Site icon Pallav Aggarwal

Teardown: Vehicle Tracking System

Vehicle tracking system is a device which provides GPS location of the vehicle in real time. It mainly consists of a GPS receiver and a wireless connectivity interface like Cellular modem to send location data to the server.

A couple of months back I purchased a Vehicle tracking system and here is what is inside it.

It takes 5-32V DC Input to power the device. A dc dc converter IC (SMD Marking T30FT, package SOT23-6) is used to down convert 5 to 32V DC to ~4 to power the MC60 Quectel 2G Modem and 4V Dc is again converted to 3.3V to power GNSS GPS receiver section.

The large package ceramic capacitors are mainly to supply peak current while modem is transmitting.

On the PCB, you can see the Patch antenna for the GPS and helical antenna (covered with heat shrink tube) for GPRS Modem.

Quectel MC60 Modem has the open architecture where it allows user code to be integrated with existing GPRS, GPS stack. This greatly helps in eliminating the need of another external MCU hence saving the cost and keeping design simple and compact.

You can also see a 2 pin tilt sensor/switch, It is probably used to detect the vehicle movement or vehicle overturn condition.

Many other vehicle tracking systems will have onboard relay to control power to the engine in case of theft detection or remotely owner can control.

Other advanced features which you might get on vehicle tracking system are onboard battery and battery charger. In case someone tries to disconnect battery connection to the vehicle tracking system, it’s inbuilt battery will be able to detect it and send the last location to the server and alert the vehicle owner.

Some other will feature extra IOs for connecting other devices like Fuel sensor, Panic button, etc.

I hope you found this teardown useful and learned something new today!

If you have any questions please ask in the comments section below, I will try to respond as soon as possible.

You can read other teardown blogs and watch teardown videos.

I am currently working as an embedded systems design consultant and helping companies build custom embedded products, develop test automation solution for their PCB or complete product.

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