“My Tracker Doesn’t Work” Troubleshooting Your Black Knight

May 14, 2019

At Black Knight, we guarantee our GPS tracking devices will be free of manufacturing defects. However, all communication devices may not always connect from time to time depending on a number of reasons. We are here to help with this useful troubleshooting guide.

 

1. Check Your Connection

 

IMPORTANT: If your tracker was installed by a third-party installer, contact them. Do not attempt to troubleshoot issues yourself unless you are familiar with basic electronics and your vehicle’s battery.

 

The first step in troubleshooting your tracker is making sure it is receiving power. Start by rebooting your tracker by unplugging it for 10 seconds then reconnecting. If you’ve wired your Z3 and none of the lights turn on, it indicates your tracker is not getting power from your battery. Check that the red wire is securely connected to the positive/red charge of your battery terminal. Then, check your black earth wire connection. Sometimes a battery’s black/negative terminal may not provide appropriate grounding – in which case your black wire may need to be grounded to another earth point, in the chassis, cladding, etc. Test by placing the black wire against potential earth points. If the tracker’s lights start flashing, it’s a good connection.

 

Next, check the condition of the wire. If it’s damaged, contact us for a replacement. Check the condition of your battery. If your battery and wire are in good condition, check if the wire is secured onto the battery terminals correctly. If there are other devices attached to it, make sure the prongs are placed where there is conductivity.

 

If you’ve determined you have a good battery connection but still can’t see any lights after rebooting, a multimeter will allow you to determine if power is getting from your cable to your device. If you’ve performed these tests but still no joy, please contact us.

 

2. Check The Lights

 

While troubleshooting, make sure your vehicle is moved outside – somewhere with a clear view to the sky and minimal obstructions in the vicinity, away from tall buildings and large metal structures. If your tracker is hidden, place it out in the open.

 

The Z3 has three coloured lights corresponding to different connections:

 

Red – Cellular

 

Blue – GPS

 

Green – Black Knight Server

 

Check the lights on your tracker to determine the nature of the problem. Reboot your tracker by unplugging it for 10 seconds then reconnecting. The lights will flash while attempting to make their respective connection, then remain constant when successful. After a few minutes of successful connection, the lights will all go out as a discreet security measure (to not draw attention to the tracker’s presence).

 

The X3 uses two blue lights: one to indicate GPS and the other for cellular signal. Reboot the X3 by unplugging for 10 seconds then plugging it back in.

 

If you don’t know where your tracker is installed in your vehicle, contact whoever did the installation. There is no reason why they shouldn’t tell you where your device is hidden.

 

3. No Cellular Signal

 

If the red light is flashing your tracker cannot find a cellular signal, meaning that it cannot transmit its location data.

 

Your tracker may be unable to connect depending on where it’s installed in your vehicle. Cellular signals can be interfered by dense metal cladding, strong electromagnetic interference and power relays. Check where your tracker is placed in your vehicle. If it’s failing to connect, you will need to reposition it.

 

Cellular signals can also be interfered by obstructions such as mountains, buildings, being underground and large clusters of metal. In regional and remote areas, cellular networks may be weak or unavailable for extended periods, in which case the GPS data cannot be uploaded. However, even if your tracker loses its cellular signal, so long as it has a GPS signal it will continue to log your travel history for several hours and will update its location on the website and app once it re-establishes a cellular connection.

 

IMPORTANT: If you are still using old Black Knight trackers, such as the Z-9, Z15, Z11 or X-1, you will need to upgrade to the newer Z3 and X3 models. The older units use the 2G network which has been shut down in Australia.

 

4. No GPS Signal

 

If your tracker’s blue light is flashing, it is searching for a GPS signal. While a GPS signal can be found anywhere in the world, it can be interfered by similar obstructions as the cellular signal. Follow the steps above to ensure a steady GPS connection.

 

Once your tracker has both a GPS and cellular signal, you can decide on a final hiding spot. Avoid placing the tracker deep inside the engine compartment or near large clusters of metal. Also, avoid areas prone to heat and moisture. If you are placing it in the engine compartment, place it as close and as high as possible to the windshield. If installed in the trunk/cargo hold, test the connection prior to stowing.

 

IMPORTANT: Do not use duct tape or electrical tape to secure your tracker to your vehicle as it can block the signals. We recommend securing Z3 devices using cable ties, with the curved side facing upwards.

 

5. Black Knight System

 

If the green light is flashing, it means your tracker cannot connect to the Black Knight server. This may indicate our server is offline, undergoing maintenance or some other system error. In this case, there is not much you can do except letting us know and waiting until the issue is resolved.

 

 

If you’ve tried everything above and your tracker is still not working, or if you believe your tracker is faulty, please contact us. Call us on (AUS) 1300 302 199 or send an email to support@blackknighttracking.com.

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