How to create and send GPS schedules as well as beacon schedules easily with the GPS Plus software:
In the Schedule menu are commands concerning GPS measurement and beacon activation scheduling. The commands allow the creation of GPS and beacon schedules, the sending of schedules to a collar and the reception of schedules from a collar.
Figure 8: Main window with open schedule menu (in Collar mode)
Create GPS Schedule
The Create GPS Schedule command is used to define rules on which times a GPS measurement is to
be done. The time used in this scheduler is not defined to be UTC (Universal Time Coordinated) or any other LMT (Local Mean Time). The selection of UTC or LMT is done when sending the GPS schedule to the collar (see send GPS schedule).
As you can see in Figure 9 the scheduler is divided into two sections: The left section is to generate rules and the right gives an overview of the already defined rules.
In Figure 9 two rules are already defined in the list. Each rule in this list can be selected by clicking on
it and then erased by clicking the Erase Rule button. It also can be edited by clicking on the Edit Rule button which copies the rule to the left section and erases it from the list.
The list can be erased completely by clicking Erase All in the right section and it can be saved in a file
by clicking Save . By clicking Load previously stored rules can be loaded. Clicking Add Rule will add
the rule from the left section to the rules list. Eventually a warning will pop up saying that these rules will result in to many entries. Since the collar works with rules or with a list time marks (created
through rules) and the collar has a physically limited memory capacity the program calculates if the memory is used up or not when the list is used. The memory usage is shown as a level beneath the
rules list. If there are to many entries the warning will be displayed. If not the list but the rules will be used in the collar this message should not bother you. Too many rules will be handled elsewhere in
In the left section single rules are defined. There are two types of rules, which can be defined:
discrete and cyclic. In Figure 9 discrete mode has been selected as you can easily see from the radio buttons at the bottom of the left section.
Figure 9: Scheduler with discrete mode selected
In discrete mode, a period of time is selected with a start date and an end date in which several times
per day can be defined on which the measurement will be started. At the top the drop down buttons at the right to the date can select a start and an end date. A calendar will pop up if it is clicked. To add
a time of day to the list on the right side of the left section, just set the time in the time input and press the Add Time Button.
To erase a time from the list mark it by clicking on it and press the Erase Button. You can also erase
all times in the list with one click on the Erase All Button. If you have finished configuring your rule
just press the Add Rule button in the right section and the rule will be added to the rules list in the right section.
In cyclic mode, as shown inFigure 10, a period of time is selected with a start date and an end date in which a frequency can be selected. Between a start and an end time for every day
a measurement will be started in this frequency. After you have configured your rule you can add it with the Add Rule Button in the right section to the rules list.
Example 1: You want to get a GPS measurement every day from 14th April 2002 until 14th August
2002 at 5:00, 7:00, 19:00 and 20:00 o’clock. First you switch to discrete rule type. Then you select the start date via the pull down calendar (14.04.2002) and the end date (14.08.2002) the same way. Now
you have to add the activation times: Set the time value to the first time (05:00) by clicking on the hours in the time field and then clicking the up/down button until the correct hour appears. Do the
same with the minutes. After the correct time is set click the Add Time button. The time will appear in
the time list. Now set the next time and press Add Time again. It will show up in the list too. Continue with the other activation times. After all times are in the Time List, press the Add Rule button in the
right section to include the new rule in the GPS Time Rules List. The rule appearing in the list should look like row number two in Figure 9 and Figure 10. It reads like this: From 14.12.2002 to 21.12.2002
activate every day at 5:00, 7:00, 19:00 and 20:00 o’clock. You could now mark this rule by clicking on it and edit it by pressing the Edit Rule button. This will copy it back to the left section of the window
and remove it from the GPS Time Rules List.
Figure 10: Scheduler with cyclic mode selected showing two discrete and one cyclic entry
Example 2: You want to get a GPS measurement at 00:30, 1:30, 2:30 etc until 23:30 every day from the 14th to the 21st December 2002 because this is the time when the tracked animals typically start
moving to another area. This is a typical case for a cyclic rule. First you have to switch to cyclic rule type. Set the time period by selecting the start and end date just like in the first example. Then set the Start Time to the first measurement time (which is 00:30). Set the End Time to a time where the
last measurement should be allowed. In this case 23:30 would be OK but any time after that is fine too as long as no next measurement will fit in it. Here we have chosen 23:59:59 because 23:30 plus
the period of one hour is 00:30:00 in the next day. So we did not reach the next measurement with our end time.
Now the Frequency has to be set to one hour. Do this just like you have set the start and end time.
Last Press the Add Rule button in the right section to include the new rule in the GPS Time Rules List.
The rule appearing in the list should look like row number three in Figure 9 and Figure 10. It reads like this: From 14.12.2002 to 21.12.2002 activate every day from 00:30:00 to 23:59:59 o’clock every hour.
You could now mark this rule by clicking on it and edit it by pressing the Edit Rule button. This will copy it back to the left section of the window and remove it from the GPS Time Rules List.
Note: If the Start Date of all Time Rules is more than one week in the future, the collar will make a fix
automatically every week until the first Start Date. This is a safety measure in case that the collar clock was not proper set and to allow the collar to recalibrate it at the latest of one week.
When all End Dates are gone, the collar will make a fix every six hours. To prevent this safety measure, one rule should start well in the future.
Create Beacons Schedule
This command is used to create schedules for both the UHF and VHF beacon. It is similar to the Create
GPS Schedule command with some small differences: Since beacon schedules only allow cyclic rules with no frequency, it is not possible to select the discrete rule type and the frequency selector will not
be displayed. Instead the frequency in the rule is always zero (see Figure 11). The beacon frequency will be configured in the Fehler! Verweisquelle konnte nicht gefunden werden.command (see
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Figure 11: Beacon Scheduler with five rules in the list
Note: When all End Dates of the UHF scheduler are outdated, the UHF beacon is switched off in
beacon mode, but you can activate it any time with the handheld terminal.
When all End Dates of the VHF scheduler are outdated, the VHF beacon is switched off.
Send GPS Schedule
This command can also be accessed via the toolbar symbol shown to the left. After a rules file has been created it can be converted and loaded into a collar with the Send GPS Schedule command. It is
strongly recommended that you deactivate the collar for this command by attaching the magnet to the collar.
In this window, shown in Figure 15, you can see what kind of time correction the collar is programmed to use. Time gives you information if the collar uses UTC or LMT. If it uses UTC then the times in the
schedule will be interpreted as UTC times. If it uses LMT the times will be interpreted as LMT times and corrected by the term given by Correction. Collar Time Correction can be changed with the Collar
Then you have to select a rules file by clicking the Select File button. An open file dialog will open up
and you can select a GPS rules file (*.GRF) XE "file extension:GRF". The file will then be loaded and the
rules in the file will be converted to an internal event list, containing all times when the GPS should be activated. You can see this on the progress bar at the top of the window. After the file has been
loaded and converted the events will be shown in the white Schedule Overview area at the bottom. You can imagine this as an eight year long calendar where every row is one month and every column
means eight hours with an empty row and column in between to make it easier to read. So if the first point in the first row is painted red it means that there will be at least one GPS measurement at the
date written on the left side between 0:00 and 8:00 in the morning. A red point in the third row at column 26 means: two months later 9th day between 8:00 and 16:00. Normally this is only to get an
impression not for exact verification as described here.
Figure 15: Send Collar GPS Schedule main window
After you have selected a file you have to choose what kind of schedule should be used: Rule based
or list based. Rule based means that the rules are stored in the collar while list based means that the rules are transformed into times and these times will then be stored in the collar. A rule-based
schedule is much smaller than the list-based schedule and faster to upload. Furthermore it is possible to download the rules from the collar again if you select rule based. List based only allows to
download the list for verification but not to upload it to other collars afterward. If there are too many rules in the rules file then you won’t have a choice: List based will automatically be selected, because
the memory for a rule based schedule is restricted. Only using another smaller rules file will make it possible to select rule based again.
After selecting a file the Send button will also be enabled. Pressing it will start the upload process:
The entries will be sorted and sent to the collar. For this reason the text above the progress bar changes first to “sorting entries” and then to “waiting for the connection” with the collar. After
connection has been established the upload will start. If the connection could not be established an error messages will appear. Please refer to Fehler!Verweisquelle konnte nicht gefunden werden.on
Now the data will be transmitted. This will take up to several minutes for a list based schedule and
less than a minute for a rule based schedule. A communication error could appear within this time: A message will pop up and ask you if you want to retry or abort. Take into account that, if data has
already been sent, the collar memory for events has been partly overwritten and might be corrupted! If you choose to cancel it is strongly recommended to start the upload immediately again.
After a successful upload a reset XE "collar:reset" is send automatically to the collar to initiate the
computation of the next measurement. This is done without notification but only if the upload was successful. The window should look similar to Figure 16 after this. Now you can close the upload window.
Figure 16: Send window with data successfully sent.
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