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  1. #1
    cupcake hustler pyroonfia's Avatar
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    new method of anti-theft

    this could be pure genious or could be purely ********, but couldnt you weld some sort of small GPS device inside your bikes frame or integrate it on some component that isnt likely to get jacked by someone? then just track your bike once it gets stolen and beat someone down........

  2. #2
    Vanned. worker4youth's Avatar
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    GPS is only 1-way communication. The receiver never communicates TO the satellite, so there is no way to track a stolen bike with a GPS device. However, using triangulation with a cellphone device, this could be possible. I suppose you can hide a cellphone in the seat tube or something, but you'd have to make sure it's charged...too much hassle, IMO.

  3. #3
    Taking "s" outta "Fast" AfterThisNap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pyroonfia
    this could be pure genious or could be purely ********, but couldnt you weld some sort of small GPS device inside your bikes frame or integrate it on some component that isnt likely to get jacked by someone? then just track your bike once it gets stolen and beat someone down........
    I would but all those hundred dollar bills that regularly fall from my anus went to a new fork after MT.

    Seriously the drawbacks would be cost, weight, and a way to keep the battery charged that isn't a total PITA. 20/20 did do the exact same thing for a segment on NYC bike theft in the late 90s. Tracked a guy that jacked a Specialized until he jumped from a 2nd story window and broke an ankle.

  4. #4
    don't pedal backwards... MacG's Avatar
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    Read up on APRS. If you got the right equipment and had an amateur license, you could pretty easily build a system that would report the bike's position intelligently vi amateur radio so it can be tracked from a web browser. You just need a stupidly simple GPS receiver that knows how to output it's position in a certain really common data format and a small 2 meter radio transmitter and antenna to broadcast the position every few minutes or whenever the controller board notices the bike has moved more than a little bit.

    Power would be the big drawback, but this hardware doesn't draw a ton of juice. Just get a small rechargeable battery back of some sort and use a generator hub to keep it charged up with no human intervention. A thief riding your bike down the street would actually be recharging your transmitter's battery for you, and if he disconnected the gen hub, the battery would be able to keep it running for at least 12 hours or so. If he just stopped riding, the TNC would see that the bike hadn't moved since the last reported position and would either stop reporting or cut way back to save power (since there's no news anyways). The radio transmitter is the biggest power draw, so unless the hub is disconnected or the bike is transported in a vehicle, the system would run for a long time.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/APRS

    http://www.aprs.net/
    from Minneapolis, with bike love

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by worker4youth
    GPS is only 1-way communication. The receiver never communicates TO the satellite, so there is no way to track a stolen bike with a GPS device. However, using triangulation with a cellphone device, this could be possible. I suppose you can hide a cellphone in the seat tube or something, but you'd have to make sure it's charged...too much hassle, IMO.
    A cellphone in the seat tube?!?!? How's that work?

  6. #6
    don't pedal backwards... MacG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChicagoxBoston
    A cellphone in the seat tube?!?!? How's that work?
    Use a funnel and a hammer, duh.





    You would have to redesign the transmitter and other fiddly bits to be small enough to slide into a seat tube. It could be done, but it would either be a totally unreliable hack job or super expensive.
    from Minneapolis, with bike love

  7. #7
    Senior Member morbot's Avatar
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    yeah, i thought about this idea after i had a bike stolen. seems like the lack of power/necessity of a generator hub makes it a bit out of reach for most people

  8. #8
    Vanned. worker4youth's Avatar
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    Never knew about APRS. That sounds cool, but you'd need hundreds of dollars of radio equipment, and the knowledge to hook it up to a GPS device, etc.

    cell phone-based location services seems to be the easiest way to go, but even that is too much work for the average cyclist.

    However, the police can do this easily. I never understood why they don't do something like Bait Car with bikes: http://www.baitcar.com/ Especially in high-theft areas like NYC.

  9. #9
    don't pedal backwards... MacG's Avatar
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    You can do APRS for about $50 if you know where to get used equipment for cheap, but it would require a lot of custom work with pretty expensive new parts to build a system that could fit into a bike's seat tube.

    A water bottle, on the other hand, could fit an entire APRS setup without too much trouble. Maybe that would be a more viable method.

    You basically need a primitive GPS receiver and antenna (no fancy display or mapping crap needed; it just needs to resolve position to lat/lon and spit it out electronically in a standard data format), a radio transmitter to broadcast with (almost any used handheld 2m ham radio works) and a terminal node controller to watch what the GPS is doing and tell the radio when and what to transmit. TNCs are really small and can be assembled for pretty cheap.
    from Minneapolis, with bike love

  10. #10
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    Size really isn't an issue. Cell Phones could be tinier if we didn't need the dial pad and screen.
    I've seen some GPS/GPRS combo devices lately that transmit location via SMS. The problem with that is you need a SIM, and a cell account. You could probably run it from a solar panel on the seat or TT without a hitch.

  11. #11
    beginner budster's Avatar
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    I saw a fairly new Trek 4500 on the UNC campus in Chapel Hill this past summer, just leaning against a bike rack. No lock. I passed by the bike a couple of times that day, and was amazed that it had lasted several hours without being stolen.

    I later heard that the campus police regularly leave bikes unlocked and watch for someone to steal them in an effort to combat bike theft. I don't know if it's true.

    But you could have a lot of fun leaving your bike unlocked if you've got some time to kill. Just let most of the air out of your tires and hide in nearby bushes with an assault *****....

    I also like MacG's APRS suggestion.
    Path of Abundance: Be Kind, be Generous, be Content, be Honest and be Aware.

    The first great gift we can bestow on others is a good example. -Thomas Morell
    A thimble of patience is worth more than a bushel of brains. -Dutch Proverb
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  12. #12
    Fix Turns My Crank fixedude's Avatar
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    if only there was something done like 'baitcar' for bikes... http://www.baitcar.com/

  13. #13
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    déjà vu



    locking up the front hub via a remote would be pretty sweet. you wouldn't need to do any beating. just lock it up, retrieve your bike, and spit on the fool.

  14. #14
    beginner budster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fixedude
    if only there was something done like 'baitcar' for bikes... http://www.baitcar.com/
    Well, this is getting closer, isn't it? http://www.baitcar.com/impact_launch...ait_watercraft

    And if the rumor is true, UNC campus police are doing something like "baitbike" by leaving bikes unlocked on campus, watching until someone steals them, then apprehending the theives.
    Path of Abundance: Be Kind, be Generous, be Content, be Honest and be Aware.

    The first great gift we can bestow on others is a good example. -Thomas Morell
    A thimble of patience is worth more than a bushel of brains. -Dutch Proverb
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  15. #15
    live free or die trying humancongereel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zip22
    déjà vu



    locking up the front hub via a remote would be pretty sweet. you wouldn't need to do any beating. just lock it up, retrieve your bike, and spit on the fool.
    amen, but following thurston's idea that cellphones would be smaller if only a transmitter device, etc....reducing the size of a cell phone would work, but you would need to charge it...using the hole in the BB shell, perhaps?
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  16. #16
    Fix Turns My Crank fixedude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zip22
    déjà vu.
    heh...saw it the second time around. my bad.

  17. #17
    seniorita member sohi's Avatar
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    "Not to mention that all of the Bergwerk bikes come with a bike finder chip. This is a GPS chip that is installed in the frame of the bicycle, so if your bike were stolen, you would be able to track it down."

    http://www.dirtragmag.com/print/arti...int.php?ID=498

  18. #18
    Bike fiend. Analog's Avatar
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    I thought of this after I had a bike stolen:
    In my town, the humane society will "install" a tracking device in your dog/cat for $20 bucks.....
    So, just walk in there and be like 'My dog is really funny looking....."
    Any reason this wouldn't work?

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Analog
    I thought of this after I had a bike stolen:
    In my town, the humane society will "install" a tracking device in your dog/cat for $20 bucks.....
    So, just walk in there and be like 'My dog is really funny looking....."
    Any reason this wouldn't work?
    One of my friends works at an animal shelter. She considered installing one of the devices in herself but got scared because the needle is REALLY big. Bikes don't do well with needles.

    Also, it's not a "tracking" device, it's just a identification device. If an animal shelter ends up with your dog they can scan it and get your information. Kinda like a collar but with more information and less likely to fall off.

  20. #20
    Bike fiend. Analog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gorn
    One of my friends works at an animal shelter. She considered installing one of the devices in herself but got scared because the needle is REALLY big. Bikes don't do well with needles.

    Also, it's not a "tracking" device, it's just a identification device. If an animal shelter ends up with your dog they can scan it and get your information. Kinda like a collar but with more information and less likely to fall off.
    Hmmm, well that shatters my idea. The poster I saw totally gave the impression that it was a tracking device.

    I guess I'll have to look into RFID next.

  21. #21
    don't pedal backwards... MacG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Analog
    Hmmm, well that shatters my idea. The poster I saw totally gave the impression that it was a tracking device.

    I guess I'll have to look into RFID next.
    Those pet ID chips are RFID tags, which are passive. You need something that can actively be tracked. All an RFID tag would do for you is allow you to positively identify your bike, not find it when you don't know where it is.
    from Minneapolis, with bike love

  22. #22
    Vanned. worker4youth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fixedude
    if only there was something done like 'baitcar' for bikes... http://www.baitcar.com/

    hehehe. great minds think alike.

  23. #23
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    I think either the SF bike coalition or the city of San Francisco was investigating something like this a couple of years ago. Technology has moved along, but it's probably still a few years from being useful. I think that what they were considering was powered rf transponders in bikes (which, unfortunately would weigh about 3-5 pounds w/ batteries) and a network of receivers around the city that would pick up the signals. Report a bike stolen and they can track it as it moves around the city.

    Drawbacks:

    about $500/bike based on estimated usage (considering the in-bike parts and the larger infrastructure)

    Any bike worth paying $500 to keep safe would seriously suffer from an additional 3 pounds in the tubes

    Savvy thieves would get the bike out of the city asap and it would be out of range by the time you knew it was gone.

    Battery reliant, not everyone can/will bring their bike to an outlet every couple of days.

    I'd rather not have big brother know where I am at all times.

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    you could have the frame tagged with a transponder or radio beacon but it would be harder to get someone to check than to install it. A cellphone works because you are paying a lot of money for the system to keep track of it. But to ask them to locate your cellphone by triangulating in on it would be a received with more than raised brows. You can get it registered in a county (like Mongomery county Md.) where the bike is recorded on the same stolen vehicle listing as automobiles and thus it gets taken more seriously. But the best thing to do is to install something that will let a mechanic (the only people that will occasionally notice a stolen bike) know who it belongs to. I tell my students to write their name and phone number on the underside of the downtube in very permanent marker or nail polish.
    If the bike arouses suspicions (way too big/small-no idea of market value-no idea how to use the SPD pedals that are on the bike), the mechanic can come up with a reason to check someones ID, if it doesn't match they can phone the owner and delay the customer.

    (this, by the way is all from long experience).

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedDeMartini
    you could have the frame tagged with a transponder or radio beacon but it would be harder to get someone to check than to install it. A cellphone works because you are paying a lot of money for the system to keep track of it. But to ask them to locate your cellphone by triangulating in on it would be a received with more than raised brows. You can get it registered in a county (like Mongomery county Md.) where the bike is recorded on the same stolen vehicle listing as automobiles and thus it gets taken more seriously. But the best thing to do is to install something that will let a mechanic (the only people that will occasionally notice a stolen bike) know who it belongs to. I tell my students to write their name and phone number on the underside of the downtube in very permanent marker or nail polish.
    If the bike arouses suspicions (way too big/small-no idea of market value-no idea how to use the SPD pedals that are on the bike), the mechanic can come up with a reason to check someones ID, if it doesn't match they can phone the owner and delay the customer.

    (this, by the way is all from long experience).
    Add to this the tried and true laminated business card in the BB shell, seatpost, etc. Any place a mech. might check that joe bikethief probably wouldn't. A note on the back that says, "This bike may be stolen, please call me" is nice. They call and you either get your bike back or apologize for selling your bike and forgetting to remove the card.

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