Due to requests, I will explain how electronic trackers in a general work. The focus in this post will be tracking used in vehicles.
Types of tracking
Actually exist the following types of tracking: GPS, I will create a post dedicated to this technology; RFID, I will write a post about this subject; Geographic Information System uses maps and geographical informations to tracking and by WLAN, by that, tracking by a wireless computer network. The vehicle tracking uses GPS, due to the range and cost.
This is the vehicle tracking system.
The computer just needs an installed software, the data stays in a mapping server and uses maps and satellites photos to locate the vehicle. Cellphone operators network can provide vehicle’s location too and the tracking chip can transmit to the GPS satellite or the cellphone tower.
There are two types of tracking: passive and active. The passive observe the location and save in the transceiver’s internal memory or in a memory card to be downloaded and analyzed in a computer. The active tracking immediately send the data to a cellphone tower to send to mapping server, this is the most used to vehicles.
GPS transceivers not only show the location but also the speed. The most important parts are: the GPS module, the microcontroller and the buck converter ( a circuit to reduce the voltage to feed the circuit in an appropriated voltage). The GPS module has many channels to communicate with various satellites. Some GPS modules can consume a great amount of energy due to the microwave radio and to processing speed, a transistor can be used to shut down the module when it is not necessary.