Help track my tool
August 22, 2013 2:45 PM   Subscribe

I’m looking for a reasonably priced (GPS?) device that will remotely track an object's whereabouts and share that info with the public, online or via smartphone.

Philly’s Hammer of Glory got swiped (and eventually returned) last year. I want everyone to know its whereabouts all of the time. I've seen something like this while following bike races online.

Bonus if I can somehow embed it in the hammer.
posted by sixpack to Technology (4 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: You basically want a GPS dog tracker. Like but there are plenty of models.

It's not that cheap and you'll have to keep the battery charged.
posted by GuyZero at 2:55 PM on August 22, 2013

You could probably drill out and embed a tracker like GuyZero describes in the handle of the hammer, but if EVERYONE knows it's there it'd be pretty easy to disable. And since you're going to have to have some kind of charging port, it's going to be obvious to anyone who's giving the thing more than a casual lookover.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 3:00 PM on August 22, 2013

Apologies if I'm missing an important part of this, but wouldn't a Tile achieve this? I'm just not sure about the "public" part, but seems like you could hack that bit together.
posted by homesickness at 3:25 PM on August 22, 2013 [1 favorite]

Putting a radio signal emitting device inside a hammer it a sure fire way to make sure the radio emitting device doesn't emit OR receive signals. Drilling isn't the issue. Physics is. There's something called a Faraday cage. Check it out. You'd be making one.

The bottom of the wooden handle is the place for this, and there are issues, mostly power related.

No such thing as a free lunch. Concepts are wonderfully simple to develop, but the devil is in the details. Power isn't free, doesn't last forever, and takes space. Infrastructure imposes additional constraints. Parasitic power is available, but it limits data rates, requires slow collection and precise management, and generally takes the problem out of the "I can run a drill press" area and puts it firmly in the "I am a designer of complex, low power products" pile. Expect this to take a while and cost a bit.

Of course, if you want to add a boat battery to the hammer, you might get some useable times. Telling where it has been once recovered is a lot simpler, but still suffers from a pile of issues.
posted by FauxScot at 1:40 AM on August 23, 2013

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