BlocNotes

Notepad of a tinker, maker, hacker or whatever you call it :)

How to make a LoraWAN GPS tracker

What can you do in a rainy evening when you go to your hackerspace ?
Take a NoteRF V2 PCB, a GPS, a battery and you can make a lora GPS tracker !

Solder the PCB

Solder cream rig
Hand solder it or for lazy guys like me, order a $5 stencil from OSH Stencil.
Prepare the rig, apply solder cream and place components.
Hot plate reflow
Time to reflow in a hot plate, then visual and electrical inspection.

Burn bootloader

Pogo-pin rig
Use the pogo-pin rig to easily burn the Arduino bootloader into the ATMega, verify it.

Solder GPS and battery

Everything soldered
Solder the GPS, the battery, flash the code and another time: test it !

Display data

GPS Map
Thanks to Node-Red and OpenStreetMap, we can easily grab data from LoraWAN operator, decode and display it on a map.

Make a nice box

We now have a battery operated GPS tracker... what about putting everything in a box ?
Box

As I use upcycled 18650 lithium elements, the battery is by far bigger than the PCB + GPS, so I decided to design two compartments inside the box. Some lasercut after it is all working !!!
Box with wheels
Also, even if it was not planned, the box sound more like a locomotive than a gps tracker, so back to the laser cutter to make four little circles and... finish product with a fun design !
I Even have some time left for a beer :p