discussion / Biologging  / 17 April 2024

TagRanger: Redefining animal tracking iwth ad-hoc wireless networks and software-defined technology

Hi everyone, 

@craig joined last month's Variety Hour to chat about Tagranger, which you can read more about here

A TagRanger® system has three elements:

  • A Tag. A small device to be fitted to the animal or equipment you want to monitor.
  • A ‘Finder’ device. A small handheld device paired with your smartphone. The Finder device is a LoRaWAN gateway and is used to manage and communicate with your Tags. It can also be left to gather data from your Tags to be retrieved at a later date.
  • TagRanger® App. This powerful app runs on your Android Smartphone and connects with the Finder device. It provides the configuration and operation interfaces with your Tags, as well as displaying both online and offline mapping for your Tag locations.

Learn more in his talk: 

Questions and discussion coming through during the session: 

How large are the TagRanger tags? Weight/dimensions?

  • 36mm (W) x 56mm (L) x 19mm (H) and weighs 38g. 

What are the security features?

  • Location data is sent over the LoRaWAN connection and securely encrypted. If you use the Cloud backup capability (this is entirely optional) the last know location of a Tag is stored securely on AWS servers.

Sorry basic question: how do we connect to Lorawan and download the data if we have limited or no coverage of lorawan?

  • It builds your own LoRaWAN network. 

what does it mean? so the gateaway is handheld like smartphone?

  • The Finder device (paired with your phone) creates your LoRaWAN network. This can also be called your Gateway. You can also connect to an external LoRaWAN network if one is available. This has some uses but you will lose some features (such as the wake up your Tag on demand capability)

what species have been on trials so far for this tag, and how did it performed?

  • First trials are in progress and we're waiting for feedback on bears, pangolin and tortoises. Early feedback on lynx is coming through and is sounding good so far. It is early days and I hope to make some case studies in due course!

Wondering about overlap/complementarity with ElephantEdge tags from smartparks? https://www.smartparks.org/product/elephantedge-tracker/

  • I'm not an expert on their Tags but my understanding is they need an existing fixed LoRaWAN network set up to operate. I don't think they can wake up a Tag on demand to request location over the network so must wait until a scheduled ping comes through. There is also no ranging capability that I am aware of.

how is tag battery life?

  • Battery life is highly dependent on configuration. 4 years is possible if you hardly need any activity. Typically we see deployments where the configuration gives 6 months to 2 years.

If you have any other questions, pop them below and Craig will pick them up!