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Cheap As Chips Tracker For Caravan


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The microphone is for listening to what is going on in your vehicle remotely.

Ok, thanks.

 

Just a quick update, you can't use the Three network with this because they use the 2100MHz frequency and this device doesn't support that. I have switched to Vodafone Pay as You Go now but any other network would work.

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Another update. I've been playing with this for a few days now and I must say I'm very impressed with it's capabilities, it does exactly what it says on the tin and some.

 

The next step is to create a test rig and connect a PIR sensor and a door contact switch that will send an alert if either are activated. These will be connected to the ACC input which is designed to detect the ignition being switched on in a car.

 

The device also has a remote switch which in the documentation shows it being connected to the fuel pump so that you can remotely switch it on or off, I'm trying to think of something creative for this. Maybe connected to a horn so that if the van was stolen and you could roughly locate it you can turn on the horn.

 

Detection methods:

  • Shock Sensor
  • PIR Sensor
  • Door Sensor
  • Loss of power alert
  • Power applied alert (assuming a thief would want the rear lights to work)
  • Over speed alert
  • Leaving Geo Fence alert

There is one major problem with nearly all of the sensors and that is they require 12V, if a thief disconnected the van battery the device would only be able to send an alert telling you that power was lost. I don't think the GPS continues to work and neither would any of the other sensors. I'll be testing this soon.

 

Any feedback, suggestions or observations would be appreciated.

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That's true, the one you've bought is for permanent connection to an external 12v supply. The version being sold by Back2You for caravans has its own battery supply as well as an external supply socket. Claims the internal battery will last 90 days.

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 2 months later...

The next step is to create a test rig and connect a PIR sensor and a door contact switch that will send an alert if either are activated. These will be connected to the ACC input which is designed to detect the ignition being switched on in a car.

 

The device also has a remote switch which in the documentation shows it being connected to the fuel pump so that you can remotely switch it on or off, I'm trying to think of something creative for this. Maybe connected to a horn so that if the van was stolen and you could roughly locate it you can turn on the horn.

 

Detection methods:

 

  • Shock Sensor
  • PIR Sensor
  • Door Sensor
  • Loss of power alert
  • Power applied alert (assuming a thief would want the rear lights to work)
  • Over speed alert
  • Leaving Geo Fence alert
There is one major problem with nearly all of the sensors and that is they require 12V, if a thief disconnected the van battery the device would only be able to send an alert telling you that power was lost. I don't think the GPS continues to work and neither would any of the other sensors. I'll be testing this soon.

 

Any feedback, suggestions or observations would be appreciated.

Any more updates Neil on how this going and anything extra you've managed to do or activate with it?

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Any more updates Neil on how this going and anything extra you've managed to do or activate with it?

 

Nearly ready for fitting I've just got to order a battery which will be used to power the unit so that it doesn't rely on the leisure battery. It will only be a small lead acid (the type you find in home alarms for backup) and this will be charged from the caravans charger so can be hidden away and won't require any maintenance. I just need to do some testing with this to determine the charge current so that I can fit a suitable diode in-line.

 

The reason I chose this route is because I didn't want to rely on the leisure battery as a determined thief could easily disconnect the battery before breaking into the caravan which would render the tracker/alarm useless.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Ok It has been a while so I thought I'd post an update as I've spent some time on this the last few days. What I have so far is a fully working tracker system which will send an alert in the event of:

 

Door opening (contact switch)

Movement inside caravan (PIR Sensor)

Caravan Movement (Shake Sensor)

 

The biggest problem I've got to tackle now is power consumption. My plan was to use a standalone battery to power the tracker but this isn't going to work as it wouldn't last very long or would have to be quite large.

 

I'm currently researching and testing using the caravans leisure battery to provide the main power but have the smaller battery to power the unit if the leisure battery is disconnected or gets low. According to my calculations the small battery will power the unit for 14 hours which should be enough time to locate the van in the event of it being stolen.

 

The challenge is to automatically switch from main to secondary battery if needed, recharging secondary battery from caravans charger and ensuring the secondary battery is not used to power anything other than the tracker.

 

Once I have it finished and working I'll post up all the details so that anyone wanting to give it a go can do so easily.

 

Total cost so far:

 

Tracker: £22. 99

Shock Sensor: £1. 99

PIR (Honeywell): £6. 95

Door contact: 99p

Battery: £7. 98

Misc parts (Some resistors, a transistor and some diodes): < £1. 00

Vodafone Pay And Go Sim: £10 (Topup)

 

Total: ~£52. 00

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  • 4 months later...

Wow I can't believe it's been nearly 5 months since I last updated this project. Anyway an update: We used the van a lot over the summer holidays so there was no time to get this installed, I did manage to finish everything but just didn't get around to installing it. I even fitted the GPS and GPRS receivers to the vans roof as I fitted a solar panel so it was the perfect opportunity to use the same entry point.

 

Now we're moving house so once that has all settled down I will complete this project and share all the information for anybody who wants to install their own.

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  • 1 year later...

Has this project been completed?

Bailey Orion News & Information - 

 

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Has this project been completed?

 

Wow how time flies. I did complete the project and it worked just fine. We sold the van last year and I left the tracker installed and explained how it worked to the new owner. I have no idea if they used it or not.

 

The system did work well, the only problem was everytime the storage owner moved the caravan around I would get an alert. I haven't fitted one to the new caravan as it's now stored in locked undercover storage.

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