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Small GPS device to track stolen gear?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by ThePoloHobo, Jan 24, 2014.

  1. ThePoloHobo


    Aug 18, 2013
    Tulsa, OK
    Ive been searching around, but cant seem to find a good solution for this!
    All I've found is getting a prepaid phone (which is now required to have gps) and leaving it in the locked case.

    Any thoughts? Obviously it needs to have live tracking.
  2. EricssonB


    Apr 5, 2011
    CoSpgs, CO.

    You could just ask your wife where she goes while you're at work. Relationships should be built on trust until proven otherwise. :bag:
  3. Selta


    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    Depends on how handy you are, and where you want to put it. You can make a system using a raspberry Pi, battery (regulated to 5v) and small GPS module for cheapish.
    Or you can go even smaller and maybe cheaper and do a similar setup with an Arduino, battery pack (I'd do at least 6xAA, or a nice LiIon - the 10000 mAh are nice and cheap), and GPS shield.

    I'm not sure how long either battery would last, but should be ample time for load in, gig, load out. Cool thing about GPS is you also get accurate time, so you could "log" where you bass is, goes, and ends up.

    Of course, this all assumes you're handy at DIY.
  4. ThePoloHobo


    Aug 18, 2013
    Tulsa, OK
    I am rather handy at programming, do these gps chips require any sort of paid service?
  5. Selta


    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    Nope, you just need some solid programming. The main obstacle you have to overcome is how to broadcast the position updates so you can find it, so you will need some sort of data connection somewhere. You can hope for an open WiFi AP that a WiFi shield would connect to, but that would be sporadic at best. Edit: Nothing else is immediately jumping to mind actually, so you may be stuck with carrier based data (cell).
    And, of course, if they ditch the case well, you won't recover a whole lot.

    Here's the Arduino shield I would recommend:

    And I'd use an Uno R3:

    I've used that with good success, but never via battery power, always from a constant source.

    The programming shouldn't be too difficult - there's actually a lot of examples out there that will get you 75% of the way there.

    Edit2: They make GSM shields as well, which can serve as your data connection, assuming you have a SIM card with a carrier. The shield alone is like $110 (youch!), plus whatever carrier costs. All that to have a system much like a phone sitting in there - but with more extensibility and options to you.
  6. ThePoloHobo


    Aug 18, 2013
    Tulsa, OK
    Well my case does lock so i would be banking on tracking it before they get it open.. but then again it isnt a flight case so the lock isnt helping much. Thanks for the ideas! I guess it would need data and gps service. I'll just stick to my rule of not partying after a gig until my stuff is safe for now.
  7. Hi.

    WOW, what a grand idea, I bet nobody has thought of that!

    Based on the commercial offerings available anyway ;).

    Perhaps there's a market for these, worth to look at.
    The GPS chip was 10€ the last time I checked, so for about 50€ one should be able to make such a tracker.

    Being sarcastic of course, waste of time.
    A $5 in parts device distrupts the GPS signal, about the same for mobile service RF blocker.
    EVERYONE who's in the "trade" has had those devices up and running when at work for at least a decade or so by now, just-in-case.