If you want to track the movement of their parcels

An interesting review of the various ways in which
You can track all of their travel packages in the mail.

The idea

To see how moving parcels from abroad in Moscow, more than the official track. To do this, send a device that can communicate their coordinates.


You must select a device that can communicate their coordinates on a schedule and having an independent power supply at least one month of such work.


The most obvious solution.
Pros: You can program almost any behavior, for example, to use the precise positioning by satellites at the same time to measure acceleration, lighting, temperature, so who knows what else, and immediately report to twitter.
Cons: no external battery will not live and delivery of international mail and with add-on a lot of weight and attracts attention. And suddenly delayed in transit?

Homemade "smartphone"

What if you take the battery from the laptop (or car, depending on the projected delivery time), GSM-module, ARM-processor, GPS-chip, but to put to the nose Ivan Kuzmich ... This unit has all the advantages of a smartphone and cons of the only unusual appearance (whether to accept the mail?) and the likely cost of development and manufacturing. Perhaps this will be the next experiment, as long as we have decided to limit the scope easier.

Pros: all the advantages of a smartphone, a long lifetime of the battery, the possibility of masking, for example, under a brick.
Cons: unusual appearance (will be whether the mail?) And probably price + development time and manufacturing.

It should be noted that in general are reluctant to accept delivery included devices with inserted batteries. While all the tablets and other iPhones is such devices and are.

Special trackers

Same as the last point, but someone designed and constructed.

Pros: preparing a special device.
Cons: price bites. If the parcel does not reach, it is useless.

UPD: There is an option for less: dx.com/p/168496.

+ Small + You can connect an external source, and will work forever
+ Receive SMS directly referring to Google maps

The optimal option

How much lower requirements for battery capacity? Get in touch less often (while in deep sleep most of the trip), and the use of less accurate positioning (on the network, without using satellite GPS / GLONASS).

Pros: geolocation for honeycomb, even within the iron wagon or hangar unavailable for GPS, long-term use with a small battery. Cons: low positioning accuracy in comparison with GPS, a low frequency measurements.

And such a device does not attract too much attention, there!

On your marks!

In the table found "marching" phone Philips E102, honored, had not worked, but meets all requirements: Ultra-Capacity battery at 650mA * h, the ability to work with a SIM card and turn on or off up to four times a day at scheduled times. This key feature rarely found in the description of the device.

Mode is selected, two session per day for fifteen minutes (with a margin on the search network). If a mobile phone in standby five working days, then one might expect a maximum of 48 times greater, or eight months. These figures will be different due to poor reception, the costs of inclusion and the search network, possible frost, as well as the self-discharge of the battery (on wikipedia about 3% per month). In general, there was a good chance that the battery will last for the time path.

In preparation for the launch of the phone, it was dismantled and resuscitated - it was cleaned contacts the power button, which is oxidized and did not give him included.

If the phone was able to write in the logs LAC and Cell ID to connect to subsequently process and obtain the location of cells by their identifiers, then it would be a grandfather we could build a map of displacement after arrival (if that happens). Phone do not know how, and it was decided to use an external service to monitor its location. Yes and tracking in-line adds interest.

At the station was purchased by the SIM card, which added to the trusted list of MTS-Search another number from which happened tracking. MTS locator is able to determine the location of the subscriber on a schedule - what we need for this project! The only negative effect service only in Russia, so overseas part of the path to follow will not work.

Just before sending phone charged and checked silent on and off schedule twice a day. Included also the most economical mode. All settings:

inclusion at 7:50 and 19:50
off at 8:05 and 20:05
lowest ringer volume level, vibration-free
minimum brightness of the screen
backlight time - five seconds
disabled the welcome sound

Unmask the phone in an opaque box could only come nevovremya sms or call (if we assume that the enemy can not taped us on the radio). This phone model is not able to disable all signals remains or vibration, or melody, but there are several ways:

Administrative: include a ban sms and incoming operator pofigistichno: send without disconnecting the signal that was done Normal: download wap silent on mp3 or midi signal zhelezyachnye: unsolder the vibrate mode or pull the speaker (in this Philips he did not soldered and can be easily removed during disassembly)

One day (hereinafter - day 1) in a resort town telephone was packed in a box, postal workers to a request to remove the battery received assurances that it is off (the truth) and discharged (not true), and sent by airmail to Moscow.


Arrival in Sheremetyevo

Three days after sending the parcel disappeared from the Ukrainian tracking (s vіdpravlene mіstsya mіzhnarodnogo Poshtova obmіnu Ukraine for mezhі Ukraine. Dyakuєmo scho skoristalis our Hotel), and soon appeared on the radar!

After posting the Kazan station was on the grading in the south of Moscow (Moscow, the intersection w. And Warsaw Street. Road, District st.m.Yuzhnaya on geokodingu MTS). From there, she would finally heading in the right post office, but the postman, it seems, on the way to sleep in the subway:

Day 40 Location South
43 South
44 Altufievo
45 Altufievo
46 South
47 South

At each location was recorded at least five points, so that the error does not. Especially, both places are in the official track: 111948 Moscow MSP-3 Mpko-North and Moscow 111987 MSP-3 Mpko-South.


On the morning of the forty-eighth day of the long-awaited event happened, parcel left the South and came to the place of delivery. For the purity of the experiment, we waited for the notification (bringing the time of delivery to the anniversary of 50 days) and got Steadfast Tin Soldier:

During ways to send almost flew over the bar code, so that the woman had to drive to the issuance of his hands. Seeing the end of the UA, she chuckled and said, "Ukraine ..." So began a dialogue about how it was that was sending airmail almost 2 months. The woman said that thanks must first recent changes in the customs system, which is now unable to cope with the flow of parcels, and they go in orderly rows in the distant city, there to lie in warehouses waiting for customs to go through customs, and then, in most cases return back to Moscow.

Some statistics: the phone spent 48 days on the road, having more than seven thousand kilometers of the necessary 1300km with an average rate of not less than six kilometers per hour. True, if you count the 48 days at 1,300 kilometers, generally 1.3 km / h.


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