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Aryana Thu Feb 14, 2019 3:43 pm

E1 wrote: Aryana wrote: Buy your unit on Amazon and you won’t ever have any issues like E1 experienced.
By all means. :roll:

The last one ordered on Amazon by a friend with a tintop was delivered in 8 hours, same day.

Paulbeard Thu Feb 14, 2019 7:14 pm

dobryan wrote:
No add on service needed. Just get the cheapest AT&T sim you can find to activate a phone (I think I pay $10 a month). The device works when you call it like it is a phone. Instead of answering it sends you a text with a google maps link that puts a pin at the location it is at. It can also do geofencing and other alerts.

I pay $6/month for my line and not much more for the actual usage (a text whenever I drive away, when the geofence is activated). You can use CDMA (Verizon) or GSM (AT&T, T-Mobile) if one offers better coverage.

jimf909 Thu Feb 14, 2019 7:42 pm

Aryana wrote: E1 wrote: Aryana wrote: Buy your unit on Amazon and you won’t ever have any issues like E1 experienced.
By all means. :roll:

The last one ordered on Amazon by a friend with a tintop was delivered in 8 hours, same day.

I was traveling through Arizona two years ago and someone had just posted that their Vanagon was stolen near Phoenix. I got paranoid, went on Amazon, ordered a Spot Trace and picked it up the same day from an Amazon locker near Phoenix. It's been working great ever since.

agibson Thu Feb 14, 2019 11:15 pm

Not sure if this has been mentioned, and it won’t be helpful to everyone...

But, when I got my iPad mini 2(?) way back when, it came with a promotion through t-mobile that gave it 200mb of free data for life.
After reading this thread, my plan now is to run 12v power somewhere innocuous and when traveling, leave it plugged into a little backup battery (which is plugged into the 12v) with only “find iphone” allowed to use data.
Should allow me to ping the iPad if the need ever arises, and will last for a while even if the battery’s disconnected.

This specific promotion is long gone by now, but maybe there is some other piece of hardware out there that could be used in a similar way.
Good luck!

Abscate Fri Feb 15, 2019 5:15 am

Good thing you can't hack these things.

Dave, why did you start parking on the other side of the driveway?

dobryan Fri Feb 15, 2019 7:56 am

Abscate wrote: Good thing you can't hack these things.

Dave, why did you start parking on the other side of the driveway?
:lol: :lol: 8)

agibson Fri Feb 15, 2019 10:06 am

YMMV:

https://www.freedompop.com/offer/cent-sim-6a?utm_s...goQjan-Vxo

agibson wrote: Not sure if this has been mentioned, and it won’t be helpful to everyone...

But, when I got my iPad mini 2(?) way back when, it came with a promotion through t-mobile that gave it 200mb of free data for life.
After reading this thread, my plan now is to run 12v power somewhere innocuous and when traveling, leave it plugged into a little backup battery (which is plugged into the 12v) with only “find iphone” allowed to use data.
Should allow me to ping the iPad if the need ever arises, and will last for a while even if the battery’s disconnected.

This specific promotion is long gone by now, but maybe there is some other piece of hardware out there that could be used in a similar way.
Good luck!

thewump Wed Feb 20, 2019 11:04 am

If you have Google Fi as your phone providor you can have extra data only SIMS for free. I plumb old android phones into my vehicles so they act as wifi hot spots (e.g. for an Android deck I have in my SUV) and for "low jack" functionality using normal apps. Life 360 app is a good locator (and also shows driving history which can be nice) and other apps allow you to switch on the mic.

K

blackglasspirate Sat Apr 13, 2019 10:37 am

Any new suggestions for Spot Trace alternatives that anyone has tried lately?

The price just went up again, as it has every year I've owned it, and it's now $245 a year (with all the taxes and "maintenance" fees). Up from $99 when I got it three years ago. It's ridiculous. Unfortunately they auto-billed me before I noticed so it may be hard to cancel. I don't think there's a way to justify that sort of price increase for such a basic tracking service.

Anyway, seeing as we tend to do a lot of "off the grid" traveling, we'd need something satellite based. Every alternative seems to have some sort of "gotcha" that's a deal breaker. The Spot still seems like the best option except the price, so if anyone has suggestions I'd be interested in hearing.


Maybe once we stop traveling full time I'll switch to a cheaper or DIY cellular based system.

dobryan Sat Apr 13, 2019 11:07 am

^^^^ Me too. I need a satellite based tracker for my euro bus project and was resigned to the Spot. At the rate this is going I’ll be able to get indoor storage cheaper than tracking it.

dobryan Sat Apr 13, 2019 11:12 am

At least my current one can find me broken down on the side of the road.



stuzbot Sun Apr 14, 2019 10:39 am

I bought one of those No-Brand Chinese ones off Amazon. Cost me all of £16,99.



Pop in a PAYG SIM card, send it an SMS and it replies with a Google Maps link with its current co-ordinates.

Took a bit of setting up, due to the instructions being in Chinglish. But it's been working fine for nearly a year now and has only cost me a few of quid in data. I put a tenner on the SIM card when I got it and there's still over £6 left.

[Being stingy. I've set it to only respond when I query it. But there are various other options, such as to send current location at fixed intervals, send when vehicle moves from current location, etc. which would use up the credit quicker].

Aryana Mon Jun 03, 2019 12:14 pm

SPOT raised their prices with the email below that arrived Saturday, 6/1/19:

Quote: Dear Valued SPOT Customer,

Thank you for your continued loyalty to SPOT. We hope that SPOT Trace's satellite technology and proven reliability has helped you to keep track of your important assets located beyond the reach of cellular coverage and provided you with additional peace of mind.

As we continue to upgrade our network to ensure you the best possible and most reliable service in the industry, this email is to inform you of upcoming changes to the cost of your SPOT service plan(s):

A Network Maintenance Fee of $24.99 will be charged to your account upon service renewal.
The Trace Basic Service plan fee is increasing to $199.99 per year per device. As such, you will be billed at this new rate at the time of your renewal.
The Trace Extreme Tracking fee will be $49.99 per year per device. If you hold this service on your account, you will be billed at this rate at the time of your renewal.
If you have any questions regarding these changes, please contact Customer Relations at 866-651-7768.

Thanks again for trusting us to help track and protect all your valuable assets, no matter how remote they may be, and we look forward to doing so in the coming year.

SPOT LLC

When I called today to cancel my upcoming renewal, they hooked me up with a yearly rate of $99 + tax for the next 2 years as a "loyalty discount" because I've been with them awhile.

I'm happy with that!

Steve M. Sat Jul 06, 2019 7:05 am

It's 2019 and since electrotech is obsolete every 6 months or so and this thread started back 2013 it might be worthwhile to take a look at what is on the market now as telephone companies are upgrading the networks and older system become obsolete on the new networks.

Here is a few reviews I found online that gave a pretty good read on GPS trackers for 2019.

https://www.lifewire.com/best-car-gps-trackers-4158961

https://rmtracking.com/vehicle_recovery/smart-racker/

https://rmtracking.com/compareproducts/

https://gpstrackershop.com/

https://www.amazon.com/gps-tracking-cars-Automotive/s?k=gps+tracking+for+cars&rh=n%3A15684181

This one here looks to be the one shown 2 posts above mine and the description and Amazon reviewers also show mixed results with it. (Some people however just are unlucky though I want to see 90% or better success ratings.)
https://www.amazon.com/XCSOURCE-Tracking-Motorcycl...mp;sr=1-31

dobryan Sat Jul 06, 2019 7:49 am

Thank you the update!

E1 Sat Jul 06, 2019 9:10 am

Second that. 👍🏼👍🏼

newerwesty1987 Sat Jul 06, 2019 12:25 pm

Wouldn't it just be easier to rig up a well thought-out kill switch instead of all of this? When I get another van, I plan on wiring in a remote for the power locks, like most cars have now, but I'll be adding a relay that will activate with the locking function which will open the ignition circuit. No way to start it after that, unless someone really knows van electrics and has the time to sit there and figure out what I did (which they won't).

Admittedly I have auto wiring skills above normal but it's not that complex to set up. A kit wouldn't be hard to design.

Paulbeard Sat Jul 06, 2019 12:36 pm

It's all about degree of difficulty/deterrence. What deters one might not deter another. As noted elsewhere, the third pedal is enough to keep a lot of people away. A Club™, a kill switch, a carefully chosen fuse removed…those work too. But what if someone forgets to arm the system? Or leaves someone with a lot of time to trace wires (at a trailhead, let's say)? There is no one way to do this…everyone can find their own preventive measures.

E1 Sat Jul 06, 2019 12:41 pm

This thread continues to be the greatest gift ever to thieves who may read here.


Can we PLEASE just discuss available GPS units instead of every other thing to look for in a parked van?

Do we really think all the stolen vans near our borders is coincidence?


My vote would be to edit every single post deviating away from GPS options. Or delete the entire thread.

A little common sense, People, pa-lease?

dobryan Sat Jul 06, 2019 12:49 pm

E1 wrote: This thread continues to be the greatest gift ever to thieves who may read here.

Can we PLEASE just discuss available GPS units instead of every other thing to look for in a parked van?


My vote would be to edit every single post deviating away from GPS options. Or delete the entire thread.

And folks here wonder why I don't post photos of our van...

A little common sense, People, pa-lease? .

E1 I will disagree with you on this. There has been no evidence of a thief using the samba to stalk or find where a kill switch is placed. To my knowledge the thefts are crimes of opportunity and not planned heists. YMMV. 😀



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