TickTag, a tiny GPS logger with 3d printed case, LiPo battery and a 1 Euro coin for size reference

Small GPS Logger for Internet of Animals

[Trichl] creates a tiny GPS logger, called “TickTag”, which was designed as an inexpensive tracking option for animal studies. The low cost, small form factor, and high power density of the LiPo battery allows the TickTag to track large populations of small animals, including dogs and bats.

The TickTag was designed with a LiPo battery specifically in mind and claims 10,000 GPS fixes from a 30mAh cell. Each unit is equipped with an L70B-M39 GPS module controlled by an Atmel ATTiny1626 microcontroller and sports a tiny 0-pin AXE610124 connection header for programming and communication. GPS data is stored on a 128 KB EEPROM chip, with each GPS position using 25 bits for latitude, 26 bits for longitude, and 29 bits for a timestamp. All that and you get 10 bytes per GPS data point (25 + 26 + 29 = 80), which gives the upper limit of 10k GPS position.

To record higher quality data and extend battery life, the TickTag can be programmed to record GPS location data using varying frequency intervals or when geofence boundaries have been crossed.

Since the device is so small, any stray signal near the antenna can cause reception problems. [Trichl] warns that the device should be mounted away from any other conductive tags or materials, including its own battery, which should be mounted behind the tag, not under it, to avoid drowning out the GPS signal.

Extracting data from the TickTag requires physical access to the device, which can be done via
an associated “user interface board”. The interface board integrates charging logic and USB communication, among other features, reducing the complexity of the TickTag module itself.

All source code, gerber files, design files, and 3D printed enclosures are available on GitHub. Besides documentation and source code, their article in the journal Public Library of Science (PLOS ONE) is full of details, including the results of integrating a device on a canis lupus familiaris.

Who knows, maybe the TickTag is even tough enough to use to track catus domesticus.

#Small #GPS #Logger #Internet #Animals

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