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lojack

PatBranch

Turbo Monkey
Sep 24, 2004
10,460
8
wine country
Has anyone seen anything similar for bikes? I've searched and found lots of talk about it, but no actual devices or services. I think Lojack would be too big to put in the frame, but I haven't seen any good pictures of it.
 

binary visions

The voice of reason
Jun 13, 2002
21,665
433
NC
There are some smaller GPS trackers but they all would be difficult to stash somewhere hidden on a bike frame.

http://www.spygearco.com/WorldsSmallestGPSTrackingDevice-PE.htm
http://www.brickhousesecurity.com/worldtrack-small-covert-gps-tracking.html

The problem is you need both the GPS receiver, and a cellular transmitter to report its location, along with an antenna large enough to maintain service. So you can only hit a minimum size, really, and there aren't exactly lots of places to stash electronics on a bike frame.
 

nelsonjm

Monkey
Feb 16, 2007
710
1
Columbia, MD
If I made a cellular/gps tracking device how much would you pay?

I forsee it going in the seat tube (and having a very snug fit). It may have to go elsewhere or have an external antenna because gps signals are pretty weak... antennas inside of metal tubes don't work very well.

It would require you to purchase a sim card with 2g data access (and keep track of the data plan to make sure it didn't run out). It would probably have limited battery life (think a week max), and may even require a monthly subscription fee (although a small one) to maintain a website.


The materials are out there to do it, but they are expensive. I.e. 80$ just for the main chip.. then you have to figure out how to solder bga stuff, etc, etc.

There's a reason this doesn't exist yet.
 

Capricorn

Monkey
Jan 9, 2010
427
0
Cape Town, ZA
nah, i dont wanna pay the mobile monster a single cent more than they already plunder from me wallets.
a nice rechargeable battery which hopefully lasts for a few hours when out riding on a nice user adjustable duty cycle. lower the cycle the longer the battery (low crime areas etc).
can be charged at home.
hopefully runs on some side band that the mobile monsters will actually allow for gratis as it's purely for tracking purposes.

nelson: the reason it doesnt exist cos no one sees teh market for the ASIC or the SoC into which all that we require can actually fit on. If this thing can work for bikes, it will work for vehicles, and somewhere someone is going to lose out on a fortune...
 

Droptopchevy

Monkey
Jan 1, 2009
146
0
Morrisville, PA
The idea with most of those seems as though they are battery powered. Rechargeable it looks like too. So you would have to recharge it all the time. Unlike a car, a bicycle does not have a long lasting battery. Seems like a decent idea, but it would always be that one day that you forget to charge it, that your bike goes missing.
 

badphish

Monkey
Feb 28, 2008
294
0
Solar panels are the answer. :D
Solar Paint. Read about it a few years ago. Haven't read anything since, but I imagine that the more time goes by, the more viable of an option it will become.

http://cleantechnica.com/2009/09/23/solar-paint-could-make-those-white-roofs-even-better/

The only problem with the idea of GPS on a bike is that it would probably be easily disabled by a bike thief. Maybe not at first, but as they become more aware of them, especially if there's a freakin' antenna sticking off the bike. That's not normal.
 
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Ciaran

Fear my banana
Apr 5, 2004
9,844
11
So Cal
When are people going to learn that you NEVER EVER leave your good bike locked up out of sight. Ever. Period.

If you are going to use a bike for school or work and it's going to be locked for hours at a time out of sight then get a crappy beater. All that really needs to work well is the drivetrain. Suspension of any kind on a bike is like a neon sign to thieves. And there is no such thing as a safe spot or a good neighborhood/area. Bike thieves are everywhere.

Is looking cool, having a DJ session before class, or being ale to ride a good bike to school or work worth it when it gets ripped off?
 
If I made a cellular/gps tracking device how much would you pay?

I forsee it going in the seat tube (and having a very snug fit). It may have to go elsewhere or have an external antenna because gps signals are pretty weak... antennas inside of metal tubes don't work very well.

It would require you to purchase a sim card with 2g data access (and keep track of the data plan to make sure it didn't run out). It would probably have limited battery life (think a week max), and may even require a monthly subscription fee (although a small one) to maintain a website.


The materials are out there to do it, but they are expensive. I.e. 80$ just for the main chip.. then you have to figure out how to solder bga stuff, etc, etc.

There's a reason this doesn't exist yet.
Plug and pin in seat tube.
Shotgun shell in seat post.
Park bike.
Loosen seat clamp.
Listen.