Sunday, May 19, 2024

Low-Cost Long-Range AirTag that Utilizes Wi-Fi Technology

Are you tired of losing your keys, bags, or other valuable belongings? Say goodbye to those worries with our step-by-step guide to creating your very own Enhanced AirTag! This innovative AirTag device utilizes Wi-Fi technology to provide extended-range coverage and detailed tracking data, all at an affordable price point.

Materials Required:

  1. IndusBoard Coin: 1 unit – This compact board features built-in Wi-Fi and necessary sensors, making it perfect for our AirTag project.
  2. 3.3V Rechargeable Battery: 1 unit – Provides the necessary power for the device.
  3. USB to UFL Antenna Cable: 1 unit – Enhances WiFi range and accuracy.
DIY Airtag using Indusboard
Fig 1. Air tag showing distance and direction on the phone

Step-by-step Guide to Building AirTag

Step 1: Setting Up the Hardware

  1. Connect the 3.3V rechargeable battery to the IndusBoard Coin. Ensure the positive (red) and negative (black) terminals are properly aligned.
  2. Attach the USB to UFL antenna cable to the UFL antenna connector on the IndusBoard Coin. This will enhance the WiFi range and accuracy of your AirTag.

Step 2: Configuring the Software

  1. Open the Arduino IDE on your computer and load the provided code for the Enhanced AirTag project.
  2. Configure the SSID and password for your phone’s hotspot in the code. This will allow you to access the device’s user interface (UI) for tracking purposes.
  3. Implement data monitoring from the magnetometer accelerometer to capture movement, motion tracking, and direction information.
  4. Create a web server page in the code to update real-time tracking data. Additionally, include a function to check WiFi connectivity with the device for seamless connection.
DIY AirTag Code
Fig 2. Getting direction from magnetometer 3D axis value

Step 3: Uploading the Code

  1. Connect the IndusBoard Coin to your computer using a USB cable.
  2. Upload the configured code to the device using the Arduino IDE.
  3. Monitor the serial output in the Arduino IDE to ensure the code is uploaded successfully and check the connection status.
Code for AirTag
Fig 3. Code snippet for the webpage

Step 4: Testing the Device

  1. Disconnect the USB cable and connect the 3.3V rechargeable battery to the IndusBoard Coin.
  2. Monitor the serial output for the device to connect to your phone’s WiFi hotspot. Note down the IP address displayed in the serial monitor.
  3. Access the device’s web server through your phone’s browser using the IP address noted earlier.
  4. Explore the web interface to view real-time tracking data, including direction, distance, and movement.

Step 5: Fine-tuning and Optimization

  1. Experiment with different antenna configurations to optimize WiFi range and accuracy.
  2. Implement additional features or functionalities in the code to enhance the device’s capabilities.
  3. Test the device in various scenarios and environments to ensure its reliability and effectiveness.
Low-Cost Long-Range AirTag
Fig 4. IndusBoard-based AirTag Serial Monitor
AirTag Data Monitoring
Fig 5. AirTag Data Monitoring

Congratulations! You’ve successfully built your own Enhanced AirTag with extended range capabilities. With its comprehensive tracking data and affordable price, this DIY project is sure to revolutionize the way you track your belongings. Enjoy peace of mind knowing that your keys, bags, and other valuables are always available.

Below You can check the Complete Video Tutorial to make this Low-cost AirTag from the Scratch.

Ashwini Sinha
Ashwini Sinha
A tech journalist at EFY, with hands-on expertise in electronics DIY. He has an extraordinary passion for AI, IoT, and electronics. Holder of two design records and two times winner of US-China Makers Award.


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