I’m currently repurposing an old vehicle tracking device that I had with a tracking provider. The provider, whilst very low-cost, also had a very limited feature set to match it.
I’m posting this information that I have used to get my Ruptela FM-Eco3 tracker working with the free open-source tracking software, Traccar.
When browsing for suitable software for this tracker, I stumbled upon a modified version of Traccar which has hundreds of additional features that are not included with the original version. I would highly recommend this modified version to anyone who wan’t to experiment with various sensors, inputs and outputs. If you just want a basic tracking platform then stick with the original Traccar. It’s worth noting that you need to install the original project first, and then the modified version is an ‘add-on’ for it in a way.
From here, go to the relevant websites above and setup your Traccar server. This post is mostly about configuring the Ruptela tracker itself but I’d be happy to answer any questions about the server side if things if necessary just post a comment and I’ll get back to you.
So, onto the configuration. You’ll need a copy of the configuration software for it which is available from the Ruptela FTP site (if you are prompted for a username and password, they are both ‘ftp’). The user manual and a wealth of other useful information is also contained on the FTP site there so feel free to have a browse around there.
You will need a 12v power supply (either a battery or mains adapter) for your tracker to be able to configure it, connect up the leads as referred in the user manual (on the FTP site above, but it’s straight forward and if you are reading this article chances are you know the red cable is positive and the black cable is negative and can connect them accordingly. Then, grab a mini USB cable and plug it into your Windows-based computer. Fire up the configurator software and select the correct COM port from the drop-down list at the top of the screen. In my case, it was COM6 but yours may vary, you can open Device Manager on your computer and look under the ‘Ports’ section to double check what it is for you.
Depending on the SIM card and mobile network you intend to use the tracker on, you will need to setup the appropriate GPRS settings in the centre of the configurator, in the screenshot below mine are set up for a Vodafone UK contract SIM card. A great resource if you don’t know the settings is FileSaveAs or alternatively your mobile provider will be able to tell you. You’ll want to select TCP as the Protocol just above these settings as well.
Following this, you will need to enter the public IP address of your Traccar server in the Connection Settings box on the right. As mentioned in the Traccar installation guide that you have previously followed, this should be a static IP address. The Port number, by default is 5046 to allow Traccar to correctly decipher the tracking data for this device.
Those are all the compulsory settings required for the tracker to operate. I’ll let you refer to the user manual for the tracker to setup anything you may need to in the bottom half of the screen, although my settings as shown above were adequate for my requirements and were set by the previous tracking provider.
I have also taken the time to work out some of the sensor values that are reported from the tracker to the Traccar server, these may be useful for the people who like to tinker with things.
|Ruptela Pinout||Sensor reported to Traccar||Notes|
|DIN1||IO2||Digital input is configurable and can be used to monitor power status of what it’s connected to. It will be 0 for off, or 1 for on|
|DIN2||IO3||Digital input is configurable and can be used to monitor power status of what it’s connected to. It will be 0 for off, or 1 for on|
|DIN3||IO4||Digital input is configurable and can be used to monitor power status of what it’s connected to. It will be 0 for off, or 1 for on|
|DIN4||IO5||Default ‘ignition on’ value. It will be 0 for off, or 1 for on|
|IO27||Unknown what it is monitoring but in my case the values range from 11 to 17|
|IO65||Unknown what it is monitoring but in my case it is a 8 digit number that fluctuates slightly (possibly battery/supply voltage but missing the decimal point)|
The tracker also has two analogue inputs and two digital outputs, I’m still experimenting with those at the moment, they aren’t currently reported to the Traccar server but I hope it is possible to configure it when I get more time. I am hoping to use the digital outputs to control my central locking so should I ever lose my keys, I can send a SMS message to the tracker phone number to unlock my car (for security reasons, it is possible to configure it to only accept SMS commands from whitelisted senders).