Telonics trapsite transmitters can be used to monitor and report status of various traps including box traps, culvert traps, clover traps, leg-hold traps, and corral traps. These transmitters provide one signal or message when the trap has not been triggered, and the signal or message changes when the trap is triggered. This allows the user to know the status of a trap without actually visiting and possibly disturbing the trap site. Since there is less disturbance of the trap site, trapping success can be improved. The ability to know remotely when a trap is triggered also facilitates animals being removed from traps in a timely manner.
Telonics currently produces two general types of trapsite transmitters:
VHF configurations are used for monitoring from the ground or aircraft. They change pulse rate when triggered (e.g. from 50 to 100 beats per minute).
Satellite-linked transmitters operate through the Globalstar or Iridium satellite systems to provide automated remote monitoring. When a trap is triggered it immediately transmits a message, and an email is sent as soon as the message is successfully received by the satellites. It also sends a daily check-in message when the trap status hasn't changed, so users can be alerted if the trapsite is unable to communicate with the satellites.
Iridium transmitters are more expensive, but they communicate with the satellites more reliably and perform better in polar regions and areas in which dense vegetation obstructs sky visibility.
Trapsite transmitters are equipped with a lanyard containing a magnet on one end. The lanyard is attached to a portion of the trap that moves when triggered, such that triggering the trap separates the magnet from the trapsite transmitter and activation of the "triggered" mode.
VHF Trapsite Transmitters
Telonics VHF trapsite transmitters' standard operation includes two user-specified pulse rates: a "standby" pulse rate indicates that the unit is operational, but not triggered, and a second pulse rate indicates that the unit has been triggered. Default values for those two pulse rates are 50 beats per minute (bpm) and 100 bpm; however, other pulse rates are available per request at the time of order.
Date and time of the most recent 9-16 changes from active to un-triggered to triggered or back are stored on board the transmitter, and that data can be recovered using Telonics Product Programmer (TPP) and physically connecting to the transmitter. In this way, if the user can recover the specific time that the trap was triggered.
VHF transmitters can alternatively be provided with a variable pulse rate that is related to the time since the triggering event (this is described in more depth below, but is very seldom used).
VHF units are monitored using a conventional VHF receiver and antenna, normally from the ground but potentially via aircraft.
Designed primarily for monitoring leg hold traps. Whip antenna.
Note: Lifetime estimates are based on continuous operation at 1200ms pulse period (50 beats per minute) at 0°C. Operational temperature range is 70°C to -40°C for the TBT-503-3, TBT-504-3, and TBT-550-3 (lithium batteries), and 55°C to -20°C for the TBTR-100-1 (alkaline batteries).
Globalstar Trapsite Transmitters
The TBT-4561-4 and TBTR-4360-4 transmitters operate through the Globalstar satellite system, which provides coverage in almost all terrestrial areas of the world. (There are gaps in coverage in central Africa, extreme polar regions, and in many oceanic areas. See coverage map) An activation fee of approximately $30 per transmitter and monthly fees of approximately $5 per transmitter apply for use of the Globalstar system with one daily check-in.
The TBT-4561-4 is a lithium primary battery system. The TBTR-4360-4 operates off a user-supplied CR123 or DL2/3A (3V, lithium) battery. When a trap is triggered, a Globalstar transmission is immediately triggered and that results in an email to the address assigned to that particular TBT-4561-4. This way, users can receive immediate notification when a trap is triggered as long as they are able to receive email. Globalstar trap messages are repeated several times to improve the chances of the message getting through on a timely basis. If the status of the trap has changed since the prior day (e.g. it has been initially activated, or a daily "check-in" transmission is missed), that information is also sent to the registered email address. Notification messages also include the GPS coordinates of the trapsite.
In difficult deployment environments in which the sky view is obstructed by vegetation or terrain, additional check-in transmissions may need to be rescheduled to avoid notifications of failed check-ins. An additional daily check-in adds about $3 per transmitter per month to the Globalstar fees and slightly reduces the estimated battery life. The Iridium trapsite transmitter might be considered instead if the environment is expected to be very difficult.
These units include a VHF transmitter, which can operate according to user-specified timing and pulse rates, and which changes pulse rates when triggered as with a VHF trapsite transmitter. Default programming for these units has the VHF portion operational 24-hours/day at 50 beats per minute (bpm) standby and 100 bpm triggered. Those values can be changed, or VHF disabled completely upon request at the time of order.
The Globalstar satellite network consists of 48 satellites in low-earth orbit. Overpasses provide continuous coverage over most terrestrial areas of the world, but the system is not worldwide because of its reliance on ground stations. Data received by the satellite is relayed to a ground station in real time and are available to the user within minutes. The coverage map for the Globalstar simplex system as used on wildlife is indicated by the map below. Areas in orange are primary coverage areas and those in grey crosshatch are areas of fringe coverage.
In addition to email notification of trap-trigger and other changes in status of a trapsite transmitter, the most recently transmitted status of the Globalstar trapsite transmitters can be obtained via Telonics-provided username and password access using the Telonics Trapsite Transmitter Status Check.
Note: The lifetime estimates are based on a daily Globalstar transmission, the VHF transmitter operating at 50 beats per minute for 24-hours/day, and extended operation at 0°C. For the TBTR-4360-4, operational life assumes one DL 2/3A lithium cell is installed; a second cell can be installed to double operational life. Overall operational temperature range is 70°C to -40°C for the TBT-4561-4, and 70°C to -20°C for the TBTR-4360-4.
Iridium Trapsite Transmitters
The TBTR-4370-4 transmitters operate through the Iridium satellite system, which provides continuous worldwide coverage. The Iridium satellite link provides two-way communications, so the trapsite transmitter can repeat notifications and check-in messages multiple times until it is successfully received. An activation fee of approximately $30 per transmitter and monthly fees of $7.25 per transmitter apply for use of the Iridium system (service plan C2 directly from metOcean, as of August 2020).
The TBTR-4370-4 operates off a user-supplied CR123 or DL2/3A (3V, lithium) battery. When a trap is triggered, an Iridium transmission is immediately triggered and that results in an email to the address assigned to that particular TBTR-4370-4. This way, users can receive immediate notification when a trap is triggered as long as they are able to receive email. Iridium trap messages are repeated every 15 minutes until the message is received successfully. Notification messages include the GPS coordinates of the trapsite.
Telonics Iridium trapsite transmitters also send a daily check-in message via Iridium. The time of this check-in message varies since it depends on the time the last message was successfully received by the satellites. The unit retries this check-in message every 15 minutes until the message is received or up to 20 times. If a check-in is missed, a "missed check-in email" is sent about 25 hours after the last successful transmission. Users will not receive notification of consecutive missed check-ins, but will be notified as soon as the next message is successfully received by the satellites.
These units include an optional VHF transmitter that changes pulse rates when triggered, just like a VHF-only trapsite transmitter. The VHF beacon operates 24-hours per day (i.e. there is no duty cycle) when VHF is enabled. When the trap is set, the VHF beacon operates at 50 BPM. When the trap is triggered, it operates at 100 BPM. If the battery is too weak for proper operation (Iridium transmitters), it operates at 20 BPM.
An email notification will received from the trapsite transmitter under any of the following conditions:
The unit makes a test transmission, which will be identified as a test in the email. This lets users test that the trap has been placed in a location/orientation that can be received by Iridium. The test period lasts about 6 minutes from when the shutdown magnet is pulled or batteries are attached (without a magnet). The unit first takes a GPS fix, and then makes an Iridium transmission. The VHF beacon is silent during the GPS fix attempt and Iridium transmission. After the transmission, the VHF beacon makes double beeps or triple beeps for the next 5 minutes. Double beeps mean that the fix attempt and transmission succeeded, triple beeps mean the fix attempt or transmission failed. The unit operates the VHF beacon during this test period even if the beacon is configured to be off during trap deployment.
The trap has been triggered, or was reset after triggering.
Low voltage was reported in a message for the first time (voltage was okay in the previous transmission). This indicates the battery may be nearly dead.
Iridium did not receive the daily check-in transmission (25 hours have elapsed since the last successful transmission). When a trap is shut down for the season, only one email is sent the first day it misses the check-in. Consecutive missed days will not produce additional alert emails.
Iridium receives the first transmission from a trap that had previously missed its daily check-in.
In addition to email notification of trap-trigger and other changes in status of a trapsite transmitter, the most recently transmitted status and GPS location of Iridium trapsite transmitters can be obtained via Telonics-provided username and password access using the Telonics Trapsite Transmitter Status Check.
Note: The conservative battery-life estimate with VHF enabled is 3 months at -20°C and 6 months at +20°C, with both batteries installed. The battery lasts twice as long if VHF is disabled during deployment.
Variable Pulse Rate - Time since Trap Triggering Option for VHF Trapsite Transmitters - Show
This option results in a variable pulse period which is correlated to the elapsed time since the trap was triggered. The user specifies:
A pulse period indicating the trap is operational but has not been triggered
A pulse period to be transmitted immediately after the triggering event
The maximum elapsed time of concern since occurrence of the event (1 second to 1000 days, though typically periods would be 1 day or less)
A pulse period that corresponds to the maximum time of concern after the event occurs
The beacon can vary the pulse period with either a simple linear scale or a segmented scale of 2-8 pieces. A linear scale provides constant resolution. A segmented scale allows finer resolution of elapsed time immediately after the trap was triggered and coarser resolution later on, but is more complex to interpret. Each segment has resolution that is twice as coarse as the segment before it. Telonics provides a graph and a linear equation (linear) or equations (segmented) to convert an observed pulse period into an elapsed time. For precise times this option requires precise measurements of pulse period. The relationship between elapsed time and pulse period can be positive as shown in the graphs below, or negative as indicated in the formula below.
As an example using a linear scale:
Pulse period at trap triggering: 1200 ms (50 BPM)
Pulse period at maximum elapsed time of concern (1 day) later: 600 ms (100 BPM)
Equation: Elapsed seconds = [(Pulse Period) X (-144.0008)] + 172803
Resolution: 2 min, 24 seconds per 1 ms change in pulse period
The TA-9 is a quarter wave omnidirectional antenna with a ground plane designed for fixed site applications. Approximate length is 33 inches, and the antenna is rated at 0 dBd gain. For use with the TBT-504-3 trapsite transmitter, specify that the TA-9 be constructed with a female TNC connector. A mounting mast and cable (e.g. the RW-3-12 TNC male/TNC male cable below) are not included with antenna.
The TA-9 comes tuned to one of the frequency bands below: 148-150 MHz 150-152 MHz 164-166 MHz 170-174 MHz 216-221 MHz
Other bands are available. Please contact our laboratory for more information.
RW-3-12 TNC Male to TNC Male for use with TBT-504-3 and TA-9 antenna
The RW-3-12 is a 12 foot RG-58 coax cable with TNC male to TNC Male connectors.
Custom cables can be ordered from the laboratory.
HD 009245-001 Magnet Pull Lanyard for use with TBT and TBTR series units
Length 20.5 in (52.07 cm)
One HD 009245-001 is included with each trapsite transmitter.
Adapter, female BNC to alligator clips for use with the TSC-9A cable. This adapter is used for systems where programming/download connections are made using the antenna tip or saltwater switch buttons.
TAS-1 Telonics Armor Shell for TBT-550-3
Click a thumbnail for a larger view.
HD009828-001 Trapsite Replacement Plug Kit
Kit includes 10 replacement rubber plugs to replace a missing or damaged plug from a trapsite magnet pull lanyard (HD009245-001). Each order of ten plugs is provided with one washer tool (HD004030-009) for use in installing the new plug. See video for installation method.
This information on discontinued products is provided for individuals who are still using these older systems. Product descriptions may be time sensitive or even outdated. Please contact Telonics if you have questions.
Telonics supports these products as possible based on availability of parts, software, or other considerations; but no longer sells them new.
Telonics previously produced an trapsite transmitter which operated through the Argos satellite system, the TTA-4610-3.
Lithium Battery Shipping Regulations
Telonics Inc. ships all systems containing lithium batteries in accordance with the US Department of Transportation rules for hazardous materials set forth in 49CFR and the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations.
Since 1970, Telonics has built a reputation based on product quality, product support, service, and customer satisfaction. Telonics strives to produce the highest quality products, and to support those products accordingly.
Because of extreme conditions and the unpredictable nature associated with most telemetry applications, problems occasionally arise. Most problems can be resolved quickly. In all cases, we hope to be able to work in partnership with users to resolve problems to the user's satisfaction and to uphold our demonstrated commitment to excellence. If problems should arise, all products must be returned to our factory for failure analysis.
Warranty: VHF Transmitting Subsystems - Show
The VHF Transmitting Subsystem includes the following main components: internal digital and radio frequency electronics comprising the transmitter, power supply (battery), exterior packaging, transmitting antenna and attachment. A refurbished Subsystem is warranted as if the Subsystem was purchased new, unless otherwise stated.
Telonics warranties only the following with respect to the Subsystem:
1.1 The internal electronics (excluding batteries) are warranted to be free from defects in materials and workmanship and to perform to the operational specifications over the specified operating temperature range as published by Telonics for the rated operational life of the Subsystem (as recorded on the final test data sheet accompanying the unit), up to a maximum of three (3) years from the date of initial shipment of the Subsystem by Telonics.
1.2 The exterior packaging integrity of hermetically sealed subsystems are warranted for the full operational life of the Subsystem, up to a maximum of three (3) years from the date of initial shipment of the Subsystem by Telonics.
1.3 The exterior packaging integrity of polymerically sealed subsystems are warranted for the operational life of the Subsystem, up to a maximum of one (1) year from the date of initial shipment of the Subsystem by Telonics.
Although each Subsystem is supplied with a power supply in the form of a battery, Telonics does not manufacture batteries (electrochemical cells), and therefore cannot warranty the battery lifespan, mechanical integrity or other battery performance issues. However, Telonics conducts extensive testing of all types of electro-chemical subsystems to determine suitability to the application. Once an electrochemical system is chosen for a configuration, testing procedures are employed at Telonics to evaluate every individual battery that is installed in each transmitting subsystem. Even using these advanced testing procedures it is not possible to determine a specific battery's lifespan or mechanical integrity.
Telonics conducts tests to assure that each unit is transmitting at the power level selected by the user. Actual range performance is a system characteristic dependent upon numerous conditions including receiver sensitivity and noise figure, receiving antenna tuning and pattern, transmitter antenna integrity, line of sight conditions in the field, and vegetation and habitat conditions and other factors specific to individual study sites. Therefore it is not possible to warranty a minimum range that will be achieved for units deployed in the field.
"Packaging integrity" as applicable to 1.2 and 1.3 above, is limited to normal wear as encountered on the animal.
It is the purchaser's obligation to make certain that it orders the correct size and type of Subsystem for the particular type and size of animal that the Subsystem will be applied to, and no warranty is expressed or implied for any failure to meet operational specifications due in whole or in part to use of an incorrect size or type of Subsystem.
No warranty is expressed or implied with regard to abnormal events or damage due to human actions such as gunshot damage, vehicle encounters, etc. Further, no warranty is expressed or implied with regard to damage resulting from misuse, accidents, unauthorized service, extreme conditions, or other causes not specifically enumerated herein.
The entire risk, as to the results and performance of the Subsystem, is assumed by the customer. Neither Telonics, nor its suppliers, shall have any liability to the customer or any other person or entity for any indirect, incidental, special, or consequential damage whatsoever, regardless whether Telonics has been told of the possibility of such damages or that such damages might be foreseeable. Telonics has no responsibility or liability for the claims of any third party. Telonics' and its suppliers' maximum aggregate liability shall not exceed the amount paid by the customer for the Subsystem.
Exercising the Warranty
If a defect occurs, return the Subsystem to Telonics within the applicable time frame noted above at the following address: TELONICS, 932 E. IMPALA AVENUE, MESA AZ USA 85204-6699. Telonics does not assume responsibility for loss or damage to equipment during shipment. Telonics does not assume responsibility for delays resulting from shipment on commercial or private carriers. We insure all equipment shipped from our facility and suggest that shipments to Telonics also be insured. Customer shall arrange for and pay all shipping, insurance and related charges incurred in the shipment of Subsystems to and from Telonics under this warranty.
Upon the timely return to our facility within the applicable time frame noted above, if the exterior packaging integrity and/or internal electronics (excluding batteries) are defective, the Subsystem will be replaced or repaired, at Telonics' sole discretion, at no cost to the customer, other than shipping charges. This remedy is the exclusive remedy. This product is supplied without any further warranties or conditions, expressed or implied, including warranties of merchantability, quality or fitness for particular reason or those arising by laws, statutes or trade usage or course of dealing.
The above warranty extends only to the original purchaser and does not cover any Subsystem which is resold or otherwise transferred from the original purchaser to another party. The warranty will be extended to customers who purchase the Subsystem directly from a Telonics-authorized distributor.
Warranty: Globalstar and Iridium Systems - Show
Telonics warrants its Globalstar and Iridium products to be free from defects in material and workmanship for a period of one year from the date acquired. Telonics does not warrant batteries.
If a defect occurs, return the equipment to us within the proper time frame at the following address: TELONICS, 932 E. IMPALA AVENUE, MESA AZ USA 85204-6699. The customer shall arrange for and pay all shipping, insurance and related charges incurred in the shipment to and from Telonics under this warranty. Damage to any equipment resulting from misuse, accidents, unauthorized service, extreme conditions, or other causes, is excluded from this warranty. Telonics does not assume responsibility for loss or damage to equipment during shipment. Telonics does not assume responsibility for delays resulting from shipment on commercial or private carriers. We insure all equipment shipped from our facility and suggest that shipments to Telonics also be insured.
Upon the timely return to our facility, if defective, the product will be replaced or repaired at our discretion at no cost to the customer. This remedy is the exclusive remedy. This product is supplied without any further warranties or conditions, expressed or implied, including warranties of merchantability, quality or fitness for particular reason or those arising by laws, statutes or trade usage or course of dealing.
The entire risk, as to the results and performance of the product, is assumed by the customer. Neither Telonics, nor its suppliers, shall have any liability to the customer or any other person or entity for any indirect, incidental, special, or consequential damage whatsoever, regardless whether Telonics has been told of the possibility of such damages or that such damages might be foreseeable. Telonics has no responsibility or liability for the claims of any third party. The maximum aggregate to the customer, of Telonics and its suppliers, shall not exceed the amount paid by the customer for the product.