Wildlife Computers SPOT-F-338

SPOT-F tags provide highly accurate locations from tens of milliseconds of surface time. Until recently, Wildlife Computers Fastloc® tags have operated with a relatively large patch antenna, limiting their use to pinniped and sea turtle applications. With the recent advent of a smaller more efficient transmitter, a new line of Fastloc SPOT-F packages are available which incorporate a whip style antenna. Now species such as sharks, penguins, and dolphins can be tracked in much greater detail than ever before.

Fastloc GPS technology takes a ‘snapshot’ of GPS satellite signals overhead when a tag breaches the water surface. These signals are processed and compressed into a single message containing the satellite ID numbers, their respective pseudo-ranges, and a timestamp. This process takes just 12 seconds and continues after the animal has dived. The low-volume satellite information is then relayed back to the researcher via Argos with post-processed data accessible online via the Wildlife Computers Tag Agent Portal.


  • Customizable Fastloc snapshot collection and transmission schedule
  • Independent At-Sea and Haul-Out transmit modes
  • Pinger feature for radio tracking recovery
  • Temperature and wet/dry summary data available
  • Specialized shapes for a variety of applications

Key Features

Flexible Transmission Schedule

Both the Fastloc® snapshot collection settings and transmission settings are user-customizable. The researcher has the power to decide the quantity and distribution of snapshots and transmissions to attempt each hour of each day. Temporal resolution can be increased during parts of the deployment that are of greatest interest. Conversely, data collection and transmissions can be suspended and battery power saved in times when animal locations are known or when satellite coverage is poor.

Power Savings

SPOT-F tags incorporate a battery-saving transmission regime that helps prolong tag life while optimizing data reception. The new regime decouples short, Argos location messages from longer data-filled messages and implements different strategies for transmitting each. By sending short messages whenever feasible, operating life is extended.

All data messages (including uplinks containing Fastloc® snapshots) are transmitted multiple times and separated in time by at least 40 minutes. This gives the best odds of receiving each individual message.

Recovery Pinger

SPOT-F tags are equipped with a UHF pinger. This optional pinger can be enabled to send out low-power, unmodulated “pings” while the tag is at the surface. Tags and animals can then be located using a directional antenna and receiver.

Value-Added Extras

Wildlife Computers provides not only tracking technology but also attachment equipment and best-practice instructions for proper attachment.

Included with tag purchase is complete access to Wildlife Computers Data Portal. This free data-hosting service includes email alerts, automatic Argos upload, automatic Fastloc® processing, collaboration tools for sharing data, and the ability to create KMZ links for data display purposes.

Data Products

Data Products that can be transmitted:

  • Tracking Data: Argos, Fastloc
  • Haulout Behavior: %-Dry Timeline
  • Temperature Profiles: Time-at-Temperature Histograms

User Guide/Software


SPOT F User Guide
This user guide gives you all the essential information needed for interacting with, configuring, and deploying this tag.
64-bit USB Driver 18-Dec-2017
Driver for the Wildlife Computers USB Communications cable. A 32-bit version is available on our Downloads page.
Tag Agent
Administer settings to your tag.
Fastloc GPS
Calculate locations from Fastloc® snapshots, satellite ephemerides, and seed locations. This software is an integrated component of the Wildlife Computers Data Portal and runs exclusively on our Internet servers.


Below are the physical specifications of the SPOT-F. Numerous shapes are available with the same feature-set technology.

Attachment type***
Temperature sensor range-40 to 60°C
Temperature sensor resolution0.05°C
Temperature sensor accuracy+/- 0.1°C
Wet/dry sensorYes
Dimensions (mm)***
Weight (g)***
Pressure rating (m)***
Operating temperature rating (°C)-20 to 50°C
Recommended storage temperature range (°C)-20 to 5°C
Conductivity operational limits0.1 to 5 S/m
MemoryNo archive memory
Maximum deployment length***

*** indicates the specification is dependent upon the configuration model

For more information, visit our website at www., send an email to tags@, or call (425) 881-3048.

Tag features and specifications subject to change without notice
Antenna length not to scale

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