Install GPS receiver inside laptop
The recovery of stolen goods has always intrigued me and have built ham radio GPS trackers back in the 1990s that worked well. Unfortunately I am looking at a scale issue. I would like to install just the GPS receiver board inside of a laptop top, if there is room. Another option would to use an existing memory slow area and insulate it with the installation of a board. Has anyone heard of a company that makes GPS receiver chips that can be installed into existing laptops? BTW, I used to repair dozens of dell laptops in the past so know how to open and repair them. Unfortunately, this Acer 9300 laptop has a ribbon that is to short to reach in and insert it into the clip for touch pad use. May try this on another laptop.
You can purchase laptops and netbooks with receivers installed internally. It'd be much easier to go that route than try to squeeze one into an existing machine. I had to take my laptop apart a couple months ago to replace the fan and it amazed me how tight everything is packed into that thing. I couldn't imagine trying to squeeze anything aftermarket into it.
Marvin Hlavac
Lortech, search the web for "gps board", and you may find what you are looking for.
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A GPS module won't allow you to track a laptop such as if it is stolen. The module is receive only and provides information about where the device is but only to the device. Some other method of transmitting that information would be required to make it available to others.


I know and that's why there is software on the market that would take the GPS info and broadcast it, for example on a WiFi network. I wonder if USB slots are plunged into the laptop board. If so, one could be removed, and a very small GPS antenna with USB could be connected to it...if there was room for the GPS antenna. BTW, I think there is room behind the display panel in some laptops that could accommodate this antenna then find a way to extend the wires into the motherboard. That would work great! I may take a look at my old Dell, open it up, and see if there is room behind the display to mount something like this receiver.
The antenna is generally part of the module. Long wire antennas are not particularly useful in the GPS frequency range. Also, the GPS signals are quite weak and can be easily overpowered by the rf interference of the laptop electronics. The lid might be a good location for the module but som sort of shielding might be required to separate the module from other electronics.

With a bit of study, you should be able to determine where you could find a spare USB connection. Most laptops these days seem to have more than they use.

The broadcast software that Lortech spoke of can be readily found in many versions as freeware... Generally, it is configured to broadcast your location to friends/family over the internet and displays on Google Maps... I think one is called "TrackBuddy."
Ken in Regina
Hi lortech,

Would you mind if we moved this thread to the Hardware forum?

Here's a relevant discussion:


It's over in the hardware forum. There is a companion discussion where l6e uses this module to build a tracking device to hang on a deer fawn's neck to track its position and transmit the location for tracking. It's low power and might give you some ideas.

You may want to take a look at the 4D Systems FGPMMOPA6B. It is only 16mm X 16mm X 6mm and has pins that allow direct plugging into to a USB port. I purchased mine for about $35.00 and am testing it to replace the much larger Locosys LS20031 employed in the deer collar project.
use a spot trace motherboard. The unit needs a button to be pushed to the on position in the event that power is lost when it is in its commercial housing. To overcome this you can simply wire around the on/off switch. I soldered a wire permanently on to the motherboard so when you add power, the spot trace powers on and boots up all by its self. no buttons to push.
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