GPS Unit for Theft Protection

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by akpasta, Oct 13, 2013.

  1. akpasta

    akpasta Been here awhile

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    Hello,

    A friend of mine just had his BMW R100 stolen from out front of his house. Most likely he'll never see it again. It got me wondering about discrete, well hidden GPS units on motorcycles so if it was stolen, you could track it down.

    My understanding is you can buy one for $100-200 depending on the unit but the only drag is battery life. You don't wanna take something out that needs to be hidden once every five days to charge it. However, the bike itself is a charging system, as long as you ride it once every week or so, you'll keep the GPS unit charged.

    But how do you convert the electricity of the bike to charge your GPS unit? Would you connect it to the battery via some convertor, or run it straight from the AC of the bike's stator? If you connect it to the motorcycle battery will the GPS unit drain your battery and leave you with no spark in the morning?

    Wondering if anyone has ever thought about this before.
    #1
  2. usgser

    usgser Long timer

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    High end popular bikes are rarely stolen for resale or as keepers. Fake paperwork is too tricky($$$). Most likely it's torn down and sold as parts. Adding a hidden GPS transmitter is just one more item for the low life to sell.
    #2
  3. akpasta

    akpasta Been here awhile

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    Given where my bikes are stored and where I ride them, unless the thief steals the bike and tears it apart within 5 hours I will know and I will find them.

    #3
  4. usgser

    usgser Long timer

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    Really? 5 hours...Amateurs. Pro's will have them 90% broken down in the van before they get to the chop shop.
    #4
  5. akpasta

    akpasta Been here awhile

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    Is this really how it works? They'll steal em in the middle of the night and have em totally broken down within 2 hours or less? And pre-1980 bikes too? I thought the chop shop thing was mostly harleys or new bikes for some reason.

    #5
  6. TorontoBrit

    TorontoBrit TorontoBrit

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    #6
  7. akpasta

    akpasta Been here awhile

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    The Tile is neat for finding misplaced things around the house but its range is mostly limited to that.
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  8. JetSpeed

    JetSpeed Naviator

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    Garmin makes such a device: http://www8.garmin.com/followme/

    It's small, lightweight and waterproof and you can track it using Garmin Tracker on a Smartphone or via the Web.
    Easy to hide under a seat or panel.
    #8
  9. TorontoBrit

    TorontoBrit TorontoBrit

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    I thought I heard the Tile CEO saying that the Tiles use other Tiles to expand the range. So if they get really popular it would be like an internet of Tiles.
    #9
  10. StmbtDave

    StmbtDave AKA Invisible Dave

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    Isn't this exactly what the LoJack system does?

    Dave
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  11. akpasta

    akpasta Been here awhile

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    I read up on that. Only draw-back is I want access to the GPS info too, I don't want to have to rely on only the cops. If they're flaking or something I want to be able to take the law into my own hands (probably stupid but still, peace of mind).
    #11
  12. Prmurat

    Prmurat Long timer

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    +1 for LoJack... it even calls you when you move the bike (without the key on) inside your own garage...
    #12
  13. Butters

    Butters Kwyjibo

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    The suggestion by JetSpeed looks pretty good. You could wire a USB port to your battery and keep it charged through that. Then it is just a matter of concealing it. It's got geofencing to allow, I assume, alerts when it leaves an area (like your house). Spot would be another option. But pretty much any type of device like that relies on a cell phone for communication (or sat phone for Spot). So in addition to the initial cost, you will likely have to pay a monthly/annual fee to keep it on. (Notice on the Garmin it says "1 year Standard Tracking included", you will pay $50/year after that and that is just the last 10 points. Pay another $5/mo for 7 days of history).

    Another option would to just buy a cheap "pay as go" cell phone, as long as it was GPS enabled and have an app to allow for tracking (don't know of any, but I'm sure there are dozens). If you used it solely as a tracker, I can't imagine the data use would be very high.
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  14. Big Bird 928

    Big Bird 928 Long timer

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    The problem I see with any device that uses cell phone technology to communicate is easily disabled by use of a cell phone scrambler, they are easy to get ahold of or make with directions redily availabe on the internet.

    I do not know what the solution for that issue is however.
    #14
  15. wizze

    wizze Wizze = Wise

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  16. tmotten

    tmotten Lefthand ride Dutchy

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  17. CollinsB

    CollinsB Been here awhile

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    Bike alarm and chain (or cable)....I would think would be effective. I have both and wheel clamp. Insurance is always good.
    #17
  18. tmotten

    tmotten Lefthand ride Dutchy

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    Chains are good for goldwings, but the good locks alone weigh over a kg. Alarmed disk locks are considered the biggest deterrent. But something like a gps tracker is nice if they do end up throwing it in a van.
    #18
  19. alsaasla

    alsaasla Adventurer

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    and something else to consider is after how long will they drain battery ?
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  20. tmotten

    tmotten Lefthand ride Dutchy

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    I don't imagine it to be much as it's pretty much a GSM/GPS receiver merely accepting tiny amounts of data in the form of SMS. It gas an internal battery and can use the bike's battery. It's a bit of an any bit helps thing. If it's nicked you've got nothing to loose, only gain.
    #20