Car-logger - part 1

Overview

I want to know where my car is. Especially if it gets stolen. Logs would be a bonus. Also, I have several outdated Android phones, which has all necessary hardware.

  • I don’t want to use Google (latitude) or other service providers (embedded hardware).
  • I don’t want to pay, unless I have to.
  • If possible, I’d like it to do more (explained further down).

Hardware options

Old android phones

Old android phones. Picture from wikipedia.org.

Pros:

  • Free hardware.
  • Lots of sensors (GPS, compass, barometer, temperature of hardware/battery, WiFi, Bluetooth, camera, microphone).
  • UPS (the battery).
  • Low power consumption.
  • Reasonably small.
  • Can be used for calling in an emergency.

Cons:

  • Not as easily programmed as something running a full Linux.
  • Lots of apps doesn’t run on old versions of Android.

Raspberry Pi (or similar)

Raspberry Pi. Picture from wikipedia.org.

Pros:

  • Easy to program.
  • Easily hook up extra gear via USB.
  • Can get online for free by connecting to any open network. Or even start cracking passwords.

Cons:

  • Cost (the Pi isn’t expensive, but with full set of attachments it may be.
  • Size/cable-mess.
  • No RTC (real-time-clock). Need network to set time after a reboot.
  • Power consumption.
  • UPS is expensive.

Dedicated GPS logger

GPS logger. Picture from dx.com.

Like this one: Mini GSM tracker.

Pros:

  • Size.
  • Ease of use.
  • Battery time.

Cons:

  • All data is sent to an unknown company in China.
  • No expandability, programability.
  • SIM card is needed, twin SIM can not be used as calls will trigger a location report by SMS to caller.

Conclusion

I think the phones easily wins this one for me.

Extra features

Extra features I’d like, once I’ve decided to go with phones:

  • Run scanning for Open WLAN Map and/or Mozilla.
  • Run reporting for PressureNET if possible.
  • Have phone attempt to connect to open WiFis, instead of needing a SIM-card.

To be continued ...