I had a spare GPS unit lying in my box of old components so decided to put it to good use by installing it into my car together with a Particle Photon, thus allowing me to track its whereabouts when someone borrows it. Of course this project could me modified to track almost anything.
Although I used a Particle Photon which only connects via wifi instead of 3G, I used it for 2 reasons:
1. I had a few spare Photons already;
2. I had an old portable 3G router with a bad battery that I have installed permanently into the car providing a mobile hotspot. Many people have old mobile phones lying around which could be re-purposed to do the same – better than leaving them lying in the bottom of a drawer.
The only item I did purchase was a 2000mAh Li Ion battery and a Li Ion battery charger from Adafruit. This allows me to not only keep it plugged into the cars power socket permanently but also to unplug it and have a portable unit if I need to track something else temporarily.
USB LiIon/LiPoly charger – v1.2: This is a Lithium Ion and Lithium Polymer battery charger based on the MCP73833. It uses a USB mini-B for connection to any computer or ‘USB wall adapter’. Charging is performed in three stages: first a preconditioning charge, then a constant-current fast charge and finally a constant-voltage trickle charge to keep the battery topped-up. The fast-charge current is 500mA by default, but is easily adjustable from 100mA up to 1000mA by soldering a through-hole resistor on-board. (read more)
Make a robot friend with Adafruit’s CRICKIT – A Creative Robotics & Interactive Construction Kit. It’s an add-on to our popular Circuit Playground Express, FEATHER and other platforms to make and program robots with CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. Start controlling motors, servos, solenoids. You also get signal pins, capacitive touch sensors, a NeoPixel driver and amplified speaker output. It complements & extends your boards so you can still use all the goodies on the microcontroller, now you have a robotics playground as well.