Check the progress of this gruelling adventure race, courtesy of the rugged YB3 Sat Trackers.
On the southern end of Lake Wanaka, in a dramatic glacial basin, is the stunning town of Wanaka. The World’s First Protected Lifestyle Reserve, it’s a spectacular natural playground and if you are into the outdoors, there is no better place to visit or to host GODZone.
Wanaka is one of New Zealand’s premier gateways to the outdoors. With four ski resorts, endless walks, hikes and mountain bike trails, an abundance of water sports, and the Mt Aspiring National Park near by, outdoor enthusiasts are spoilt for choice.
Wanaka was the location for Eco Challenge back in 2001 and with so many course options available participants will enjoy breathtaking scenery and a sensational adventure through some of New Zealand’s most epic terrain.
Lake Wanaka’s spectacular location at the foot of the Southern Alps makes it a magnet for adventurers. The town is situated at the southern end of the lake and is surrounded by mountains. To the southwest is the Crown Range and township of Queenstown (and the excellent Cardona Pub). To the north the Haast Pass cuts through the Southern Alps. The Matukituki River valley gives access to the Mount Aspiring National Park and some of the most dramatic scenery in the whole of New Zealand.
Wanaka’s summers are mild in the valley, but winter can be extreme with temperature mostly in the single digits during the day time followed by extremely cold and frosty nights and frequent snowfalls. Teams participating in GODZone should expect to travel high into the mountains which always brings the risk of extreme temperatures, both hot and cold.
The main disciplines for GODZone are navigation, trekking, mountain biking, kayaking and canoeing. The race may include additional disciplines that reflect the demands of the terrain.
Many teams underestimate the importance of navigation in adventure races. It is vital that you have at least one competent navigator in the team. The course will demand strong map skills and present teams with numerous route decisions that could significantly impact performance.
Most stages of the race will have a navigational element which underlines its importance. On some parts of the course teams may travel for many hours before seeing a TA or CP (with several route options available) meaning tactical planning will be just as important as following the map. The organisers strongly believe that the winning team should combine both brains and brawn so competitors should focus on a subtle balance of physical prowess versus skills, such as navigation and route planning.
The GPS tracker will collect and send several packets of information every fifteen minutes keeping the organisers, family and friends left at home informed on how their favourite teams are progressing along the course.
Our devices also provides the teams with a way to communicate if something should go wrong, as there is a red alert button which will transmit the gps coords to the race organisers so the teams can be located quickly and assessments made.
For more information please visit the GODZone website.]]>
The James Craig is 141 year old iron clad square rigger, that is well known to folks who get out on Sydney Harbour, and she is about to embark on a bit of a longer journey down to Hobart and back. That should get some real wind into the rigging and give her a bit of a workout. The hard working crew at the Sydney Heritage Fleet who maintain the vessel wisely decided they needed online tracking for the upcoming trip, both for safety and a bit of publicity. So of course who do they approach; G-Layer the exclusive distributors of YB tracking products in Aus.
When Jeremy from the Sydney Heritage Fleet www.shf.org.au called us to discuss some sponsorship and cross promotion, we were of course more than happy to offer a YB3 Tracker to the James Craig. The old square rigger cuts a memorable silhouette as she cruises around Port Jackson, and we would be honoured to support the Sydney Heritage Fleet anyway we can.
This elegant and beautifully restored ship, with masts as high as a 10-storey building, carries 21 sails on three masts. On her 2015 Hobart voyage she’ll muster a crew of 56 fully-trained Fleet volunteers, as well as twelve passengers who have paid for this experience of a lifetime.
Often said to be Sydney’s third icon, alongside the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House., James Craig will be ceremonially farewelled by the NSW Port Authority’s fire tug, Shirley Smith, as she leaves Sydney Harbour for Hobart.
The voyage to Tassie across the notorious Bass Strait can never be taken lightly, even in a sailing ship as huge the James Craig. Safety is always a priority, and the YB Tracker continually provides peace of mind for the crew and their families.
The YB3 Tracker reports its position at intervals anywhere from 1 minute to 12 hours, with no user intervention required. No buttons to press, nothing to remember, and a battery than can go for months.
On top of this is two directional messaging via text and email – at the lowest prices on the market.
Below you can check out the latest moves of the SV James Craig as she prepares foe her departure. Stay tuned for the dates, as they get confirmed soon.
Maintenance and Service crew are deployed in isolated areas, as remote as only Regional Australia can be. They cannot rely on communication facilities on the ground such as mobile phone (GSM) networks as coverage is non existent.
Australia is an unforgiving continent. Extreme weather events are frequent and danger is always around the corner.
We provide RockSTAR, remote worker safety system to a large number of remote workers across the globe. The RockSTAR provides accurate gps tracking, allowing HQ to know the last location of their team members, and also gives a secure and private means of communication from HQ to remote workers. RockSTAR comes with advanced alert features and a big red emergency button, as it’s built with safety in mind.
In Depth – RockSTAR chosen by Tenterfield shire council
It’s a tough life in Regional Australia – Tenterfield Shire Council workers are often out of GSM coverage as they travel around the Shire on duty . In all cases, they can only rely on the equipment they take with them.
This is where RockSTAR, remote worker safety system is most useful. It provides vital communications to keep in touch with both HQ, and home. Position information is sent automatically from the unit, as regularly as every 30 seconds, or as infrequently as once every 12 hours. If the team at head office suspect their workers are in trouble they can remotely increase the transmission rate to get more frequent fixes.
The RockSTAR can also be used to communicate, sending short messages via e-mail and SMS to the office, and to loved ones. Some even use our Bluetooth link (via iPad/iPhone/Android) to comfortably write e-mail
Our units don’t rely on any terrestrial service – if the mobile phone network is down, that’s not a problem. As long as our devices can see the sky, then they will be able to transmit their position and message data back home. That means they are reliable and dependable, regardless of weather conditions and access to electricity.
The Remote worker safety system‘s battery endurance will allow up to 2000 transmissions with a single charge.
It’s cost effective too. Tenterfield Shire Council have a stock of RockSTARs, but that doesn’t mean they are always in use. With our service, you just pay for what you use, minimum commitment is one month. Before the start of the trip HQ activate the line rental for the unit for a month or more. When the units are sat on the shelf in the store-room, you don’t pay anything. Any credits left over from one deployment will still be there when the unit is activated next time, on its next trip. Credits never expire.
Back at the head office, the customer uses The CORE to monitor the positions and welfare of all their workers.
In the case of an emergency, the RockSTAR unit can be used to alert HQ, using either the dedicated red button, or alternatively the messaging facilities to indicate the type of alert, and any other relevant details.
In summary, the RockSTAR is a private and reliable means of communication and tracking between the remote worker and HQ. It’s pay-as-you-go service is cost effective, requiring no annual contracts.
For more informations about RockSTAR, remote worker safety system, visit: www.g-layer.com.au/rockstar/ or call us for free at 1 800 181 565]]>
We’ve been waiting a while for delivery of this new generation class 1 terminal and our end customer will be finally pleased to receive his long waited HDR BGAN.
Our customer wishes to remain anonymous, we certainly respect his wishes, but we got permission to grab some shots for the blog.
The 9211 is the newer terminal from Hughes Network Systems, the long announced replacement for the 9201, the industry standard, mainstay of many broadcasters, war-zone correspondents, NGOs and disaster relief agencies.
It’s lighter and more compact than its predecessor, but with the same level of ingress protection. Unlike the 9201, it has a LCD display and can be activated without the need for a laptop. A build in WiFi access point makes it very versatile and suitable for multiple users.
The great innovation is under the bonnet, the Hughes 9211 is an HDR terminal, capable of asynchronous upload and download data rates, ideal for time critical applications such as live video streaming and remote content delivery. Its portability makes it the ideal pick for field reporters.
Also the price tag is interesting, making it much more affordable than the competitor Thrane & Thrane.
We can see a bright future for the 9211 and hopefully many more orders coming for the type.
As it came, so it goes – Hughes 9211 HDR BGAN with the courier for final delivery
We just had enough time to test the new unit, making sure everything is in good order and the terminal “sees” it’s Inmarsat I-4 bird loud and clear. Unfortunately, the order was placed a while ago and the delivery was delayed because of the silly season. We could not hold the unit a single day longer. Certainly we would have love to check out the HDR features of Hughes 9211, but I’m sure we’ll get some postivie feedback very soon.
We prepared the Hughes 9211 in a brand new orange Pelican Case, as per customer’s request and we handed over the package to the next available courier.
Standard IP speeds up to 492kbps
Broadband Data – < 492kbps
The rugged and lightweight Hughes 9211 HDR is a budget-friendly High Data Rate terminal, providing the optimal balance of high performance, quality of service and lowest cost. The 9211-HDR boasts a hardened, compact, and sleek design— the world’s smallest and lightest HDR-capable BGAN. Users can connect at streaming broadband speeds of over 650 kbps with features such as built-in, multi-user Wi-Fi access.
Hughes 9211 is available at G-Layer, drop us an email or give us a call for more information, we offer volume discounts for large orders.
New Zealand based firm, Adventure Consultant is a world-renowned mountain guiding company with a legacy of climbing expeditions to the world’s highest peaks, and treks to the more remote corners of the globe.
They offer 72 expeditions, treks and wilderness journeys to the Himalaya, Antarctica, Arctic, South America, and the Seven Summits.
G-Layer has recently partnered with Adventure Consultant, and is ready to offer a great deal to all AC’s customers.
Starting from February 2015, Adventure Consultant’s customers will be able to chose, as expedition’s add-on, the possibility of hiring a YB3 sat tracker.
G-Layer will supply the equipment, the airtime and 24/7 support, enabling AC’s customers to be followed by their loved ones and to keep in touch from anywhere on Earth.
We will supply the end-customer with a state-of-the-art sat tracker and two way communication device at affordable rates.
Two great reasons to choose YB3 sat tracker are that it will work anywhere on the planet, and the battery lasts for 2000 transmission each charge.
The huge 5300 mA LiPo battery makes sure you can keep adventuring anywhere you want for weeks at a time. No need for spare batteries.
The Iridium constellation will follow you to the ends of the Earth, as the footprint is global and does not have blind spots.
The 3D fix takes a matter of seconds and your altitude is measured with great precision, ideal for mountaneering.
YB3’s reliable two-way messaging system is also special, as you can send and receive messages without the need for a tablet device. But if you do have one, you can connect your YB3 sat tracker using Bluetooth and capitalise on all the advanced messaging functions.
Packed with features, YB3 sat tracker is rugged, waterproof and dustproof. It will have no problems in sub-zero temperatures, where all competitors will show their limits.
At G-Layer we don’t offer anything which we haven’t tested ourselves. We’ve travelled extensively around this planet, always keeping in mind that the choice of the right equipment is key to the success of the expedition.
We know that safety is always the most important call and this is why we decided to offer YB3 sat tracker to our customers in Oceania.
We look forward to Adventure Consultant’s customers to try a YB3 sat tracker.]]>
YB3 GPS tracking device is regarded as the best locator device and two way communication system out there. It has rightfully earned it’s fame in the field, where the YB3 was born. YB tracking has designed its masterpiece thanks to many years of real world experience and testing.
We are proud to announce that, after many of you asked to hire our trackers for a one-off trip, rather than purchase them, we have decided to offer a high-end rental service.
Therefore we are finally ready to help you track your next adventure!
Of course if you still want to own your own YB3 GPS tracking devices, we will always have them for sale in the traditional four flavours of Basic, Standard, Pro, and Corporate.
No matter what you do, YB3 is the ideal GPS tracking device for professional adventurers, and now is also a more economical option for casual hikers, bushwalkers, weekend off-roaders, dirt bike riders, or anyone wanting to keep in touch and be safe in remote locations, without the need for owning a GPS tracking device.
We offer YB3 GPS tracking device for rent to the outdoor warriors, starting from as little as $25 a day (ex GST), if you wish to keep the tracker for at least two weeks.
This includes 1 trackpoint every 15 minutes, and we’re happy to give you a 10% discount if you want only one tracking report every hour!
For those who might not want to purchase a YB3 GPS tracking device upfront, we now have this affordable rental scheme where tracking points, line rental, postage, Yblog and support are all inclusive!
We expect a great response from our Australian customers. The YB3 is already our best seller and now is also possible to hire for events large and small.
Give us a call, tell us how long you need it for and we’ll respond with our professional advise and service.
Renting YB3 GPS tracking units makes sense when you have a short term event or trip. YBtracking provides the tracking units, the award-winning web-based race viewer, and all the service and support you need to ensure your event runs smoothly.
They provide tracking services for events all over the world, from 1-person rowing attempts, to 500-yacht races and regattas. YBtracking covers yacht races, adventure sports, car rallies, paragliding events, motorbike expeditions and more… just get in touch with YBtracking for more information.
You can contact YBtracking for more details or give a call to G-Layer, we’ll get you well connected.
Don’t settle for anything less than the YB3 GPS tracking device!]]>
The Motor Neurone Cycle Challenge 2015, an epic 4,000Km bike ride around New Zealand, starting February 1st. Carey heard the YB3 personal tracking device is the number one out in the wilderness, wherever the GSM coverage is poor or non existent, reason and this is why he decided to contact us in the first place.
G-Layer are the reseller for YB3 and Rock7 products in the Australia Pacific region. We always have YB3 personal tracking devices in stock, so we are happy to sponsor him with the airtime needed for his journey.
Needless to say, we fully support his cause and are proud to help him reaching his goal.
Carey Vivian, has chosen YB3 for his ride around New Zealand.
He will be able to rely on our help and support, customising his Yblog and embedding the map on his website. We will always keep en eye on him while he’s on the road.
The powerful YB3 personal tracking device and it’s massive battery power will help Carey to keep in touch with the loved ones and followers. His supporters will be able to track his progress on his web page: www.raceagainsttime.co.nz . The YB3 will enable Carey to tweet and post Facebook updates, send and receive emails and SMS, all while he’ll be on wheels.
We contacted Carey and asked him to explain, for our readers, the reasons why this February he’ll get on his bicycle and Race Against Time:
“My dad has been building and fixing bikes for me my whole life. He is a master at all forms of welding, brazing, designing and machining. No matter what my bike fad was at the time, if it started to look tatty he would paint it. If it broke, he would fix it. If I had an idea, he would build it for me. Nothing was impossible, nothing was too hard.
But that’s all changed. Two years ago Dad was diagnosed with the devastating Motor Neurone Disease (MND), the same incurable disease suffered by physicist Stephen Hawking. Dad is one of about 300 people in New Zealand living with MND. He can expect to eventually lose control of the muscles that enable him to move, speak, breathe and swallow, and the condition will eventually lead to his untimely death. Someone in Australia dies from MND every day.
These days you won’t find my dad in his workshop like you once did. The disease has robbed him of most of his energy, and a man who could never ‘sit still and do nothing’ is essentially doing just that. He watches his favourite television programmes of times gone by, shuffles when he walks, struggles to cut up his food and spends a lot of time watching planes arrive and depart the airport and ships coming into the port. It is heartbreaking to see what this incurable disease has done to him so far.
Dad, like most Kiwi MND sufferers, is supported by the Motor Neurone Disease Association of NZ (MNDANZ). The organisation does an amazing job helping MND sufferers and their carer’s. However, like many charitable organisations, they rely on a small pool of funds to do this work.
I have spent a lot of my time organising events, raising funds and building mountain bike trails in the Queenstown, NZ area. It occurred to me that I could put those same skills to use to help the people at MNDANZ who help my Dad and other sufferers of this disease every day.
So, on February 1 this year, I’m setting off on a 4,000 km unsupported with my mountain bike ride the length of New Zealand, starting at Cape Reinga in the far north and finishing at Bluff in the far south 6 weeks later. I will have a YB3 personal tracking device with me, thanks to the kind support of G-Layer. The live tracking and blog which starts on 1st February 2015 can be accessed from my website www.raceagainsttime.co.nz. Email email@example.com and Facebook www.facebook.com/raceagainsttime “
Please, support Carey, support the Motor Neurone Disease Association of New Zealand (MNDA)!
Yellowbrick is the ideal GPS tracker for professional adventurers, but the pricing structure means it is also the economical option for casual hikers, weekend off-roaders, dirt bike riders, or anyone wanting to keep in touch and be safe in remote locations.
If you wish to buy, hire or simply know more about YB3 personal tracking device, give us a call or drop us an email.]]>
So on top of the muesli bars and fancy energy drinks that would apparently hydrate you even in the dessert, we carry a PLB and a satellite tracking device.
For this excursion we have chosen a YB3 satellite tracking device from G-Layer.
If a “weekend warrior” gets lost, the loved ones at home can follow your adventures in real time on the web and needn’t panic if you’re an hour late on your return, because you stopped at the pub for a coldie. They can see exactly where you are – even which pub!
In case of real trouble, the YB3 satellite tracking device is fitted with a Big Red alert button. A five second press, and your designated responders will know that you require assistance.
The device is also a two way messenger, and has a free-text function which will allow you to send SMS and email to selected contacts, without the use of a smart-phone.
In case you do have a smart-phone (iOS or Android), you can use it for advanced messaging via bluetooth and the YBConnect app.
Better safe than sorry!
The weather has been a “scorcher”, which is the technical term for temperatures around 40 degrees here in Australia.
What this means for the uninitiated:
This is how it looked like in Australia on the weekend!
Red means hot!
We would not be deterred by the heat, as we wanted to check out the new YB3 satellite tracking device from G-Layer in a remote area. We have chosen the Conondale National Park and in particular the Mt Allan track approach from the Charlie Moreland camp area. Looking forward to being able to explore the traditional land of the Gubbi-Gubbi people.
The YB3 satellite tracking device is rated for temps exceeding 50°C so will just carry on, no matter the forecast!
The reason we wanted to climb Mt Allan was the direct access to the fire tower to transmit a position report with our new YB3 and test its accuracy.
We started to climb Mt Allan fire tower on Saturday morning at 9 am.
The distance is not huge, only 8.8 kms return. but gradient to the fire tower is relatively steep so a 4 hr return is estimated.
We had provisioned for water appropriate for the conditions, which for me meant about 2.5L. I had also added extra weight to the pack for training and additional bits and bobs that we carry around these days to be prepared for the worst, like snakebites, and stings. Always a great idea to know how to use your First Aid Kit.
The first kilometre of the hike showed the path ahead, cleared pine plantation, no cover from the sun and a very steep gravel road with a gradient of about 20%.
Long story short, after about 1.5kms I’ve had it, ready to bring up my breakfast!
Nauseous, knees shaking and disappointed we abandoned the mission. We’ll test our YB3 satellite tracking device for pinpoint accuracy (position, elevation and temperature) the next time, better prepared…
It was the wrong approach to Mt Allan from the Imbil State Forest area. No shade and the temperature in the high 30s didn’t help.
We approached the Conondale State Forest the next day from the Booloumba Creek area. The chosen track was from the day area to Boolooumba Falls, 19 kms return.
To reach the day-use area by car various river crossings are required and during wet season can only be approached by 4-wheel drive and with great caution. – So the signs say!
Nevertheless our 2-wheel campervan did just fine. Not to mention the little Asian jellybean hatchback we found after one of the crossings. – Figure that!
Immediately we could see this was the better choice. The forest greeted us with beautiful rainforest vegetation and small waterholes filled with tadpoles.
The picturesque path leads to a swimming area called Artist Cascades, where a river crossing is required.
As there is currently very little water due to the recent drought, we hopped across the pebbles in the river bed. The cascades looked tempting to stop for a dip and make it a day, but we pressed on to the Booloumba Falls to be rewarded there.
After the cascades the path gets quite challenging, with loose rocks and a steep ascent until the ridge of the mountain is reached. A refreshing breeze was helping us along and the splashing sounds of water promising us a cool break soon.
Also some exciting encounters with the local wildlife made for a speedy trip.
As we reached the top of the hill, feeling like Rocky Balboa, we manually activated a position report on the YB3 to check in and also to be able to track progress and time used. Spot on! Accuracy of about a meter and pretty accurate in elevation too, overall, a perfect 3D fix.
The path then meanders along the top of the mountain opening up tantalising views to the falls. Are we there yet?
Booloumba Falls waterhole is on the “dark side” of the hill and it takes a little while to get there.
Finally we dipped into the beautiful iridescent water of Boolooumba Falls as a reward for our effort. A little cool but super clear and extremely refreshing. While we sat in the water cooling off we placed another manual position report with our YB3 satellite tracking device. It’s waterproof, so no worries!
A quick snack to rejuvenate the energy and off we went for the return trip. Totally unexpected we passed rainforest art slowly being taken over by nature.
The egg reminded us of lunch to be had so we sped up and managed to finish the 19 kms in just under 6 hrs.
YB3, the Satellite Tracking device from G-Layer
We are pleased to know that next time we are heading out our families can breathe easy, can follow our hiking efforts on the YB3 website (Yblog) and put their feet up and relax, while we go bush.
If you wish to know more about YB3 Satellite Tracking Device, give a call to our friends at G-Layer or check the web site.
by Sabine Stainer]]>
It’s that time of year again – whether we love it or not, one thing is certain, Christmas comes sooner every year. The holiday season is when many of us will be hitting the highway on the family road trip. It’s also a time when we all like to feel connected to our family and friends. Time when Aussies partake in their annual pilgrimage to the relo’s BBQ.
At G-Layer, we’re also gearing up for Silly Season. Gionny is travelling in Europe, while John is sizzling lamb chops, out at the farm.
Nevermind that we’re in holiday mode, our support will be business as usual during the holiday season, free for all our YB3 and RockSTAR customers!
An easy way you can give something back this year, is taking up our Naked promo, where we ship the trackers sans box, cable and charger in a recycled padded jiffy bag, and donate $20 to the Australian Conservation Foundation on your behalf. Click here to read more.
ACF needs you to help protecting our environment.
And finally; It has been a long and busy year, we came quite far in 2014, it’s finally time to regenerate our energies, take a well deserved break and come back fresh, in January 2015.
We have many projects to complete and many more in the pipeline. We look forward to the challenges ahead, new products and clever solutions which we’ll bring to our Australian and New Zealand customers.
G-Layer will also keep an eye to our testimonials: Eric Philips and Tim Garrett , both busy in Antarctica. As usual we’ll make sure they can send their xmas greetings and speak with their loved ones from so far away.
Merry Christmas and Happy new year!
The G-Layer team]]>
We have been invited to participate in the RQYC cruise this weekend, thanks to beautiful friends and their world famous SY Stylopora.
Sailing practice was high on the agenda and a weekend of wild weather in SE Queensland has given us plenty of opportunity to put our expertise to the test.
We wanted to test the YB3 tracker in adverse weather conditions and check its use in a marine adventure application.
Saturday morning, first practice was heaving-to. – No, this has nothing to do with being seasick and feeding the fish!
Heaving to is a technical term used in yachting. The technique is used to “putting the breaks on” or “putting the boat into irons”. Heaving to is used to stop the boat in a case of wild weather to allow repairs, the crew to recover and also it creates a slick, that does not allow heavy waves to break on board.
All of the above does not involve dropping the anchor, it is achieved through fine tuning the sails and rudder and it literally stops the boat in the water and it only drifts with the tide, if present.
Highly efficient, the owners of SY Stylopora knowing their boat well, with some input from our Sydney to Hobart Division Winner Steve and myself we managed to determine a balance between mainsail, rudder position and foresail to stop the boat and create a slick at a 45 degree angle.
Several other boats of the cruising fleet learned the new skill more (or less) successfully.
Only several hours into the practice the first squalls whipped up white caps on the water, wave heights increased dramatically and rain pelted down over Queensland’s Moreton Bay.
Early afternoon the fleet decided to seek shelter in beautiful Horseshoe Bay, Peel Island.
Here the use of a sea anchor was discussed and demonstrated, to be interrupted by wild winds of about 40 knots and boat owners frantically dashing back to their floating homes to close up hatches and secure their boats for the storm ahead.
Over several hours the wind instrument showed us some alarming readings and boats less fortunate and with less experience started dragging anchor and decided to limp home after the storm had settled.
No such thoughts on SY Stylopora, where the anchor gear had been deployed expertly and the anchor had been driven in by experienced yachtswoman Di.
Our YB3 tracker did not disappoint us, as even in the height of the storm we could send manual reports and keep our position, thunder and lightning not disturbing the quality of the transmission.
Sunday morning greeted us again with strong winds, but at least the cloud cover had lifted and some sun was visible.
After a well-deserved morning swim and walk, we set sail again to circumnavigate Peel Island and head back to the home port.
Along the way the YB3 tracker was tested and checked with navigational aids and of course proved to be accurate in every case.
Just in time we arrived back in port by early afternoon, with a sea breeze about to blow up again and the beautiful yacht tied up safe and sound.
If you wish to know more about YB3 tracker, visit www.g-layer.com.au
G-Layer is the Australian reseller for YB3 tracker and Rock7 products.]]>