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Anything like GPS that recieves FM signal & creates location

  1. Dec 9, 2015 #1
    Hi everyone :)

    I'm working on a Pip-Boy project from the fallout series (making a real life functional one), and I was following the guide of someone who was using a raspberry pi to create it. As I was following along his work, he said that he was having problems with GPS not working indoors, and he thought that using FM signals from FM towers would provide a better signal.

    My question is, are there any modules or devices that receive FM signals from FM towers and converts that into location coordinates and is read like GPS information? Is there such a thing?

    If there could be a way to use FM signals as location coordinates, in my case, if I were to use an android as a screen, could I also use the built in FM device inside the phone instead of adding another device or would its signal be too weak? (Its because I learned that androids come with FM chips that are enabled, while other phones like iphones disabled theirs, and I also learned that you could use androids as screens for raspberry) I apologize for asking two many questions [no pun intended ;) ] but I'm not basing this off anything conclusive, just your guy's opinion, I'm still going to research more on it, just to get an idea what is feasible and not feasible, thank you for your time, I really appreciate you hearing me out :)

    Here's a link to his channel and youtube channel where he discusses the Raspberry Pip-Boy in more detail if you guys are interested;

    Source code of software;
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 9, 2015 #2


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    There was, it was called loran, but it has been shut down for 20+yrs.
  4. Dec 9, 2015 #3


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    Not much chance of doing it with FM towers. The carriers are not synchronised, and the audio is of variable delay. Maybe the 19kHz stereo pilots are good enough? On the other hand, in Europe I think you will find AM broadcast stations have very accurate 9kHz channel spacing, so a phase comparison method might be possible (like the old Decca Navigator system).
  5. Dec 9, 2015 #4


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    not that Im aware of ... couldn't imagine how that could work. FM radio broadcast signals don't transmit any location data

    But there are GPS reradiators available for getting GPS indoors. I use one myself for my workshop
    it consists of an antenna on the outside of the roof of the building the signal is fed vial coax cable to
    an amplifier and reradiator
    This is the company that supplied it to me ....

  6. Dec 9, 2015 #5
    Thank you guys, I have researched more into it and it turns out that this wasn't as a big deal as I thought it was. Plus, I also found out that all androids have free GPS chip, the only thing left now is to get the FM radio and GPS apps to run on the Pip-Boy software.
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