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 FBI Tracking Device Teardown

Our pals at iFixit have scored a pretty sweet scoop with this photo-exposé of the guts of an official FBI bumper-beeper.

We partnered with Wired to bring you a peek inside an FBI car-tracking device. The device is similar to the one Yasir Afifi found underneath his car. If you’re curious where this one came from, Wired has posted a writeup about Karen Thomas, the woman who found this tracker under her car. They’ve also posted a video of Kyle doing the teardown.

The device comprises of a GPS unit for receiving the car’s position, an RF transmitter for relaying your location to the interested authority (aka the FBI), and a set of sweet D-cell batteries that power the whole enchilada. But we didn’t stop there, of course. Read on to find out exactly what components make this secretive device tick.

[Thanks, Kyle!]

Sean Michael Ragan

I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and makezine.com. My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c’t – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.


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