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All RavTrack products use 128-bit AES encryption for their transmissions, making it impossible for other radios, even other Raveon radios to intercept the position reports. The encryption “key phrase” is programmed into each RV-M7 Transponder when the unit is installed. Your position and status information is completely private. AES uses the key phrase to encrypt all position and status transmissions.  The key phrase is programmed into the M7 with the KEYPHRASE command.

And because RavTrack does not use common carriers for their signals, position and status information is not publicly accessible.

Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) is a data encryption technique adopted by the US government.  The standard uses the Rijndael block cipher, and specifies the key and block sizes. The M7 uses a 128-bit block size.  AES has been analyzed extensively and is now used worldwide, as was the case with its predecessor DES.  To date, no government or private party has been able to “crack” and AES 128-bit encrypted message.   This is not true of the older DES system used on other AVL products.

All radios in your tracking system must have the same KEYPHRASE programmed into them.  The KEYPHRASE is hashed into a unique 128 bit encryption key used by the AES encrption/decryption software within the M7.  A user cannot read out the KEYPHRASE from an M7, so even a stolen or compromised M7 cannot be used to determine the encryption KEYPHRASE.

Besides the AES encryption, there are numerouse technological features in the RavTrack system that make it secure and private.

  • UHF radio frequencies, with thousands of radio channels
  • Proprietary over-the-air protocol
  • Data compression of the position and status messages
  • 16-bit ID for each vehicle
  • 255 group codes
  • And the AES 128 bit cyphering

The RavTrack system does not use public common-carrier infrastructure. You own the radio channel, and so there are no monthly fees, no connection charges, no activation charges, no cost-per-MB of data.

Because the airwaves are free, you can send and receive position and status information as often as you need. Real-time tracking no longer costs real money.


Typical monthly fixed cost

Additional cost for 1 minute updates (1MB data)

Additional cost for 10-second updates

Typical Annual service fees




$84 per month





0-$30 per month







Common carriers are needed when a vehicle tracking system must cover hundreds and thousands of square miles. For nation-wide GPS tracking, systems based on satellite-based radio transponders or cell-phone networks are ideal.

But, for local GPS tracking systems that cover cities, counties, parks, and marinas, the RavTrack system outperforms the wide-area systems with faster updates, more information, better status, and of course, no recurring fees.

No Recurring Hardware Fees

The hardware cost of Raveon’s GPS transponders is about the same as a cell-phone modem, GSM modem, or satellite radio modem with a GPS tracking receiver in it. A base-station is needed to build a RavTrack system, but the economical M7 transponder may also be used as the base station. Locate am M7 at a high location in the area, and it will easily cover 10s if not a hundred square miles.

No Obsolescence

Cellular-based wireless modems go obsolete at a remarkable rate. Many AVL transponders that use public wireless networks that were designed 5-10 years ago are no longer in service because the wireless carries update networks and all users must purchase new hardware. This does not happen with VHF and UHF tracking systems. Once you have a license for a radio channel, you can use it for decades. There are many VHF and UHF radios in service today that were first deployed 20 or more years ago.

GPRS, MicrBurst, and CDMAone are just a few wireless technologies used in AVL 10 years ago, and are now not supported by many carriers. Users had the discard their hardware and buy all new tracking devices. VHF and UHF based GPS tracking does not have this sorted history.

No Recurring Software Fees

Besides having no wireless network fees, Raveon’s RavTrack GPS tracking system has the most software options of any tracking system, many of which are very powerful yet very economical.

RavTrack PCis Raveon’s GPS tracking software program. It is one of the only GPS Tracking software programs that does not require annual maintenance fees, monthly fees, or per-vehicle fees. Once you buy it, there are no more costs.

RavTrack is truly a real-time GPS tracking system. What others call “real-time” tracking is actually stale data, many minutes old. When your operation is fast-paced, nothing but up-to the second information will do. Unlike most other systems based upon GPRS, Edge, SMS and Satellites, RavTrack GPS tracking uses dedicated UHF radio channels to transmit position information at any rate you wish. GPS vehicle positions AND status information is available as fast as once-per-second. And with zero-cost for air-time, this valuable real-time performance is totally free.

The Raveon Real-Time Advantage:

  • Know when your vehicles or assets are moving and where they are at all times.
  • No additional cost for quicker update rates.
  • Very fast transceiver technology. 3mS T-R turn around. Up to 19.2K over-the-air.
  • TDMA protocol so there are never a channel-contention issues.
  • Compressed data allows position and full status report in as short as 20mS.
  • Easily track 100 Raveon model RV-M7 Transponders with 10 second updates, even through repeaters.

Low Latency

Raveon’s RavTrack system achieves its real-time advantage by using high-speed UHF and VHF data radios to transmit position messages and status reports. Dedicated UHF and VHF radios can transmit and receive position and status messages with only milliseconds of delay. Compared to the average message delays through a cellular-based network, a RavTrack system has 10-100X less delay.

Fast Updates

The M7’s TDMA protocol may be configured for up to 20 position reports per second (wide-band radios) and 10 per second (narrow-band radios). Hundreds of vehicles may be located in the same area, using the same radio channel, and transmitting position reports and status information.

At Raveon, we provide everything you need to setup your own automatic vehicle tracking system or Asset Tracking system – including in-house Technical Support, GPS transponders, antennas, cabling, software and power supplies. We are there to ensure your RavTrack system works, but you won’t be receiving a monthly bill or have to sign-up for a service contract. This is the RavTrack difference.

  1. UHF Radio Based – You own the radio channel. No monthly fees.
  2. Wide-range of solutions: from simple tracking to sophisticated asset management.
  3. Huge selection of display options. From simple GPSs and plotters, to PC applications and distributed client-server systems.
  4. A Raveon model RV-M7 Transponder does it all. It works as a:
    • Transponder
    • Base Receiver
    • Repeater
    • GPS Interface
GPS Transponders The M7 GX is the best UHF GPS radio transponder on the market. It is installed in the vehicles to track their position and status, and may be connected to a 11V battery for portable operation.
Repeaters To extend the range of your system, a repeater may be installed at strategic locations, such as on a tall building, tall hill, or radio tower.
Base Stations The M7 GX is also used as the “base station” in the system. It receives the position reports from the transponders, and outputs them via its RS232 serial port. The base stations may be connected to a PC, or to a terminal server on a LAN, WAN, or the Internet.
Mobile Displays Connect an M7 to a GPS navigation display, such as a Lowrance or Garmin GPS, and you can monitor the location of all of the transponders in your system.
Antennas Raveon has a wide variety of antenna options, and will assist you in choosing the appropriate antennas for your system.

Learn more: View the asset tracking infographic for information and attend the asset tracking webinar where we introduce the Raveon technology.

With RavTrack PC and many of our mapping partners, you may use any map image (.jpg, .bmp file) you have for the display on the PC’s map. Raveon provides a simple utility to digitally calibrate a map image. And if you need assistance, Raveon also provides map calibration service.

RavTrack PC can also use .geotiff files, which contain latitude/longitude calibration data embedded in their files.

RavTrack PC can also import ESRI shape files, overlaying them on the current map.

And when you use RavTrack PC for your vehicle tracking system, you can also add your own custom points of interest (POIs) to the map. By placing POIs on the map, you can identify locations with special meaning. These POIs can also then be included in the alert rules you create for your system. Alerts may be generated by certain vehicles getting near individual POIs, or being too far away from a POI. With a click of the mouse, the operator can determine the closest POI to any tracked vehicle.

On the map image, you may also draw your own shapes. Any shape you draw on the map my be used as a “Geo Fence”. Geo Fences are used when you create an alert rule. Rules may be configured to trigger alerts when a vehicle enters as geo-fence, exits a geo-fence or speeds within a geo-fence.

Map Examples:


On Site

Golf Course


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With RavTrack, you own the radio channel, and your system will work wherever you are within radio range. It does not rely upon cellular infrastructure, so it will work in remote areas that have no coverage or in rugged terrain where coverage is unreliable.

  • It works in the bottom of open mines in Utah or Africa.
  • It works in Baja and the Nevada deserts.
  • It works in the back-woods of a mountain park in Colorado or Kenya.
  • It works at the construction-site of a new suburb California or highway in Canada.

UHF radio coverage varies by terrain, but users will have typically 2-10 miles of radio coverage vehicle-to-vehicle. If a repeater or base is located on a locally high hill or tower, coverage will typically be 5-25 miles, and 40-50 miles is not unusual when vehicles are cresting hills.

UHF radio coverage is usually beyond line-of site. You will be surprised on how well I gets through in rugged terrain, forests, and cities. Repeaters can always help extend the coverage, and with RavTrack, setting up a repeater is very easy. Any RavTrack Transponder can also be a store-and-forward repeater.

That is the RavTrack Real-Time Advangage. With fast update rates, the location and status transmissions will periodically get through as the vehicles pass by areas with good coverage, even in the far-reaching fringe areas.

Like all radio technologies, UHF radio does have its limitations. But it has been and still is used for reliable radio communications by maintenance crews, law-enforcement, and mobile workers for over 50 years. It is a well-proven and well-understood technology, and Raveon will be glad to assist you in planning your system so that it meets your needs.

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