I live and work at a startup creating locators for children too young to own cellphones. As you can see in the photos, the majority of my roommates/co-workers and I own Corollas.
Today, I just happened to finish my work a little early and decided to experiment with some unused cellular development boards that were lying around. Soooo...
I set up one of the dev boards to be able to locate my car from my phone for the hell of it. I thought it would be a cool party trick and a strong measure against carjacking here in Puerto Rico. However, I have to admit, my main motive for this build spawned from jealousy of Tesla's phone app. Here's the setup...
First things first, the screws are a little obvious, but matte black screws should fix that. Secondly, the tracker is running on an internal battery. That means it requires a recharge every 24 hours and frankly having to take apart the windshield cowl just to recharge the battery isn't going to work for me. At the moment, I am working on fixing that by hooking up the board's VIN (voltage in) either directly to the car's battery or to the fuse box. This requires a voltage regulator to take the voltage down from 12V to 5V, otherwise the tracker will be fried. A simple 7805 linear voltage regulator should do the trick. Finally, I want to be able to do more than just track the car...I want to be able to honk the horn, flash the lights, and kill the engine in case the car is stolen.
My plan is to create a simple mobile app that allows me to do all of this from my iPhone. A solenoid type kill switch hooked up to the battery and one of the dev board's pinouts should satisfy the remote kill engine feature. As for the horn and the lights, I am thinking about just hooking them up to the board to be able to bypass the main switches.
Feedback is welcome as I want to make sure I am on the right track.
Also, I'll be sure to post any updates as well as a how-to for anyone who wants reproduce the final results.