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I have seen these expensive things that you can put in a moving box while moving, to keep track of your stuff in case the moving people drive away with their truck and steal it. I also see expensive cat collars with GPS senders, allowing you to violate your cat's privacy by knowing exactly where it is.

Both of these things require the customer to create an account at some centralized company website and then pay a hefty "subscription fee" just to get to actually view this GPS data.

I don't wanna do that.

I want something which allows me to (somehow) capture the GPS signals as raw data, which I can then store in my own database, and/or plot onto my own map system, without any third party extracting money from me and knowing exactly what I'm tracking.

Is this possible at all? The part where the tracking device fetches GPS signals from the GPS satellites is easily understood, but the part where they then wirelessly transfer this back to me (and only me) is very foggy. And if the device only stores the GPS coordinates locally on some kind of micro flash memory, it's pretty useless as I would require physical access to the moving box or cat which may be stolen or trapped somewhere.

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  • $\begingroup$ if you understand the GPS portion of the system, then why are you not asking how to communicate with the cat collar? ? $\endgroup$
    – jsotola
    Aug 6 '21 at 20:26
  • $\begingroup$ @jsotola I don't understand what you mean. $\endgroup$ Aug 6 '21 at 20:28
  • $\begingroup$ you described a cat collar ... you said that you understand how the cat collar obtains GPS data, but you do not understand how to transmit the data to your computer ... that means that talking about GPS is just irrelevant clutter in your post, because the transmission of the data is the focus of your question ... the data could easily be the ambient temperature $\endgroup$
    – jsotola
    Aug 6 '21 at 20:36
  • $\begingroup$ If you can own said cat, the concern over privacy is wasted! #FreeTheCat You have a 2 part problem. GPS data collection + transmitting data. GPS Tracker Without Cellular Network With LORA Module $\endgroup$ Aug 6 '21 at 21:50
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    $\begingroup$ I suggest exploring how a wife or husband tracks down their cheating spouse using a smartphone with GPS apps. $\endgroup$
    – r13
    Aug 6 '21 at 22:25
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The issue is not GPS. The issue at hand is how to get the device to communicate with YOU. What that generally means is connection to either cell networks and all the costs that entails, or a private satellite network, like SPOT or EPIRB systems, that someone has to pay for, which means you if you want the service. There are numerous btb-centric solution for things like trucking, and each requires a satellite or cell network to support it.

The other option is simpler direction-finding radio transmitters.

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