Phones forum

Question

Using mobile phone as GPS tracker for a bicycle.

by kellyllek / November 6, 2014 9:56 PM PST

I need a GPS tracker for my bike. There are items on the market but they are costly, often have monthly contracts, and are just not that well developed just yet.

Meanwhile I reckon a mobile phone would work great. GPS in phones is very stable, batteries are pretty powerful, and Pay As You Go costs are minimal. So a phone on lower power mode could be stashed on the bike, and you'd just make sure it's charged up every few days.

So I'm trying to figure out the best phone for the job. If you have suggestions please let me know?

1. Cheap (old phones are ideal as long as they have gps)
2. small
3. decent battery so you don't have to charge it every day.

Literally this phone could be 5 years old, as long as GPS works and it can run a basic operating system. Newer would be better probably as long as it's still cheap. Screens and cameras are not an issue.

I would absolutely consider doing this with an old iPhone if I had one. You can turn on location services remotely, so not having to run it all the time is a bonus. That said, locating the device is the only time you would need to use the battery, so you can really put a phone on a lower power standby mode as long as it can pick up cell signal for when you want to track it.

I'm guessing there's Android apps out there for this purpose? It'd be great if an App could message you if the bike is moved.

I have a couple places to stash it that will still pick up descent GPS. But phone size would still ideally be very small and/or thin. Basic waterproofing in a bag would be simple enough too.

Meanwhile, bluetooth trackers will be great for this purpose in cities in a couple years, but theres not enough people using them to make tracking feasible.

If you have any thoughts on this idea or phone suggestions please let me know.

Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: Using mobile phone as GPS tracker for a bicycle.
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: Using mobile phone as GPS tracker for a bicycle.
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.

All Answers

Collapse -
Answer
Item 3 failures?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 6, 2014 10:18 PM PST
Collapse -
what about?
by kellyllek / November 7, 2014 6:36 AM PST
In reply to: Item 3 failures?

I can get this phone for around $60 and it's spec'd with 360 hours standby. If I got half that much it'd be more than enough. I wouldn't want to charge it every day, but that would be doable.

http://www.gsmarena.com/samsung_exhibit_ii_4g_t679-4277.php

Thanks for the consumer report pet links. I'll check those out. I really want to avoid a monthy fee entirely but even with PAYG that might be impossible.

Collapse -
I know what you ask.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 7, 2014 7:16 PM PST
In reply to: what about?

But so far, the moment you turn on the GPS your average cell phone drops to single digit hours. And without the GPS how to track or know it moved? You'll figure most of this out with your first attempt. That is, I've had this conversation over a few hundred times now. Folk seem to know what they want but the industry can't provide it because a connection costs, etc.
Bob

Popular Forums
icon
Computer Newbies 10,686 discussions
icon
Computer Help 54,365 discussions
icon
Laptops 21,181 discussions
icon
Networking & Wireless 16,313 discussions
icon
Phones 17,137 discussions
icon
Security 31,287 discussions
icon
TVs & Home Theaters 22,101 discussions
icon
Windows 7 8,164 discussions
icon
Windows 10 2,657 discussions

CNET FORUMS TOP DISCUSSION

Help, my PC with Windows 10 won't shut down properly

Since upgrading to Windows 10 my computer won't shut down properly. I use the menu button shutdown and the screen goes blank, but the system does not fully shut down. The only way to get it to shut down is to hold the physical power button down till it shuts down. Any suggestions?