We designed a new version of the VALTRACK V2 GPS tracker, This version is called VALTRACK-V2B because this will not have internal battery support and this device is specifically made for vehicles. There have been a few modifications and upgrades in the desing, lets look at what they are,
VALTRACK V2B will support all the features that are present in the VALTRACK-V2 except the battery charging feature and it will have the same 2G GSM module and the GPS module.
Here are the major changes done in the design for V2B,
Increased voltage input range : We have added a MP1584 switching regulator. It can take input up to 28V and give the 4V needed for the GSM module and other circuitry. So we are good to use this device with 12V or 24V battery system vehicles.
Changed Accelerometer part : We have added an accelerometer part which is slightly bigger in size compared to the V2 version. The Freescale made NXP part MMA8652 used in V2 was very difficult to procure and created a lot of problem in fulfilling orders as it was out of stock everywhere since a long time. There are problems with these parts after NXP Freescale merger.
The new accelerometer part i chose is MMA8452 as it was available in stock and it is footprint compatible with ST microelectronics part LIS3DH, which is available in huge stock in Mouser electronics site. So even if MMA8452 is phased out, I can always use LIS3DH on the same design.
Added Reverse voltage protection : A Schottky diode was added to prevent damage to the device on reverse connection to vehicle battery, which i realized is quite important as some of the customers connected the device to battery with wrong polarity even with RED BLACK wire color code :D
Found a nice U.FL antenna : I had added a U.FL antenna connector on the design from the first iteration itself but never used because i didn't get small antennas which suit the V2 devices. But now i found this nice flex antenna which i am using with these boards and they are giving quite good results.
JST connector provided : For power connections directly to vehicle battery i found that we need a detachable option where in the device will have to be removed from vehicle when giving to water washing or if suppose we want to do any modifications in device. So provided these couple of JST connectors (Shown in video) which will help in achieving this.
Bluetooth Configuration : The device will have the option to configure the parameters of the device via Bluetooth using an Android application. You can enter the bluetooth configuration mode by pressing the SOS button. The SOS button will not have SOS feature as this device is intended for vehicles. But if someone wants it, we can enable it in the firmware.
EEPROM : The same 1 MBit EEPROM is present on the device and can be extended upto 2 Mbit size in same footprint.
Device operating modes remain the same and device can be put into three operating modes using the mobile application,
SMS tracking mode : In SMS tracking mode, you send a command like 00000 to the device and it will reply back with location within 120 seconds. In SMS tracking mode the GSM is turned ON but is in standby mode waiting for SMS. The GPS is turned off to save power. When SMS command is received, the GPS is turned ON and once the location fix is achieved, the device sends the SMS with location information. The location fix is normally achieved in 40-50 seconds when you are outdoors. If the GPS fix is not achieved in 120 seconds, the last known location will be sent. Once SMS is sent, the GPS is again turned OFF.
We are working on adding security to the device like, it should only answer to particular number instead of answering all valid SMS commands.
HTTP tracking mode : In HTTP tracking mode, the device keeps sending data to a REST API end point in HTTP post requests in JSON format if the device is moving. The ping interval can be configured using the application. If there is no movement detected for a certain duration, the device enters into deep sleep mode to save power.
MQTT/TCP tracking mode : In TCP tracking mode, the device keeps sending data to a MQTT broker in JSON format if the device is moving. The ping interval, topic, host, and port number can be configured in the application. Similar to = HTTP mode, If there is no movement detected for a certain duration, the device enters into deep sleep mode to save power.
Power Consumption :
Among the three modes, SMS tracking mode is the one with lowest current consumption. With GSM and MCU turned ON, the current consumption is about 1.5mA. I have tested the device with a 400mAH battery and it lasted more than 48 hours, with around 10 to 15 location checks by sending SMS commands.
Among the data modes, The HTTP tracking mode is the one with highest current consumption and data consumption. It consumes around 80 to 90 mA when device is sending data and goes back to 20 to 30mA when connection is active.
The MQTT over TCP connection consumes lesser current and the consumption goes upto 50 to 60mA when we send the data and goes back to 10 to 20mA when the connection is active. The data consumption is also lower in TCP mode as there are no headers being sent.
Anti theft protection / Motion sensing : The motion sensor added on the device helps in detecting the movement of the vehicle and it can alert the owner if someone is touching the vehicle saying there was a movement detected by SMS or by CALL. Alerting by call is much less expensive compared to sending an SMS because you can always disconnect the call and you will not be charged for moment alerts.
I have already shipped this device to different country's to USA, UK, Slovenia, Germany, Italy and UAE and I have shipped many devices within India and the response has been quiet good so far.
Most of the companies that are using this device want to use this as OEM and want to sell them with their own branding.
How much does it cost ?
Good thing about this device is, it costs very less.
It is only about 2500 INR = 40 USD
And one more good thing about shipping is that I can ship this device for only about Rs.1500 = 25 USD all over the world serviced by Fedex
40 USD for the device + 25 USD for shipping. For $65 you will have the device with you..
How can i buy this?
Check out the other products here, https://www.valetron.com/store