Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Geogram ONE

Awhile back I supported the Kickstarter "Open Source Tracking Device" project which later became known as Geogram ONE.  For supporting this project I was given a tracking device circuit board, an antenna, and lipo battery.  The tracking device works by connecting to the GSM cell network and relaying it's GPS coordinates to any phone or computer via text message.  You can set "geo fences" or speed/acceleration triggers to send you automatic alerts as well.  

Because it relies on the cell network, you need a SIM card for it to work properly.  Through online forums I discovered Telna Mobile, which offers 1000 free texts a month for $20/year with no monthly fees or minimum voice usage.  This offer was hard to beat, so I bought my SIM card and fired up the tracker!

The loose circuit board, antenna, and battery didn't have a nice form factor, so I set about designing an enclosure in Google Sketchup and Inkscape.  I 3D printed the ABS base with cutouts for the antenna and USB charging connection.  The face is laser cut and engraved from 1/8" clear acrylic.  If you were part of the Kickstarter campaign and have your own tracker, I've included the models below so you can build your own.

I'm currently thinking of fun projects/activities one might do with a tracking device.  Some of my ideas so far have been: Mail the tracker to someone and record the route it takes; Make a collar for a cat and see what yards it's trekking through; Some sort of cool mobile geocache?  If you have any ideas, I'd love to hear them!

Here are the files for building this basic enclosure:
Google Sketchup Model
STL format of above model
SVG of Acrylic faceplate

You'll also need 4, 3/8" #4 machine screws to hold down the face plate.  Happy building!


Brandon said...

So does it have memory, in case signal is not available?

Glenn Langton said...

It's not currently set up to log coordinates, only transmit them. An adjustment to the firmware could easily save coordinates to the non-volatile memory for transmission at a later time. An excellent idea for the next software revision.

Brandon said...

Another thing is signal quality. I know that with my phone it seems like Line of Sight is required for GPS to function optimally. It will work in my pocket, but I don't know that it would work behind a few layers of thicker/stronger material. Do you know how the Geogram would operate thru some plastic and/or other materials? I'm thinking it would struggle getting signal if you were to ship the package somewhere, whether by truck or plane. What do you think?

Glenn Langton said...

I've only done a bit of testing, but I've received an accurate reading from inside the trunk of my car. I'll have to drive around with it a bit and make sure it's not just reporting the "last known position" (ie when I placed it in my parked car)

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