GPS tracking

Marko

Active Member
Has anyone experience on gps tracking devices for bicycles and which would be the best. I was recommended to get one (by someone who had had his locked e-bike stolen). However, I am not convinced yet. Wouldn't the thieves immediately search for such devices and remove them? And do these tracking devices need to be connected to a monthly payment schedules with a service provider to get the tracking information. Then there is the problem of getting any signal if the bike is inside a building. Battery life? Maybe it is just easier and cheaper to rely on the insurance.
 

Cameron Newland

Well-Known Member
Has anyone experience on gps tracking devices for bicycles and which would be the best. I was recommended to get one (by someone who had had his locked e-bike stolen). However, I am not convinced yet. Wouldn't the thieves immediately search for such devices and remove them? And do these tracking devices need to be connected to a monthly payment schedules with a service provider to get the tracking information. Then there is the problem of getting any signal if the bike is inside a building. Battery life? Maybe it is just easier and cheaper to rely on the insurance.
I'm looking into building my own solution based on Ting Mobile, which is an MVNO that sort of works like an API for wireless tech. It's really cheap ($9/month). I'm probably going to install a Moto G or a Moto E inside of a 3D-printed plastic fairing/housing that I'll fasten to the front fork and handlebars near all the brake/shifter cable housings. I'm going to have to rig some kind of charging setup so that the phone will be able to suck power from the bike's main battery.

I did find an existing commercial solution, however, it was expensive and it only offered the ability to get your bike's GPS location every 5 minutes, whereas if my bike were stolen, I'd want its live GPS location.

https://ting.com/shop/Motorola-Moto-E-Black-2nd-Gen-New
 

pxpaulx

Well-Known Member
I'm looking into building my own solution based on Ting Mobile, which is an MVNO that sort of works like an API for wireless tech. It's really cheap ($9/month). I'm probably going to install a Moto G or a Moto E inside of a 3D-printed plastic fairing/housing that I'll fasten to the front fork and handlebars near all the brake/shifter cable housings. I'm going to have to rig some kind of charging setup so that the phone will be able to suck power from the bike's main battery.

I did find an existing commercial solution, however, it was expensive and it only offered the ability to get your bike's GPS location every 5 minutes, whereas if my bike were stolen, I'd want its live GPS location.

https://ting.com/shop/Motorola-Moto-E-Black-2nd-Gen-New
That sounds interesting, but I would think that someone with big enough bolt cutters to cut your lock(s) won't hesitate to smash that phone to bits the second they have the chance to remove it, don't you think? It seems to me that the stealth gps tracking options are the only real way to go, but there are only a handful of options right now.
 

Cameron Newland

Well-Known Member
They won't see the phone because it'll be inside of an enclosed plastic housing that's bolted to the handlebars and front suspension fork's crown. It'll be a stealthy install. Any thief would just need a toolbox to disassemble it, but I'd have their location.

I might actually build it to house my headlight, too, similar to the headlight housings that some dirtbikes have.
 
I have an old iphone 4 that I can track using Find My phone on my iphone 6. I'm toying with how I can utilize this. I also have Manything app installed...so I can watch/listen to who approaches the bike. Currently I'm using the iphone 4 and Manything app as a baby monitor.
 

Marko

Active Member
One possibility could be to get one of these and place it in the compartment just above the battery. Get a low data bandwidth and low cost (1€/month) mobile subscription. For battery charging power supply one could use a small solar panel mounted on the rack. Fixed wiring through the same way as for the rear light. Then use Android Device Manager to track the phone. Probably the thief will first yank out the solar cell, but there would still be enough time to track the bike if theft is found out soon after the act.
 
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Cameron Newland

Well-Known Member
One possibility could be to get one of these and place it in the compartment just above the battery. Get a low data bandwidth and low cost (1€/month) mobile subscription. For battery charging power supply one could use a small solar panel mounted on the rack. Fixed wiring through the same way as for the rear light. Then use Android Device Manager to track the phone. Probably the thief will first yank out the solar cell, but there would still be enough time to track the bike if theft is found out soon after the act.
That's a really cool little phone! Nice a lightweight and water resistant.

Unfortunately, it lacks a crucial feature: GPS.
 
The Apple watch idea is good, and it got me to thinking about some devices I've researched for my autistic 5 year-old son. The child's location can be monitored remotely in an app (I can also turn on a mic to hear his surroundings, and a speaker to talk to him). Location parameters can be set to give a warning if the child wanders away from where he should reasonably be during a day at school (wanders off campus, etc.). The parent will receive a warning on their smartphone or a pop up on their computer. When the parent calls police, permission can be given to the police (a code to enter) to view the location in the device manufacturer's website (so police officers can see the location on their in-car computers). This is essentially the capability of the Stromer ST2 system. The devices are as small as that little phone...a bit smaller, actually. The problem is some of them are strictly to be used to track people with special needs. However, I think some are more basic services that could be used for a bike.
 

a4tech

New Member
i think its not necessary to attached GPS tracker on ebikes but i've attached a GPS tracker on my bike. im using Trackimo 3G device..though the device can be used aside from my bike