Asset Tracker V3 wishlist


#1

There are a few feedback items I have about the V2 asset tracker, so I wanted to create a wishlist for V3. This is not just for Particle; if any enterprising individual wishes to make this a reality, then I would encourage them to do so.

GPS trackers are cheap on Amazon, but they all have monthly service fees that quickly add up. We could do great things with a more flexible Particle Asset Tracker. Even if it cost $200 per unit, it would be cheaper than most options on Amazon over time.

My suggestions:

  • A clear place to put the battery. Ideally, under the PCB with room to spare. This would require a non-standard enclosure or a thinner battery, since they all seem to have more or less the same clearance under the mounted panel/PCB.
  • A clear place to put the cellular antenna, and STICK IT THERE. The current enclosure has a good place to put it, but there are little ribs that prevent me from using the adhesive on the antenna to mount it.
  • Room to add other sensors. V2 has these great Grove plugs, and there is zero room in this enclosure to add sensors unless I want to block the GPS antenna, which I do not. Personally, don’t mind if the tracker enclosure is larger than the V2 enclosure. I would like room to add other sensors. Perhaps an option for a larger enclosure would do nicely.
  • A small “perma-proto”-style area to solder in other things. I say “small” and I mean "larger than the V1 “prototyping” area. This would be a nice place to add any desired status LEDs, or sensors, for example. D7 and the RGB LED can’t solve every status need.
  • Clearance so that I can add cable glands or waterproof jacks for things like solar panels, and external cellular and GPS antennas. Not knockouts, just room for me to add them without interfering with anything inside.
  • Optional larger battery. I’d like to be able to order a larger battery with the kit, and not from Amazon or whatever. Make sure there’s room to include the larger battery either under the PCB or in the enclosure in a way that the GPS isn’t blocked or interfered with in any way.
  • An easier to open case. Not needing a screwdriver would be wonderful. Maybe small Pelican cases, like the 1040, 1050, or 1060. Yes, they are expensive. They have figured out how to do small cases very well, too.

That’s all I can think of at the moment. If anyone adds anything that makes a lot of sense, I’ll add it to this list. I don’t expect anyone to add anything, to be clear. People don’t tend to respond to me. I guess I say stupid stuff a lot more than I realize.


#2

@naikrovek,

Good points-- it sounds like most of your concerns involve the enclosure. I also have v1 and v2 and the enclosure remains my main concern as well.

What I would recommend is for Particle to offer different enclosures for the Asset Tracker (either as a model option or an accessory to the base Asset Tracker). Some people might want the low-footprint enclosure and others want room to expand and feed cables (like us).

Similarly, offer the proto board as an add-on accessory for those who want it (which would also require usage of one of the larger enclosure options, etc.).

My two cents.

Mike


#3

@mike_b, @naikrovek, what I smell here is an opportunity! I doubt Particle will offer different cases for the Asset Tracker as that is not their core business. However, an enterprising Maker could design a 3D printable case. Or design a custom (new) board and case. Everything Particle makes is open source so have at it! :wink:


#4

@peekay123 I agree, and I am considering it.


#5

Oooo, great feedback! We’ll definitely keep these in mind for the next iteration. I’ve been putting cable glands in the lid for space constraints.


#6

Hello @naikrovek

I just wanted you to know I linked this post to my team so that they are able to see all your ideas for the next version!

Thanks for the great feedback!

Kyle


#7

How about adding a diode rectifier bridge to the DC input along with a DC/DC converter like the TracoPower TSR 1-2450 and some smoothing capacitors? This way the board can be used with bike hub dynamos directly and charge the Electron while biking for example? :slight_smile:


#8

That sounds really application-specific. Also, I don’t know if the PMIC already on board could handle this. It might.