When information about moving assets is needed, the VI Tracker can be considered. This small unit can fit snugly into small spaces and does not need external connections to a power supply to function, although operational periods may then be limited. The VI Tracker was designed to be a small tracking unit, reporting GPS coordinates and other status messages via the GSM network to a client server via GPRS or to designated cell phone numbers via SMS. The server may be configured to display the information on a web page or to send emails to designated email addresses.
Hardware-wise, the unit consists of two PCBs – one master PCB and one GPS/GSM module. The master PCB features one USB2.0 port, one RS232 port and a real-time clock (RTC) to keep track of time when the GSM network is unavailable or when the GPS does not have signal. The backup battery is not chargeable, but will last for approximately one year when used in backup mode (no external power connected). This may be replaced with a rechargeable super capacitor with a backup lifetime of approximately 10 days. The power management on the master PCB allows recharging of a 3.8V lithium-ion polymer battery over the USB port. Power is selectable between USB power (GSM and GPS off; 5VDC 500mA) and 5V external power (GPS and GSM can now be used; 5VDC 3A). Another option may be to include some sort of storage for logging or other purposes, such as NAND flash memory or a micro-SD card. On request, the PCB may also expand to include a 10/100 Mbps Ethernet port.
Input Voltage 3.6VDC – 6.0VDC (5VDC nominal). Input Current 3A (2A spike for GSM); 500mA USB. Dimensions 70mm x 56mm x 25mm approx without housing. Rate of Reporting Configurable* (three times daily) SIM Card One push-push mini SIM card connector RS232 baud rate 57600 RS232 data 8-bit RS232 parity None RS232 stop bit(s) 1 bit RS232 Flow Control None * Software may be changed upon request.
With a Lithium battery and a reporting rate of 5 minutes (configurable), the unit may operate up to 3 days without a external power source.