There are two types of GPS trackers: hardwired and portable tracking devices. Portable devices are wireless and battery powered so they can easily be moved around, but hardwired vehicle tracking devices are powered by the vehicle that they are tracking, and must be wired in. Read on to learn how to install a hardwired GPS tracker.
Location and Placement
First things first, you must decide where the tracker will be installed. Many business clients prefer to have fleet tracking systems installed where the device is hidden from view of their drivers. In cases like this, the device can be placed under the dashboard of most vehicles and trucks (some high end imports have a metal foil under the dash – in which case an under dash mount will not work). The GPS signal will penetrate glass, plastic, foam, fiberglass, and wood, but will not penetrate metal (so never put it under the hood of a car or truck).
Keep the GPS tracker away from any electronics, such as radios, as much as possible. This will eliminate any possibility of feedback when the device is transmitting. If installed too far below the dash, the GPS tracker device’s signal quality may deteriorate. While it still may function in areas where strong wireless data coverage is available, in areas with limited wireless coverage your device will be unable to communicate.
To begin installation, place the vehicle tracking device under the dashboard at the base of the windshield (optimal device placement). For best results, consider using a zip-tie to secure the transceiver to prevent it from falling from beneath the dashboard.
Securely attach the wiring harness to the transceiver and find a constant 12 VDC power source (see wiring diagram for specific device). Use the “poke and wrap” technique to connect the constant 12 VDC power source to the red wire on the tracking device. Next find the ignition/accessory wire on the vehicle (see wiring diagram for specific device) and connect it to the white wire on the device. Finally, connect the ground wire (see wiring diagram for specific device) to the ground wire on the device.
Power for your tracking device should be taken directly off of the ignition column, where you will find constant power and ignition. This is the cleanest source of power for the device. Do not use the radio as a source of power for any of the power leads. Never connect the white and red wire together and attach them to a constant power source. The white wire must be attached to an ignition/accessory wire.