GPS Tracker revamp…

Decided to de-scope, simplify, and accelerate my GPS tracking project…

Here’s a brief recap. Things already done:-

  • Proven transmitter sends valid GPS tracking data to receiver on computer
  • Built prototype transmitter and tested in the field
  • Integrated GPS, 3DR radio, Li-po charger, Li-po battery, Arduino solderable breadboard in to an enclosure
  • Tested power saving mode (7 – 15 days charge possible!)
  • Created very basic symmetric cryptography routines

Things to do next:-

  • Get route logging software working, preferably with GPX file output (OpenLogger on HobbyTronics ArduLogger platform with micro SD card)
  • Range test air to ground module outside on maximum power settings, continuous transmit
  • Investigate 3DR circuit to see if its possible to make own PCB cheaper (and integrate whole device in one half eurocard PCB)
  • Get LCD display working on protoboard
  • Get Joystick working for basic menu items on same protoboard
  • Test multiple transmitters with one receiver (including testing using ‘air’ unit for receiver, and receiving multiple signals on same receiver)
    • If can’t use air module, use usb to serial circuit for ground module (might be fun to try anyway…)
  • Test 3DR radio LBT (Listen Before Transmit) mode
  • Test encrypted messaging
  • Develop own binary format for messaging (C language struct?)

Yeah so that’s de-scoped quite a bit! I just want to get a transmitter working with a single receiver. That’s all. Oh, and display the OS co-ordinates for the tracker’s last known location, and time of last received message.

So very next things to do:-

  1. Get a working LCD breakout board that I can just plug in to other projects for testing. I’ve broken one LCD in the past, and keep losing the right pinout for an LCD display. Now fed up of it, so am going to permanently solder contacts on to the LCD then plug in to my Arduino somehow.
  2. Program receiver to take information and directly display it – Station ID, Time transmitted, Location (Lat long for now, OS GB later)
  3. Test it
  4. Make this in to a portable box rather than a breadboard
  5. Nail down the software, add simple shared key encryption

Should be able to cover this off pretty quickly…

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