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GPS locator to find a stolen Vanagon
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erste
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 14, 2020 1:39 pm    Post subject: Re: GPS locator to find a stolen Vanagon Reply with quote

cmayna wrote:

erste,
I was not too serious about someone just "touching" the vw. I get a text each time the door is opened. I get a notice in 30+ seconds.

nice! Thatís a quick notification.
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dobryan
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 14, 2020 2:12 pm    Post subject: Re: GPS locator to find a stolen Vanagon Reply with quote

Merian wrote:
If I put my old deactivated iPhone in my van, can I still use the Find My Iphone app to get the location?


Does that work now to find the deactivated iphone?
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MD>Canada>AK>WA>OR>CA>AZ>UT>WY>SD
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=620646

Building a bus for travel in Europe (euroBus)
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=695371

The West Coast Westy
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=746794
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stuzbot
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 14, 2020 4:19 pm    Post subject: Re: GPS locator to find a stolen Vanagon Reply with quote

I thought I'd participated in this thread before, but I can't find my post. So maybe not.

For what it's worth, I bought a no-brand SIM-card based tracker for under £20 a couple of years back and stashed it in my van, wired into the leisure battery.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B078KTKQ79

It works the same as others that previous posters have mentioned: I send it a code by SMS and it replies with an SMS, giving me its current co-ordinates.

I really can't see why you need anything more than that and my mind boggles at people paying more on a monthly subscription than I paid outright for the device, just to have some 3rd party company do the tracking for you.

The trickiest part [at least in UK] is finding a SIM where the credit doesn't expire. I use a PAYG one from GiffGaff:

https://www.giffgaff.com/free-sim-cards

...on which the credit doesn't expire as long as you use the SIM onece every 6 months. So twice a year I have to text my van [costs me 5p] and get its location. I put £5 credit on the SIM over 2 years ago and I've still not used it all.
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cmayna
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 14, 2020 6:16 pm    Post subject: Re: GPS locator to find a stolen Vanagon Reply with quote

Another feature that many use with FIN is that you can create a GEOFENCE which basically tells FIN to not bother sending texts if the movement is within the geofence you have created. Meaning, if you don't want to be bothered by a text for each time you touch/open your rig while it is in your driveway you can create this geofence telling the system to ignore any movement to your rig while it resides in this fenced off area. Otherwise, as soon as your rig leaves the geofence boundaries, you will get a text. Maybe other tracking aps have this feature as well.
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 14, 2020 8:32 pm    Post subject: Re: GPS locator to find a stolen Vanagon Reply with quote

stuzbot wrote:
I thought I'd participated in this thread before, but I can't find my post. So maybe not.

For what it's worth, I bought a no-brand SIM-card based tracker for under £20 a couple of years back and stashed it in my van, wired into the leisure battery.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B078KTKQ79

It works the same as others that previous posters have mentioned: I send it a code by SMS and it replies with an SMS, giving me its current co-ordinates.

I really can't see why you need anything more than that and my mind boggles at people paying more on a monthly subscription than I paid outright for the device, just to have some 3rd party company do the tracking for you.

The trickiest part [at least in UK] is finding a SIM where the credit doesn't expire. I use a PAYG one from GiffGaff:

https://www.giffgaff.com/free-sim-cards

...on which the credit doesn't expire as long as you use the SIM onece every 6 months. So twice a year I have to text my van [costs me 5p] and get its location. I put £5 credit on the SIM over 2 years ago and I've still not used it all.


Do you have a better link? This shows as unavailable.

This is exactly what I am looking for for my euro bus!
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https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=620646

Building a bus for travel in Europe (euroBus)
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=695371

The West Coast Westy
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=746794
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stuzbot
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2020 2:08 am    Post subject: Re: GPS locator to find a stolen Vanagon Reply with quote

cmayna wrote:
Another feature that many use with FIN is that you can create a GEOFENCE which basically tells FIN to not bother sending texts if the movement is within the geofence you have created ... Maybe other tracking aps have this feature as well.


Yes. That cheapo SIMcard one I bought has similar functions: By default it comes setup so that it will SMS you its location every 30 seconds --which was a bit daft, as I started receiving text after text, as soon as I activated it, until I sussed out how to change the settings.

It also has the 'fence' feature, where it'll alert you if the van has moved by a certain amount [100m, if I remember correctly]

And, finally, the setting I've got it on, where it will wait for you to query it first [via SMS] and then respond with its current co-ordinates. Which is a lot easier on the SIM credit.


dobryan wrote:

Do you have a better link? This shows as unavailable.

This is exactly what I am looking for for my euro bus!


Weird. It seems to be unavailable at that URL for m now, too. But I can see it listed as available on this one:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Likorlove-Tracker-Vehicles-Realtime-Tracking/dp/B07KRB6X7C

BTW: If you do decide to buy one of those SIM based trackers, make sure to reconfigure it before sticking it in your van and walking away [as so many of the one-star reviewers on Amazon seem to have done]. Otherwise it'll burn through your data in no time.

I've just found the text of a review I wrote on it for Amazon [along with a couple of useful responses from others] in which I set out some of the configuration options. I'll not post it here, as this is going to end up looking like an advert, if i do. But, for reference, it's here:

https://pastebin.com/SbyisQCM
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2020 5:16 am    Post subject: Re: GPS locator to find a stolen Vanagon Reply with quote

Sounds like a nice option for areas that have consistent cell coverage. At least here in the states there are still many areas that have little to no cell coverage, especially in wilderness areas off the beaten path. A gps locator can locate the van where cell coverage is week. I guess this is the appeal of a gps locator verses one that operates off of cellular signal.
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2020 6:37 am    Post subject: Re: GPS locator to find a stolen Vanagon Reply with quote

Multiman mv wrote:
Sounds like a nice option for areas that have consistent cell coverage...


Good point. I just tend to assume *everyone* has a mobile signal these days as that's pretty much the case over this side of the pond now.

There were times, maybe 5 or more years ago where I'd not be able to get a signal in remote spots in Ireland or Scotland. But, for the most part, I can usually get some kind of signal --even if it's a pretty intermittent weak one-- pretty much everywhere now.

Also, with regard to this particular gadget, I think my van would be far more likely to be stolen from where I live [in a big city] or similar location, where there will always be a good strong signal.

When the van's out in the middle of nowhere, where there might not be a signal, there's hardly anyone else around and I usually have the van in sight, or am inside it. So it's much less likely to get nicked in those areas, in the first place.
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2020 7:43 am    Post subject: Re: GPS locator to find a stolen Vanagon Reply with quote

My locator will send me the location as soon as it acquires a cell signal. So if it is stolen in an area without coverage Iíll get notified eventually.
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MD>Canada>AK>WA>OR>CA>AZ>UT>WY>SD
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=620646

Building a bus for travel in Europe (euroBus)
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=695371

The West Coast Westy
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=746794
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2020 8:16 am    Post subject: Re: GPS locator to find a stolen Vanagon Reply with quote

stuzbot wrote:

Weird. It seems to be unavailable at that URL for m now, too. But I can see it listed as available on this one:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Likorlove-Tracker-Vehicles-Realtime-Tracking/dp/B07KRB6X7C


Does this one work on 3G networks? I cannot find the specs for it.

Some I have seen are 2G only and 2G is being phased out in a lot of places.
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https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=620646

Building a bus for travel in Europe (euroBus)
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=695371

The West Coast Westy
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=746794
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dobryan
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2020 8:35 am    Post subject: Re: GPS locator to find a stolen Vanagon Reply with quote

OK. This activity has got me doing some new research...

PLEASE GO TO PAGE 31 TO SEE WHAT UNIT I AM NOW GOING WITH (TK-419). THIS UNIT IS A 2G/3G UNIT AND I WANT TO USE 4G/LTE SINCE 2G/3G IS BEING PHASED OUT.

IGNORE BELOW......

Looks like I am going to try this unit for my euro bus. Very Happy

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07Z5QX3YN?

And I'll go with a Google Fi data-only SIM as per this helpful comment on the reviews of the unit.

NOT MY REVIEW:
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
This is quite possibly the best, simplest, and smallest GPS tracker. I was looking for one that works with Google Fi data-only SIMs so that I would not incur any additional monthly expenses. In order to get this to work, you will:

- First need a GSM+data SIM to use temporarily to program your devices (I used a SpeedTalk mobile SIM, which you can find for $5 on Amazon and it includes the first month)
- Activate the SpeedTalk SIM online to get a phone number
- Power the SinoTrack with DC power
- Insert this SIM into the SinoTrack, and wait ~30 minutes for it to activate (orange and blue lights turn solid)
- When you are able to call the SinoTrack's phone number and it responds with a SMS of its location, you are good to proceed!
- Go through all of the commands documented in the book that are relevant to you. You will want to disable call mode (SMS only), not set any control numbers, set it to GPRS mode, and change the password and timezone. I also reset the mileage, just in case.
- Set the APN to h2g2 (with no username or password) for Google Fi and be sure to set the IP address and port of SinoTrack's servers
- Once all of your settings have been entered, remove power from the SinoTrack and remove the SIM to turn it off
- Re-attach power and Insert your Google Fi data-only SIM
- Within 30 minutes, it should be trackable from their web interface!
- Cancel your SpeedTalk service plan now that you no longer need it (but keep the SIM card around in case you need to activate the plan again and modify SinoTrack's programming)
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
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'87 Westy w/ 2002 Subaru EJ25 and Peloquin TBD

"To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive." Robert Louis Stevenson

MD>Canada>AK>WA>OR>CA>AZ>UT>WY>SD
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=620646

Building a bus for travel in Europe (euroBus)
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=695371

The West Coast Westy
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=746794


Last edited by dobryan on Tue Nov 17, 2020 8:02 am; edited 3 times in total
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stuzbot
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2020 8:56 am    Post subject: Re: GPS locator to find a stolen Vanagon Reply with quote

dobryan wrote:
...And I'll go with a Google Fi data-only SIM...


Will that still work, while your van is in Europe? We don't have Google Fi over here [as far as I know].

Those Google Fi monthly fees seem quite high to me. When you could just get a PAYG SIM card when you arrive in Europe [most telephone co.s will send you a PAYG SIM for free, or you can pick one up in a supermarket for a few pennies]. Then you could stick Ä5 or Ä10 credit on it, which would likely last you several months, as long as you weren't getting the tracker to ping you constantly.
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2020 9:20 am    Post subject: Re: GPS locator to find a stolen Vanagon Reply with quote

I have been well satisfied with tk317s but they are 2G. The newest tk419 is a full featured global 2G, 3G, 4G, LTE tracker for about $90 delivered, i have one on order.
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2020 10:55 am    Post subject: Re: GPS locator to find a stolen Vanagon Reply with quote

I'm not associated with this in any way other than seeing the post on a Vanagon fb page...

Here's a new tracking product built by a Vanagon owner. 4G, gps tracker, remote kill switch via cell service (if I read it correctly)...

https://www.thevantracker.com/?fbclid=IwAR1Pvv2xWwciUD5jDhpxWMoC1xmoGjCCUWyPx_2lL4z1p499DdeCPWwiKEU

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL8jriUZHZDEcFTrur6iq2xOjVX0ak21vv
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2020 11:12 am    Post subject: Re: GPS locator to find a stolen Vanagon Reply with quote

stuzbot wrote:
dobryan wrote:
...And I'll go with a Google Fi data-only SIM...


Will that still work, while your van is in Europe? We don't have Google Fi over here [as far as I know].

Those Google Fi monthly fees seem quite high to me. When you could just get a PAYG SIM card when you arrive in Europe [most telephone co.s will send you a PAYG SIM for free, or you can pick one up in a supermarket for a few pennies]. Then you could stick Ä5 or Ä10 credit on it, which would likely last you several months, as long as you weren't getting the tracker to ping you constantly.


Hmm. I'll have to see about the monthly cost for an account. That would be a deal breaker most likely.

I think as long as you open your account in the USA it can be used in Europe. Google Fi shares cell towers with the major providers. They do not have there own network of towers.

And if it does not work out then I can do exactly what you recommend with the SIM card.

Are the SIM cards in Europe good in all countries or are they specific to a region?
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MD>Canada>AK>WA>OR>CA>AZ>UT>WY>SD
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=620646

Building a bus for travel in Europe (euroBus)
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=695371

The West Coast Westy
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=746794
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2020 11:55 am    Post subject: Re: GPS locator to find a stolen Vanagon Reply with quote

dobryan wrote:

Are the SIM cards in Europe good in all countries or are they specific to a region?


You can use them throughout Europe. Calls and SMS used to cost lots more when you were in a different country from the one in which the SIM was based [called roaming charges]. These were ridiculously high --like 50p per text vs. 10p per text when using a UK SIM in other European countries and similarly eye-watering charges per minute for phone calls.

However, the EU has recently ruled that providers aren't allowed to charge more for using your SIM outside your home country, so roaming charges are no longer a problem:

https://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/consumers/internet-telecoms/mobile-roaming-costs/index_en.htm

I don't now how likely it is that Brexit will affect this with regards to continuing to be able to use UK SIMs at not extra cost throughout Europe. But, just to be sure, you'd probably be better off buying a SIM from one of the other EU countries, if you end up having to get one.
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2020 11:58 am    Post subject: Re: GPS locator to find a stolen Vanagon Reply with quote

stuzbot wrote:
dobryan wrote:

Are the SIM cards in Europe good in all countries or are they specific to a region?


You can use them throughout Europe. Calls and SMS used to cost lots more when you were in a different country from the one in which the SIM was based [called roaming charges]. These were ridiculously high --like 50p per text vs. 10p per text when using a UK SIM in other European countries and similarly eye-watering charges per minute for phone calls.

However, the EU has recently ruled that providers aren't allowed to charge more for using your SIM outside your home country, so roaming charges are no longer a problem:

https://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/consumers/internet-telecoms/mobile-roaming-costs/index_en.htm

I don't now how likely it is that Brexit will affect this with regards to continuing to be able to use UK SIMs at not extra cost throughout Europe. But, just to be sure, you'd probably be better off buying a SIM from one of the other EU countries, if you end up having to get one.


Thank you very much for that clarification!
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MD>Canada>AK>WA>OR>CA>AZ>UT>WY>SD
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=620646

Building a bus for travel in Europe (euroBus)
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=695371

The West Coast Westy
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=746794
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2020 5:08 pm    Post subject: Re: GPS locator to find a stolen Vanagon Reply with quote

I have not read the entire topic.
Has it been discussed that different regions of the world use different and incompatible frequency bands. Not many trackers are "global" ie useable everywhere.
The tk419 is "global" is the one you are considering global?
We pay USMobile less than $10 per month for service, there are no other fees for the "tk" series of trackers.
Last Word.
2G AND 3G are both being discontinued in the US to make room for 5G. In some areas of the US they have already been discontinued. Most all will be by Dec 2021. The same situation in Europe but 2G may outlive 3G in some areas. So 2G and 3G devices are basically door stops by Jan 2022
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2020 5:31 pm    Post subject: Re: GPS locator to find a stolen Vanagon Reply with quote

dgbeatty wrote:
I have not read the entire topic.
Has it been discussed that different regions of the world use different and incompatible frequency bands. Not many trackers are "global" ie useable everywhere.
The tk419 is "global" is the one you are considering global?
We pay USMobile less than $10 per month for service, there are no other fees for the "tk" series of trackers.
Last Word.
2G AND 3G are both being discontinued in the US to make room for 5G. In some areas of the US they have already been discontinued. Most all will be by Dec 2021. The same situation in Europe but 2G may outlive 3G in some areas. So 2G and 3G devices are basically door stops by Jan 2022


For travel in Europe I should be fine with standard cellular service. It is pretty ubiquitous everywhere.

And yes on the phase out of 2G/3G. I realized that the unit I speced is 3G which will be a problem.

Hmm. Can you post a link to the latest tk419? I searched Amazon and it did not show up.
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MD>Canada>AK>WA>OR>CA>AZ>UT>WY>SD
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=620646

Building a bus for travel in Europe (euroBus)
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=695371

The West Coast Westy
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=746794
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2020 6:12 pm    Post subject: Re: GPS locator to find a stolen Vanagon Reply with quote

A Amazon link is. is.gd/tME7Cj. This a link to the manufacturer. is.gd/vbiRUY. . The seemingly endless variants available is typical for a global product. The variant sold thru Amazon appears to have the most desireable mix of options, we will see in a couple of weeks.
My current thinking is to simply move my sim card to the new device for testing of the GSM and to then a new LTE sim. As I understand it the device with search for LTE and work its way down to 2G as necessary to have the best possible coverage.

BTW what frequency bands do you need for your travels? This a short and sweet list. is.gd/6DF9o0 . Note that they are different from the US if I am reading it correctly.
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