I thought it was time to add a bit of security to the gear I take camping, so this GPS tracker unit was sourced from eBay. This is a Rewire Security 103RS, a slightly customised version of the common Chinese TK103 GPS tracker.
The small module has all it’s power connections on one end of the unit, on a Molex multi-way block. The white connector is for a piezo-shock sensor – this interfaces with the alarm functionality of the unit. There’s an indicator LED for both the GPS & GSM status, and a switch for the backup battery.
The other end has the antenna connections, microphone connection for the monitor function, along with the SIM & SD card slots.
Once the end panel is removed, the PCB just slides out of the aluminium extruded casing. It’s pretty heavily packed with components in here. A switching regulator deals with the 12v input from the vehicle battery, and is protected by a polyfuse on the right. The GSM module is hiding under the Li-Po backup cell, unfortunately the sticky pad used to secure this wouldn’t come off without damaging something. The pigtails for both the GPS & GSM antennas are permanently soldered to the board here.
The bottom of the PCB has the GPS module, and mainly input protection & bypassing components. There is a FNK4421 Dual P-Channel MOSFET here as well, probably used for switching the external relay or alarm siren. The SIM socket for the GSM modem is located here in the corner.
As the first USB hub I was using was certainly not stable – it would not enumerate between boots & to get it working again would require waiting around 12 hours before applying power, it has been replaced. This is a cheapie eBay USB hub, of the type shown below.
These hubs are fantastic for hobbyists, as the connections for power & data are broken out on the internal PCB into a very convenient row of pads, perfect for integration into many projects.
I now have two internal spare USB ports, for the inbuilt keyboard/mouse receiver & the GPS receiver I plan to integrate into the build.
These hubs are also made in 7-port versions, however I am not sure if these have the same kind of breakout board internally. As they have the same cable layout, I would assume so.
Here is a closeup of the back of the connectors, showing a couple of additions.
I have added a pair of 470µF capacitors across the power rails, to further smooth out the ripple in the switching power supply, as I was having noise issues on the display.
Also, there is a new reset button added between the main interface connectors, which will be wired into the pair of pads that the Raspberry Pi has to reset the CPU.
This can be used as a power switch in the event the Pi is powered down when not in use & also to reset the unit if it becomes unresponsive.