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A couple of GPS location questions. Answered

I need a lightweight way to locate an object that has dropped from altitude and could be 30+ miles from my position. I was hoping that there i a simple, relatively cheap GPS transmitter/receiver system I could attach to the object. All it needs to do is transmit its coordinates at a regular interval, 5 to 15 min and have a range up to around 50 miles. Can anybody point me in the right direction?

I have an old cell phone with a GPS in it. Is there a way for me to utilize this possibly? Either taking out the GPS unit or making use of the phone as-is.

Or if you have an alternative means for locating an object at distance feel free to post that as well.


Are you in cellular service range ? Attach GPS to cellular phone, and program it to text you its position. ..

I can get a pay as you go phone for $15 w/ GPS onboard and with a free web service I can track it. That's what I'm leaning towards right now unless I can find a GPS chip for cheaper or significantly lighter.


Can you give more details on how you accomplished this with the "pay as you go phone for $15 w/ GPS onboard"...

I am looking to track several moving targets, and would like to hear what options you found....


Well I have the phone but the project, high altitude balloon, is shelved due to moving into a new house. The phone is an old cheap motorola and I intended to use it with Boost prepaid. HERE is some instructions on what I planned. Not sure if it's still active but you do need to check the compatible phones page. I found my phone on eBay.

Hey there, We use a gps tracker for security reasons in Afghanistan... reasonably cheap to run... you can buy it direct from China here or there are companies selling them in the States (with a price hike)... you do require cell-phone coverage... hope that helps... If it is suitable, let me know if you would like help with set up.. sms the device with commands to control... you can have it update at regular intervals or just request the location whenever... you can also update via the internet if your have internet access on your sim...

Just noticed there is another one here (cheaper - but I haven't used it)

Thanks for the links, probably a bit spendy to attach to a balloon and send 20 miles up and back down.