Looking for general advice on GPS + GSM mobile device

Hi everyone,

I am looking for help with my first arduino project.

What I am trying to build:

A small (!) board that is in a low power mode unless being woken up by a sensor signal. Then, a GPS module (maybe this one https://www.adafruit.com/products/790) is acessed until position coordinates are obtained. These coordinates are then sent via GSM module (maybe this or even something smaller https://www.arduino.cc/en/Main/ArduinoGSMShield) / and a SIM card to my phone. So overall a GPS beacon (to be able to retreive a device in case of malfunction)

I don't expect help with the programming itself, but I would really appreciate any advice on which arduino board and components to go for and any further remarks on this project's feasability and difficulties I might run into. Key selection criteria are small size in 2 of 3 dimensions (can be lengthy) and low power consumption (of course GPS positioning and connecting to the GSM network will take it's toll, but I'm thinking of a low clock sleeping mode inbetween tasks).

I already have some basic experience with programming (mainly C++) and pretty good knowledge of electronics in general. Thank's in advance for any kind of help.

Cheers,

1401Ger

Why not use one of these with gps included.

https://shop.pimoroni.com/products/adafruit-fona-808-mini-cellular-gsm-gps-breakout?utm_medium=cpc&utm_source=googlepla&variant=4079628737&gclid=COrA_Y7QjNECFUI6Gwod4SEGvw

or the more modern 3G version

https://www.adafruit.com/products/2696

ricky101: Why not use one of these with gps included.

https://shop.pimoroni.com/products/adafruit-fona-808-mini-cellular-gsm-gps-breakout?utm_medium=cpc&utm_source=googlepla&variant=4079628737&gclid=COrA_Y7QjNECFUI6Gwod4SEGvw

or the more modern 3G version

https://www.adafruit.com/products/2696

They are not big shields so will allow you to use a small Arduino Mini etc , they only need 4 or 5 pins connecting.

Edit - Be Aware the SIM800 series only work in certain far east countries.

Does the SIM808 work in more places? https://www.dfrobot.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=1469&tracking=5851173fbfd9d

Or is 2G the limiting factor?

I have the SIM908 working here in the Boston, MA area sending texts only. https://www.dfrobot.com/index.php?route=product/product&search=sim908&description=true&product_id=673 It's writeup reads the same without saying 2G.

Reacquiring satellites after being powered down can take quite a while with the 908. May be a combination of the small antenna, poor sky visibility from my living room, or other factors.

The US 2G network is shutting down 12/31/2016. In fact, several of my 2G accounts have already been deactivated.

First of all, thanks for the advice and merry christmas to everyone.

ricky101:
Why not use one of these with gps included.
[…]
https://www.adafruit.com/products/2696

I looked into boards like this one but so far I haven’t found any that are small enough. Lengthty layout isn’t much of an issue for my device, but 4 x 4 cm doesnt fit. Something like 20 mm x 20 mm x 100 mm in total would be perfect

ricky101:
They are not big shields so will allow you to use a small Arduino Mini etc , they only need 4 or 5 pins connecting.

Yes I’m planning on using the Arduino Mini

All the GPS/GPRS/GSM Shields I found so far are rather large (at least 44 mm x 44 mm). So I hope to combine a few lengthy modules.

Again, thank you all for the suggestion so far, this is helping me a lot.