Is anyone already working on the PetFinder use case?


Thanks, I did follow the KS campaign but I guess I have missed that part. :smile:

(John Lambert) #63

They (IOTA) appear to have gone through several levels of funding (over the last 2-3 years).

If I had that level of funding applied.. I (with a few experienced friends) certainly COULD have re-designed the product incorporating yet another spread spectrum solution in the same band.
What they are using now ? likely still LoRa but not sure.
Most startups don't have that much engineering talent readily available (lots more $ than what they have already raised)

My problems with their solution?
1) it assumes an urban environment. Base station (gateway) connected to WiFi.mmm... ok but they don't seem to allow for the wifi to be connected to a smart phone acting as a wifi hot spot. The technology in place should allow it, but the software doesn't appear to support it. (I could be wrong)
2) To get the max installation base (making things as small as possible to allow for tracking of objects other than animals) .. they have compromised antenna solution (chip antenna) in their design .. aka range from a gateway (base station).
OK based on the assumption of urban usage. But that isn't the focus of my efforts.


Have someone made it? I just bought a Lora/GPS HAT from the Dragino

(Tbztbztbz) #65

any thoughts for Trackimo GPS device? does it uses LoRa? im planning to avail one soon for my dog.

(Thomaslang) #66

looks like they are using bluetooth (similar to tile) which is pretty useless because the coverage and range is not good enough, LoRa has a much bigger coverage world wide..

(Agentdavo) #67

Hi! I've developed and made a miniature rigid flex board for cat tracking. I was set up with giant boxes attached to my cat so I made something discrete. I have included some interesting solar harvesting and MEMs abilities to differentiate from other plain trackers on the market. I am using the BGM121 as main MCU and a miniature LoRa module and optimised chip antenna. The rigid flex board is 160mm x 13.5mm x 4.5mm thick including battery. The solar cells have a custom designed collector above them to improve efficiency. The board includes a custom 4.2V 95mah rechargeable steel cased micro CoinPower cell. As long as you have some light it will keep on working/charging with no need to take it off the cat to recharge. Maybe I should throw this on a crowd funding site!? :wink: My friend also wants to use it for boat race tracking and strap it around the mast.

(John Lambert) #68

My experience using chip antenna on LoRa .. they are OK for modest distances.
But to get multiple miles coverage.. a 1/4 wave antenna is the way to go.
What range are you experiencing with your chip antenna solution?

When your animal is lost.. you want miles of coverage.

Solar is a nice option.. assuming the animal comes out in the sun.
How much power are you getting from the solar?
Most rechargeable battery chemistries .. have significant leakage, self draining issues, and their internal impedance goes up - a lot - after a modest percentage of the charge is used.
Saving grace to this application .. strapped to an warm blooded animal .. normally wouldn't see temperature extremes.

(John Lambert) #69

Data logging (any significant amount) .. shouldn't be expected over LoRa.
You are correct.. lets use this medium appropriately (play nice together).
This design has USB port and Bluetooth (in addition to LoRa) for downloading the data stored on the flash memory.

You may only want to report the position periodically.. once every few hours or based on a change in position (with a defined threshold for "change")
But when the animal comes home (or is retrieved) . you can see in more detail where the animal has been spending their time or how much activity was recorded.

(Radek Vozák) #70

Hi, this one can be also used as an LoRaWAN tracker ("PetFinder")

They only did some modification for us (firmware).

During the On state, the Tracker will wake-up from sleep mode to check if the pushbutton is pressed and a state change is required, but will also increment the timer since it’s last sent a LoRaWAN message and count the number of movement pulses from the movement sensor.

The Tracker’s functionality will be determined whether the Tracker is standing still or moving and the time since the last LoRaWAN message:

On standstill:

  • Every 20 minutes (adjustable interval 1) since the last LoRaWAN message a new message is sent. Every third message (adjustable ratio) tries to get a new GPS fix and sends the new location, the other two messages send the last known GPS location.


  • When movement is detected for 30 seconds or longer (configurable), the Tracker tries to get a new GPS location. After this movement message the Tracker will send movement messages on an interval of 5 minutes (configurable) when movement is still detected. When after five minutes not enough movement is detected and a standstill is detected, the Tracker will send 6 (configurable amount of messages) additional GPS location messages. Each additional movement message will be sent after 5 minutes (equal to the movement period of 5 minutes). When all additional messages have been sent, the Tracker will resume the operation as on standstill.

  • If the tracker detects 30 second of movement when sending additional messages, the tracker will send a movement message and start sending 6 additional messages when movements stops again.

(John Lambert) #71

Same thought process on conserving battery life.. movement based decision making. The biggest pain with this solution: GPS receiver power consumption. Specifically, tracking current (continuous - hard to get below 3ma) or the amount of current required to wake up and reacquire location data (often 15+ma for 10-30 seconds) . Obviously a "Rhino" can carry a bigger battery. But with many animal tracking applications the battery size vs life becomes the biggest limitation of the product.

There is an "new kid" on the GPS market that proposes doing the complex stuff off line. Can wake up and get a snap shot of the gps signals in a few milliseconds (?). Only records the raw data (no calc of lat/long). Only a few microamps required. drawback: this data "snap shot" is much larger (40K?) than the simple lat/long that would generally be sent out.
For data logging (big memory is cheap) with data that is reviewed later (not transmitted over LoRa) .. makes a lot of sense for long battery life (years).
Pick your poison...short message (more current for gps calc) or long messages (more current for communications channel used)

BTW.. Just finished a new configuration .. on combination of rigid/flex - segmented to allow it to follow curvature of animal's neck (16mm x 100mm total) to fit inside (tubular/hollow) animal collar. While my focus isn't small dogs or cats.. it would likely work on them. Expect to use 1/2 or 2/3 AA battery (added to length of assembly dimensions mentioned) It will continue to bias the weight on collar to keep it positioned correctly (really don't want the radios pointing at the ground). Should add minimal bulk to collar.. and have a battery life (not rechargeable) of over a year (maybe several years).. same basic features mentioned before (LoRa, Bluetooth, GPS, Accel, USB port, etc..)

(Tbztbztbz) #72

before i have a petfinder device, but already bought Trackimo 3G device for my dog and it really works well. to know more about the device just visit their FB page at


Long time since someone has posted here (guess dev time is over, and now its down to creating value), but if there is anyone in South Africa that would like to collaborate on some tracking devices (I have one too) and find applications/clients. Send me a message :slight_smile:

(Adrewetx) #76

I’m interested. What’s the progress of pet-friendly and/or kid-friendly GPS trackers? Once LoRaWAN networks are more widespread, I think there will be a lot of opportunity for LoRaWAN GPS Trackers.

(Chbla) #77

Are there any active position tracker projects/posts/threads at the moment?

I’m new to TTN/LoRaWan and wonder what the options for low power position tracking are.


what did you find using search ?

and what do you mean by ’ I’m new to TTN/LoRaWan and wonder… ’ , you Joined May 26, '17

(Chbla) #79

Using search I found this thread.
I mean I’m new and have no overview of the possibilities - as far as I saw there is also a way without GPS, using LoRa network triangulation.

(Adrewetx) #80


Regarding GPS based LoRaWAN Tracking Solutions. There are several companies producing GPS Tracking solutions including the manufacturers Zane Systems with their zTrack, and WorldCom with their LT100E. Zane are also working on a new zTag personal GPS tracker that launches in the next month or two.

As you may know, GPS sensors are a drain on battery, which means a device with a single AA 3.6V, sending GPS locations roughly every 10 minutes for 2 hrs per day, will last perhaps a month between charges.

There are ways to improve the battery life, but generally, it depends on how often the device needs to wake up the GPS location sensor. Obviously, devices can use accelerometers and other methods to optimise battery life, but most GPS Trackers on the market already include this.

There’s also the LoRaWAN GEO Location feature which is a LoRa and LoRaWAN initiative to locate devices without needing GPS sensors. The standards are there, the large manufacturers (e.g. Kerlink and MultiTech) are working on implementation. In my view, based on meetings I’ve attended, the functionality won’t be mainstream for another 6-12 months. When finished, the accuracy will likely be around 50-100meters, but heavily influenced by factors such as the speed of the device being tracked, urban, vs rural, number of gateways e.t.c.

GPS data can be sent to a number of platforms. MyDevices by Cayenne is popular. Here at GridLocate, we’re working on a number of GPS Tracking projects in beta, and currently developing improved platforms to support Lora Devices.

Hope the above helps.

(Chbla) #81

Very interesting, thanks a lot!

Personally I’m interested in a DIY bike location solution in case it gets stolen :slight_smile:
It would work with GPS as well if you add an “arm” switch and accelerometers - but still needs a lot of power for the fix, etc.

(Adrewetx) #82

There are a number of 3g/4G GPRS trackers in a tube shape that slide into the seat post. If you can get a similar device and implement LoRa components inside, you’re onto a winner. :slight_smile:

(Onehorse) #83

We have developed a GNSS-enabled LoRa Asset Tracker currently in pilot production. It is similar to our initial wifi-enabled tracker. We are still working on the firmware but one way to increase battery life is to use the on-board accel to detect motion and not seek a fix until the location has change (motion detected). This was designed to be very power efficient with a sleep current of ~20 uA and tracking current of ~23 mA. Our initial estimation shows we should get a year of use on a single AA battery under “normal” circumstances (one fix every two hours) but in those cases where there is a lot of motion, of course, this will be an upper bound in terms of battery life. Testing is just starting so we will have firmer numbers in the next few weeks…