Hello Hologram Folks,
I am a software developer new to IoT & hardware, so apologies if these questions are basic. I’ve browsed existing threads and have not found what I’m looking for yet, so let me know if I missed one.
I am setting out to build a small child GPS tracker as my first learning project, and I want to make sure I make an informed choice on hardware.
Here are my goals/requirements for the device:
- Cellular enabled, works in Italy (assuming Hologram SIM’s got me covered there)
- GPS enabled (it is a kid tracker, after all).
- Sends location updates to cloud every 30 seconds
- Has a battery life of at least 10 hours.
- Device is as small as possible, a child could wear on a lanyard, maybe even watch or attached to clothing.
- cellular radio
- GPS breakout
… and eventually a housing to wrap it all up.
I plan to program this assembly with a simple python script that reports data to the webserver every short time interval. Nothing fancy.
Some assemblies that I think may work based on the links above:
- [Hologram Dash (Microcontroller + Cellular)] + Adafruit GPS Breakout
- Pycom GPy (Cellular microcontroller) + Pytrack GPS shield
- Adafruit Fona 808 (GPS + Cellular breakouts) + Arduino Nano
Given that my use case is in Italy, is it problematic or beneficial to be using a 2G cellular connection as opposed to more recent LTE-M / NBIoT? The Pycom solutions seems to be only 2G … does that mean I’m buying obfuscated hardware, or on the otherhand, how do I know which networks in Italy even support the newer LTE-M stuff?
What are the power considerations of each assembly … which would have the best battery life?
As I am not a hardware guy, I would strongly prefer integrated solutions for both power efficiency and minimizing failure points. Are there any solutions that integrate all three requirements (Microcontroller + GPS + Cell)?
As a DIY project, how small can I reasonably hope to get this thing? Can I get it down to the size of a deck of cards? the size of a watch? a key fob? I know commercial products get small, but I don’t know how much custom board design they do for it. For example, would love to know how they built the lightbug tiny gps tracker.
I appreciate answer to one or any of the questions above, thank you and sorry for the long post!