Big Problems with my Mini GPS Tracker Not Connecting

Mini car and motorbike GPS locator

The box it arrived in – not a lot of description there…

Full of anticipation, I bought an “H08” mini GPS tracker off ebay hoping to secure it under my Suzuki’s dashboard in the case that the car ever got stolen. Seems like a good idea, and it’d be kinda cool to chase my car down with the Slovak police in pursuit!

Kúpil som si tento GPS lokátor od eBay, ale to nefunguje na slovenskú. Mini GPS GPRS locator tracker not working and not connecting when send SMS SOS or DW

The H08 GPS Tracker: It’s a tiny machine – perfect to fit under the dashboard.

Brimming over with anticipation, I bought a new SIM card from O2 Slovakia, and soon afterwards the Mini GPS tracker arrived, and boy is it a tiny thing!

Mini GPS GPRS locator tracker not working and not connecting when send SMS SOS or DW. Kúpil som si tento GPS lokátor od eBay, ale to nefunguje na slovenskú.

I read this 6 times before I began to understand what they meant.

As you can see above, the instructions that came with the machine were… well, kinda useless. It’s in “Chinglish” (Chinese-like English) and it makes less sense than non-alcoholic beer. To read it, click on the picture above and it’ll open at full size in a new tab for you.

Bought a new SIM card, and loaded it up with credit! Here we go!

It’s amazing how they can fit such technology into one tiny little circuit. I’m planning on hiding in directly underneath the dashboard below the plastic, so it’ll be impossible to see and near-impossible to remove.

After installing a SIM card, I proudly fired up the mini GPS tracker on the windowsill with a clear view of the sky, and gave it a couple of minutes before I loaded the SIM card’s phone number into my phone and typed out the SMS message DW and pressed send.

agps.huashiwang.com

Sending the message “DW” gets a reply in just 30 seconds.

Just 30 seconds after sending the SMS with DW in it, I got a response back from the GPS tracker! It had a link which I eagerly pressed, to see if it could find where I was located in Bratislava…

Mini GPS GSM GPRS Tracking SMS Real Time Vehicle Motorcycle Bike Monitor Tracker. I bought this GPS locator from ebay but it does not work in Slovakia. Kúpil som si tento GPS lokátor od eBay, ale to nefunguje na slovenskú.

This is the same map page I see every single time.

According to Google Translator, the text just above the map 位置不详 means “Not Connected” which is bad news. I tried a different location on the driveway, outside and away from the house… Same thing happened.

Then I left it for 20 long minutes outside and tried sending the SMS again. Nope, 20 seconds later I get a link for the same 位置不详 (Not Connected) map in Chinese.

I tried calling the device. No problem, it picks up in less than one ring, and I can hear everything going on around the GPS tracker thanks to its little built-in microphone.

I tried the SIM card from the tracker in my phone. No problems there, it loads up immediately and finds a connection. I thought perhaps the O2 SIM card I bought just isn’t compatible with the GPS tracker, so  I tried my father in law’s Orange SIM card.

Once again, I could call the device, but when I sent DW to the device to get a precise location, I got another link with the same middle-of-nowhere map location.

My phone connects to a GPS location quickly, but the locator does not.

I contacted the ebay seller to ask why this might be happening and he seemed reasonably helpful during the 5 or 6 emails we’ve gone through, but ultimately I’ve reached this point where I’m not sure what to do next.

I get the feeling that these mini GPS trackers don’t work in Slovakia (and even Europe) because I found a discussion thread here, where users of a very similar Chinese GPS tracker are having the same problem.

UPDATE: A very helpful guy here Slovakia has also bought a GPS tracker (although a different type) and has suggested I try and change the APN settings to allow it to connect to the data network here. He sent me some advice on turning off GPRS, and setting the APN via SMS, which is suitable for his model of GPS tracker.

Turning of GPRS mini tracker not working - Tried to change APN by SMS to o2internet in Slovakia. GPS lokátor nefunguje. Ja používam APN o2internet.sk, ale bez úspechu. O2 mobilné.

I’m trying every combination I can think of.

As you can see above, I’m trying as many combinations as possible to change the settings. Unfortuantely I get the feeling that A: either this tracker’s connection details cannot be changed, or B: the syntax of the SMS message I’m sending is different to all the other Chinese-made trackers out there.

Factory reset by SMS of the GPS tracker works fine. agps.huashiwang.com

A factory reset responds with “OK”.

Normally, if I send the tracker an instruction via SMS such as factory# (for a complete factory reset) it would respond with ok but with the APN and GPRS instructions I tried, I get no answer from the tracker.

agps.huashiwang.com

I’m still in the middle of nowhere apparently.

As you can see in the two screen captures above, I tried (yet another) factory reset but as usual when I send the message DW to get a location, it gives me the same old link with “Not Connected” in Chinese, and a Google map of a non-existent ocean.

agps.huashiwang.com GPS tracker not working. Mini GPS tracker does not actually have a GPS satellite antenna aerial

Turns out this thing doesn’t actually have a GPS aerial at all…

Another tech savvy friend of mine has just studied the photographs of this mini GPS tracker and found that it doesn’t actually have a GPS satellite antenna. This means it’s only method of positioning is via cellular network triangulation (guessing a rough location by the signal strength from the nearby cellular towers).

Sadly this means the eBay listing was somewhat misleading, and at present I still have no solution to the connection problem. If you’re reading this and have managed to fix it then please let me know how!

UPDATE: Unless I can learn otherwise I have come to the conclusion that these mini GPS locators do not work on 3G networks, and I suspect this is the main reason it refuses to work. After looking on eBay, I have noticed that many Chinese made phone advertisements have the warning, “This will not work with 3G” under them.

I don’t know why, but it seems many Chinese mobile devices do not have 3G capability, and I suspect my mini GPS is no different. Someone else might be able to confirm or deny this but I reckon that’s what’s causing the problem. These Chinese mini GPS units simply do not work on 3G networks. :(

This means I’m now looking at using my car’s Raspberry Pi as a tracking device with a GPS antenna and a 3G modem. It’s just a very messy way (with a lot of cables and learning how to code) just to see where my car is. I wonder if there’s an easier way.

The eBay advert has been updated. I wonder how many others had this problem?

ANOTHER UPDATE: As you can see in the picture above, the sellers of these mini GPS trackers are starting to update their advertisements to include Slovakia, the United Kingdom, Spain, and El Salvador to a (growing?) list of places where these Chinese devices are useless.

If nothing else, I sincerely hope that my misfortune and experimentation has saved you from potentially wasting your time and money one of these GPS trackers. I gave up, and I created a GPS tracker using an old cellphone instead.

IMPORTANT UPDATE: I’ve posted this problem in other forums, and one person has provided this site as a possible solution. It’s not the ideal answer we’re all looking for, but it’s a start: http://www.minigps.net/map.html At that site, enter in the details you got from your GPS tracker’s response, and you should get a rough location come up on the map (I got an address that was only 2 streets away which was good). I know it’s not perfect; the site is all in Chinese, the process isn’t automated, and it takes some time to fill in, but it did work for me.

Please leave a message underneath if you also have this problem and what country you’re in. That way we can learn what countries this problem affects. 

You can use all images from this site, but please keep “suzukiswift.info” in the corner.

Hey spammers: do you see any spam in the comments section? No, you do not. That is because I do not approve spam messages ever. Save your time: do not even try.

38 thoughts on “Big Problems with my Mini GPS Tracker Not Connecting

    • Hi
      The problem is that some of these trackers are not suitable for Australia and are being sold through ebay etc.
      There are however trackers that cost just a few dollars more that do work and I am in the process of testing products for suitability, I expect to have our website up and running by mid August.
      I currently have one unit on a motorbike runnning around WA testing
      so check my websi for when I’m happy to release the products http://www.laquo.com.au

  1. Hi to all have the same problem in greece…. But found a temporary solution… check THIS site : http://www.minigps.net/map3.html if you put the corresponding numbers mcc&mnc&lac&cellid and then press the first chinese button (don’t forget the verification number) you will get the approx location.. (probably the cell station’s one).. mine showed about 500m near… I think if we could find the FULL command set of this piece of sh!t we could arrange some things… If anyone have any progress please inform …

  2. I’m in Vietnam. I get no response what-so-ever. I have tried many different ways to connect but to no avail. I guess next I will use a hammer on this useless piece of junk.

  3. Ok, after many hours searching found the ‘heart’ of this.. Its a M2600V14 gsm module.. The onboard USB has not standard pinout and cannot be used… if only we could get manual/datasheet for this to connect serial port and have some real AT commands i think its possible to program to our needs…

  4. And FINALLY revealed!! This small piece of sh!t is a chineese mobile phone!.. Under the metal there is a MTK6230 GSM/GPRS baseband processor FULL capable to work as a mobile phone (graphics,sounds etc…) They use their own platform (MTK, plutoMMI) and its not opensource.. That means even have conectivity (which i did).. this small USB is actually a serial port (115200) you can send AT commands and afte puting the SIM it starts to report GPS position… i didn’t find any parameter for setting APN but i believe there is the MTK firmware which is the wall..!!! I don’t think i will spend more time as it doesn’t worth for a 12$ device!!!!… I have ordered a more advanced with real GPS and reporting back with google maps link.. normally this will work fine!!!… Cheers to all!

  5. http://goo.gl/maps/xKolS
    This was your approximate position, I checked on opencellid.org. I will modify the hosts file on my computer to use my own php page (which will fetch the data from opencellid.org) for the aps.huashiwang.com server. I will post here if anyone requires. (An API key is needed that’s why you can’t just redirect the chinese server to the opencellid page.)

    Btw, 位置不详 means “exact location not known”, not “not connected”. I.e. no GPS but GSM data are used. Which is fine for me, I don’t want GPS (my cars are in an underground garage). The reason why this tracker is better than an Android phone is that it can detect movement (physical and location also) and only send SMS when needed (there’s a program for Android also that works like this, called Car Security Control but it requires two Android phones).

    George, I have a phone like this:
    http://www.onthesource.com/quad-band-dual-sim-touch-screen-digital-phone.html

    The touch screen is not working (I removed the foil actually because my daughter broke it). Do you think there is a way to make it respond to sms messages and send back its position? Or to program it anyhow e.g. to show the pictures on the microsd card as a slideshow etc… now it is just an useless brick.

  6. Hi, I am from Brazil and I have the sam e comum problem of all. They functioning as LBS (Location based services) based in geographic position of mobile device and not by GPS satellite.

  7. Je viens d’acheter cet appareil et je constate qu’en France il ne fonctionne pas pour la localisation. La fonction micro espion est OK .

  8. I’m seeing some inexpensive trackers that claim to have a SiRFIII GPS chip in them. I’m wondering if they’d perform any better than the units that you’ve tried. Several of them mention that they only support a 2G GSM SIM card, which I don’t understand.

  9. Ok,skúsim po slovensky.Kúpil som tento tracker,zobral novú sim kartu od O2 a…nejde!!Stále mi blika(nie iba 3krat)a nejde ani s Orange kartou.Dá sa to rozbehat,alebo vyhodené peniaze…Ďakujem za odpoveď

  10. Hi, i write from italy…here the Mini GPS Tracker work. But if i click on the SMS it give me (http://agps.huashinwang.com/…..) , Safari, on my iPhone, tell me that the page not exist.
    If i use minigps.net, and i write the date from SMS, it work good.

    Now, i want know, if there is an APP for iOS that can help me to convert the SMS directly without i must write Mcc,Mnc, Lac…..

    THANKS

  11. I encountered the very same problem after being so excited about installing this device in my car, only to find out it does not work and the supplier not responding to my messages.
    I am in the dutch Caribbean.

    • Hi Mike!
      A year later i bought the same item in London.
      I cannot get it work. wondering if you did it or just put it to the bin?
      could you help me with i?
      Thx

      • Hi Mike/Jozsef,
        I’ve recently got one of these, there does seem to be a couple of versions, and the exact text message you have to send it differs slightly in its format. Firstly you can’t use a 3G card (Three is out) O2 and Vodafone still certainly still have their 2G networks running so I have a Vodafone PAYG card in mine at the moment. I needed to set the message centre so that the unit can reply to text, on mine I sent it a text saying:
        CENTER,000000,07785016005#
        000000 is the default password for the device and 07785016005 is vodafone’s payg message centre, it didn’t seem to like +44 instead of 0 at the start. No reply was received.
        Then I set the APN for the data (again for vodafone payg) this was:
        APN,pp.vodafone.co.uk,wap,wap#
        Now I receive a ‘Set APN OK’ reply
        The unit now will show as connected on the website, but the position is showing as 0 latitude, 0 longitude, and when I send a text to the device ‘123#’ I receive a link which also show me a map as 0 longitude, 0 latitude.
        This is as far as I have got now, I can’t seem to get it to locate.
        If this helps anyone and they can get any further please don’t keep it to yourself
        Ta

        • Hi Chris,

          I have the exact same issue as yourself. The unit shows as connected on the website, but the position is showing as 0 latitude, 0 longitude, and when I send a text to the device ‘123#’ I receive a link which also show me a map as 0 longitude, 0 latitude. Sending ‘URL#’ returns the cellular tower details the device is connected to.

          Did you figure out why it is giving 0 lat and 0 long?

          Cheers

        • Hi Chris, I have exactly your issue. The unit now will show as connected on the website, but the position is showing as 0 latitude, 0 longitude, and when I send a text to the device ‘123#’ I receive a link which also show me a map as 0 longitude, 0 latitude.

          Did you make any progress on this?

          Cheers
          Stephen

  12. I bought also one mini GPS tracker from the ebay, and it does not work with 2 different SIM cards in the Netherlands. I think I just found out why. The mini chinees Tracker is made to use in China. They use CDMA networks with UIM cards. In the most of the world you have GSM networks with SIM cards. They are different and not compatible with each other. More info: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2407896,00.asp
    Now that I complained, my saler just sad that I need to use one UIM card. If I look goed I can also see also one UIM card in the tracker on the foto on Ebay.
    Now I just really happy. In the text on Ebay they say: insert a GSM SIM card.
    They just sell this tracker to everybody and the can not use it.

  13. I found this (hope it helps. I’m about to try it now):

    http://www.ec21.com/product-details/GSM-SMS-Motorcycle-GPS-Tracker–7226829.html

    Features & specification:

    1.Set alarm way:Editor the message : #720#(0-3)#0000## to SIM card of the device. (0 is not alarm, 1 dial-up alarm, 2 text messages, 3 dial-up + SMS warning alarm)
    2.Mobile phone alarm: Binding master number, sent message: # # 711 number # 0000 # 1 # # (number immediately give priority to hand), each device can be set up nine number, from 1 to 9 order set mobile phone binding number.
    3.Electronic fence: Send text messages: 681 + password (default: 0000) to equipment SIM card to open.
    4.Cancel fence: Send text messages:6800000 to equipment SIM card to cancel.
    5.Query: Position,Editor the message :8880000 to the locator,system will reply locator current position with SMS. Editor the message : 6660000 to the locator,system will reply locator current position with SMS,Mobile phone direct track online.
    6.tamper alarm: The electric power lost will give host phone call.
    7.Vibration alarm: 6830000 is open, the 6840000 is shut down vibrations. Vehicle vibration, will automatically send a message to binding number.
    8.online query:website: m.gps588.com (the user name is a 15 IMEI
    number in each device.the number is unique, account is last 8 IMEI number, password is 123456)
    9.Set APN command:# 802 # APN# user name #password # last 4 password## (Example::#802#APN#000000#0000##)
    10.Set server address command: #134# server address or domain name # port number # password ##( Example:#134#m.gps588.com#8469#0000##)

  14. I spent hours with the same shit until I discovered this site. Does anyone offer GPS tracker that works a have real GPS and it is for reasonable price?

  15. I have got my tracker to work go to. http://www.gps903.net whenthe page loads look on the back of the tracker there is a long number this is your IMEI number the page default is set to account not IMEI change it to IMEI no put the number in
    IMEI no *************** then the password is not 000000
    but 123456 enter it and it works, hope this helps.

  16. Hi
    Tried with o2 sim card, wasted 3 days, was advised to use a lycamobile sim, used in most trackers (apparently) wasted another day and half.

    Tracker back in its box, dutifully labelled up and going back !!
    going to try a mthod using a spare mobile phone, and an android app – I just want to track my boat, doesn’t go very fast, but just want piece of mind !!
    Problems with other devices are that some are very expensive solutions.

  17. I am Artwell from South Africa I think the best solution about these devices is only 1 dont rush when you install it you may take your time to practice first then if doesnt work ,,,] to keep yourself away from the stress you just take to the bin

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