How to Make a GPS Tracker

by | Learn

Last Updated on May 10, 2021

Everyone who owns one or more vehicles wants to maintain a high level of safety and security. This is not only true for the car owner but also the owner of a fleet such as many cabs or delivery service vehicles. Incorporating a GPS tracker for each of these can be a bit costly.

Some people decide to make their own to beat back the prices and uncertainty. It is a particular combination between software and hardware. This newly created device can be placed somewhere in the vehicle to know its location in real-time at all times.

Read the best GPS tracker here! You may also want to check these learning guides on how to find GPS tracker on car and how to know if your car has a GPS tracker!

Obtaining the Hardware

It is necessary to get the hardware that must be functional to be used in vehicles. The hardware is the main part that must be in charge of the data transmission between the software and the satellites. There is special hardware to be considered for this purpose.

To be able to receive and send data such hardware usually uses an analog system. When it comes to displaying any kind of data or information to the main user a digital pattern is required. The different parts incorporated in the options available today can vary in design and quality. (1)

Any of these options require a different budget. There are a few main components that are necessary to make your GPS tracker.

  • GPS Module: This is a GPS device that receives time stamps and satellite data as it has small antennas and processors.

GPS chip

  • GSM module: This mobile communication system works globally and establishes a contact between a computer and a mobile device.

GSM module

  • Microcontroller units: These are I/O peripherals and an integrated circuit for memory that make up a small computer. 

Microcontroller Unit

  • Display screen: This is a simple screen to monitor the real-time location of any car or vehicle.
  • Relay circuit: If you want to communicate with the vehicle’s engine, an electronic control device is needed with a GPS tracker.

a hand assembling a microchip

When the GPS device is installed in a vehicle, this set of parts is responsible for establishing the required connection with the satellites. The quality of the components can provide a greater variety of data such as time and location as well as speed. Users can read the data in real-time from a computer or any other device.

Getting the Software

The software is the second part required to be able to make a GPS tracking device. You can find both customizable GPS tracking systems or standard options with basic functions. The basic option might require a high level of investment in some cases.

The customizable option may require a considerable price increase although it provides better results. A company will have the possibility to obtain all those data and events that it needs to collect. It is very difficult to find any kind of software that is completely ready to use.

The user should have some programming skills if he wants to develop the software. It is really necessary to hire an expert workforce for a GPS tracking system that incorporates the needs of each user.

Some basic needs are the display of real-time information on a screen. This is important to be able to determine the exact location where the drivers of the vehicles are located. 

Another basic user need is the function of mapping the routes or the behavior that each vehicle driver decides to take. This data, among others, allows optimizing productivity by reducing downtime when it comes to a company. Certain functions can be obtained by performing a few steps:

1. Get all the hardware

assembling the hardware for the GPS

2. Join each one of the components

joining all the chips

3. Obtain standard or customized software

4. Load the software on a computer

list of software needed fo GPS

5. Test the operation of the device

6. Install the GPS device in a vehicle

Once all these steps are performed people will have the possibility to obtain several important tracking functions. 

 

Functions available in a GPS tracker

Any GPS tracker can be of great use due to the basic functions it can offer. 

  • Control of the location of vehicles: The owner of one or several vehicles will have the possibility to know the exact location in which any of them is located.
  • Fuel consumption: Fuel consumption can be optimized since a GPS tracking device allows mapping the routes taken by a certain driver. An external operator will be able to map out a much more efficient route that requires less fuel. (2)
  • Prevention: Taking certain routes reduces the chances of theft and other unfortunate events in certain parts of a city. A series of more efficient routes can be plotted.
  • Speed limits: This GPS tracking device allows limiting the speed at which any driver travels. This reduces the likelihood of speeding fines.
  • Reduction of idle times: You can detect the idle times that each driver chooses to stop in the wrong place. This makes it possible to optimize productivity.
  • IoT systems: It is possible to incorporate some proximity, gas, level, temperature, and humidity sensors, among others, to increase the functionality of the GPS tracking device. These are internet of things devices that allow satisfying a wide variety of needs of a company or a particular person. 

    Final Words

    Making a GPS tracking device can be a very simple task once you have all the necessary elements. A vehicle owner will have the ability to keep an eye on their property anytime, anywhere.

    These types of devices can prevent theft and any unfortunate situation with your vehicles. It is a device that is useful for both a company and a car owner. The result of this will be one or more vehicles that are much safer and more secure at any time and place.

    References

    (1) analog system – https://www.arrow.com/en/research-and-events/articles/analog-vs-digital-what-is-an-analog-signal
    (2) mapping the routes – https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&msa=0&msid=109613378433518512749.00046f74e6f9ccd9b813d&ll=10.80464,0.89905&spn=90,35.6433&source=embed

    About Gadgets Spy

    Hi, I’m Michael, a security and surveillance expert. I co-founded and write for GadetsSpy and help teach people about new tech and Gadgets.