Introduction: Budget Coban GPS Tracker Alarm Replacement Remote
Note: This Instructable is a sidekick guide to my DIY "Motorcycle GPS Tracker Install With Remote Engine Disconnect". You might wanna check it out if you're installing a GPS tracker on your vehicle.
If you clicked on this link, then you are probably familiar with the popular Coban line of GPS Trackers. These seem to be the largest overseas manufacturer of cheap GPS trackers. You may not necessarily know them by Coban, since they let anyone rebrand their products and the list of vendors would probably be longer than this Instructable. Basically, if it looks like a Coban GPS Tracker, it's either a Coban, a rebranded Coban, or a Coban rip-off. Regardless, this Instructable should apply.
The big issue with these units is that only one remote is provided, and if you lose that remote you have to replace the whole unit. This Instructable lets you fix that.
What's a GPS Tracker Alarm to begin with?
Most people are familiar with Lo-Jack. This is basically the 30$ equivalent. Instead of paying 3 or 4 digits for a "mainstream" GPS Tracker (not including monthly or yearly fees), you can simply get one of these generic GPS Trackers from Ebay or amazon. They do basically the same thing, and many do much, much more. There are barebones kits which simply track the vehicle, person, or whatever; as well as complex units which function simultaneously as an alarm, or even let you remote start/cut-off the engine, or simply track oil or gas level. With the budget units most hover around 30$ for the device plus around 3-5$ for a sim card on the cheapest plan.
There are models with or without remotes. If you bought a model which didn't include a remote, then this Instructable doesn't apply to you. If you did, than it probably does.
The models which include a remote only include one remote. If you lose it, you're effectively screwed. The intelligent thing to do is get a replacement remote before you need it. If you get the remote in advance, you can get the remote for about 2-5$. If you lose your only remote, you would have to replace the whole GPS tracker unit. At the least it costs 30$, but the big issue is the installation costs or time it would take to replace it. It's much smarter to get a few remotes when you first buy the unit and simply store away the original remote away. I personally like to keep a remote attached to my different bags or key sets so I never forget it.
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Step 1: What GPS Trackers Does This Work With?
Since Coban GPS trackers are so frequently rebranded, brand does not matter at all. Honestly, all that matters is the product model number (TK103B, GPS103...etc). Basically, if it looks like a Coban model and it came with a remote it should work. I can't make any promises given how ubiquitous they are, but if you have any issues simply bring it up in the comment section.
The following links are on either Amazon or Ebay to make things easier to find.
GPS vehicle tracker GPS303-G - I recommend this unit, specially for motorcycles
GPS vehicle tracker GPS103-B+ - I recommend this unit for cars
* The prefix before the numbers seems to be interchangeable between "GPS" and "TK", as in "GPS303" and "TK303" seem to be the exact same thing and can be used interchangeably.
Any cloning or learning remote with a fixed frequency of 433mhz should work - which means the vast majority of cheap remotes under 10$ on Ebay (or favorite cheap-stuff site). Which is a refreshing surprise. Don't be disuaded by poor reviews. Most users complain about the remote not working because they try to use 2$ remotes with fixed frequencies instead of 20-100$ remotes with a rolling codes. In this case, it works precisely becuase the tracker doesn't have a complex code. Of course, it isn't nearly as secure as a rolling code, but when you're paying so little for the tracker there is hardly room to complain.
In other words, simply buy any of the remotes below and you should be good. Extra points if you purchase a remote with the little Arm, Disarm, Siren, and Remote Start symbols. It's harder to find but they are certainly there.
Amazon.com - Click here if you just want to go to a remote that would work
Basically, the keywords are 433mhz, Cloning or Learning, and that the listing either mentions "fixed" or DOES NOT mention rolling. But in most cases if the remote is under 10$ you can rest assured that it's a fixed code remote.
If you know you're GPS Tracker works on a different frequency, then simply search for that frequency.
Step 2: Program the Remotes
The instructions for each remote may vary, but generally they are similar. They will either be provided where you purchased the remote (they are often wrong, though), or in the reviews of the item where you bought it. If not then try the following instructions, which seem to work on most models:
Resetting the remote:
Press and hold the top buttons (Lock and Unlock) simultaneously until the blue light flashes three times (this should take about 2 seconds).
After the light flashes three times, let go of the Unlock button whilst keeping the Lock button pressed.
Press the Unlock button three times and the light should flash rapidly
Let go of both buttons.
*Throughout steps 1-3 of the reset process, keep the Lock button pressed down.
Programming the Remote:
Press and hold the button of the New Remote you want to program. The light should flash two times.
While keeping the button pressed, press and hold the button of the working remote you want to copy whilst physically touching it to the Universal Remote until you see the Universal Remote’s blue light start flashing rapidly. At this point to button has been copied successfully.
Repeat with the other programmed buttons.
*You should program all buttons you intend to program at the same time, ideally.
Step 3: And You're All Done!
Now, test the remote. Hopefully all has gone well. If not, play around with the button presses, read other user reviews for your specific model of remote, or contact the seller.
Anyway, thanks for reading my Instructable! Check out my profile to see what other projects I've been up to — here are some others you might like: