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 Use Fitlet As Asset Tracking Server 
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Joined: Mon May 28, 2012 12:25 pm
Posts: 106
Post Use Fitlet As Asset Tracking Server
Overview

The tracking of commercial assets including vehicles is becoming more prevalent over time. Despite concerns about infringements of privacy, there are many legitimate applications in the commercial world including control of productivity, efficient vehicle routing, safety, and theft deterrence.

Of all the possible applications, I believe safety is by far the most important reason for using asset tracking. For example, in the electric utility industry, it is of paramount importance to know the location of all personnel working on or around utility lines and equipment. It is unthinkable to risk energizing lines and equipment without first confirming the whereabouts and status of all personnel in the affected area. This is especially true during power system restoration following severe weather events where mutual aid personnel from other utilities may be assisting in the recovery effort. GPS based asset tracking is of great assistance in verifying the location of relevant personnel.

There are many commercial packages and systems which provide asset tracking. There are also open source tracking solutions available. Among the best of the open source packages is Traccar. It is a server based system which supports a wide variety of GPS devices. Included in the supported devices are IOS and Android based phones and tablets. Traccar is an actively maintained project with a very robust user's group. New features and new devices are regularly added.

For General Traccar information see:

https://www.traccar.org

For this project, I am running the Linux version of Traccar on a Fitlet, which functions as the system server.




Hardware

1. Fitlet
2. GPS device which can communicate with server - many choices.
For supported devices see:

https://www.traccar.org/devices/

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Software

Traccar is java based, so you must have java installed in order for it to run. Otherwise, installation is simple and straightforward.

To download the software, navigate to:

https://www.traccar.org/download/


For Linux installation instructions see:

https://www.traccar.org/linux/


For Android and IOS client apps see:

https://www.traccar.org/client/




Implementation and Operation

Once Traccar is installed on Fitlet, it operates as a server which loads when the system boots.

User Interface

Access to a map based graphical interface is via a web-browser connected to local port localhost:8082. Tracked assets are depicted as red/green dots on the map. Log data is available through the interface. Tracked Devices can also be added via the interface.

2 Stationary Assets Tracked
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1 Moving Asset Tracked
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Last edited by hassellbear on Fri Aug 14, 2015 12:55 am, edited 2 times in total.



Thu Aug 13, 2015 11:36 pm
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Joined: Mon May 28, 2012 12:25 pm
Posts: 106
Post Use Fitlet As Asset Tracking Server
Tracked Devices

Soft Clients

Free client apps are available for both Android and IOS through Google Play and the ITunes App Store. The Android App is also available as an apk for side loading. These apps configure gps equipped smart phones and tablets to operates as GPS tracking devices which report their positions to the Traccar server at regular intervals.

IOS Client
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Hardware Clients

As stated earlier, Traccar supports an extensive group of hardware client devices. For this example, I am using a readily available generic TK102B which is a low priced clone of a Xexun TK102.

TK102B
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Communication Between Clients and Server

Communication between Traccar clients and the server is TCP/IP via GSM/GPRS using a Static Public IP address and an open port. The open port assignment depends on the type of client device. Correct port assignment is necessary as Traccar uses the port number to determine the data protocol of the client. A listing of the protocols and corresponding port numbers is found here:

https://www.traccar.org/devices/


More information on the supported protocols is found here:

https://www.traccar.org/protocols/


In order to pass traffic between the WAN and the server's LAN IP/open port, it is usually necessary to use port forwarding through a router. In my test this worked well.

Router Port Forwarding
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A Word About Generic/Clone Hardware Clients

The Chinese Manufacturer Xexun produces a range of hardware gps trackers that are well regarded. However, there are many clones of Xexun's products - especially of the TK102 devices. Some of these clones work just fine, but others are of dubious quality. It pays to do your homework when your are selecting the hardware clients. It may be advantageous to spend just a bit more for a genuine device.

In order to check if you have a genuine Xexun product, navigate to the following website and enter your device's IMEI number in the indicated field.

http://www.gpstrackerchina.com/




Results

The results of this experiment have been quite encouraging. Traccar is easy to set up and performs well. The soft clients also perform well and are easy to set up. However, the hardware device I am using has been quite a bit more difficult to implement. It is a clone, and it is the reason I gave the caution listed above.

Compulab's Fitlet computer is also working very well as a Traccar server. It shows much promise in this area. It looks to be a very viable, low cost solution for a dedicated GPS Asset Tracking System. Hopefully, I will have the opportunity to increase the number of client devices in order to test the system's scalability.




Conclusions

1. The Fitlet/Traccar combination promises to offer a viable asset tracking system.

2. In comparison to payed subscription asset tracking systems, the Fitlet/Traccar system promises to be economical.

3. Fitlet again demonstrates its considerable versatility.


Fri Aug 14, 2015 12:46 am
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