Onboard Gps locator (Thief catcher)

Following on from this thread…

What would the simplest way to power a gsm gps inside the board? I have one of these…


It uses a single cell Lipo like an old school cell phone… Is it possible to pull 5v off the vesc 6.6 (Flipsky dual) to charge it via usb? Or 4v ish to power it directly? My first thought was using the receiver power and charge it so it still transmits when the board is powered off…

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the biggest issue I have run into when looking at GPS tracking as an option is cost and placement. I just don’t wanna spend 30 bucks a month for it, its too much for a passive use item. If you put it in the enclosure, the only way you get sat acquisition is if the board is upside down.


I have live tracking on my drone, using the tk102 mentioned above. In one year is cost me like £1 with a giffgaff UK sim. I created a youtube tutorial showing how to get it working. It would slide right into my esk8 enclosure, set and forget.


So… what no link?

I don’t think we have anything similar in the US. The cheapest I’ve ever found is $30 a month.


Yes usa hasnt a 2g network i here. Here I can use any non contract sim supporting 2g, Just top it up once, it uses so little data, lasts forever.

if you have 2G/GSM service available this is a pretty good option…


I have one of these in my AT Evo.

I used a step down converter and took power from my bypassed BMS. I used a text only plan from US Mobile ($4 a month) but I let it run out, and if I ever need to use it I can just pay the 4 bucks and start tracking it again. Works very well in my rural environment.

I ended up putting a switch on the power line tho as it will drain the battery in 1-2 weeks and it dosnt need to be on 24/7

I got this sim starter kit:

It looks like they lowered their price for texting only to $1.50 a month plus a couple dollars in fees.

I also took it out of the plastic case and wrapped it in shrink wrap. It is installed right under my BMS and together they are the height of an 18650 so it worked out perfect. If i get the unity beta 2 to test I will take some pics for you guys (and maybe post a build thread, wait who has time for that lol).


Well, that’s good stuff to know. I will have a look as well. Thank @JLabs.


Have you looked at Tile? It’s not active tracking like GPS, but it’s a low one time cost and a crowdsourced locator. I have one built into my keyring thing, but I’ve thought about putting one in my board, just to have a chance at a recovery.

Here’s a story about a stolen bike:

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its decent in large population areas, in rural areas its essentially useless unless the guy that steals your board has the app :slight_smile:


:rofl: That would be the best…


Oh I forgot to mention the tk102 can work via the sms text service too. If you text it asking for its location, it will message you back its coordinates. Im not sure what protocol sms uses in the states though.

I’ve got one ordered and a US Mobile SIM, gonna give it a try.


Interested to see what options arise. If we could also add text to self destruct, that could be fun too


Any option that involves grenades or stun guns hidden in seats has my vote.

I’m not too fond of thieves and I don’t care about their wellbeing. At all. Being a thief is a choice.


This could be interesting as it allows for shutoff features, could be modified to turn off power to ESC’s or something like that

I was looking at that as well, it has a SOS cable interface…


I assume we could use that as the NO/C connection on an Anti-Spark switch to turn off the board, but I’m not sure you could use it in-line with the existing switch.

I’m really interested in making these work, I’ve never had anyone try to take a board from me, would likely be fatal for the other person involved :dagger:. For now I’m just going to work on making the GPS logging and notification work. After that maybe the cutoff features.


I’m not worried about my board being taken away from me when I’m present but when my board is in my car or when I’m not paying attention.


That too, I’m mostly worried about shipping them. When I shipped them to Miami this summer I was a nervous wreck for a week :slight_smile:.