Configuring a TK-102 GPS tracker to work online

The TK-102 online gps tracker

Personal-GPS-Tracker-TK102-4Personal-GPS-Tracker-TK102-2A few months ago i purchased a cheap TK-102 GPS tracker.

The idea was that if my motorbike got stolen, I would be able to track it online. Seemed nice.

It did, however, take me weeks if not months to configure it correctly. It is not that it is difficult, there are just a lot of confusion about standards, clones - and the manuals tend to be in english autotranslated from chinese. Also there is some protocol differences you might not be aware of.

This tutorial is mainly for my own sake, and will not mention the simple stuff the tracker can to, so read your own manual :)

Different models:

tk102 abThe first pitfall is that there are several clones of the original Xexun TK-102. You cannot easily tell them apart, and their communication protocols are different. For instance, some models require a response-key from the server when connecting while others just dumps their data in a package.

I tried two different clones of the TK-102, but only managed to get one of them working with an online service. The only noticably difference is that the one i *did* get to work, is charged with a microusb and the one i did *not*, was had a mini-usb plug. Other than that they looked identical.

Also, there is as of now two official different versions: TK-102 and TK-102-2. The difference is supposedly that the latter has a micro-sd slot under the sim-card and can record tracking data. The two also has different communication protocols. 

... however.... Mine DOES have the micro-sd slot, and should therefore be at TK-102-2, still though, it used the TK-102 protocol. In the product pages it is described as TK-102, rev B.


Now, most of the devices and clones are configured in pretty much the same fashion. Also they all have the standard password of "123456" untill you change it.

Wialon ID testWialon ID testGps Orange tracking serviceGps Orange tracking service

  1. Send the command begin123456 to the tracker. It will then initialize the device and begin tracking. It should reply begin ok.
  2. Physically call the device 10 times. It will respond with two beeps. Calling 10 times may seem a little excessive, but at the 10'th time, your number is stored permanently in the memory (also on powerout) , in a "positive list". In the future you can just call the device and it will send you an sms with its location.
  3. You need to obtain the IMEI number, which is how most devices identify themselves. I did, however, read that some clones use some other kind of serial numbers. It is should be stamped on a sticker inside the device, but confirm that it is consistent by sending the command imei123456. You should get the imei back. Write this down, as this is how you identify the device in the online service you will be using to track it.
  4. Some defices allows you to set the time zone. send time zone123456 x where x is the number of hours you are + or - from GMT (you can use negative numbers by prefixing a minus)
  5. Unless you are setting up your own tracking service, i recommend trying GPS Trace OrangeIt is commercial tracker software, but you can have one GPS registered for free. Note, that if your device does not send data to them for a month, your account will be deleted. Even if you do not want to use their service, try their test service to make sure you have a hole through from the device to the net..
    1. Set your device to use the Wialon GPS Device Unique ID Checker. Send adminip123456 20157 The first part is the IP address, the last the port. Each different GPS device has a seperat port, including the TK-102 (port 20157) and TK-102-2 (port 20668). While it seems odd that there are different ports, remember that they have different protocols - and this is how the know how to decode the telegrams. The tracker replies to the command with Adminip OK
    2. Set up your APN for the tele communications provider you have chosen. Most companies in denmark does not have password or usernames but simply the apn "internet". In that case send Apn123456 internet. Be aware that, if you do need user/password for your provider they are set differently according to clonemodel. Also be aware that each time you change change the recieving ip address you need to set the APN again!!! This is due to the whole internal communication registry is cleared each time you do so. Still it was not mentioned in my manuals. It will reply Apn OK
    3. Switch from SMS to GPRS mode: Gprs123456. It should reply Gprs OK.
    4. Now check that there is a connection: Send Check123456. You should get stats for the battery (in%), if the GPS is on, If the GSM is on and if the GPRS is on. Be aware that it will take a few minutes for the GPRS to become active.
    5. Set the tracker to send a new package every 30 seconds. There are different commands for different clones, but the two I have come across are t030s***n123456 or fix030s***n123456. These commands are a little annoying as they do not reply with an ok. I surgest you consult your manual or try both.
    6. Go to Id.wialon.Net. Here you should be able to identify your device if you have a connection all the way through.
  6. When you know everything functions, register an account at GPS Trace Orange. Thereafter you should change your IP to using the same method as before. remember to repeat the APN and GPRS steps as well!!
  7. Now go and play with your new GPS tracker.
  8. Open Gps TrackerIf you need cooler stuff, make your own server using open source: Open Gps Tracking System. It works well, is simple to set up and does not require posh hardware.

Data usage

As data is rarely free, you should do some calculations on how much data traffic you need to cover your needs.

The telegram sent by different GPS trackers are of different size, so check for the model you are using. Also different clones of the TK-102 may have different size telegrams from the original. I have not bothered to check the exact size of mine, but if you have your own server, this should be simple using a network analyzer.

Anyway. The forums i checked states that it is around 130-180 bytes long... so if you add some TCP overhead... My bid is, definately less than 300 bytes a telegram.

Now check how many updates you want a day. I personally want as many as possible, but the TK-102 specification states (without any explanation),  that the unit should not send position more often than every 20 secs. I guess that is how often the GPS chip is polled for location.

24 hours is  86400 Seconds. This gives us 4320 updates a day with a 20 second interval.
4320 * 300 bytes = 129600 bytes = 1.3 Megabyte datausage a day.
1.3 Megasbyte *31 days = 96.1 Megabyte a month.

Update 2014-04-05! - FREE tracking!

Currently the scandinavian company "Telenor" is bragging about having the best network coverage in Denmark. Therefore they are giving away SIM cards with 200 Mb/month away for FREE in the hope that people like it so mutch that they will buy more traffic. These cards are PERFECT for gps-tracking. Especially since they will not charge you extra if you overdo the 200 mb, just cut the connection and tend you an sms with details on how you can get more data. (the TK-102 will just discard this message). This should allow you to set the interval to 5 secs without overdoing the datalimit (but check yourself. Dont blame me if you go over)

Using this offer there is only one pitfall. You are not told what the SMS number is for the SIM card you are getting, so using this card it is hard to configure the device. Well, not to worry - just use another simcard for configuration and then switch cards. (Almost all carriers in Denmark uses "internet" as apn)... I actually just swapped my cards and it worked.

Quickly! Get it here: