GSM tracker for car

We found this posted by another site and found it was very interesting. We take no credit for this idea. Links to creator and site will be posted below.

GSM tracker for car

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What is it all about?
This project is a cheap solution to install a car or bike tracking gadget. I made it to make sure I can always get the position of my car in case of it gets stolen.

How does it work?
You have basically two choices to get position data: have a GSM or a GPS tracking tool.

GPS is much more precise (1-5 meters), but requires a clear view to the sky (and to at least 4 satellites at the same time).
GSM is far less accurate (about 50-200 meters in urban area), requires an active SIM card (subscription to a mobile provider), but can operate almost anywhere, even in underground garages or inside buildings – as far as there is GSM signal. (Even a very poor signal will ensure the operation.)
Also, GSM localizators are cheaper than GPS trackers. I am using a GSM tracker in this project (don’t let you trick the GPS letters on its cover), because I was looking for a budget solution, and already had a SIM card at my hands. Once you have your GSM/GPS tracker, you have to find a way to power it and to install it into your vehicle.

How to install it into the car?
These types of tracking tools usually powered with 5V DC, connected to a USB socket. So you can buy a 12V to 5V DC-DC converter with an USB plug (such this one), or vote for the DIY way and build a little circuit to get the stabilized 5V required by the tracker.

After you have your power supply ready you just need to connect it to your vehicle’s battery and hide your tracker somewhere inside the car.

How to use it?
The actual model I have can be requested for its position by sending a SMS, and provides its position data within 30 seconds by a response SMS. Easy way, indeed.

The GSM tracker I use has no GPS chip inside. It can locate itself by triangles the nearest cell phone towers. It’s best precision is about 50 meters, probably more. You can request the position by sending a special SMS to the SIM card, and after a while you will get a response SMS with a link. The link looks something like this:

http: //www.gps588.com/lbs/?mcc=111&mnc=111&lac=1111&cellid=111

(The 111-s are for demonstration only, the actual numbers defines the position of the tracker.)

Now, that link is rather useless, but you can harvest the codes from the URL to take advantage of this site: http://www.minigps.net/map.html

This site requires you the type the MCC, MNC, LAC and cell ID values harvested from the SMS the tracker sent to you. Using that values the site indicates the position on a map.

Is it accurate?
Not really. A GSM tracker is able to designate a 50-250m radius. Your tracker is somewhere within.

This is a poor localizator, you may say. It is. But it is far more accurate than the police, in case your car has stolen. They won’t have a glue where to look for your car – but with a tracker you will have some information.

If you need more precision, use a real GPS tracker rather than a GSM tracker. Or use both, as GPS may not work in certain conditions where a GSM tracker is still operating.

You can read more about LBS positioning (used by GSM trackers) here.

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What components you will need?
The easy way
In a nutshell: buy a prebuilt DC-DC converter, connect to your tracker and to your battery, optionally case it into a project box – and you are ready.

The fun way
If you choose to build your own DC to DC converter, than you will need some stuff:

tracking gadget of you choice, of course. I bought this model.
a little piece of PCB board
5V voltage regulator
DC power connector (any type – I used a 5.5×2.1 mm PCB connector)
80-120 Ω, 0.5W resistor
some thin wire
some kind of fuse and fuse holder
a project box to house your tracker and power supply board
Optionally you will need:

2 capacitors: 10 μF and 100 nF
semiconductor diodes
Capacitors are optional in this configuration as the tracker I using has a built-in charge controller, which would tolerate the slightly instable voltage levels the voltage regulator can provide without condensators. Anyhow, I chose to use the properly sized capacitors as there was enough place for them in the project box.

Semiconductor diodes are placed into the circuit for one reason: securing the circuit. One of them is protecting the voltage regulator and the Li-ion battery from reverse voltage. This can easily occur if you connect the power supply cables to the car’s battery with reverse polarity. With the diode in place the circuit will not get destroyed by reverse current, but can not charge the Li-ion battery, of course.

The other diode is to block current leaking from the Li-battery towards the charger circuit. As the battery is a 500 mA power source it would get depleted in a very short time without the diode when your power supply is disconnected from the car battery.

Using a resistor is vital, as it will save your circuit from burning away. Without a resistor the current flowing through your components will be way too high. First I used a single 220 Ω resistor, and it was great – until I inserted the semiconductor diode between ground and the resistor to secure the circuit against reverse polarity. With the diode’s voltage drop the voltage regulator did not got high enough voltage anymore and the 3.7V Li-ion batteries can not get fully charged. So I soldered one more, 120 Ω resistor in parallel with the 220 Ω resistor to get about 80 ohms resistance. With this the Li-ion battery was able to charge fully.

(You can calculate parallel resistors final resistance with this calculator.)

Ensure that you utilise some type of fuse. You really do not want to fire your car, so use a fuse regardless there is nothing potentially dangerous in this circuit. The project box may get soaked by rain water, short circuit can occur – so safety first, use a fuse!

What tools do you need?
Just have a soldering iron and optionally crimping pliers. Some glue also will come in handy to fix the power connector into your project box. A drill is needed to make a hole into the box for the power connector.

That’s all about tools.

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There are basically two types of voltage regulators: switching regulators and linear regulators.

For this kind of application (the regulator is installed into a little, closed box without any ventilation) switching mode regulator is the right choice. I used a small scale type (in SOT223 packaging) to use as little space as possible.

This type of regulators dissipate very little amount of heat – no heat sink is required. Switching regulators uses PWM (power with modulation) as a method to switch on/off power source at a high frequency to provide the required level of output voltage.

On the other hand, linear regulators dissipate heat derive from voltage difference between input voltage (12-14V) and output voltage (5V). In a car you really don’t want to use something that gets hot like fire. Linear regulators are not the way we are looking for in this project.

Using voltage regulator IC-s are easy. I do not provide details about it – even the product’s datasheet contains schematic.

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After you built your circuit board, connect it’s 5V output to the GSM tracker’s battery contacts. To be more precise: you need to connect your 5V wires to the built-in charge controller. I’ve done this with soldering.

You’re just one step away: drill a hole into the project box to the power connector, and fix the female connector to the box with some glue.

Now you can close the box, and connect the 12V connector. Anyhow, your inner parts are probably shaking inside the box. They need some fixing. For this purpose I simply cut a piece of kitchen sponge and inserted into the box, along with the tracker and the power regulator circuit. It did the trick.

Now the final step: find a good, hidden place inside your vehicle, where your little, matte, black box is not flashy for the curious eyes. You need a place where GSM (or GPS) signals can reach your box.

I placed my box inside the hollow of the windshield wiper arms. I don’t think anyone will ever find it.

I have my box installed for about six months now. It works without any interaction, no maintainance needed. I used to send an SMS to the tracker every week or so, to see if it is still working great. (It does.) So I have a higher level of peace of mind since I know I do have a tracker in my car, if I need to locate it.

For Full details and links please visit the links below. (We take no credit for this project).
Please forward all credit to the developer: Nobills

Site Link: http://www.instructables.com/id/GSM-tracker-for-car-localization/

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Bitcoin Donations?

Like what you see? Wanna help? Drop us some Bitcoin: 17LzcNBdXJS53v3mGG6eTThax7Wavczdtc

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Water and Light Sensor Beta v1.0

Water and Light Sensor project Beta v1.0

We have a project beta. The beta for this project has been tested and is working, we are providing the code and electronics schematic below.

The project is write in a combo of code. The computer software program has been coded in C programming, the device (Arduino Nano) has been coded in the generic Arduino programming language, the email alert scripts have been coded in VBS. All code is open source and free to be changed and edited.

The attached zip file has all the codes and hardware schematics.

We do however ask that if you do make changes to the code or copy it, that you sub credit DC Optimum Technologies in code comments if able.

SR Alert System

The hardware schematic is fairly simple to follow. If you have any improvement ideas on the hardware or code in this project please feel free to contact us or post in the comments below.

Most of the code will need some editing to work in your environment this sensor setup is designed to be almost completely custom to your needs. Please keep in mind this is only a beta! We will be upgrading and adding to the hardware and the software as we work though the project. Once again if you have ideas or add-ons please feel free to submit them.

If you need help getting this project working please comment or contact us via email.

Zip File!

Water and Light sensor

–DC Optimum Team
Email: ask@dcoptimum.com

Posted in Arduino, Arduino Hardware Building, Arduino Programming, C Programming, General Updates, Learning Electronics, Programming, Projects, Schematics, VBS, Water And Light Sensor Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Opinion On Tobogganing Ban In Ontario, Canada

Tobogganing Ban In Ontario

We realize this is a very unrelated topic and is as far away from electronics as it gets but we would like to express our opinion on this matter publicly and right to the point.

Posted blow is the news report for the Sarnia ON area by BlackBurnNews. Sarnia ON was one of the lucky city’s that decided not to enforce the tobogganing ban.

BlackBurnNews Report

Our Opinion:

You’re kidding right… It’s tobogganing… What a waste of tax payer’s money. If someone can’t use common sense when there tobogganing down a hill that is there problem. I am sorry to state this so rudely but if you’re too dumb for tobogganing than you got much more to worry about in life than going down a snowy hill. If we have enough time in our government to debate whether people can go tobogganing or not I think it’s time we start laying off some government positions. In my opinion the tax money and resources used could have been put to much better use than deciding if kids can go tobogganing or not. This is ridiculous where frigging Canadian there is snow on the ground half the year this should not have even been a debate. What next a debate if I should be allowed to wear shoes in the snow or are you going to try and enforce boots. Spend our tax money on useful things!

Now with that said we understand that accidents do happen and people do get hurt and yes I agree sometimes its not due to stupidity but just right out bad luck. This post is not meant for them people. I myself understand you can use all the common sense in the world on something and still get hurt. However people get hurt everyday with far more than just tobogganing. There are people who trip on the crack in a sidewalk and break there arm, people who drown swimming or slip on ice. These things just happen, banning kids and adults from having fun with something is not going to make the world any less dangerous then what it is. It is our choice as the people to make judgment calls on our own safety and use the gift of common sense, even with all of that make sure we understand the risks behind our activities we choose to do. Our choices are our own and our safety is our own responsibility to ensure not our governments to enforce, we are told we have the gift of freedom, freedom means making your own choices and accepting your own consequences, after all no one is forcing you to climb the hill and ride it back down.

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DC Optimum Team.

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Water Sensor Project

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We have started a small water sensor project using the Arduino platform. We will post more complete details in a few days. Programming is almost complete.

The unit is primarily being designed for server rooms, to detect water leaks and report them via email group and alarm. More climate features will be added in the next model. The plans and programming for the project will be posted on our website once development gets into version 1. The server software for the units has been programmed in C and the Arduino’s are being programmed in the Arduino IDE (aka pretty much C).

Posted in Arduino, Arduino Programming, C Programming, Learning Electronics, Programming, Projects Tagged , , , ,

Brazing Aluminum For Quad-copter/Drone Project

Brazing Aluminum For Quad-copter/Drone Project.

So I finally had time to start the brazing on the Quad-copter/Drone project the last night.

I have been working on the project for the last two weeks getting all of the final plans complete and working out some flaw. I decided to use aluminum for the frame and body. I plan to complete more of the project this weekend.

I have posted two videos below about brazing, one is a failed braze, that I explain why the connection failed and how to avoid this from happening. The other video is successfully brazing two parts of aluminum together and forming a solid weld between the two parts.

Images of completed braze.

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Part 1: Failed braze

 

Part 2: Successful braze

 

DC Optimum

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DC Optimum Website Update

DC Optimum Website Update

 

After a few days of thinking we have decided to give our website a little face lift. Thinking the old website was starting to get a little boring. We also added a few more features to the site everyone might enjoy.

Let us know what you think Smilie: :-)

update

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Arduino Prototype Complete

 

Arduino Prototype Complete:

Today DC Optimum team completed there Arduino prototype board. We built our first prototype Arduino board after a few days working on it on and off and also the schematic design (Click Here for Schematic Post) we made for it, we finally have a little bit to show for our work.

 

 

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This was the “Almost done point” of our little prototype. I decided later on to remove the 9v connector for space and annoyance reasons.

 

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This is what the prototype looks like after it was completed. I decided to solder the ATmega328p right on to the prototype board, mainly due to the fact I didn’t have any 28pin DIP Sockets laying around. After soldering the ATmega328p to the board I powered it up first with a 9v for testing, the chip booted just fine. When I first hooked up the FTDI to the board I had a bit of a panic, I was not able to upload any code. After 2 quick look overs I noticed I had the TX and RX where mixed up. After changing the TX and RX to there right locations I was able to upload code with ease.

 

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Schematic we used for our prototype. (We have also used this schematic on many breadboard projects).

 

In this video I show you the prototype powered up and working with the blinking light example code. I also change the code a little to show there seems to be zero fault on the board. We also tested the pin outs they all check out on the first run of tests. All that’s left is for us to build a bit of a finished project on a PCB.

 

Made By: DC Optimum

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Light Bulbs

 

 

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Learning C programming

 

Learning C programming

 

Need a place to start learning C Programming?

C Plus Plus Tutor is a great place to start.

Click Here for more information and to register.

C Plus Plus Tutor

 

Learning C programming is a great start to working with micro-controllers and application development. Programming and electronics come hand in hand to make your project come to life.

The lessons in the site listed above are a great place to start!

 

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DC Optimum Team.

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