Cheap GPS Tracker

Submitted: Tuesday, Jan 03, 2017 at 14:46
ThreadID: 134040 Views:3682 Replies:4 FollowUps:1
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Hi all,

Just wanted to share some information about a low cost car GPS tracker I have been playing around with.

I had an old Android Smart Phone lying around (HTC Desire), installed a $5 Aldi Pre Paid Sim and installed the free Android Device Manager on the Smart Phone. I created a new gmail account that I will only use for this phone (no email setup). I disabled as many features on the phone that I could find (weather app & Wifi).

I have had the phone hidden in the car for the last 6 days. Using my Google Chrome App on my iPhone, I run the Android Device Manager to check the location of my car. I've been checking it 4-5 times a day for testing purposes.

So far, the phone still has around 30% battery capacity (not bad for 6 days) and have only still have $4.98 of credit on the Aldi plan and 360 days before it expires.

I plan to have the phone charger wired up on the accessories circuit so it gets charged up every time I start the vehicle. The phone is hidden in the car so I'm assuming it's not able to see the satellites and is using the mobile network for positioning.

Phil P

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Reply By: Member - Boobook - Tuesday, Jan 03, 2017 at 16:13

Tuesday, Jan 03, 2017 at 16:13
The problem might be when you leave mobile coverage, and the Aldi service uses a crippled version of the Telstra 3G network giving similar coverage to Optus and Vodafail

The app will cover small gaps in reception, but if you are away from coverage for a few days then it won't cache the entire trip.

Look for an app that caches when off line if you experience gaps when there is no coverage. You can test this by turning the data off for 48 - 72 hours to see what happens.

AnswerID: 607197

Reply By: Sigmund - Wednesday, Jan 04, 2017 at 05:35

Wednesday, Jan 04, 2017 at 05:35
$60 a year for a Telstra prepaid Long Life plan.
AnswerID: 607208

Reply By: Les - PK Ranger - Wednesday, Jan 04, 2017 at 11:44

Wednesday, Jan 04, 2017 at 11:44
I assume the OP is using this as a theft / recovery tool, not so much for recording tracks (hidden device etc).
That being the case, it wouldn't matter if there were some black spots in coverage, it would likely come into coverage spasmodically in most parts of the country *, enough to indicate where it's headed at least ?

Most likely stolen cars / campers etc would be getting rebirthed (or dumped / burned out) fairly soon, and if hidden items were removed (attached under a seat) or discovered, they are then rendered inoperative smartly I imagine.

* Especially on that $60 annual Telstra plan.

Phil, my GNS 2000 Glonass bluetooth for the nav system works inside the car, even on he floor, not sure about under a seat.
My iphone gps is even better from use inside buildings etc.

How does all that compare to a proper GPS monitoring system, considering the 100% reliability everywhere ?
AnswerID: 607216

Reply By: Phil P - Wednesday, Jan 04, 2017 at 17:52

Wednesday, Jan 04, 2017 at 17:52
I'm only using this as extra bit of peace and mind if my 4WD gets stolen. I have insurance but if my 4WD was stolen I would love to be able to confront the thief(with a bunch of mates). I'm only concerned for local metro areas, when I travel I'm usually with the car.

For $5 a year it's additional piece of mind. But I will checkout the long life Telstra Plan.

AnswerID: 607222

Follow Up By: TomH - Wednesday, Jan 04, 2017 at 18:17

Wednesday, Jan 04, 2017 at 18:17
Whatever $ you put on your Aldi prepay also lasts 12 months. It also works on the 4G network if you have data enabled
.My $30 recharge will last 12 months
FollowupID: 876932

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