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Old 07-27-2009, 09:52 AM   #1
TexasPsyclone
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GPS Locator for Theft Recovery??

After a recent scare surrounding a prominent MH member losing yet another bike to theft, the discussion turned to solutions - both preventative and for recovery. Many have talked about LowJack systems and most are still reluctant to drop that kind of cash into a "recovery" scenario. (LowJack does nothing for you until after you realize your bike is gone, which may be hours after the theft if you're at work or otherwise away when it occurs) Bottom line is - these kinds of expensive preparations are usually only "worth it" after the fact. Sometimes cash is short and only minimum insurance requirements are maintained (I'm being kind here as many people roll without any kind of responsibility regarding insurance) or insurance covering theft is just too much for the budget. Obviously, the best thing to do is keep the bike stored inside - but that is often easier said than done. I'm lucky enough to have a garage, but many don't. And a garage isn't exactly thief proof.

So my friend Randy (RePo) was telling me about a simple GPS tracking device that you can "ping" any time you want and find the location via the internet. It also tells you when the device is removed from a preset "zone" (such as when it is parked at home while you are at work) and can ring your cell phone to alert you if it is removed from that zone. Seems to me this has huge potential for people who would like to have LowJack type protection but the budget can't go there. Plus, unlike LowJack - you can check location whenever you want plus the "zone" alert whereas LoJack has to be activated only in the event of a Theft.

The unit itself is small (size of a pager) so it could be hidden easily on a motorcycle. The only issue I see is that it has to be recharged continuously and there is no means to "hard wire" it to the power source. But I'm already working solutions out in my head - I'm sure that could be sorted out.

It requires subscription to the service, but it's pretty cheap. $15 per month - and the unit cost is $100. That’s less than $300 per year. It is based on the cellular network (T-Mobil I think) so it would only work where you would expect your phone to work, but in our surrounding area, that is pretty much everywhere. The idea in my mind is that once you are alerted or discover the bike is missing, then you get the location and rally the MH army. We've all been talking about what we would do if we knew where to look - well, this might actually give us a legit chance. Accurate to within a few feet - it would be a bad day for the crooks if we actually had this kind of information.

http://www.zoombak.com/products/universal/

Take a look (disregard the cheesy video) and give me your opinions. It might not be perfect, but if we can put microchips in our pets - shouldn't we be able to track our bikes down whenever we want??? I think LoJack has some kind of stranglehold over technology that should be better and cheaper by now in my opinion.

FWIW
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Last edited by TexasPsyclone; 07-27-2009 at 09:55 AM.
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Old 07-27-2009, 09:55 AM   #2
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Old 07-27-2009, 10:00 AM   #3
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Additional note - there is an "Auto Installation Kit" in the Accessories section of the website. Problem solved.

Quote:
The Installation Bracket holds the device securely in place when mounted in your vehicle and the 12 Volt DC Charger delivers power to the device. Our Install Guide provides easy step-by-step instruction. Includes Auto Bracket and Install Kit, 12VDC Charger, Install Guide.
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Old 07-27-2009, 10:04 AM   #4
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repost.
http://www.motohouston.com/forums/sh...ad.php?t=51971
http://www.motohouston.com/forums/sh...ad.php?t=86871

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Old 07-27-2009, 10:05 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasPsyclone View Post
The unit itself is small (size of a pager) so it could be hidden easily on a motorcycle. The only issue I see is that it has to be recharged continuously and there is no means to "hard wire" it to the power source. But I'm already working solutions out in my head - I'm sure that could be sorted out.
This is incorrect. If you buy the appropriate version (the auto version, not the personal version or the pet version) it comes with a wire to wire in to the vehicles power source to keep constant power going to it, then once the power is cut it still works until the battery in the unit is depleted.

See here:

zoombak 12v charger lg
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Old 07-27-2009, 10:06 AM   #6
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How did I miss this?? I stand "policed" - but still a good repost for those who may not have been aware of it (like myself).

Thanks for the heads up!

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Old 07-27-2009, 10:10 AM   #7
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Get it at RadioShack. I think they have them for $99+tax now.

What it boils down to is monthly cost over a large upfront single cost. Also lowjack is used by many police agencies and is already in their cars. With zoombak, granted you can see realtime where the vehicle is, it might not be as easy to work with the police to recover the vehicle as it would be with lowjack.
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Old 07-27-2009, 10:12 AM   #8
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Disclaimer:
"Zoombak A-GPS locators use satellite signals and wireless network coverage to determine and communicate location information. Coverage isn't available everywhere and often not available indoors."

There's the issue with these types of systems. Any GPS based device has problems when there is no direct line of site.

If they put the bike in a van or a building (which is normally the case), you may not be able to find it.

Also, most insurance companies don't give discounts for these systems, but they will for lojack. My opinion? Lojack FTW.
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Old 07-27-2009, 10:13 AM   #9
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Only couple problems I can think of off the top of my head:

1) This is a GPS locator, so if the bike is taken into a building/area with no GPS single then it is useless. (I have GPS on my phone and use it alot, but sometimes i dont get a GPS single in certain places.)

2) Bastards could find the unit and rip it out. (but im sure it could be hidden somewhere way in the bike)


Also low jack has that zone thing too.. where if the bike is moved within a reasonable amount of space without the key thingy by the bike, then it alerts you...
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Old 07-27-2009, 10:15 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Challen View Post
Disclaimer:
"Zoombak A-GPS locators use satellite signals and wireless network coverage to determine and communicate location information. Coverage isn't available everywhere and often not available indoors."

There's the issue with these types of systems. Any GPS based device has problems when there is no direct line of site.

If they put the bike in a van or a building (which is normally the case), you may not be able to find it.

Also, most insurance companies don't give discounts for these systems, but they will for lojack. My opinion? Lojack FTW.
Not exactly. It's A-GPS. It uses not only GPS satellites but also cellular triangulation. So even when indoors it can still be located, albeit not as exact but still a pretty good idea of a general area.

Works on the same principal as GPS devices in cell phones. Anywhere you can at least get cell service, you can triangulate.

This is what has always had me torn between this and lojack, as lowjack is neither of the two, it is simply a beacon from the lowjack device, so a LEO has to be nearby to detect it.

I wish lowjack would put all of the above in one unit, I would surely buy it without question if lowjack would also implement A-GPS.
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Old 07-27-2009, 10:16 AM   #11
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GPS won't work if it's in a storage building or even in a U-Haul truck.

Lowjack with early warning alerts you as soon as the bike has been taken.

Lowjack is the ONLY system used by the police directly, and in Houston has a 97% recovery rate in the first 24 hours and a 99% recovery rate PERIOD.

GPS systems require a monthly monitoring fee. Lowjack does not.

I really don't understand the resistance to Lowjack by some people.
It's a proven system, it's the only one used by law enforcement, there's no monthly fees, and it flat works.
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Old 07-27-2009, 10:17 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bomb0314 View Post
Only couple problems I can think of off the top of my head:

1) This is a GPS locator, so if the bike is taken into a building/area with no GPS single then it is useless. (I have GPS on my phone and use it alot, but sometimes i dont get a GPS single in certain places.)

2) Bastards could find the unit and rip it out. (but im sure it could be hidden somewhere way in the bike)


Also low jack has that zone thing too.. where if the bike is moved within a reasonable amount of space without the key thingy by the bike, then it alerts you...
1) See above post. It's one or the other. Both systems have their benefit, and both systems have their faults.

2) Thieves can rip out lojack too.
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Old 07-27-2009, 10:18 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick View Post
GPS won't work if it's in a storage building or even in a U-Haul truck.

Lowjack with early warning alerts you as soon as the bike has been taken.

Lowjack is the ONLY system used by the police directly, and in Houston has a 97% recovery rate in the first 24 hours and a 99% recovery rate PERIOD.

GPS systems require a monthly monitoring fee. Lowjack does not.

I really don't understand the resistance to Lowjack by some people.
It's a proven system, it's the only one used by law enforcement, there's no monthly fees, and it flat works.
A-GPS, not GPS, they are not one and the same. And as noted in the explanations above. Both have their strengths and weaknesses. Hooray for consumer choices.
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Old 07-27-2009, 10:19 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pyrofallout View Post
This is what has always had me torn between this and lojack, as lowjack is neither of the two, it is simply a beacon from the lowjack device, so a LEO has to be nearby to detect it.

I wish lowjack would put all of the above in one unit, I would surely buy it without question if lowjack would also implement A-GPS.

Why add it if they're getting a 99% recovery rate?
Is that 1% what's holding you back?
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Old 07-27-2009, 10:19 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pyrofallout View Post
Not exactly. It's A-GPS. It uses not only GPS satellites but also cellular triangulation. So even when indoors it can still be located, albeit not as exact but still a pretty good idea of a general area.
This comes directly off their website:

Zoombak A-GPS locators use satellite signals and wireless network coverage to determine and communicate location information. Coverage isn't available everywhere and often not available indoors.
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Old 07-27-2009, 10:20 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick View Post
Why add it if they're getting a 99% recovery rate?
Is that 1% what's holding you back?
Maybe. I love this mindset, why make something better, it already works for the most part.

If everyone followed that mentality we might all still be running around the track on cafe racers.
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Old 07-27-2009, 10:21 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Challen View Post
This comes directly off their website:

Zoombak A-GPS locators use satellite signals and wireless network coverage to determine and communicate location information. Coverage isn't available everywhere and often not available indoors.
YOU don't tell Pyro the facts, HE will tell you HIS version of the facts.........
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Old 07-27-2009, 10:21 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Challen View Post
This comes directly off their website:

Zoombak A-GPS locators use satellite signals and wireless network coverage to determine and communicate location information. Coverage isn't available everywhere and often not available indoors.
Disclaimer maybe.

Here is some info on Assisted-GPS for your reading pleasure.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assisted_GPS
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Old 07-27-2009, 10:22 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick View Post
YOU don't tell Pyro the facts, HE will tell you HIS version of the facts.........
not my version, just the right version.


OP, others will state that there is only one way to do things correctly, don't believe them, do your research and make your own informed decision for yourself.

And FWIW, if you want to know exactly how well the locating system will work for you. Find a friend with a 3G or 3GS iPhone on T-Mobile. Zoombak systems run off T-Mobile systems. The locating system works exactly the same to that in the latest iphones or any other cellular device with A-GPS. Go climb in a UHaul truck, or in a parking garage, see how well it works for yourself.
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Old 07-27-2009, 10:23 AM   #20
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What is the difference between locating this thing in your trunk and it working vs. a bike being put in a U-Haul?

I agree - it shouldn't be hard to incorporate all of these technologies together.
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