Location tracker project



I would like to have some mobile location tracker which could report its position to my server. Now when GPS module is available for preorder I am thinking about building it with the help of BigClown. It should work for at least 2 months on battery module, update its position to server in 5 minutes interval (or less) or every 100 meters (or less) and should work mainly in CZ (international usage will be great, but I do not require it). And it should work inside my car without any external antenna.

My questions are:

  • What would be better for me to use, SigFox or Lora? (In terms of price, signal coverage, possible sending interval and overall usability)
  • What is estimated battery life of such device? (Assume I will be powering it from mini battery module with sending interval of 5 minutes)
  • Do you know about any other product which could fit my requirements? (I know only about Invoxia GPS Tracker, but this do not have (or I do not know about) any way to connect it to my server.)

Please note that I do not know much about SigFox or Lora and I have not ever used it. Thank you very much for any useful informations.



this is a project which we plan to do in the future, but it would be great if you would like to help us. We can give you the 100€ voucher if you publish your project later on.

Sigfox vs. LoRa - it’s hard to say which is better. Sigfox fox example cannot send data if the object is moving more than 40 km/h becasue of the doppler shift. On the other side the signal coverage is better than LoRa and it will work in the whole europe. If you speak czech, you can listen very nice overview we did with Pavel in our podcast https://soundcloud.com/hwdevpodcast/6-iot-site-sigfox-lora-a-nb-iot

With a Sigfox Module from us, you get also 3 years subscription and it just works out of the box, no key configuration, no provider settings, whole europe coverage.
The LoRa is bit tricky, you have to choose provider. In czech republic it could be for example commercial České Radiokomunikace, then you need to set-up the keys and authentication. CRa is also payed service and I’m not sure if personal non-bussiness account can be created. But we can help you if would choose LoRa and CRa. You can use also community LoRa networks like The Thing Network but the coverage in cz is very weak.

LoRa CRa coverage https://www.cra.cz/sluzby-iot
LoRa TTN coverage https://thethingsnetwork.org/map
Sigfox coverage https://coverage.simplecell.eu/

The GPS has current consumption 26 mA in operation, so from batteries if you keep the GPS enabled all the time it would work for few hundred hours. The key to have it working longer would be enable the GPS for every 5-10 minutes, check the position and if it changed more than lte’s say 50 meters send new radio message. The GPS Module can be completely shut down when it is not needed for some time.
It would also be possible to create rechargable solution in the car. The device will send data every hour for example when the keys are turned off, but when the ignition will be on, the 12V can wake module up, it can turn off and save batteries and also keep the GPS constantly on and sending data every 10 minutes. There’s lot of solution to this.

I don’t know these car trackers so I cannot suggest any other solution.



Thank you for the information, I will definitelly look at the podcast. At this point I would choose Sigfox but I will do more research.