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                 GPS Plus Software: Collar Lifetime

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Calculate operating lifetime of the GPS collar

This command estimates the battery lifetime of a collar. You have to select the schedules for GPS measurements and UHF and VHF Beacon where the last to are optional. From these inputs the program calculates a best case, average and worst case battery life times. Best case assumes that the GPS receiver needs 45 seconds in average over the whole lifetime; Average assumes this time is 90 seconds and worst case uses 180 seconds (only theoretically possible). On command start-up the form will look like Figure 13.

To calculate the lifetime of the batteries you first have to select the general settings on the left: Select the collar type from the first drop down list (ending GSM=remote data download from the collar via GSM; RF=remote data download via UHF communication link), the main battery type from the second drop down list. Then you have to select the delivery date of your collar: Did you receive your collar before or after the 9th of July 2004? That was the date when a new beacon transmitter was introduced. The communication time is the time the collars RF communication system is enabled. Every collar can be programmed to reduce this time to save power. You have to enter the same values as you have done in the collar configuration. At last select a planned activation date of the collar from the date picker. The program will remember the first three settings (Collar Type, Battery Type, and Delivery Date) even after a restart. Communication Time will always be set to from 00:00 to 24:00 and the activation date will be always the current date (today).

Next you have to select a GPS schedule: To do this you can either load it from a file by clicking on the  Load  button in the GPS group box located at the upper centre of the form or directly edit the schedule by clicking of the  Edit  button. The  Load  button opens an open file dialog in the default schedule directory. After selecting a file the text in the GPS schedule group box should change from “No Valid Schedule” to “Schedule Valid”. If it doesn’t the file is probably empty. If a valid schedule is already in use and not stored in a file you will get a warning message on loading a new schedule that the current schedule will be lost if a new one is loaded.

Figure  13: Calculate Collar Lifetime form without any input (original state)

Editing the schedule will open the Create GPS Schedule form (see 2.1.1 Create GPS Schedule). There is only one difference: Instead of a  Quit  button there is an OK and a Cancel button. The OK button will accept the current schedule data in this form as the new schedule data in the Calculate Lifetime form. The  Cancel  button will discard all changes made in the Create GPS Schedule form.

If your collar is equipped with the UHF Beacon option you can include a UHF Schedule into the calculation by checking the UHF Schedule checkbox and then loading and/or editing an appropriate schedule much the same as you have done with the GPS schedule, only that there will be no discrete rules in the schedule editor (see 2.1.1 Create GPS Schedule).

The VHF schedule is a little bit different. It will always be calculated weather or not you have a VHF Beacon transmitter or not and independent of whether the VHF Schedule checkbox is checked or not. If you choose not to use a VHF schedule the VHF beacon will start transmitting an emergency beacon signal as soon as the main battery is empty (of course only if you have an VHF beacon transmitter in your collar). If you select a schedule it will be used until the main battery is empty. The VHF beacon will transmit a standard beacon signal. After the main battery is empty the beacon will transmit an emergency beacon signal until its battery is empty too, independent of any VHF schedule.

Now after you have done your settings press the  Calculate  button to start the lifetime calculation. Depending on the collar, the battery, and the chosen schedules this may take up to several minutes (if your computer is not quite state of the art). Normally it takes a minute or two. The progress bar in the lower left above the  Cancel  and  Calculate  buttons will start. It shows the amount of the capacity of both batteries already used in the best case. When the progress bar reaches the end both battery capacities are used up (best case calculation). While calculating the values will appear on the right side of the form as they are fixed. The result should look like Figure 14.

Figure 14: Calculate Collar Lifetime form after calculation example


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