Mini Tracker

A device that can send a position, u can use this for track people, pets, cars...

Similar projects worth following
actually no big description for this project.

Global IoT Modem, Global eSIM, GPS module, Microcontroller and passive components that make everything works.

The project actually works just like a node, unfortunately I made this device a year early and no infrastructure was available to make it work.

for years I've been dreaming with make a mini tracker, but components like modems and GPS/GNSS was too big for that project, in the last square inch contest I just stayed watching because in that moment was impossible fit all components in just one square inch, now I have this new opportunity and I introduce to all of you my one square inch tracker. 

This device are very simple, everything starts when plug the usb,  at this time the device starts to charge a battery through the TP4056 thats are configured for charge at 450mA, at the same time the whole circuit is feeded and microcontroller are ready for work.

Microcontroller operate Modem and GPS module.

When you plug usb to your computer the FTDI create a VCP so you can communicate with the microcontroller through a terminal like hyperterminal, putty, docklight... the commands for the device are not created yet, the idea is configure the device for first time, telling him ip address, port etc...    

microcontroller knows the state of the battery(charging/standby), in the beginning the mcu could read battery voltage but I couldn't fits that in one square inch so...

well I think this is all about my device i hope some of you are interested on follow this project until the end and I have to thank you for come to see.

Adobe Portable Document Format - 411.48 kB - 08/23/2018 at 21:14


schematics Altium files

x-zip-compressed - 55.50 kB - 08/22/2018 at 20:25



Bill of materials

ms-excel - 33.50 kB - 08/12/2018 at 01:12


  • 3 × CC0603MRX5R7BB106 CAP CER 10UF 16V X5R 0603
  • 8 × CC0402KRX7R7BB104 CAP CER 0.1UF 16V X7R 0402

View all 35 components

  • Moving on

    Raúl Luna06/07/2019 at 16:05 0 comments

    I created a new project using different components and modules: 

  • this is not the end

    Raúl Luna10/01/2018 at 01:45 4 comments

    For all the people following this project, deadline is on my head and I can not make this modem connects with the network, I made the last try and the answer is negative, the project are moving with or without the contest.

    wait for the news...

  • Big effort

    Raúl Luna09/29/2018 at 22:31 0 comments

    Well, like the old people said, in the bad moments is when you know the good guys, I made a big effort trying to connect the modem to the network, I was to the mall looking for T-Mobile stand and asking for eSIM and then is this guy Raul (yes he name is Raul too) this guy looks interested and told me that T-Mobile do not sells eSIM's but he knows a guy (Carlos) that repair phones in Laredo TX and maybe he can give me one of this eSIM's, on the way I'll been thinkin that I could desolder the eSIM from the tracker and then wire a normal SIM so I told Carlos my situation and I have just let myself in to the site and use ur tools

    Unfortunately the modem don't turn on and I leave the other modems in Mexico so... yes...

    At least I'm leaving with the satisfaction that I did what was within my reach and a little more.

    I need to thank the Tech Guys in Laredo Texas for they help and Raul to put me in contact with them.

  • The big problem stills here.

    Raúl Luna09/29/2018 at 19:11 0 comments

    all the people thats follow this project from beginning knows that i'm doing everything to finish this until the deadlines arrives, today I drive from Mexico to Texas USA to test the NB1 Network but my eSIM can't connect with T-Mobile because don't have a contract or something.

    Im seating out of the taco tote with my friend Rafael, I'm a little sad because I know that I have a limited options, I can buy a M66 modem that is GSM/GPRS and pin compatible with BC68 but this option is at least 6 or 7 days I don't know if t-mobile can sells me an eSIM and if they can, I think 2 or 3 days is the delivering time

    I'm not abandoning the project, I'm just have my foot's on the earth and know that is possible that I can't be ready in two days.

  • Mike Made It!

    Raúl Luna09/28/2018 at 14:54 0 comments

    I received today this box from the guys of make mike (3D printers) with the little case that I designed for the square inch tracker

    As you can note I placed the magnets also place the screws to close the lid.

  • The Big Problem

    Raúl Luna09/27/2018 at 23:55 0 comments

    Everything looks fine until I try to connect the tracker to the network, looks like my friends don't told me the truth about NB1 Network in Mexico.

    I ask for the network status and the answer is 0,2 that means I'm not registered and is searching for the network, when I check COPS command answers that no networks availables 

    looks like I designed a device that can't works in my country.

    moving on... this saturday I will travel two hours heading to the south Texas, NB1 are working since last year with T-Mobile.

    Meanwhile I will write the code and test de GPS module.

  • Hello world!

    Raúl Luna09/26/2018 at 23:51 0 comments

    looks like everything is working, I plug the usb and the FTDI creates the VCP correctly then I download a firmware to blink the led and the led blinking, finally  I wrote this quick function that receive chars and search the sequence "hello" if found returns the sequence "hello world!"

    I just download the firmware and click run, then I type in my computer hello and this is the answer that the square inch tracker sends to me.

    I don't think I can sleep tonight, I will keep awake until I hit the keyboard with my face.

  • when the missing components arrives, everything is happiness!

    Raúl Luna09/26/2018 at 21:49 0 comments

    UPS guy bring happiness to my project and my day, MCU and USB finally are in my hands.

    Now I need solder the components and I hope that the E1 recognize it.

  • The possibilities

    Raúl Luna09/26/2018 at 00:17 0 comments

    I've been thinking about the applications for this, the only purpose of this device are track things so, if I need to track my bicycle or my car or whatever that can be placed with magnets, for that application we need a box with magnets.

    for that reason I started to design this little case with magnets for the square inch tracker

    I can send to the 3d printer the case and the device looks like this:

    top and base are separated


    this is the bottom view of the case, you can see the space for the magnets and the holes for 4 screws that closes the lid from bottom

    I will use this magnets and 4 screws as shown in the picture, I don't know yet what screws and nuts I could use for the magnets.

    Maybe tomorrow I can design a case for a leash so I can use with my dog or my cat... better the dog.

  • Meanwhile

    Raúl Luna09/25/2018 at 16:29 0 comments

    I've been talking with some friends that knows people from the networks carriers in Mexico and I have a big surprise because they told me TELCEL have NB1 working in some important cities, well  my city is an important one so maybe is not necessary cross the border into Texas to test the device.

    for that reason I decided start to configure a server, I have this CINTERION development kit for that job.

    please dont think Im rich, Im not :( but the people from GEMALTO gave to me this kit to test because the company for I work are using modules from others providers so they want we buy their modules... anyway.

    I will configure this module like a server, so I will receive all the data from the square inch tracker into this device.

    I received another good news and are that the MCU and USB can arrive today by the end of the day.
    Maybe I can finish before the deadline.

View all 21 project logs

Enjoy this project?



Jan wrote 09/22/2018 at 16:35 point

Hi Raul!

Very interesting project. Do you have any info on power consumption, accuracy etc? Are you planning on summarizing those things in a log some day?

  Are you sure? yes | no

Raúl Luna wrote 09/22/2018 at 17:06 point

Hi Jan, I can made estimation about the power consumption in relation with the datasheets of the modules but I could make some mistake with some calculation and  the results can be different in a real measurement.

When all the missing components arrive to my lab the first thing to do for me are write a basic firmware, so, in that moment I can measure the power consumption in transmission and reception, standby, etc.

Right now, I can summarize things like accurate of the GPS/GNSS module and the freq of the modem because that information are available in the datasheets of the modules.

Thank You for your interest.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Nicolò wrote 09/02/2018 at 14:05 point

I searched a little on the internet but I did not understand how these eUICC work

They seem to be chips but I do not understand who sells them.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Raúl Luna wrote 09/02/2018 at 16:12 point

Hi Nicolò, eUICC (embedded universal circuit card) is not a form factor in hardware that is commonly mistaken, it refers to the fact that you can have more than one profile on your sim card, commonly normal sim cards have 64KB or 128KB of memory, this one have 512KB so you can host more than one profile, so, you can manage multiple mobile network operator subscriptions.

Usually the mobile network operators will not provide this (in my case on my country) but you can buy this sim card in gemalto or EMnify, they also provides to you the way to manage this profiles remotely.

I hope I've helped

  Are you sure? yes | no

Nicolò wrote 09/02/2018 at 19:46 point

But on your board you don't have a SIM tray or at least it seems not.
But that module must be connected to a SIM or something right?

  Are you sure? yes | no

Raúl Luna wrote 09/03/2018 at 01:16 point

yes, the module have a sim card connected, but this sim card is an embedded sim and is soldered to the pcb, if you see the sch files in the modem sheet you can see the "U5" component, that is the sim card.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Raúl Luna wrote 09/02/2018 at 16:26 point

I can see that you work on a project that involves a modem, if you want, I could join and help with the communication part I have years of experience in that area.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Nicolò wrote 09/02/2018 at 19:54 point

Yea, why not!
The project will be released as Open Source once done.
I'm a hobbyist, I learned all the electronics by myself.
Every little bit helps right now.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Raúl Luna wrote 09/03/2018 at 01:19 point

I just joined into your project

  Are you sure? yes | no

cyrexxx wrote 08/23/2018 at 21:04 point

I see you are having trouble with the printing port labels (going blank) in the Sch output.
there is an easy fix for this 
  go to DXP>> Preferences>>Schematic>>General>> disable - Render Text with GDI+

  Are you sure? yes | no

Raúl Luna wrote 08/23/2018 at 21:17 point

Thank you! I changed the files now are ok.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Phillip Scruggs wrote 08/20/2018 at 18:52 point

Great looking project. Ill need to look into Global IoT Modems more as I am only used to using a GSM modem/SIM card for projects.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Raúl Luna wrote 08/22/2018 at 14:52 point

in fact, is the same thing, a modem and sim card, but this modem is NB-IoT LTE based and works in a lot of frequencies making him a global module, the problem is that not all countries have this network, I live in MTY MX and I will cross the border into Texas for make the tests cuz in Mexico NB1 will not ready until the next year.

the sim card is an "eSIM / eUICC" that can manage a lot of profiles, usually a normal sim card have 64k or 128k this one have 512k and its form factor is an MFF2, so, we can connect with many operators, in my case I use EMnyfy sim card and establish connection with TELCEL and MOVISTAR in Mexico, AT & T, Virgin Mobile and T-Mobile in the USA.

Thank you for your interest, feel free to ask me about this

  Are you sure? yes | no

Similar Projects

Does this project spark your interest?

Become a member to follow this project and never miss any updates