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GPS Inventory Tracking Hardware

Posted on 2008-06-25
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2008-08-25
We are looking to put gps tracking hardware on some of our more expensive inventory. Most of these items are in our main facility, so it wouldn't actually have to be gps. As long as it can send some sort of locational data to a receiver, that would be fine. The transmitter would have to be relatively small and mobile. It should also be rechargeable with a long lasting charge life. Any ideas?
Question by:rbichon
  • 2

Accepted Solution

agodfrin earned 2000 total points
ID: 21887120
What sort of inventory are you talking about ? Would that be vehicles ? Or containers ? How far would the "inventory" travel ?
GPS devices will only be able to be located in the open, so your equipment will become invisible as soon as it enters some building (like a warehouse or a cargo hold). Transmitters typically transmit using mobile telephone networks (like GSM) which may not be available everywhere your inventory can move. Plus there is the issue of power and batteries.
If your inventory only moves within well defined areas, like a factory floor, then  you may want to consider using RFID tags. The passive tags don't need any power. Inventory will be tracked as it passed by RFID sensors. Equiping all exits with RFID sensors would allow you to detect anything going offsite in an unauthorized manner.

Author Comment

ID: 21887171
The RFID tags sound like what we are looking for. The inventory I am talking about are industrial robots. They would always be indoors and we would not want to recharge anything since our inventory is so large. Can you recommend an mfg or distributor?

Expert Comment

ID: 21909723
There are quite a number of companies large and small providing services around RFID. You could try Intermec (http://www.intermec.com/) for an equipment and service provider, or search through one of the industry web sites like http://www.rfidjournal.com/ or http://www.rfidsolutionsonline.com/


Expert Comment

ID: 22303684
What about to use one of the two modules listed as below:

GSM / GPS module Aldacom CN4
GSM / GPS module Round Solutions Aarlogic C05

Both devices are pin compatible and offer:
- DC/DC power supply 4 to 40 Volt
- Inverse and high voltage protection
- SIM card holder
- A couple of I/0 channels
- RF interfaces based on U.FL connectors plus selected RD cables and antennas
- Source code with support of Track4free www.track4free.com
Differences of CN4 and Aarlogic C05
- C05 supports the programming language Python on is embedded Python interpreter
- CN4 supports C and Basic based on ATMEGA 162V-8AI with JTAG interface
By wiring the GSM GPS module to your car with cigarette light cable, you get a working tracking device. By developing a small and simple adapter PCB to the dimensions of your enclosure you get your own unique GPS tracking device. If you replace the GPS module, then you get a PCB for burglar alarm system or any other telemetry application.

Both PCBs are supporting monitoring commands to get Cell ID and Time Advance (distance of the device to supporting base station).

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