Volans Cell Tracker

VolansCell is a program I wrote for the Motorola IDEN series of Java based cell phones. The application periodically reports the location of the phone via a GET call to the web server of your choice. It turns the phone into a tracking device and it's rather reliable. I suggest using the Motorola i570 phones. They are very rugged and it's the model that this application has been tested mostly on.


First off, let me say. I am not responsible for how this application operates or how it is used. I personally use it within unmanned aircraft so that I can locate them. But it does have the potential of being misused.

The JAR and configuration file are available here: VolansCell6.zip


If you download the distribution package, there are three files.

license.txt - The license this application is distributed under
VolansCell.jar - The application itself
VolansCell.jad - The configuration file.

The VolansCell.jad file can be modified using a standard text editor, such as Notepad. It must be modified before uploading to the cell phone using the iDEN Application Loader. These settings cannot be changed from the phone. I suggest that you only modify the values described below.
Field Default value Description
VolansCellName: name Set this field to anything you like. It's value will be sent to the website as the cellphone= parameter in the GET call
VolansCellPassword: password Set this field to anything you like. It's value will be sent to the website as the cellphonepassword= parameter in the GET call
VolansURL: http://www.happicow.com/volanscell.php? This is the URL the get call will be sent to from the phone.

Loading it on the phone

You will need a copy of the Motorola iDEN software loader which can be found here: http://developer.motorola.com/docstools/idenjal/

Running the application

When you run the application for the first time, it will ask you to grant it rights to the following services. I highly suggest that you grant these rights as "Always".

App Auto Invocation
User Location

Additionally, we've found it to be a good idea to set this application to run automatically on startup. This can be done via the Settings menu, Personalize, Power Up. You have to install it and run it once first before making this change.

GET web call

The call to the webserver will resemble something like this:


Field Value from example Description
cellname name VolansCell.jad VolansCellName property value
cellpassword password VolansCell.jad VolansCellPassword property value
count 19 The number of data points sent since last restart of the application
timestamp 1277244831711 UNIX style, integer timestamp of the time datacollection began
signal 3 Strength of the phone's signal. Range is 0 .. 4
battery 4 Battery level. Range is 0 .. 3
locationtype GPS

Indicates what the location in lat and lon values is. It can have the following values and their meanings:

CELL - location is the cell tower we are talking to
GPS - location is the phone's location from GPS
UNKNOWN - we don't know where we got the location from

latitude 42.52928 Location latitude in hh.ddddd format (some rounding may be necessary)
longitude -76.62632 Location longitude in hhh.ddddd format (some rounding may be necessary)
positionaccuracy 310000 Accuracy of the lat and lon values in meters
altitude 107 Altitude of the phone in meters
altitudeaccuracy 490000 Accuracy of the altitude value in meters
heading 197 Heading in degrees
speed 4 Speed in m/s
debug 3 This contains some small debugging information in the format: count, freemem, messages

See your location on the map