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Old 12-08-2013, 02:10   #1
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Anti-Theft GPS system?

Hi,

is there any cheap GPS system, I can hide in the boat, so that when the boat is stolen I can track its position, maybe notifying it on an iPhone app?

Something doesn't require too much battery to work.. I've no clue how much a gps system battery usually last.

thanks
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Old 12-08-2013, 06:15   #2
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Re: anti-theft GPS system?

Such devices are available. I would not call them "cheap." Google automobile tracking devices. Be aware that the less expensive ones simply record the position for review later. They do not alert you, nor can you track them real-time. The ones that allow you to track a vehicle (or vessel) real-time usually require a monthly subscription, which is where the expenses will really build up over time.
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Old 12-08-2013, 06:22   #3
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Re: anti-theft GPS system?

yes, spot hug
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Old 12-08-2013, 09:37   #4
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Re: anti-theft GPS system?

Hello,

Our satellite service may provide exactly what you are looking for. Not only does our device not look like a typical GPS tracking device but we provide tracking, intrusion monitoring, bilge monitoring and impact monitoring for the same price other companies only offer tracking for. These notifications are sent to your cell phone as a text, email and also can be viewed on the web. Please let me know if you are interested and I could send you a trial unit.

Thank you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by patrickdiviacco View Post
Hi,

is there any cheap GPS system, I can hide in the boat, so that when the boat is stolen I can track its position, maybe notifying it on an iPhone app?

Something doesn't require too much battery to work.. I've no clue how much a gps system battery usually last.

thanks
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Old 12-08-2013, 09:58   #5
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Re: anti-theft GPS system?

Web boat watch, how is your unit better then spot hug? Or is it cheaper? Or is monitoring less? I am going to install a unit myself, and had decided on the hug, unless yours is any of the above?
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Old 12-08-2013, 11:27   #6
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Re: anti-theft GPS system?

Our device provides satellite tracking that is both reliable and accurate and movement can be monitored from your phone through text and email. Our service works so well that Carefree Boat Club Tarpon Springs uses our service. We currently are offering trial pricing so please PM me if interested. It includes bilge monitoring, geo-fencing, intrusion monitoring and also a g-force sensor. Installation is easy and we supply all necessary equipment and the entire system is completely wireless.

I am attaching an image of our tracking capability.

Thanks!

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Web boat watch, how is your unit better then spot hug? Or is it cheaper? Or is monitoring less? I am going to install a unit myself, and had decided on the hug, unless yours is any of the above?
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Old 12-08-2013, 12:06   #7
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Re: Anti-Theft GPS system?

The average price for a GPS tracker is like 100 bucks or so. In my car I have one, it wakes up once a day and waits for incoming SMS with instructions, if none received - goes to sleep till next day. Once a week it sends me a report of it's state (battery state, coordinates, some system status etc). I can send it a SMS instructing it to switch to for example hourly reports, or even make it send coordinates every 5 minutes or so. In default mode (like described above) a couple of CR123 batteries last for 2 years. The device is a size of a matchbox. I could pay just a bit more, and have an option to call the device and activate a microphone to listen to what is going on.

There are even cheaper GPS SMS trackers available at Aliepress.com or dx.com starting I believe from 20 bucks. Rarely they go higher than a hundred bucks (you will need to provide a proper SIM card though, and remember that it only will work within cellular coverage area). There are Iridium trackers available too (they use built-in Iridium comm module and require satellite provider subscription).

Or you can use a commercial tracking service like above mentioned Web Boat Watch. Me - I don't like subscription-based plans, so I will probably install 2 trackers - one with a good cell SIM and another Iridium-based.
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Old 12-08-2013, 13:23   #8
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Re: Anti-Theft GPS system?

Quote:
Originally Posted by patrickdiviacco View Post
Hi,

is there any cheap GPS system, I can hide in the boat, so that when the boat is stolen I can track its position, maybe notifying it on an iPhone app?

Something doesn't require too much battery to work.. I've no clue how much a gps system battery usually last.

thanks

One of the systems available is the C-Pod: C-pod Security Systems - GPS boat alarm - - .
It has a GPS receiver, sensors, and a GSM (cell phone) comms that sends the monitoring info to the C-Pod servers, which then provide several channels of near real-time message distribution to you (monitoring, status, alarms, etc.).
Their webpages give a lot of information on what it is/does, how it works, etc. (pdf manual on the tech description tab) They have several service plans available, from a month-to-month to a 24 months period.

You'll have to carefully compare these various systems (Spots, WebWatch, C-Pod, etc.,) to determine the best value.
I had been considering the C-Pod for a while, but the competition seems to be heating up. :]

As far as power/battery requirements for an alarm system, I'd recommend a separate small battery for it, like a 12-25AH lawn tractor/motorcycle type, or maybe a smaller home computer UPS style 7AH one.
Just to keep it off the boat banks, work out a separate charging path for it too (ideal app for a small inexpensive solar panel).

Any other ideas? I'm still looking too.
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Old 12-08-2013, 13:43   #9
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Re: Anti-Theft GPS system?

There's a Garmin unit quietly sold by AT&T wireless for about $140, first year of service free and then an annual charge. That's about the cheapest from a "brand name" but that's only cellular, if it gets offshore it won't be found. The tracking systems for boats that use two-way satcoms will cost you a bit more, but they'll work offshore.
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Old 12-08-2013, 14:56   #10
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Re: Anti-Theft GPS system?

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
There's a Garmin unit quietly sold by AT&T wireless for about $140, first year of service free and then an annual charge. That's about the cheapest from a "brand name" but that's only cellular, if it gets offshore it won't be found. The tracking systems for boats that use two-way satcoms will cost you a bit more, but they'll work offshore.

Direct from Garmin, it's $200: https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/on-t...Locate-p1.html .

It's a rudimentary tracking device (a mouselike puck), combines GPS rx and GSM tx/rx data (ATT cellular) for simple tracking. Powered as a cellphone is, a 12V DC adapter is an option.
Marketed for tracking pets, kids, property. Has no other sensing functions (like bilge level, volts, intrusion, etc). The software apps have a few features, like geofencing, deluxe tracking is $5/mo extra.
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Old 12-08-2013, 18:11   #11
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Re: Anti-Theft GPS system?

Seems like AT&T isn't selling them direct anymore, but Garmin is just selling it at full MSRP to support their resellers. Like Walmart, who sell it for $116.

Doesn't need sensing functions, it uses geofencing and that's all you need to answer the original question: Theft. There may be a manual trip on it also that allows for other triggers, I don't know.
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Old 05-05-2014, 06:14   #12
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Re: Anti-Theft GPS system?

I'm pretty sceptical of these GPS trackers. What's stopping would-be thieves from simply locating and removing the tracking device? There aren't that many places to hide them on a boat after all. Are there any systems available that would notify you if the device is disconnected? Or at least if there is unauthorised entry to the boat (i.e. before it is even moved)?
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Old 05-05-2014, 09:55   #13
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Re: Anti-Theft GPS system?

I'm thinking of getting an AIS transponder. It would be a "black box" type installation, tucked discretely out of the way somewhere.

If I left it on while the boat is at the dock, I could use the existing web-based AIS tracking sites like MarineTraffic.com to verify the boat is still there. Maybe there's an AIS option to only transmit if the boat is moving, I'll have to check.

No subscription, and no additional parts to buy, if you planned to buy an AIS anyway. Downside is no alarms or automatic notification.
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Old 05-05-2014, 10:07   #14
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Re: Anti-Theft GPS system?

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Originally Posted by copyrat View Post
I'm pretty sceptical of these GPS trackers. What's stopping would-be thieves from simply locating and removing the tracking device? There aren't that many places to hide them on a boat after all. Are there any systems available that would notify you if the device is disconnected? Or at least if there is unauthorised entry to the boat (i.e. before it is even moved)?
They're pretty small, one is slightly larger than a Zippo lighter, the other is thinner and longer. If people can successfully hide these on a motorcycle, then it should be pretty easy to hide one on a boat. Of course, if they don't suspect that it's installed, they won't go looking for it.

I would expect something like this installed on a $200K exotic car, but not so much on a $16K toy, yet it's cheap enough to buy and monitor ($10 every 3 months) that it is affordable enough for something in that price range.

As for alerting you if the boat has been entered, I use a wireless alarm system on my trailer for that. It cost $77, came with 10 wireless magnetic reed switches and 3 infrared motion sensors. Simply mount the door and window sensors where you want coverage, and if anyone opens any of them the alarm rings your phone. It won't give you GPS coordinates, but it will alert you that someone has opened a door or window. Hopefully you can alert the cops and the donut shop is close enough that they'll stop by on their way back from getting a fresh dozen.
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Old 05-05-2014, 10:18   #15
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Re: Anti-Theft GPS system?

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Originally Posted by CaptTom View Post
I'm thinking of getting an AIS transponder. It would be a "black box" type installation, tucked discretely out of the way somewhere.

If I left it on while the boat is at the dock, I could use the existing web-based AIS tracking sites like MarineTraffic.com to verify the boat is still there. Maybe there's an AIS option to only transmit if the boat is moving, I'll have to check.

No subscription, and no additional parts to buy, if you planned to buy an AIS anyway. Downside is no alarms or automatic notification.
That sounds like a good idea. Since it's a normal part of navigation equipment, it wouldn't look all that out of place to have one, so it might not be necessary to hide it.

I went and looked at that website, pretty nice, especially for free. Check and see if you can put up a geofence on there for a specific vessel, if so, they might have an automatic alert to your phone or email if the vessel leaves the geofence.
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