GPS sniffer any ideas?

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I received a call from a friend that wanted to know if there was a detector available to sniff out a GPS that may be located in a car. I would think if there is no transmission from the device there would be no electronic way to detect it. Would there be a jammer signal one could use?

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Let's see now ... why would you want to know if a car is protected by a GPS based tracking device? Gee, that is a hard one .... :lol:

Ross McKenzie ValuSoft Melbourne Australia

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I thought the same thing, but figgered I was just being paranoid :-)

Gary - W4GNS
Tel: BR549

In my many years I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm and three or more is a congress. -- John Adams

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Yeah, the jammer comment sealed it for me.

Ross McKenzie ValuSoft Melbourne Australia

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A GPS tracker could transmit pretty much anywhere from 100MHz to 1GHz. Since transmission are not likely to be continuous, it would be very difficult to detect.

To jam, you would have to jam either the GPS reception OR use a transmitter that is stronger than the tracker's transmitter. The latter would be very difficult if you don't know the operating frequency., The reception jammer would not make you very welcome around other vehicles with GPS nav devices.

Of course, all of this would be highly illegal in the U.S.

Jim

Jim Wagner Oregon Research Electronics, Consulting Div. Tangent, OR, USA http://www.orelectronics.net

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Strange.. Metron9 has been a member for 5+ years and is closing in on 1K posts. I have a hard time believing that a car thief waits for 5 years until putting the crucial question.

I agree with the silent statement that we should not work this Q into an A, however honest metron9's intents are.

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Answer metron9's question: Yes.

Give fair warning: Don't do it. Tell your friend not to do it.

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metron9 is best of by telling that it cannot be done.

even though it can all be done, it is illegal to do (lets forget the potential steeling of a car).
I think that you will run into major problems when jamming the GPS signal. this is more or less a very crucial thing used by the US military, and lets not forget indeed car trackers. I think that purposely jamming that or even making a jammer will make you an enemy of the state...

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On the other hand, if his friend has concerns that his car's movements are being monitored by someone unauthorized, then I find this question legit. GPS trackers can potentially be used by stalkers and other psychos aswell.

I would look for a signal detector not a jammer though, for the reasons mentioned above. Also, there are trackers that use gsm or gprs to report back, that work on limited frequencies, maybe that could point to some direction.

But, if there privacy concerns, IMHO the best solution would be to turn to a security expert or the authorities.

-Pantelis

Professor of Applied Murphology, University of W.T.F.Justhappened.

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It should be possible to pick up the local oscillator of the GPS receiver at 1575.42MHz +/- its IF frequency.

You can jam any radio, no matter at what frequency it is tuned at, by transmitting at the commonly used IF frequencies, like 455KHz or 10.7MHz.

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As i see it . he just has to install one of the new US "Wireless ADSL's"
Then it will stop to function by it self (aka GPS will be jammed).
http://www.saveourgps.org/

Unless the FCC has "Seen the light by now ..." , and stop the use of the 1.5Ghz band just because someone wants to earn extra $$$

Edit:
I'd expect M9's Q .. To be well meant ...
Meaning how to check if the employer has installed a tracking device in the company car.

/Bingo

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Metron9's friend was asking if there was a detector to sniff out a GPS that may be located in a car. Nothing about it "protecting" the car, nor about jamming it.

A paranoid person might be concerned that such a GPS unit had been secretly attached to a car, for example by a suspicious spouse, the FBI, or who knows who. If the placer didn't have physical access to the vehicle to recover it later with a recording of where it had been, the unit would continuously transmit its location, probably as a cell phone signal, and could probably be detected easily enough as it signed on when the car started to move. It probably wouldn't take anything very sophisticated - my computer speakers pick up interference from my phone when it checks in every hour or so.

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Is there any particular reason you ignored this part of the OP ?

metron9 wrote:
Would there be a jammer signal one could use?

peret wrote:
. Nothing about it "protecting" the car, nor about jamming it.
w

Gary - W4GNS
Tel: BR549

In my many years I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm and three or more is a congress. -- John Adams

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The friend didn't ask Metron9 about jamming it, only about detecting it. I was responding to the friend's question, not Metron9's. Perhaps I'm too literal for my own good sometimes.

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All is well :D

Regards

peret wrote:
Perhaps I'm too literal for my own good sometimes.

Gary - W4GNS
Tel: BR549

In my many years I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm and three or more is a congress. -- John Adams

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There is one way. And telling about it is not even dangerous.

Go to the nearest EMC lab that has a shielded room large enough to drive the car into. There's a place not too far from where I live that has(had) one that could take a leopard tank.

Sitting close to the shielded room you will find an abysmally expensive measurement receiver.

Start the car. First check for the typical oscillator frequencies that GPS receivers use as clock. 18.414 used to be one. Locate each clock oscillator with a sniffer antenna.

Have the technician write a report, sign it, and pay the bill.
Done.

/Kasper

Edit:
As a side note, at least here, expensive car brands are sold with gps trackers without the owner's knowledge. When the car is then stolen, the insurance company can buy access to the tracker.

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Quote:
to know if there was a detector available to sniff out a GPS that may be located in a car.

As you expect - that is very unlikely to find a receiver.

On the other and you can locate a GSM cellphone with the accuracy of several hundred meters at urban districts. I know some providers offer the service which allows getting a cellphone location.

If somebody wants to know your location, then he already knows it.
Use public transport, do not use cellphones and do not look up.

No RSTDISBL, no fun!

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If you are close enough, it's possible to detect the GPS Receiver's first local oscillator. Ussualy the tracking devices send data through GPRS so it can be detected

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And we come to the conclusion the question is badly posed.

GPS can be anything from a size of 1W automotive light bulb with built in 1W LED and 8GB micro SD card at the back (enabling its receiver when vibrations indicate high speed and when it is wednesday about 3 a.m.),

Or a GPS enabled phone, logging to base station every three minutes, squeaking when the battery is low, or when it received a new text message advert.

Yes, no, yes, no yesno it can cannot perhaps if no yes GPS.

No RSTDISBL, no fun!

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Hi, metron9,

"if there was a detector available to sniff out a GPS that may be located in a car."

I measured oscillator reradiation, which might be good for detection.

The device under test used
a) a direct down converting mixer, where the oscillator frequency leaks best to the receiving antenna.
b)no preamplifier. Using one was my suggestion to reduce the oscillator reradiation. But preamplifer will not block the signal, only attenuate it.

But different vendors of GPS-Rx might use different concepts. You will have to test some with a spectral analyzer.

Ciao
Wolfgang Horn

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I have the perfect solution. Sell the car and buy a new one. Or lend it to a friend while you take theirs. Or rent one.

All these solutions are cheaper than trying to figure out if someone is watching you.

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Anyone notice the OP has not chimed in once since his opening

Jim

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Yes Sir.......................

jgmdesign wrote:
Anyone notice the OP has not chimed in once since his opening

Jim

Gary - W4GNS
Tel: BR549

In my many years I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm and three or more is a congress. -- John Adams

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Gee, thanks for the answers, I actually forgot I asked the question! Thank's for the support from the members that know I am not a car thief. Some of you did get the reason correct. the story was his new girlfriend has an old boyfriend that she has a restraining order on and he shows up in locations where she drives her car. It truly was an innocent question, I get calls from people all the time asking me things I don't have a clue about so I post them here as many of you have super brains. I thought someone might just say pick up a detector at www.x.com but I see it is a bit more complicated than I had thought.

So, in conclusion, I did not reply as I have been so busy with the market crash (I trade quite a bit). Tonight I was searching ebay for vintage records as my wife's dad is having us clean out his house so he can rent it. We put the old Scott 715 record player in our house and I am listening to some pretty old operas.

Thank's again for the replys, I may do a little experimenting.

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As already said before, sniffing the GPS receiver is probably impossible for a normal citizen. Also, sniffing the transmitter, transmitting the position to the observer (ex boyfriend) is difficult too. Mostly because it transmits intermittently.

However, the antennas of both, the GPS receiver and the transmitter must be out in the open, not hidden within a metallic car part. So a thorough inspection of the vehicle will reveal the equipment through visible antennas.

Markus

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In the USA restraining orders are taken seriously. If he "shows up" that is a violation on HIS part, it's that simple.Let the courts deal with him, versus internet forums.

Gary - W4GNS
Tel: BR549

In my many years I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm and three or more is a congress. -- John Adams