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Product Review: Tritronics TRACER (Remote Controlled Collar Light)

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Tri-tronics Tracer Light
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Product Review: Tritronics TRACER (Remote Controlled Collar Light)

Product Review: Tritronics TRACER (Remote Controlled Collar Light)

The Tritronics Tracer Light is a remote controlled light you add to Tritronics collars so you can see your dog at night. The Tracer part fits between the battery and the electronics and you can turn the light on and off from your transmitter with the Accessory Button.

Some folks say it looks like an Oreo cookie because the Tracer light is sandwiched between two parts of the Tritronics collar/receiver.

  • The Tracer Light was originally designed for Coon hunters and Hound hunters that run at night so they can see their dogs.
  • Duck hunters are always going out into the duck blinds and the swamps in the middle of the night before first light, and it's nice to be able to keep better track of your dog.
  • Pet owners, especially folks who walk their dogs at night, will like the Tracer light for added security.

    HOW IT WORKS -- When you are in the accessory mode and your dial is set on A for the accessory, you can turn the light on. You can turn the light off. You can also change it from a solid light to a flashing light. So you have some features there with the accessories function.

    INTERVIEW WITH STEVE SNELL ABOUT THE TRI-TRONICS TRACER LIGHT

    Rob: Is the Tracer waterproof?

    Steve: Yes, it is waterproof and your receiver is still waterproof with it installed.

    Rob: So it is good for civilians because when they go out walking, it may not be dark when they leave the house, but when they come back it is dark.

    Steve: Definitely. It is perfect for folks that are going out in their neighborhoods when the sun is going down. They have that option of being able to activate it. That way the dog is easy to see to cars. It is also nice to be able to keep up with your dog as far a being able to see where your dog is.

    We are going to have some folks that are going to like it when they turn their dogs out in the backyard at night. Or folks like me that live out in the country; we turn them out in an unfenced area. They just run around in the front yard. It is a neat feature. You can turn it on and off.

    Rob: It is like a visual beeper?

    Yes. They are pushing the tracer light pretty hard. It is an interesting product. I am not sure how many folks are going to be excited about it. The price point is a little bit higher than I was hoping it was going to be. $49.95 is suggested retail. We are going to be selling it for $44.

    There are a couple things about this product.
    • It comes in three colors. You can buy it as a white light, a red light, or a blue light. That way if you are dealing with multiple dogs you can keep up with who is who.

    • It is backwards compatible with every G2, G2-EXP, and G3 system. So if you bought a Sport 50 G2 four years ago, you can buy this product and add it to your system. Any of the G2 and up collars, which is everything that has been made in the last four years, works with this. It is backwards compatible with all the others.

    • Keep in mind the only systems that have the remote capabilities are the G2, G2-EXP, and G3 Field and Pro transmitters: The Classic, Trashbreakers, Pro 100's, 200's, Pro 500's, Flyway Special, and Upland Special.


    If it has the accessory function, then you have the remote control. Now if you have a Sport Basic, you can add the light and you can turn the light on with your transmitter. You can turn the light off and make it start flashing, but you can't do it at a distance. You can only do it close up.

    The only Sport transmitters that have the remote capabilities are the Sport Upland. It has the same beeper function, so it uses the same signal to control the light. So a Sport Upland or a Sport 65 G2 would actually be able to control the light remotely.

    BEEPERS AND TRACERS TOGETHER -- Now talking about those two units, the same signal that controls the light is the same signal that controls your beeper. So if you are running an Upland Special, a Sport Upland, or a Sport 65, you have a beeper, or if you are running a Pro 100 and you have added a beeper as an accessory beeper, if you run the tracer light with the accessory beeper, if you turn the light on you are going to turn your beeper on. If you turn your beeper off you are going to turn your light off. It is the exact same signal.

    If you run those two products together you have got to coordinate a little bit. So you just have to keep that in mind. Now if you are running a Pro 100 and you don't have a beeper, then it doesn't matter.

    If you have a Sport 50 G2 you can run the product. You can turn the product on. You just can't do it remotely.

    Rob: Is there a switch on the Tracer?

    Steve: No. You are sending a signal from your transmitter that tells the Tracer to turn on.

    Rob: How do you do that with a Sport G2?

    Steve: Well the way it works is they have two different signals that are in the product. They have a short range signal and a long range signal. The Sport is sending a short range signal. I am talking short range. They have got to be touching each other.

    We were messing with it yesterday and trying to figure out exactly how close it has to be. It has to be within about an inch. I got the best results out of the two actually physically touching each other.

    If you are just messing around and you take your tone button on a Sport basic and you put it right next to the collar and press that buzz, you won't hear the sound because it is too close. You have got to be within an inch or two. It is a different signal when they are that close to each other.

    Rob: So it uses the same button for two functions?

    Steve: That is correct. One of the signals is short range and one of the signals is long range. It is one of those things that if you have never messed with it, most customers wouldn't be aware of it.

    Rob: Is it the same as syncing up the collars conceptually?

    Steve: Yes. It is actually very similar. It is not quite the same, but it is very similar as to when you are matching up your second and third dog collars.

    Rob: What all would people use the lights for?

    Steve: It was originally designed for hound folks. Most hound folks are running a similar sort of light right now on their collar. Those are generally a second collar, or there are a few products where you can add them onto a collar strap. So there are a lot of folks that are already doing that. This is sort of a way to get your remote version without having to have any extra collar straps.

    That is where the original concept came from. Then a lot of duck hunters saw it and said, "We would be interested in that for our retrievers." So they opened the market up a little bit there.

    There are a lot of products on the market that are pet lights and they are designed to protect your dog from traffic and just so you can see him at night. That is kind of where it came from.

    Rob: So for less than $50 you get a remote controlled light.

    Steve: Keep in mind; you have got to have a Tri-Tronics collar. It is absolutely useless without some sort of G2, G2 EXP, or G3 system. Tracker sells a light that slides onto a collar strap. It is not like that. You can use that on any collar strap. The Tracer is only to be used with Tri-Tronics G2 /G3 products.

    We have got to do some testing on it to get a better feel for how far you can see them and whether or not we are going to get a big distance where we can see the red, the blue, or the white.

    My experience right now tells me that you will be able to see red the furthest, based off of what we have done with some other products, but that is a little up in the air.

    I was a little disappointed in how much light it puts off. Some of the duck guys were thinking that it would be like your dog carrying an extra flashlight with them, and myself included. I was hoping it was going to be more like that so that when I am throwing out decoys I have somebody else holding a flashlight.

    But it just doesn't give off that kind of volume of light. It is just not designed for it.

    Rob: What kind of bulb is it? Is it an LED?

    Steve: Yes it is an LED.

    Another big point that people need to be aware of is that the tracer light is using your e-collar as its power source, so you are going to have to recharge your collar on a slightly more regular basis when you are using a tracer light.

    Rob: So if you run the tracer light on a full charged collar?

    Steve: Testing so far indicates you will get between 70 and 90% of normal battery life when using the Tracer. LEDs just don't use that much power. The good news is that charging your batteries on a more regular basis isn't going to hurt them, so it is not really an issue.

    Rob: They charge fast.

    Steve: Oh, yeah. I am not worried about that, but it is one of those things a customer needs to be aware of before they go out and they run for eight or 10 hours, they don't pay attention to it, and their collar is dead sooner than expected.

    It is just a factor. I think the folks that are looking for the remote control on it will appreciate it to the point that it is not a big deal, but it is something to keep in mind.

    The other thing is that the signal is going through the electronics, so when you are cutting your collars off you have to cut the lights off first and then cut the collar off. If you cut the collar off and the lights are still on, you will lose your remote capability.

    So the radio signal is not going to the light. It is going to the electronics and the electronics are telling the light what to do. So it is a little different. The same thing is true with the accessory beeper. The beepers don't work remotely when the collars aren't cut on.

    So what is happening is there is a signal going to the collar and then the collar is sending a signal to the accessory. So they just have to turn them off in the correct order. It is not a big deal.

    You can still turn your Tracer on and off with your transmitter at short range (a few inches) even if the receiver is turned off.

    Rob: Thank you for talking to us.

    Steve: It is always a pleasure.




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