SilverCloud GPS Tracking System, Part 1: Unboxing

The life of a blogger is a lot like being James Bond. There’s peril around every turn, assassins threatening to destroy you, evil henchmen, and occasionally the boss bad guy straps you to a giant circular saw and tells you his evil plan, making sure to go into such elaborate detail that you have time to formulate an escape plan.

OK, it’s really not like that.

I do get to play with some pretty cool gadgets though, and occasionally I get to use something that looks like it would be right at home in the world of secret agents.

My friends at LandAirSea sent me the SilverCloud a real-time GPS tracking system that lets you use the internet to track anything it’s attached to. I know that they want you to come up with legitimate uses for the SilverCloud, like keeping track of company cars, making sure your car is safe when your kid borrows it, and optimizing your routes when traveling. All of those sound like pretty harmless things you can do with a GPS tracker.

But that’s not what I wanted to do with it. Personally I wanted to attach it to my enemy’s Jaguar as I watched him speed away, thinking he had escaped from me and could return to the safety of his evil lair undetected. Note to self, find enemy with evil lair. Life might be more fun.

In seriousness, let’s take a look at this device and everything that comes with it.

The SilverCloud came in attractive retail packaging that includes the SilverCloud device, USB cable, charger and quick start guide. I also got the magnet mount attachment (because, what kind of spy would I be if I didn’t) and the vehicle charger. Let’s look at the accessories first.

 

The charger looks very much like a black version of an iPad charger. Unlike the iPad charger it seems to put out only 5 watts, meaning that it should be possible to charge the device from any USB port. The cable is a generic USB A to miniUSB affair, and the vehicle charger is similarly generic. But what else can you ask from a charger?

The magnet mount is, predictably, a large slab of metal. It takes the place of the battery compartment door and comes with an additional gasket to keep dust out of the battery compartment. This is no doubt because people want to mount this device undetected on the undercarriage of a vehicle 

Four small screws attach to corresponding holes on the SilverCloud.

 

The SilverCloud itself is a little bigger than an average smartphone, although it’s about 3cm tall at its tallest point. Back in the heyday of the spy era, we would have said it was about the size of a pack of cigarettes.


My overall impression was that of a solidly constructed item. The plastic seems durable and while the SilverCloud is light, it seems like it could take a little punishment. I was a little disappointed that the on/off switch is behind the battery door, because it means you have to unscrew the magnet mount in order to turn it on. I guess if I really were James Bond, I wouldn’t want my nemesis to find the kill switch, but from a real-world point of view it’s a little hard to work with.

The next step is to get the SilverCloud charged up and see how it works. I want to make sure it’s fully charged, because I want to know how long it lasts on a charge.