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ifixit Teardown An FBI GPS Tracker

Article by: Darren Griffin
Date: 9 May 2011

The guys at ifixit, the web-site famous for gadget teardowns have just scooped the greatest teardown of them all, what is alleged to be an FBI GPS tracker.

ifixit has made a name for itself dissecting the latest gadgets. They go to the ends of the earth to be the first to teardown and analyse the construction and parts in everything from smartphones to cameras but their latest work is surely the most unusual.

The tracker, loaned to them by someone who found it attached to their car and is remarkable for being a good deal less impressive than James Bond films would have us believe.

Consisting of a number of separate components, some duct tape, a liberal sprinkling of very strong magnets and what appears to be a consumer GPS antenna, the tracker is hardly state of the art.

The GPS chipset itself, a μ-Bklox GPS-M S1, is a vintage SiRFstar I design that dates back to 1991. With a separate antenna, which, given the age of the chipset, would need a good sky view, the whole caboodle looks rather Heath Robinson. Only the transmitter /receiver unit looks to be a custom design.

I can't help but wonder how long a device of that design would fare exposed to the elements in a typical British winter.

Read the full illustrated teardown at ifixit.

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