Portable GPS tracker

I want to create a portable GPS tracker that I could attach to a usb battery pack and use to track something like my child, car, etc. My question is which would be better suited for this, the feather version or the raspberry pi version? I’m thinking I would have the tracker sent GPS coordinates to my Mosquitto server so I could then view the thing on a map on my phone. I would want it to use up as little power as possible to prolong the battery pack life.

Hi @dmikester1 and welcome to the Blues Wireless community!

Great question. Between the two you mention, the Notecarrier-AF is the better option as it will draw far less power than the Pi. However, I would recommend the Notecarrier-AA for a couple of reasons:

  1. You can power it with 3 AA batteries
  2. It doesn’t need a host MCU to function as a tracker

In fact we have a complete asset tracking guide that you can consult.

Thanks,
Rob

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Hi @dmikester1,

To add on to Rob’s comments, I actually built a similar GPS tracker to what you’re describing recently, and I used a Notecarrier AF from Blues with a LiPo battery like this one to power it.

Once you’ve got your Notecarrier, you can follow the asset tracking guide to configure it with a few lines of code and connect your Notehub project to something like Datacake to see your Notecarrier’s coordinates.

Here’s a screenshot of my own tracker’s coordinates, which are being fed in to Datacake as an example.

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Wow, this is really helpful info! Thanks guys!

As a side note, Rob, I was at That Conference and your talk was my favorite! Super exciting stuff! :slight_smile:

Thanks
Mike

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Awesome @dmikester1 - glad you enjoyed it!

Please reach out if/when you have further questions too.

Rob

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In that “complete asset tracking guide”, it mentions requiring a microcontroller or sbc if building a host-driven tracker otherwise you don’t need one if building a standalone Notecard tracker. I’m a little confused about the difference between those two versions. What is a “host-driven tracker” and what is a “standalone Notecard tracker”?

A standalone tracker is comprised of only a Notecard + Notecarrier. You set it up with the API requests provided in the guide, so it’s very easy to get started. If you only need basic tracking functionality, this is a good low cost/low power way to do it.

On the other hand, a host-driven tracker will use a host microcontroller to provide additional functionality. For instance, if your solution requires accessing external sensors you would need to add a host MCU to the mix and then program your device with Python/Arduino etc.

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