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How To Build A GPS Vehicle Tracking System

How To Build A GPS Vehicle Tracking System

A GPS tracking system is at the heart of vehicle fleet security and management in the 21st century. It is an essential part of any business with any size of fleet. Some companies have begun taking advantage of the fact that the technology has become cheaper over the last few years by building a GPS tracker system from scratch but what exactly are the advantages and disadvantages when you build your own GPS tracking device?

Please note you should not attempt to add a tracker to your vehicle if you are unfamiliar with inner vehicle modification.

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How To Build A GPS Tracking System

Building GPS tracking systems has its benefits, for the more tech savvy workforce.

Components Needed To Build A GPS Tracker

  • A Cheap Mobile Phone
  • An In Car Charger
  • Two Small Plastic Boxes - One Slightly Larger Than The Other
  • Self Adhesive Velcro Strips
  • A Length Of Two Core 5amp Flex
  • In Line Fuse Holder And 1amp Fuse
  • Battery Terminal Connectors
  • Potting Compound

Building A GPS Tracker

  1. Dismantle the in car charger, the bayonet end is the positive and the other side the negative.
  2. Make 2 holes on either end of the smaller plastic box and thread the charger wires through them. Add the flex through the other end.
  3. Join the charger wires to the flex, attaching the brown coloured wire to the bayonet and the blue to the side wire, it is very important to get this part right, then tape it up and fill the box with the potting compound
  4. Line Velcro on the inside of the base of the larger plastic box and attach the opposing strips to the back of the smaller plastic box and the mobile phone.
  5. Making a small hole for the flex to fit through in the side of the larger box, attach the smaller box to the inside of it.
  6. Once this is done you can connect the phone to the charger and attach the Velcro in the larger box, tucking any spare cable into any leftover space.
  7. At the end of the flex, cut about 12cms off the positive brown cable then attach the in line fuse connector. Once this is done you can add the cut off part to the end of the fuse connector.
  8. Lastly, connect the battery connectors to the end of the flex then attach it to your battery.

Essentially this is the simplest way to build your own GPS tracking system but it should be pointed out that other methods in how to build a tracker are also available. However, there are several disadvantages to building your own GPS vehicle tracker listed below.

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There are a few advantages to building GPS tracking systems. Usually these are only truly beneficial if you are well versed in the technology.

The Costs Of Building A Tracking Device

The basic components involved when you build your own GPS tracker are relatively cheap and easily available from electronic outlets. As long as you know what you are doing, it can lead to significant savings.

Reliability Of A Home-Built GPS Tracker

Again, the key to getting the full advantages in building GPS tracking systems is in knowing what you are doing. Using mobile phone components at the heart of the device can be at least as reliable as buying a ready made device but this of course depends on how well your device has been constructed.


Many businesses see the instructions for how to build a GPS tracking device and think they can cut corners and save money without ever really considering the disadvantages to such an undertaking. Here are some of the main reasons you should think carefully about not building a GPS tracking system for your fleet.

The Technicalities of Building a GPS Tracker

Building one device might seem like a technical nightmare if you are not proficient in such work but building devices for an entire fleet is a huge task. Think carefully about the technical problems such a job might bring.

Lack Of Support

Buying these devices from a supplier has many advantages but the main problem that comes with building a GPS tracking system is a lack of technical support. Should anything go wrong with the technology that you construct yourself, the downtime can end up being extremely costly.

No Police Support

Should a vehicle, or multiple vehicles, be stolen, the police may not be able to assist you if you devices are not compatible or reliable. This can cause many problems when investigating such crimes and it is usually recommended that you fit your fleet with a well renowned supplier of such a set of devices.


When asking the question “How to build a GPS tracking system?” a company should always consider the disadvantages first as they can be significant and present a serious risk to the security of your whole venture. For most companies, the safer and more reliable option would be to purchase their devices from a reputable supplier.

Next Steps

GPS components and devices are manifold and can lead to much confusion when comparing such a huge range of products. By filling in our simple form, it should take no longer than a minute, you can compare the relevant devices for your business’s size and budget, saving you both time and frustration while offering peace of mind.