A few months back I ordered from a ‘Made in China’ website a small GPS / GSM tracking device, the device sounded pretty interesting – tho not in a stalkerish way!
Devices like this have been speculated about for many years and indeed used by various governments of the world for years. But more recently companies and individuals have taken to using the devices.
From a data perspective devices like this can serve a greater good. The tracking of a elderly loved one serves a useful purpose and backed up by SOS buttons its very easy to see benefit from something like this.
I had previously investigated building something like this in the past as an experiment so I was intrigued to see what an official product did and looked like. Plus being only $15USD inc. shipping it didnt break the bank.
Its clear to see how small the tracker is:
Technologically it features an ARM A8 Processor (hence the name Mini A8) which is one of the chipsets being produced in the millions out in China. This processor is able to run Googles ‘Android’ operating system so being able to program and interact with the tracker should be quite easy..
The instructions on the other hand are a different matter… While the Chinese are very good at many things, technical translation is not one of them.
eg “before using the new machine should be filled with electricity, in order to achieve the best effort”
So this is a ‘rough’ Chinglish to English translation guide on how to operate the A8 Mini Tracker
Mini A8 Android GPS / GSM Tracker English Users Guide.
This product uses the latest technology produced from Taiwan. Small yet mighty, It features a long battery life, simple easy to use, stable operation and easy installation.
While the device has a range of uses, the top uses are: Monitoring and support of elderly / cared for individuals, vehicle and logistics tracking as well as individual location tracking.
Powering ON: The device is powered on, once a SIM card has been inserted into the SIM tray. Turning the device over (Android face down) slide the cover back to reveal the SIM tray.
Once a SIM card has been inserted the system will begin its boot process. You will see a light illuminate for approximately 10 seconds. Once this light has been extinguished replace the cover.
Environmental Monitoring: You can use the tracker’s onboard Mic to listen to the surrounding environment. To do this simply dial the number connected to the SIM you inserted, the tracker should answer and after approximately 5 seconds you should be able to hear up to approximately 10 meters from the tracker.
Sound Controlled Call Back: One advantage of the A8 that It can ring you when when noise around the device exceeds 45 DB. To configure this, ring from the phone you wish to the A8 to call you, once connected to the tracker wait 3 seconds and then hang up.
This feature can be turned off by sending an SMS text of ‘0000’ to the phone number of the A8. You can also turn this feature back on again by sending an SMS of ‘1111’ to the A8’s number.
GPS Positioning: In CAPITALS send an SMS message of either ‘DW’ or ‘GPS’ to the A8′. After a few minutes the A8 will respond with the GPS co-ordinates.
SOS Emergency Call: From the phone you wish to receive SOS calls from. Send in CAPITALS an SMS with the words ‘SOS’. After 3 seconds press the SOS button on the A8 to test this functionality. The indicator should flash and the phone should ring.
The Mini A8 GPS/ GSM Tracker operates at frequencies of: GSM 850/900/1800/1900MHz
Before initial use, please ensure you fully charge the device, A 5.0V Power supply has been supplied however any 5.0VDC power source will work.
If your not able to interact with the A8 Device try removing the SIM card, reinserting and recharging before next use.
and finally my favourite quote of the manual:
“this product is forbidden for illegal purposes, Otherwise your peril.”