Numbers of people are completely unaware about the great invention by mankind. Few of them have some idea about GPS systems but yet no clue about the applications of this technology. You must have heard people discussing about the fees for receiving GPS signals where as few of them would had been talking about the companies willing to install tracking devices inside their car for a price of Rs 40,000. You must have also heard people talking about unavailability of digital Maps for Pakistan so this technology is useless for them. Then there is a another group who are proudly telling their friends that they have installed a tracker and are paying a third party company for monitoring their cars 24 hours a day with a minimal fees of Rs 10000 a month. So what is basically a Car tracking device and why are people paying third party Company to monitor their cars.
Car tracker is a device which accurately determines the position of the car and reports it to Administrator on need to need basis. This device gives you a peace of mind as once you have installed a tracking device on all your cars that you can easily determine the position while sitting in your office. You have your entire family on your finger tips where you can call your car and receive an SMS reply in return along with the information of latitude and longitude. Either you can put the information inside the Google Earth in order to determine the position of your car or you can use GPRS enabled phone to open the URL which will directly show your vehicle in your mobiles map. Tracker will also generate an Alert through SMS which will immediately inform you if you car is being tampered and in return you can remotely turn the engine off by sending the command in form of SMS.
Numbers of companies are providing these services after installing the tracking devices inside your cars. But at times, when you call them to determine the position of your loved ones then they simply inform you that this service is meant for emergency not for any other use. You will have to pay extra charges if you want us to provide these services to you. Now my point is that there is no use keeping a third party company in between if they are not providing insurance or promising the recovery of your vehicle. Because I believe that companies which are selling the tracker are also selling the jammers for half the price of tracker. Most of the thieves are equipped with those jammers once they aim for robbery. The only thing which you can do is put as many hurdles in between as you can. Lock the car with a steering lock, park it in some safe place and should also have a normal security system installed inside the cars. What can a third party company do some thief is equipped with easily available jammers.
Let’s move ahead on this topic as I hear many people interested in buying tracking devices but are completely unaware of the cost involved. Few of them have bought a tracking device but don’t know how to install a tracker inside your car. First of all a good tracker should not cost more than USD 150 and a reasonable one can be bought directly from ecommerce website for USD 100 including the shipment cost from websites. As far as the installation is concerned then it is easier to install these trackers as compared to installing a normal remote control car security system. Since company charges more to install these trackers, so a normal electrician may ask you for Rs 1000 to install the tracker. Anything above this will be expensive as you can compare the price for installation of car remote control security system would be Rs 300 to Rs 500. Now number of electricians may claim that they don’t have the expertise to install these trackers then you can question them if they have expertise in installing a remote control security system, then installing this system is easier. I would advise you to go through the documentation for installation as you will find out that it takes similar input from various sensors installed inside the car which a normal remote control security system takes. If you still are facing problems regarding finding the right electrician then contact me as I would be able to provide few references.
Before going into more technical details I would like to make comparisons among various trackers available within the market. First of all, trackers have similar hardware installed inside them. Tracker is simply an integration of a GPS unit along with a GSM phone through a black box. Black box is a small computer or Microcontroller programmed one time. This microcontroller comes in form of small IC which receives the data from GPS, alerts from Car sensors and instructions from GSM phone. It communicates by transmitting the same information over the GSM phone either in form of SMS or uploads it to some website using unlimited connection of GPRS on GSM phone. Now various companies ask the programmers to program similar Microcontrollers with three different sets of programming so that they may convince you regarding the functionality of one over another and in return can charge a higher price for the same device. I have personally observed few trackers where I like few features of one tracker over the other and few features of second tracker over the first one. Only difference I found while comparing trackers of two companies from hardware point of view was communication of one tracker with engine cut off relay in a wireless fashion. Now engine cut off wireless relay can be hidden any where inside the car where as once engine has been deactivated then the only way to resume the engine is through wireless command. Even when the tracker is removed from the car the engine will remain deactivated hence the only option available with the thief would be to abandon the car.
Let’s stop here as many of you must be wondering what GPS is all about and how is it integrated with a GSM phone. Refer to the diagram below in order to understand all about the GPS Car tracking system.
Global Positioning System:
GPS system was developed by American Department of Defense and works on principal of Triangulation. GPS consist of 8 orbits with minimum 3 satellites in each orbit. At any point of surface of earth the position of these satellites is such that you will receive the minimum coverage of 4 satellites under free Sky which is essential to determine your position on surface of Earth. Entire Model of Earth has been developed with Maps added on them. Your GPS device calculates the distance between its position and position from satellite. GPS satellites transmits its position all the time based on these calculations, device translates the position on surface of earth. The accuracy with GPS device calculates the distance from satellite and accuracy with which it translates its position on surface of Earth is termed as Geometric Dilation of Precision. New Satellites are continuously added to the orbit and old satellites are replaced. GPS has been made free for commercial use by American Department of Defense and Since Selective Availability has been disabled by DOD so most of the times GPS provides position accuracy within 5 meters by 5 meters. Within the body of tracker, GPS hardware only determines its position, velocity and continuously reports the information to the Black box.
There are two way communications with GSM phone and the black box. Black box reports the alerts through GSM phone and receives the instructions from Administrator from GSM Phone in form of commands through SMS.
Black box is a small computer or Microcontroller programmed one time. For sake of simplicity I have referred to the Microcontroller as Black box in the entire document. It receives the information from GPS and provides the information to GSM phone once alerts are generated. Alerts can be generated from door trigger, ignition start, shake sensor, battery cut off, High speed alerts (once speed limit has been setup), geo fencing alerts (once car moves out from the defined area). Black box composes a message and sends the alerts through GSM phone. It also receives the instructions from GSM phone and takes necessary actions such as cut of the engine once instructed.
Now I would like to make comparison among few trackers based on my personal experience.
Good features about this tracker are that it communicates with engine cutoff relay in a wireless fashion. Once engine have been deactivated then even if the tracker has been removed, the engine will remain deactivated. Clever thief would have to figure out that the tracker is communicating with the engine cut off relay in a wireless fashion and would have to open the entire dashboard in order to trace the relay. Things I don’t like about this tracker is that it calls me immediately once alert is generated where as no way to find out what sort of alert has been generated but on other hand the tracker is compatible with car’s original security system, once you lock your car with the hand held remote control then tracker is automatically activated. I believe that companies can improve the tracker by modifying the code inside the microcontroller installed.
This tracker disconnects my call immediately once I call the number and sends me the sms with location of the vehicle in latitude and longitude along with the URL which opens into my phone browser with position of my car on Google map. I have to manually Arm the car and disarm the car once I leave the vehicle using cell phone. Tracker is not compatible with car’s original security system as it does not activate once I lock my car with car remote control. I believe that you can use the good features of both the trackers in order to develop a better one as only modification needed in the first one is at coding level.
The entire purpose of this topic was to educate the audience regarding the tracking devices available within the market. After reading though the document, users will have a good idea about how the tracker works and how cheap it is to install this within any car. It gives you a piece of mind once you install a tracker inside your car without bringing a third party in between where you are in complete control over your car and knows exactly where your loved ones are within city. Installing a tracker won’t guarantee that your car cannot be stolen as the company which manufactures the tracker also manufactures the jammers but at least you can put as many hurdles in between as you can. If you are looking for a recommended online dealer which sells tracker for USD 100 along with the shipment charges then I would refer you to click this link. Always use DHL or UPS for shipment purpose. Your funds will be held in Escrow till the time you don’t receive your equipment.