways and narrow streets, The GPS signal will have a much harder time establishing a connection with the unit. This can cause slight intermittent reporting problems with the unit, particularly from a 'cold start' situation when the movement sensor has just activated and the unit is fighting for signal.

Since GPS signals at terrestrial receivers tend to be relatively weak, it is easy for natural sources of electromagnetic radiation to desensitise the receiver, making acquiring and tracking the satellite signals difficult or impossible. Solar flares are one such naturally occurring emission with the potential to degrade GPS reception, and their impact can affect reception over the half of the Earth facing the sun, however due to irregularity of such an occurrence this is unlikely to cause any real problem. GPS signals are also subjected to interference from Van Allen Belt radiation when the satellites pass through the South Atlantic Anomaly, this occurs on a regular basis and can last for up to 8 minutes at a time.

Man-made Electromagnetic Interference can also disrupt, or jam, GPS signals. In one well documented case, an entire harbour was unable to receive GPS signals due to unintentional jamming caused by a malfunctioning TV antenna preamplifier. Metallic features in windshields, such as defrosters, can act as a Faraday Cage, degrading reception just inside the car. Intentional jamming is also possible. Generally, stronger signals can interfere with GPS receivers when they are within radio range, or line of sight. Although GPS jamming devices are available worldwide they are generally illegal in most countries and extremely easy to detect with specialised signal detectors.

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 GPRS

What is GPRS?

General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) is a packet oriented Mobile Data Service available to users of the GSM network. GPRS can be used for services such as Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) access, Short Message Service (SMS), Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS), and for Internet communication services such as Email and World Wide Web access.

What does this mean to me?

GPRS is a way of accessing the internet, sending picture or audio messages or sending E-mails from a mobile phone. GPRS is also used to send data from devices to web servers, this data is then accessible from a standard internet browser. The perfect example of this is the application in our own TrackWolf Advance and VIP units. Since GPS systems have no way of transmitting the data about location, time, speed and direction we must also use the GSM network to allow the data to be sent via GPRS.

Why is the GPRS transmittion taking so long?

Due to GPRS 'piggy backing' on the GSM network it is susceptible to low signal conditions. In the event that reception of the GSM network is poor GPRS will stop functioning until a strong enough connection is re-established. There is no way around this and no way of knowing an area has poor reception until the problem is encountered in the area.

What is the difference between Live and Historic tracking?

Live tracking is the ability to see real time updates of where a tracking unit is at that time. This is extremely useful for vehicle or VIP tracking because it allows the monitor to know where the unit is and act appropriately. Historic tracking would be where you would leave the device in position for a pre-determined amount of time before recovering it and offloading the information it has collected. This is extremely useful for those who wish to know where the unit has been but do not need, desire or have the resources to watch live.

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 Managed SIM Card

What is a Managed SIM Card?

To compliment the ACPO accredited line of trackers and in-house software, Spy Equipment UK Trackers now include a Managed Virtual Private Network (MVPN) SIM with a guaranteed network service. This allows for a far more reliable form of data transfer through the GPRS network Hubs.

Network Break Down

  • PAYG Pay As You Go an inefficient service that €˜piggy backs€™ on the PVPN offering the least continuity of service and the first to be kicked off the network when busy.
  • PVPN Public Virtual Private Network this is the standard system that most subscribers are put onto. Highly shared and no guarantee of service , €˜no network coverage€™ message can be an issue.
  • MVPN Managed Virtual Private Network Far more secure than PVPN, 60% less traffic and system failure back-up provides a guaranteed Service when in range of a network. Daily health check of SIM card, remote management, fault diagnostics and repair.

What does this mean to me?

In basic terms, having a MVPN SIM in your tracker will ensure that you will always receive reports when your tracker is on the move. Far more reliable than a PAYG SIM, a managed SIM is the way forwards for hassle free, limitless tracking.

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 SIM Recovery Pro

The software disk will not auto-run?

The software disk should auto run as soon as it is inserted into the disk drive however some PC set ups may have auto-run disabled. If the software does not auto-run then simply go to My Computer. Once open Right Click your CD drive (usually labelled D: or E:) and scroll down the menu to Open, this will open a window containing 5 icons. From here you need only double-click on Setup (the icon will look like a computer) and the software will open and start the installation.

I am running Windows Vista and I can't seem to get the software to open?

The software provided is not compatible with Windows Vista however there is a way to allow Vista to run it. You must set Vista to run the program in Backwards Compatibility. This is easy enough to achieve, simply Right Click on the program icon on your desk top and scroll down the list to Properties, once there click on the Compatibility Tab. From there just put a tick in the box 'Run this program in compatibility mode for € and then just choose Windows XP, click apply, close down the window and double click the software icon.

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 USB Key Stroke Logger

I am using a USB logger on a PS/2 keyboard with a PS/2 to USB adapter but cannot get the logger to work?

Unfortunately the loggers operation is blocked by any kind of adapter used to make a PS/2 keyboard compatible with a USB port. You will need to either purchase a new USB keyboard or purchase a PS/2 key logger to use on the keyboard without the adapter.

How do I clear my logger memory?

To clear the USB key logger, access the logger functions by entering the pass code for your logger. Once the keyboard is disconnected and the logger window opens you will see the three icons (two .TXT files and a software icon) all you need to do from here is delete the Log.TXT file and close down the logger window. Detach and re-attach the logger and it is back in its record mode with a clean memory.

What is the difference between USB and PS/2?

A PS/2 keyboard connector is characterised by two things, firstly it is a round connection with six small pins arranged around a larger rectangular pin in the centre and secondly the plastic case on the connector is coloured purple. A USB connector is again characterised but its shape, the connector is rectangular in shape with one half of the inside blocked off by a plastic 'stopper' inlaid with connector pins.

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 PS/2 Key Stroke Logger

I am using a PS/2 logger on a USB keyboard with a USB to PS/2 adapter but cannot get the logger to work?

Unfortunately the loggers operation is blocked by any kind of adapter to make a USB keyboard compatible with a PS/2 port. You will need to either purchase a new PS/2 keyboard or purchase a USB logger to use on the keyboard without the adapter.

When trying to recover the information the logger displays random text, how do I get the menu to show?

When using the PS/2 keylogger it's 'play back' function can be affected by the speed setting of your keyboard. This can cause the unit to display 'gobildy gook' text when the password is entered to display the menu. The following simple steps can be followed to set the keyboard and logger into 'safe' mode and allows for normal operation.

  1. Insert the PS2 keysafe to the keyboard and PC as normal.
  2. Open word or notepad and enter the password.
  3. When the 'gobildy gook' text appears press 's' on the keyboard, wait untill the text has stopped and then press 's' again
  4. This will then resolve the issue and allow for standard operation

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 Spy Phone Software (Nokia)

This section will be covering the software packages that class as Spy Phone Software (Covert), this section will not be covering Audio Spy.

What is the Target Phone?

When refering to the "Target Phone" we mean the handset that you with to monitor, not the handset you with to monitor with. This means the handset you wish to monitor must be one of the compatible handsets listed in the product description of the software package. The handset you wish to use to monitor is know as the "pre-defined number" and this handset can be any make or model.

What is the handset's IMEI number and why do I need it?

A.The IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) number is, as the name describes, a handset's personal identity number that is individual for each handset. This code will be show in three places:

  • On the box the handset was purchased in.
  • Inside the handset beneath the battery.
  • Can be displayed by keying *#06# into an active handset.

This code is essential for the operation of the software because it creates an 'anchor' for the software within the handset. This 'anchor's means that the software can work behind the standard operation of the handset's OS without interfering with that operation and causing potential handset failure. The 'anchor' also allows the software to continue with full operation even if the SIM card has been changed within the Target Handset, without this code any of our Spy Phone packages would simply not operate.

What will I need to do to get the software on a handset?

When you come to place an order for one of the four software packages there are three things you must check;

  1. That the Nokia handset is one of the compatible handsets listed in the product description.
  2. You have the IMEI code correctly noted down.
  3. You will be able to have half an hour access to the handset to install the software

Once the order has been placed it can take up to 48 hours to configure the software and e-mail it to you. From this point there are two different ways in which to install the software, Bluetooth or Nokia PC Suite. These are both easy enough to do however previous experience with Nokia PC Suite or transferring files from PC to phone via Bluetooth is very advantageous.

How do I use Nokia PC Suite to transfer the software onto the Target Phone?

A. Nokia PC Suite is a free phone management software available for all Nokia handsets and is by far the easiest way to transfer the software.

  1. Save software file from the e-mail to a location on your PCs hard drive
  2. Open Nokia PC Suite on your PC
  3. Connect up the target phone, to the PC, via the handset's data cable
  4. Enter the Install Application section on the Nokia PC Suite (two blue boxes atop each other next to a green box with a green + sign above)
  5. In the Install Application section, find and select the software file saved onto your PCs hard drive and transfer over to the handsets memory
  6. You will then be told to finish the installation on the handset
  7. Follow the on-screen prompts on your handset until your see "installation complete" and the software is now ready to be tested using the supplied SMS codes

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 Spy Phone Software (Windows Mobile)

What is the handset's IMEI number and why do I need it?

A.The IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) number is, as the name describes, a handset's personal identity number that is individual for each handset. This code will be show in three places:

  • On the box the handset was purchased in.
  • Inside the handset beneath the battery.
  • Can be displayed by keying *#06# into an active handset.

This code is essential for the operation of the software because it creates an 'anchor' for the software within the handset. This 'anchor' means that the software can work behind the standard operation of the handset's OS without interfering with that operation and causing potential handset failure. The 'anchor' also allows the software to continue with full operation even if the SIM card has been changed within the Target Handset, without this code any of our Spy Phone packages would simply not operate.

What will I need to do to get the software onto the handset?

A. When you come to place an order for the SpyPlus software package there are three things you must check;

  1. That the Windows Mobile handset is operating on Windows OS 5 or higher.
  2. You have the IMEI code correctly noted down.
  3. You will be able to have half an hour access to the handset to install the software

Once the order has been placed it can take up to 48 hours to configure the software and e-mail it to you. The software will arrive in a .CAB format that can easily be transferred to the memory of the Windows Mobile Target Phone and installed like a standard application. The handset will guide you through the installation with a series of on screen prompts and end with "installation complete". Once this is done you can now test the different features using the supplied SMS codes for your software.

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 Flash Drive Digital Voice Recorder

Why must I use the Safely Remove Hardware Function when I disconnect my Flash Drive?

When connected to a computer the Flash Drive Digital Voice Recorder, like all flash drive devices, will not only be transferring data but receiving a contestant electrical current. The electrical current aids in both the transfer of data and charging of the internal battery of the Flash Drive. This electrical current, if suddenly stopped by pulling the unit out of the computer, can cause internal workings of the Flash Drive to short and no longer function. By using the Safely Remove Hardware function your system will stop the electrical current flowing through the Flash Drive and thus make it safe to remove without potentially causing internal damage.

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 3G Networks

How do I check the best 3G network coverage for my area?

A. Before purchasing or installing a SIM card into the camera unit, it is important to select the best 3G network provider in the area where the 3G camera will be installed. This can be done simply using your own 3G mobile handset*

Instruction:

  1. Navigate to the phone network settings
  2. Change the œOperator selection€ setting from €œAutomatic€ to '€œManual'€. This forces the handset to search for all available network coverage, and may take a few minutes
  3. The list of all available network operators will be displayed on the phone€™s screen
  4. Note down the name of one or more network operator that provide 3G coverage from the list (they are usually displayed with a 3G sign next to their name)
  5. Cancel the setting process on the handset to maintain the phone€™s original network settings

Only purchase 3G SIM cards from the 3G networks listed, whilst choosing one with a suitable price plan. Remember to disable video and voice mail facilities on the SIM card before installing it into the camera unit. The above steps are very similar on most phones; however, please refer to their user manual for details.

* Phone must be compatible with country of use as the 3G frequency may vary.

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