[Geowanking] low cost gps location broadcasting hw / sw
M. Adam Davis
adavis at ubasics.com
Tue Feb 1 11:07:53 PST 2011
Go to http://www.instamapper.com/diy.html and follow the instructions. $50
prepaid phone from Target, $0.35/day for tracking ($50 phone includes $10
credit, so you're good for about a month before having to buy more credit).
3-6 days standby time (significantly less depending on cellular conditions
and your update rate - one minute update rate will drain the battery in 8-12
hours). For more time, strap a larger battery to it - the one it has is
under 1AH, so you can easily double or triple that time with 3 AA NiMH
2000mAH cells, or some Li-Ion cells such as
http://www.sparkfun.com/products/8484. You'll need to charge them
externally, of course. Works on Nextel/Boost network (make sure you have
coverage in the areas you're interested in). Cellular accessories, such as
car chargers, holders, etc may come in handy if you simply want the tracker
to work whenever a vehicle is on.
I have built other GPS tracking devices, and it's unlikely that you can beat
the cost if you need cellular coverage. For short range work a
hacked-together FRS radio pair, microcontollers (such as arduino), and GPS
is still more expensive to start up, but there are no ongoing costs so might
be better savings in the long run. Note that it may be illegal to use FRS
radios this way.
On Tue, Feb 1, 2011 at 12:24 PM, Paul Faunik <paulfaunik at gmail.com> wrote:
> I'm looking to build a location transmitter that would have the following
> - low cost (sub $50) for the hw
> - long battery life. based on the device broadcasting location every 5 min
> and doing nothing else. days between charges?
> - two simple buttons : start broadcasting : stop broadcasting
> - the geo coordinates are relatively accurate most of the time - 30 meters
> (used almost exclusively outdoors in San Francisco)
> One thought is it could some super cheap older model cell phone, some
> simple native app to send geo coords to web service or send sms (if this
> circumvents a data plan), super cheap pay as you go phone plan, put it all
> in a box and just expose two buttons and the charging plug.
> Other alternatives?
> Anyone ever built or heard of such a project?
> Geowanking mailing list
> Geowanking at geowanking.org
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