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GSM modem with cost in mind - new project

Posted on 2007-04-05
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I have a new project idea but not sure if it is realistic or not.

I want to build a simply GPS system that will send updated info regarding its location and traveling speed. By receiving the x and y coordinate, I can pin point the location of the bus. Sound simply enough.

I want to do this without a computer system, onboard the bus. I can do this with a micro controller, which I learn in school. Just need to figure out a way to connect the handheld GPS to the micro.

The only really problem I see is sending this information back to our main station. I want to do this via SMS or Email. This will require a GSM modem or something that goes through the cellular network.

The problem with GSM modem is cost...  The one I am looking at is http://www.emacinc.com/sbc_pc_addons/pcm_36e06.htm
which cost around 350 usd!!  I am not expecting any funding from the company....  

Any cheaper GSM modem out there? or another alternative way of transfering data? Even WiFi can be consider, our city has free WiFi within the city...  WiFi sound complicated to me, having to get connected and setup some kind of protocol to transfer the data...  where as GSM modem can just send off SMS or email...

Reason for this project is to gain experience, need something for my resume~ And besides, building something that will benefit the company might pay off in the long run.
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Question by:bri_stc
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vilia earned 256 total points
ID: 18889373
SMS is probably the less expensive way to send data. Some cell comapanyes offer flat rate SMS. Check what is the case in your (or buses location) area.
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by:bhpr
bhpr earned 248 total points
ID: 18950855
u cannot get cheaper that the price listed...
y friend was using one of the gprs gsm modem 2 years back and that time he spend like USD $500.

go for it you will have good experience.
best of luck for ur project. :)

bhpr
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by:Fisman
Fisman earned 248 total points
ID: 18980599
This is the way may fleet management systems do it. Protocol to talk to GPS is called NMEA. You canget a GSM modem for around US$160.

If you are using a microcontoller you can use a MODULE instead of a MODEM. Modules need proper power supplies, etc which you will need to supply, but they cost in the order of US$50

I can refer you to suppliers if you want.
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Expert Comment

by:Fisman
ID: 18980604
Oh yes, we also use a GSM MODULE with Built-In GPS. This costs around US$100 which gives you a complete solution.
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by:Meff
Meff earned 248 total points
ID: 19078373
> The problem with GSM modem is cost...
May you get one free of charge. There is a starter kit to win right now:
>>>Three Compact GPRS GPS Developer Packages to Give Away<<<
win a fast-track positioning solution bundled with access to the track4free server
http://www.pn-online.com/page/42115/three-compact-gprs-gps-developer-packages-to-give-away-win-a-fast-track-positioning-solution-bundled-with-access-to-the-track4free-server.html
Regards
Meff
www.gsm-modem.de 
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