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892 posts

Ultimate Geek
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Topic # 70323 21-Oct-2010 21:11 Send private message

Just an idea I had while driving home today.

Is there a way I can build a GPS device I can put into my car so that I can track it's location where ever it is (I must stress this is not for spying, rather for security)

The idea:

Take a GPS enabled mobile phone and put it in some sort of box, connect the phone to a car charger and hard wire it to the car's 12 volt system to give it power when the car is on (ACC).

The basic steps/reasons.

Keeping the phone powered on:
The phone would need to be on 24/7 in order for this to work.  In order for it to be on the whole time then it will need power to keep it charged.
The idea would be to connect a car charger to the ACC 12v of the car (the same that powers the radio etc).
As the car would be a weekly runner the phone would need a good battery life.

Hiding the phone:
This part would be easy, just seal it away in the smallest box possible, and mount it under the dash or somewhere hidden.a

The software:
I found a website that offers a free application that can be installed on a phone to track it, www.mologogo.com
This narrows the phone choices down.  Maybe someone can suggest a different software/phone to choose??

Why?:
If my car gets stolen I can just connect to the website and check where it is.  Since the device will always be on then it should be easy to find (unless the car stops in a tunnel or something)

Cost isnt an issue yet, as this is just a concept idea.

What are your guys ideas? Suggestions?

There may be a market for these things (unless there are some out there already) if it can be done cheaply

Let me know!

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685 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 394538 21-Oct-2010 21:13 Send private message

use an ipod and buy moble me. that will work.




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  Reply # 394566 21-Oct-2010 21:51 Send private message

Dedicated hardware devices are cheaper than the cheapest phone with GPS in it that I have found.




Richard rich.ms

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  Reply # 394582 21-Oct-2010 22:44 Send private message

http://www.snitch.co.nz/
http://www.theblackhawk.co.nz/

couple of commercial gps tracking options worth considering. you can even immobilize the car remotely if it gets stolen..




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262 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 394588 21-Oct-2010 23:07 Send private message


401 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 394638 22-Oct-2010 07:48 Send private message

http://free.3dtracking.net/home.aspx

Thatll take care of the free tracking - use a nokia symbian gps phone that you can get for $2-300 and start racking up the data charges :)

You could use an external bluetooth gps if you needed a stealty install. 



892 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 394662 22-Oct-2010 09:14 Send private message

Thanks for the replies everyone!

Looking at phones that have true GPS not assisted GPS I have found that the price skyrockets! Not as cheap as I thought at all. I am looking at $400+ for a phone that will do it.

@SpookyAwol - Thanks for that website, it is pretty cool! My current phone isnt listed as supported, but the Win Mobile work phone is so I will have a play with that.
Also, the idea of pairing a bluetooth phone with a GPS device is a very good idea, I can do that with my current Nokia and pair it with my TomTom. That might work out a bit cheaper, but require more devices. I could pick up a cheap GPS off trademe and play with that.

In regards to the commerical branded devices, does anyone have an idea on cost. One site said $999 for the device which is pretty expensive in my opinion.

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  Reply # 394670 22-Oct-2010 09:38 Send private message

Deal Extreme has lots of these kind of things.

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 394672 22-Oct-2010 09:41 Send private message

At the cheapest, youll be looking at $230ish for a nokia 5230 with gps + agps
Ive run my 5800 via that website and the tracking / speed / location works well. Data useage doesnt seem that much but I didnt use it 24/7 :)
You can setup to poll location between 30secs and 10 mins

That said - its pointless having a gps phone only as it would need to be hidden AND still receive signal which is why a gps receiver / bluetooth on the parcel shelf for example would have to be used 



892 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 394676 22-Oct-2010 09:50 Send private message

SpookyAwol: At the cheapest, youll be looking at $230ish for a nokia 5230 with gps + agps
Ive run my 5800 via that website and the tracking / speed / location works well. Data useage doesnt seem that much but I didnt use it 24/7 :)
You can setup to poll location between 30secs and 10 mins

That said - its pointless having a gps phone only as it would need to be hidden AND still receive signal which is why a gps receiver / bluetooth on the parcel shelf for example would have to be used 


Yeah, one problem with bluetooth might be, and i know this is being over the top, would be if the would be theif has a bluetooth scanner and can see that there is a GPS device active in the car.  Not sure what difference it could make, but it may defeat the purpose of it.

Running an antenna from the gps device would not be too hard though. Just run it up one of the front pillars of the car should provide enough signal for the device.  There would need to be some trial and error to get it working.


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  Reply # 394677 22-Oct-2010 10:02 Send private message

Jump on Ebay, there are hundreds of options to do this.



892 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 394704 22-Oct-2010 11:07 Send private message

Yup, there is a few products out there at the moment. However I would like to build something to do the same thing to get a better understanding of how it would all work.

I think I will have a play with my phone, TomTom and see where I get to.

There are some cheap pre made stuff out there, but I am worried of the quality of it.

I shall have a play and update everyone on how I get on :)

Thanks for the ideas guys, it is always great to bounce ideas around to see what others think!

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 394724 22-Oct-2010 12:00 Send private message

Another tracking method - http://www.google.com/mobile/latitude/

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Master Geek


  Reply # 421623 26-Dec-2010 12:34 Send private message

I have been selling the TK102 GPS tracker on Trademe about $160.00 but having a bit of trouble with setup. They seem like the right thing, but we just need to work out how to set them up. [email protected]
http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?forumid=80&topicid=73874&page_no=1#421606

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Wannabe Geek


Reply # 705927 24-Oct-2012 21:00 Send private message

all you need is an iPhone 3gs, 4 or 4s put a pay as you go sim in it connect a charger cable hard wire the charger cable into the wiring of the car hide the phone behind the car stereo and make sure the phone is on silent divert it to voicemail and make sure the vibrate option is switched off make sure the phone is updated to iOS 5 or 6 and make sure find my iphone is switched on and enabled  then put your stereo back in then you can track your car by going to www.icloud.com log in and click on find my iPhone and hey presto you can see where your car is on a map or satellite image.




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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 705962 24-Oct-2012 21:35 Send private message

jaymz: Thanks for the replies everyone!

Looking at phones that have true GPS not assisted GPS I have found that the price skyrockets! Not as cheap as I thought at all. I am looking at $400+ for a phone that will do it.


assisted gps is still true gps, just with a faster lock I thought.
Not sure how sensitive the gps receiver in a phone is, would be better with a dedicated unit I would have thought.


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