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Common Concepts - Recovery Mode

Recovery Mode is a one-touch feature available on our cellular devices. It is designed to set the device into "live tracking" where it reports more regularly. This is useful in trying to recover a stolen asset.  


Recovery mode has a severe impact on battery life. Remember to bring the device out of recovery mode as soon as possible.

Three important things to note:

  • Your data usage will increase dramatically until Recovery Mode is deactivated.
  • Battery life on the device will reduce quickly until the batteries are flat (up to 7 days depending where they are in the usage cycle), or until the Recovery Mode is deactivated.
  • Recovery Mode can be deactivated manually or set to timeout. (Make sure your device firmware supports the timeout)

How to enter recovery mode:

There are 4 different ways. Select the most convenient or most applicable:

From Telematics Guru From TG Mobile App From OEM ServerFrom a 3rd Party Server

Select Assets>> Manage Assets, select your asset, then go to the cog on the far right and select Enter Recovery Mode.

You will be asked to verify to be certain.

Remember; you can set an expiry date for Recovery Mode. The default timeout will be 6 hours from when Recovery Mode is activated. The timeout can be set from 30 minutes to 24 hours for the device. The timeout is an absolute expiry time, rather than a time-span from when it was received by the device.


Note that the device needs a recent version of firmware to use this timeout feature. Older versions may stay in recovery mode, until it is deactivated or the batteries go flat.

In the Asset column you will now see it is active and offers Leave Recovery Mode if you would like to deactivate.

Recovery Mode Behaviour and Parameters

The behaviour in recovery mode is configurable to suit your needs.

Recovery mode uses Jostle Tracking to start and stop trips. That means it uses accelerometer movement to decide when in trip.

The device will attempt to stay connected to the server when in trip.

The following settings are configurable. The default settings are recommended:

  • GPS Fix Timeout: default of 10 minutes
  • Heartbeat Period: default of 30 minutes. This applies out of trip.
  • In Trip Logging Period: default of 30 seconds.
  • Trip End Time: default of 10 minutes

These settings can be changed in the system parameters on the OEM server. The default settings are shown below:

When will the device actually enter recovery mode?

(Devices other than Oyster2) - We will see in the next section we can do better than what is described here.

Once recovery mode is set - an asynchronous message is queued on the server - which is delivered to the device when it next connects in. This cannot be forced from the server side, as our devices sleep in a low power state, with the modem off when they can to conserve power.

For example, consider a battery powered device uploading hourly.

  • 10:00am - device uploads
  • 10:05am - recovery mode is enabled via TG
  • 11:00am - next scheduled update occurs, only now is recovery mode active.

So for this reason, if recovery mode is to be used in the event of theft, parameters must be carefully selected such that there is an acceptable delay in between activating recovery mode via the user interface, and this message being received by the device. 

Typically, this boils down to setting a suitable In Trip Upload period on your device. For example on the Oyster2, the default is an upload every 30 min in trip. Then the events which occur are:

  • 10:00am - Device starts movement and begins a trip, causing an upload. A movement alert is configured in the end platform so is received by the user at this time
  • 10:10am - User has checked their phone and activates recovery mode
  • 10:30am - Device uploads due to 30 min In Trip Upload Period - and picks up the command and enters recovery mode.

If there is a requirement to enter recovery mode faster - then the in trip upload period should be lowered. This will come at the expense of battery life if many other trips are regularly made which don't require recovery mode to be activated. 

Once-off in trip upload feature

- This feature is currently available on the Oyster2, firmware versions 2.18/3.18. 

As described above, in order to enter recovery mode quickly, we need to set a short in trip upload period. 

If we don't actually care about detailed trip replays etc, this can consume additional battery life. Using the 'once-off upload' feature allows us to set up the device to upload infrequently (or not at all) during trips, but if one is to start, X minutes into a trip, we will get a single upload. 

So if we had the device set to upload on Trip Start, and movement alerts configured to notify us when this happened, we can easily activate recovery mode via the app once they receive a movement alert notification that the asset has entered a trip.

An example timeline for the upload with the 'once off upload period' set to 10mins is

  1. trip start with upload on trip start (we get a movement alert)
  2. user sets recovery mode
  3. 10min later; once-off upload
  4. device enters recovery mode (at the 10 minute mark)

Note if we didn't manage to set recovery mode before (3) - we'd miss out until the next scheduled upload! So set this period to something sensible.

The activation of this setting is available in the 'Advanced Tracking' system parameter tab. 

Without this option, if we wanted to enter recovery mode within 10 min of a trip beginning, we have to upload every 10 min in trip, all the time! So trips we aren't concerned about, where the asset has not been stolen will be wasting battery.


If your devices has pending parameters when it goes into trip, the device will do a reset upon the syncing of the new settings and you may not get the once off upload after trip start.

Automatically enable Recovery mode After Hours

- Available on Oyster2 FW 2.18/3.18

Often, all after hours usage is unauthorised usage, where theft is likely, and we want to know about it straight away!

We can configure the device to automatically enter recovery mode if a trip starts after hours. 

This is configured in the Time Zone and After Hourparameters. For more details on alerting based upon after hours usage see Alert on After Hours Movement.

Setting this value to 0 disables the auto-recovery mode. Setting it to 1 means recovery mode will be automatically activated for 1 hour once a trip starts, and so on. This might be plenty of time to then go and manually set it on for a longer period if required, without the risk of multiple trip starts flattening the battery.


Take care with this feature! If the device unexpectedly makes many trips, or you configure your parameters such that many trips are started/ended, you will flatten the batteries! Contact support if you are not sure.

If the user decided to exit recovery mode via the TG app the device will have to end it's trip first else the device will re-enter recovery mode.

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