GPS tracker experiments


New Member
United Kingdom
Been experimenting with GPS tracking. Yes, could be futile. Even the police don't think they can do much with location info. But I've already had a bike stolen once in London this year so enough is enough.

I bought this car GPS unit (the slim thing on the right) last year as a side project to tinker with. I really only bought it for its relay-switching capabilities which I thought might could be useful. Plus it was small and was cheap enough that I could just hack into it without worrying about messing it up. It's sim-card and app-based - no subscription fees and the £10 of data I loaded on it months ago is nowhere near depleted. The relay can be switched via the app so could potentially be used to set off a really annoying alarm... The unit is designed for a 12v-48v (or something like that) input range on the external connector with a 50mAh onboard backup battery. The onboard battery was useless and lasted barely a few hours, even on standby mode. I modified the unit by removing the battery and wiring the external male connector directly to the board. The female connector now goes into a 3D-printed battery pack which powers the tracker. The battery pack comprises a micro-USB charging board (the powerbank is for testing) and a 3700mAh lithium polymer cell. The idea is that when the ebike is on, it will top up the battery pack when in use. I wanted the tracker to be able to run independently when the bike is off. I tested the setup on my window sill and it lasted, on standby mode, for over three and a half weeks. This is a bit overkill and I only chose the cell figuring I'd get a few days, not almost a month. Also, the battery pack is massive and would take up quite a lot of space in my triangle enclosure. It's a bit of a rat's nest in there anyway so it'd be difficult to locate! For now, I'm going to keep it as it is. It's a fun little project!


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