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3885 posts

Uber Geek

#156084 19-Nov-2014 01:54

I want to install GPS tracking to automate the recording of timesheets. Instead of having to keep manual records, I want to be able to login to a website and have it tell me how long my van was at each job. It would also mean that if a customer ever tries to challenge the amount of time billed to them. I would be able to show them the GPS records to prove it.

Everything I have found so far seems to be either "stick a SIM card in this device and send it a TXT to find out where it is". Or solutions aimed at large fleets. All I need is basicly the "Automatic record keeping" function for just 1 van.

What makes it more confusing is there appears to be separate companies selling the same "Snitch" service. Is that an equivalent of different ISPs using the Chorus network. (comparing it to how internet access is sold) Or is it simply reselling the exact same product? And Im based in Auckland.

Thanks in advance.

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597 posts

Ultimate Geek

  #1178202 19-Nov-2014 02:07
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I'm not too sure how well this will fit your needs but take a look at EROAD.

Stefan Andres Charsley

4555 posts

Uber Geek

Lifetime subscriber

  #1178205 19-Nov-2014 03:15
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I use for our private cars - even with the basic plan ($23 inc GST /month) it does what you want. It records the time you start your car, how far you have driven, how long your vehicle stopped for etc. I believe they keep the logs for one year.

I have uploaded the brochures I got from them here - trackitbrochure

The other option was to use something like this Jablotron, which will require you to topup the data - but I don't know if it will definitely does what you want. I don't use them but reading from the description, it should be.

If "LIVE" tracking is not something that you require, it is much cheaper to just have something like those basic trip logger - have a look here at


280 posts

Ultimate Geek

  #1179412 19-Nov-2014 12:10
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I'm currently using "Location Of" in my cars.
I installed their client application on an old android phone and left the phone permanently in the car.  

It can submit live updates if the phone has data.  
If not, the track will be recorded offline and submitted online as soon as the phone is connected to a wifi.  In my case, when the car parks in our garage which has wifi coverage.

You can see the statistics of one of my cars here:

If you were my buddy, you can see the maps and history including a date/time log, among other things, for each coordinate on the map:

I'm not in anyway affiliated with them.  I just like their service which I'm currently using for free.

1735 posts

Uber Geek


  #1179432 19-Nov-2014 12:28
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We are currently working on an open source vehicle tracking system. We hope to commercialise it at some point, but all the software is currently available if you are interested. It requires a piece of hardware in your vehicle with a GPS and GSM module. The data usage is only a few MB per month so the GSM charges are minimal. We are using the Greenwich Choral device ( with custom firmware which generates the necessary MQTT payloads the server needs ( These are great little devices that will send alerts if they are moved when the ignition is off (i.e. they are being forcibly removed), can be sent OTA firmware/config updates via MQTT or SMS commands etc.

The clever stuff however lives in the server software, python based, which includes address lookups, waypoint notifications, and track logging etc. There is a web front end and an iOS app for accessing all your data, and visualising it on top of maps, showing tracks etc.

This is all in the early stages but we have it working in a number of trial vehicles both here and in Europe. 

The best thing about this system is that you own all your data. You configure the devices to post location updates (via MQTT/TLS) to your own broker. Very secure and no one else has access to any of your data.

If you are interested PM me and I can send you some more details. It sounds like you would only need a subset of the features but the fact you would have a full log of all location updates in your own MySql server should provide you with all the necessary audit data for any client queries.

112 posts

Master Geek

  #1179487 19-Nov-2014 12:52
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these guys might be worth a try

1735 posts

Uber Geek


  #1179492 19-Nov-2014 12:58
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FYI - we do intend to offer a hosted black-box solution as well - for those that are not interested in hosting their own MQTT broker and tracking software. But this will obviously be part of the commercial offering, i.e. paid subscription etc.

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