Bike Security raspberry pi powered gps tracker

adboio

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Joined
Aug 21, 2019
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17
just had this idea and wanted to share / see if anyone else has done something similar.

i'm thinking i can get a GPS module for a raspberry pi, a SIM card from ting.com for $9/mo, and plug it into a solar powered battery pack. i can set up a web server that would allow me to text the bike and have it respond with its coordinates, and maybe something where i can "lock" the bike by texting it and have it text me if it moves before i "unlock" it.

not 100% sure on the details, like how much data i would need (re: the $9/mo figure, that's for 100mb/mo), or if the solar powered pack is enough to keep the pi running a web server 24/7.

the total cost would be a little high up front, but then potentially only $9/mo, which is a lot cheaper than i've seen from gps trackers on the market.

any thoughts or ideas?
 


inspectorcritic

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Dec 13, 2015
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Working on something similar but the solar panel is going to expose your tracker unless you can disguise it.
Ting.com is that for SIM GPS cards I just order from SpeedTalkMobile a SIM with a $5.00 monthly plan and is there any way to rig up a USB to that 6-volt white accessory wire?

My.mini tracker I can hide in the motor mount but, don't wanna blow it. Need some electric voltage regulation. Tell me what you thinketh .
 

inspectorcritic

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Joined
Dec 13, 2015
Messages
1,671
just had this idea and wanted to share / see if anyone else has done something similar.

i'm thinking i can get a GPS module for a raspberry pi, a SIM card from ting.com for $9/mo, and plug it into a solar powered battery pack. i can set up a web server that would allow me to text the bike and have it respond with its coordinates, and maybe something where i can "lock" the bike by texting it and have it text me if it moves before i "unlock" it.

not 100% sure on the details, like how much data i would need (re: the $9/mo figure, that's for 100mb/mo), or if the solar powered pack is enough to keep the pi running a web server 24/7.

the total cost would be a little high up front, but then potentially only $9/mo, which is a lot cheaper than i've seen from gps trackers on the market.

any thoughts or ideas?
.
 

inspectorcritic

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2015
Messages
1,671
just had this idea and wanted to share / see if anyone else has done something similar.

i'm thinking i can get a GPS module for a raspberry pi, a SIM card from ting.com for $9/mo, and plug it into a solar powered battery pack. i can set up a web server that would allow me to text the bike and have it respond with its coordinates, and maybe something where i can "lock" the bike by texting it and have it text me if it moves before i "unlock" it.

not 100% sure on the details, like how much data i would need (re: the $9/mo figure, that's for 100mb/mo), or if the solar powered pack is enough to keep the pi running a web server 24/7.

the total cost would be a little high up front, but then potentially only $9/mo, which is a lot cheaper than i've seen from gps trackers on the market.

any thoughts or ideas?
Another way around the electronics DIY is to buy a spare cell phone battery get a short USB, Gorilla Tape both tracker and battery beneath the luggage rack carrier to see if it would give a continuous charge for hopefully 30 days then mark it on your phone calendar to have it alarm you for the next charge. I just bought a new 110lbs rack but it's aluminum magnets won't stick.
 

Sidewinder Jerry

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Mar 14, 2011
Messages
1,736
Chances are if the GPS tracker hasn't located your bike within a few hours the tracker has been disabled. Under the seat trackers are garbage and generally useless, a thief usually removes them while they're stealing your bike. The best trackers are put in the seat tube or headset they have a battery built into them. The better ones also have a cellphone notifier. The notifier can even let you know when the battery is needing to be charged.

The wire coming off your engine isn't pure DC voltage. This means you'd need a rectifier to clean up the supply and you'd also have to build a regulator to cut the circuit off when the tracker battery was fully charged. This would involve using a series of gates on an integrated chip. After you designed a feasible schematic then you'll need the equipment to make a circuit board.
 

Sidewinder Jerry

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Mar 14, 2011
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1,736
About the easiest thing you could try is to remove the step down transformer in a cellphone charger and connect the white wire and a ground wire to the secondary side of the removed transformer. The primary side is where it plugs into the wall. However you're still going to have a wire running to the tracker.
 

digital_life

Member
Joined
May 21, 2019
Messages
81
You would need a pretty hefty battery to last more than 24 hours to run a raspberry pi Depending on which version of pi you get they have a maximum power consumption ranging from 500mA (pi zero) to 1.2 Amps (pi 4).

Just to run the OS with no load just sitting idle they will consume anywhere from 100mA (pi zero) to 600mA (pi 4).

If you want to DIY this... get a cheap DC-DC converter module with a wide input range (usually 6-30v or so) and run it off batteries. What kind of batteries is up to you. Most Pi setups take 2-5 watts.. so lets use 4 watts, in 24 hours you would need 96 watt hours. Some common batteries and their capacity/runtime according to our 4 watt Pi..

- 12v 7 Ah lead acid battery (common in small computer UPSes), 84 watt hours ~ 21 hour runtime
- 12v 18 Ah lead acid battery, 216 watt hours ~ 54 hour runtime
- 6 x AA batteries, assuming about 2.5A (rechargeable or not a small difference) 18 watt hours ~ 4.5 hours runtime
- 6 x D batteries, assuming about 10A (rechargeable or not a small difference) 72 watt hours ~ 18 hour runtime
- 8 x D batteries, assuming about 10A (rechargeable or not a small difference) 96 watt hours ~ 24 hour runtime
- 50 Ah 12v deep cycle type battery, 600 watt hours ~ 150 hour runtime

Now you have to add on the power consumption of your GSM/GPS tracker, My guess using the above calculations would work out close to half of the run time hours.
 
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