Low Power Mode For Custom GPS Tracker

GPS has been a game-changing technology for all kinds of areas. Shipping, navigation, and even synchronization of clocks have become tremendously easier thanks to GPS. As a result of its widespread use, the cost of components is also low enough that almost anyone can build their own GPS device, and [Akio Sato] has taken this to the extreme with efforts to build a GPS tracker that uses the tiniest amount of power.

This GPS tracker is just the first part of this build, known as the air station. It uses a few tricks in order to get up to 30 days of use out of a single coin cell battery. First, it is extremely small and uses a minimum of components. Second, it uses LoRa, a low-power radio networking method, to communicate its location to the second part of this build, the ground station. The air station grabs GPS information and sends it over LoRa networks to the ground station which means it doesn’t need a cellular connection to operate, and everything is bundled together in a waterproof, shock-resistant durable case.

[Akio Sato] imagines this unit would be particularly useful for recovering drones or other small aircraft that can easily get themselves lost. He’s started a crowdfunding page for it as well. With such a long battery life, it’s almost certain that the operator could recover their vessel before the batteries run out of energy. It could also be put to use tracking things that have a tendency to get stolen.

19 thoughts on “Low Power Mode For Custom GPS Tracker

      1. No they don’t. It’s a LoRa tracker with a battery + bluetooth connection + web service, it hold its charge for at least a month. You don’t have to maintain the mesh network (provided as the service you are paying for: 3€/year), and it’s not using the cellular network. It’s 79€ per unit with 3 years subscription included. And it works well.

          1. airtags require someone with an iphone in a range of about 10 meters, so it won’t cover all situations; but it’s cheap, lightweight and will last a long time on a coincell.

    1. Tech it is about 30$ cheaper, it is about $97 for this just in parts, about ~3$ for filament to make case ~100$, vs the 130$ for the invox… so tech no not more expensive. Now I am not counting labor, which is upto you if you plan on selling these, that is something different….but over all tech no, not more expensive.

  1. Although this uses the latest ” 6 a side ” SX126x LoRa module best caution about the 10km range claims ! True LoS (line of sight) maybe, but at it’s sub GHz frequency you’ll be lucky to get a km in heavy vegetation or urban environments… Yes -voice of experience with similar (& more powerful) LoRa devices.

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