How To Create Your Very Own GPS Tracking System For Your Car

Creating your very own GPS system for cars is really a lot easier than you think.  In days long past you would to have had a hell of a lot of technical experience, a great understanding of how to create software, and a lot of money to get something like real-time GPS tracking to work for yourself.  You would have had to buy a ton of equipment that you would never normally use and spend countless hours coding software and making firmaware so that your devices could interact with your software.  This process would be both time and money intensive and very few of us would be able to get through it.

Today, it is a totally different story.  All you need to create an awesome, real-time GPS tracking system for your car is a navigational GPS that has bluetooth capabilities and a cell phone that can run a free GPS tracking application called 3dtracking.  It will also help to have a good cell phone plan with your provider that has plenty of data sending capabilities.  That is it.

The Equipment Needed

The GPS

The very first thing that you are going to need is going to be a GPS navigation unit.  This is because the 3dtracking software must have access to coordinates generated by a GPS device in order to provide real-time GPS tracking information.  Without some form of GPS information to feed your cell phone that is loaded up with this free GPS tracking software you are not going to be able to get yoru desired results.

While I don’t personally have a navigational GPS, I have heard some good things about the following devices that have Bluetooth capabilities:

If these prices are still to high for you personally then you might want to consider trying to find a refurbished GPS.  A refurbished device can sometimes come at a very steep discount (from 20%-50% in some cases) and it should work just as well as a ‘new’ device.

In some cases you won’t even need to own a stand alone car navigation GPS for this system to work. If you own a phone with GPS tracking capabilities already installed into the phone then you don’t need to connect to an external GPS device via Bluetooth.  Everything that you are going to need is going to be inside the case of that cell phone.

The Cell Phone

3dtracking published a list of compatible cell phones for their system.  If you do not own one of these phones then you will not be able to use this system as I am describing it.  Here is a list of the cell phones that is currently compatible with this software:

  • Lenovo P930
  • LG KS10
  • Nokia 3230
  • Nokia 3250
  • Nokia 5320
  • Nokia 5500
  • Nokia 5700
  • Nokia 6110
  • Nokia 6120
  • Nokia 6121
  • Nokia 6210
  • Nokia 6220
  • Nokia 6260
  • Nokia 6290
  • Nokia 6600
  • Nokia 6620
  • Nokia 6630
  • Nokia 6670
  • Nokia 6680
  • Nokia 6681
  • Nokia 6682
  • Nokia 7610
  • Nokia E50
  • Nokia E51
  • Nokia E60
  • Nokia E61
  • Nokia E61i
  • Nokia E62
  • Nokia E63
  • Nokia E65
  • Nokia E66
  • Nokia E70
  • Nokia E71
  • Nokia E90
  • Nokia N70
  • Nokia N71
  • Nokia N72
  • Nokia N73
  • Nokia N75
  • Nokia N76
  • Nokia N77
  • Nokia N78
  • Nokia N79
  • Nokia N80
  • Nokia N81
  • Nokia N81 8GB
  • Nokia N82
  • Nokia N85
  • Nokia N90
  • Nokia N91
  • Nokia N92
  • Nokia N93
  • Nokia N93i
  • Nokia N95
  • Nokia N95 8GB
  • Nokia N96
  • Panasonic X700
  • Panasonic X800
  • Samsung SGH-D720
  • Samsung SGH-D730
  • Samsung SGH-i400
  • Samsung SGH-i520
  • Samsung SGH-Z600

(Be sure to check the compatible cell phone list over at 3dtracking’s website in case this list has become out of date)

Some of these phones are rather inexpensive (some can be found for under $20) while others will cost over $200.  Which phone you choose will depend largely on your needs for the cell phone and whether or not you want to use it for more than just GPS tracking.

Once you have one of these phones you are going to want to make sure that you have a good data plan for your phone.  This way you can send data to the 3dtracking servers without incurring exorbitant fees.  Right now, AT&T wireless is offering a unlimited data plan for its phones for $35 a month.  This would put your access to real-time GPS tracking information for your car at roughly $1.17 per day.

3dtracking software

In order to download the free 3dtracking software simply go here.  There are onpage instructions for what to do depending on whether or not you have a Windows-based PDA or a smart phone.  Once you have downloaded the application and installed it on your phone or PDA you will do a brief 3 step application process and will be ready to begin tracking with your cell phone right away.

Total Cost to You

The startup cost of this GPS tracking system for cars can be pretty steep, coming in at over $400 if you buy some of the higher end equipment.  With a $35 unlimited data plan that would bring the first year total out of pocket expense to somewhere between $800 and $900.  The second year of operation would be $420.  While this certainly isn’t cheap, if you already have the GPS navigation unit and the compatible cell phone you won’t need to spend any money out of pocket so your expense will probably be $0 unless you have to upgrade the data plan on your phone to handle the load.  Free GPS tracking is certainly better than not free GPS tracking.

What Will You Track?

From where I sit there are two main applications for this type of GPS tracking system for cars.  They are tracking a teen driver and snooping on a spouse suspected of cheating.  For the former you should be completely up front and honest with your teen about what you are doing to their phone and why you are doing it.  They should know that you are concerned about their safety and that you want to make their driving experience as safe as possible.  Then you should work on some sensible rewards and punishments for your teen drivers.  Making sure they they buy into your GPS tracking system is key if it is going to be useful to them and to you.

IF you are tracking a spouse that you suspect of cheating you should not let them know that you are tracking them.  To do this, you might have to buy a special phone that you put in their car for them so that they don’t realize what is going on.  You will have to leave the phone on and recharge the battery often, but the ability to know if they are cheating or not can certainly be worth the price.

But this set-up, especially one where your phone has GPS capabilities built in, can be used in many more applicaitons.  A few of them are to:

There are practically as many things that you can do with this technology as you can dream up, so sit down, grab a beer, and dream.  This GPS tracking system for cars is definitely going to blow your mind if you let it.

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