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Building a GPS-logger for wildlife research

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New Member
Hi all,

I'm currently in the African bush preparing for my field work on leopards and lions.

I'm looking to modify 6 VHF radiocollars by attaching Mataki GPS-loggers onto them

The designs, schematics (see attached), layouts and part lists for the hardware are all available for the GPS-loggers on the Mataki website (as is the firmware source code) (http://mataki.org/make-devices/).

However, I have no experience in electronics and would need to find a business that could make the units for me. I only need 6, and so it's very small scale. I have budget to pay up to $100 per device (plus part costs).

The internet is intermittent out here, and I am having trouble finding any companies online that fit the bill; can anyone recommend any reputable businesses that they've worked with in the past?




Tony Stewart

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
I think you have significantly underestimated the cost of prototypes unless you order from some Shenzhen factory that already makes these and pay up front for all parts and processing of PCBA and procurement of parts .

Go to your site and ask everyone who has good ones for sale. If you have no experience, I would not suggest it,.

YOu have also underestimate the challenge of great signal loss under a forest canopy if any as well as dropout due to antenna orientation, beacon range for locating unit and battery life in addition to environment stress of heat, water and dirt on the enclosure. It must be bite proof as they won't like to wear it.

I once designed the VHF types for tracking Polar Bears in the 70's by helicopter. Today, I suppose some use "lite" aircrafts with ELT support. I am sure someone must have them already.

\DE/bug time can be great and you don't want to waste time with untested units in the wild.
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