I'm getting ready to start building a simple wireless GPS device. This device will use an arduino, and a cellular GSM module paired with a GPS device (an example is the SIM5320a aka the FONA 3G from adafruit). To be clear I've never used SQL or GPS before but I'm very familiar with cellular GSM devices.

Basically my question is how to wirelessly send the GPS coordinates from the arduino to a remote server such as SQL. I'm not looking for you to do all my work for me. I'm looking for some general answers about how this can be done.

Some ideas I have are using the cellular GSM device to send the coordinates, basically using a data connection. I've sent data to a server before using MQTT which is basically a lightweight communication protocol. However, that is power intensive. I would not like my device to use all it's battery trying to maintain a data connection to the Internet.

Is there a better more power efficient way to get my GPS coordinates into a database? I was wondering if SMS or phone calling could somehow be utilized to get the information where I need it. SMS is much less intense on the batteries and would probably be a lot easier to do.

Can anyone help me out and give me some pointers?

  • 1
    Data connections aren’t inherently more power intensive than other forms of communication (as long as we talk about packet-switched data, I.e. anything since GPRS, of course), and in recent generations voice is actually sent as data packets. The main issue is whether your device will stay awake all the time or will need to go to sleep, how often and Olin what conditions it wakes up, and to minimise the time and energy spent on each wake up. Note that many GPS modules are quite power hungry and take quite some time to get an accurate position as well.
    – jcaron
    Jun 6, 2020 at 9:52
  • 2
    How accurate do you want it to be? Your 'phones board location can be obtained from the nearest cell towers (and, in some cases, known WiFi hotspots (Goggle has a very large database of them in the USA)). This is also quicker than GPS, so less battery intensive. But, why GSM? Can you tell us your use case, please? I could make good suggestions if I knew that
    – Mawg
    Jun 7, 2020 at 6:28
  • Hi thanks for your help. I'm building a bicycle alarm system that will show the bicycles location on a map and call the user when the alarm is triggered. That's why we need cellular. Are you saying you can determine GPS coordinates without a GPS module? I'm gonna need to feed the coordinates to a google maps API. Jun 8, 2020 at 9:48


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