Advice on GPS Trackers

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
Ehi
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Joined: 5 May 2020, 11:56am

Advice on GPS Trackers

Postby Ehi » 13 Jun 2020, 5:06pm

hi guys
I have a gps tracker in my car which works well, it comes with an O2 sim and subscription from the manufacturers and I am happy with, however its a square shaped and does not work with bikes (It has 2 backup batteries, which lasts for about a day, I think)

I am looking to get one for my bike and cant seem to find a hidden/secret one.

I have even looked at this site, which seem to have some but quite expensive https://www.cyclist.co.uk/buying-guides ... e-trackers


any pointers or user experience ? would be appreciated

E

Cavemud
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Joined: 16 Feb 2009, 10:02pm

Re: Advice on GPS Trackers

Postby Cavemud » 13 Jun 2020, 5:30pm

Hi there

I've tried a couple:

If you go on amazon and search 'Jiadi GPS mini tracker'. There are lots of people selling this product under different names. Battery life was about three days and location was reliable, but based on cell Mast location only, NOT GPS despite is saying GPS on the side. Cell Mast location was accurate to within about 600m, which was next to useless in a city. The small size meant it could easily be hidden somewhere on a touring bike and charged from the dynamo, but I never bothered for 600m accuracy.

I also tried Spytrack Nano. This is slightly bigger so harder to hide on a bike I stuffed mine in an old inner tube and zip tied under the BB. It gave alerts when disturbed and when moved and tracked to within metres. Battery life was about a week. I was pretty confident I'd found a solution, and on day three when I looked at the App to find my tracker was last located halfway along my commute, I initially assumed it had fallen off the bike. Sadly it turned out that it had just stopped tracking. A reboot sorted it, but I found this subsequently happened too frequently to be reliable, and the size of the unit made it fairly likely a theif would spot it.

I'm really interested in the various models that go in the bar ends or stem, but I researched extensively and they all had terrible reviews.

It frustrates me that the technology exists for highly reliable tracking with small form factor (many phones) but nobody has succeeded in transferring this technology to bikes.

I wish you luck in finding a solution, and would be very interested to hear if you do.

Ian

Vitara
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Joined: 12 Feb 2014, 11:18pm

Re: Advice on GPS Trackers

Postby Vitara » 13 Jun 2020, 8:07pm

I use a Vodafone V Multi Tracker, in my case so my minder knows where I am, especially on Night Riders.

After initial purchase it costs £2/month. Charge lasts about 4 days. I've had it a year, take it with me on all my rides & have been happy with it.

It's currently on special offer at £22.50

https://eshop.v.vodafone.com/uk/v-multi ... av~1~1~5~3

Grandad
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Location: Kent

Re: Advice on GPS Trackers

Postby Grandad » 13 Jun 2020, 8:33pm

I've used social media to follow several place to place records where a very detailed tracker has been displayed so there must be something out there

ChrisF
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Re: Advice on GPS Trackers

Postby ChrisF » 13 Jun 2020, 8:53pm

Vitara wrote:I use a Vodafone V Multi Tracker, in my case so my minder knows where I am, especially on Night Riders.
After initial purchase it costs £2/month. Charge lasts about 4 days. I've had it a year, take it with me on all my rides & have been happy with it.
It's currently on special offer at £22.50

This looks interesting. I can't find anything on their website about the battery. Is it a coincell which needs replacing evry 2-3 days, or is it rechargable?
Chris F, Cornwall

Vitara
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Re: Advice on GPS Trackers

Postby Vitara » 13 Jun 2020, 9:22pm

ChrisF wrote:
Vitara wrote:I use a Vodafone V Multi Tracker, in my case so my minder knows where I am, especially on Night Riders.
After initial purchase it costs £2/month. Charge lasts about 4 days. I've had it a year, take it with me on all my rides & have been happy with it.
It's currently on special offer at £22.50

This looks interesting. I can't find anything on their website about the battery. Is it a coincell which needs replacing evry 2-3 days, or is it rechargable?


It's USB rechargeable, full charge lasts up to 4 days. This will b dependent on how often you set it to send your location. Default is every 15 minutes, I have it set for every 10 minutes & charge it 3vry few days or before long rides.

millimole
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Joined: 18 Feb 2007, 5:41pm
Location: Leicester

Re: Advice on GPS Trackers

Postby millimole » 14 Jun 2020, 7:46am

Grandad wrote:I've used social media to follow several place to place records where a very detailed tracker has been displayed so there must be something out there
There's a feature of the Ride With GPS app, and of some Lezyne GPS units - it's possible to allow others to follow you by interrogating the recorded route on the associated phone.
As I understand it, this isn't what the OP is asking for.
I guess the problem with this use case is the combination of keeping the device powered up, and keeping it hidden in the frame.
Leicester; Riding my Hetchins since 1971; Audaxing on my Dawes; Riding to work on a Decathlon Hoprider

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Si
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Re: Advice on GPS Trackers

Postby Si » 14 Jun 2020, 9:56am

We had dynamo powered GPS trackers in many of the bikes that we gave away free to people in deprived communities. The main reason was to track bike usage to make sure people were making them most of their free bikes, and to also use the data to work out where people rode so as to better target infra provision. However they were also used to hunt down stolen bikes. We had a few successes however one issue that we found was that if the stolen bike was taken into a flat or similar multi occupied building the tracker wasn't accurate enough to work out which property the bike was in, and without this info the police couldn't do anything. So before investing be aware that they are not yet perfect.

Ehi
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Joined: 5 May 2020, 11:56am

Re: Advice on GPS Trackers

Postby Ehi » 16 Jun 2020, 10:55pm

thanks Guys
Cavemud wrote:Hi there

If you go on amazon and search 'Jiadi GPS mini tracker'. There are lots of people selling this product under different names.

I also tried Spytrack Nano. This is slightly bigger so harder to hide on a bike



thanks, I seen a few e.g

https://gear-tech.co.uk/products/mini-r ... tkQAvD_BwE

I have also looked at the vodafone product

https://eshop.v.vodafone.com/uk/v-multi ... ps-tracker


I cant find a bespoke bike one, so i might try this for £6.99, as with that price and seller's rating, I have nothing much to lose

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Mini-GPS-Tra ... 1111.m2109

Colin Grigson
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Joined: 14 Jun 2020, 12:32pm

Re: Advice on GPS Trackers

Postby Colin Grigson » 17 Jun 2020, 5:29am

I just bought one last week and it works perfectly - deigned specifically for bike use too and didn’t break the bank - try searching for ‘Sigma Pure GPS’.

gregoryoftours
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Re: Advice on GPS Trackers

Postby gregoryoftours » 18 Jun 2020, 10:48pm

Ehi wrote:

I cant find a bespoke bike one, so i might try this for £6.99, as with that price and seller's rating, I have nothing much to lose




Description reads "Perfect for tracking vehicles, teens, spouses, elderly persons or assets." Ha ha!

We had a contract for a fleet of loan bikes and used a company called redweb tracking. Between the cost of the device and the subscription it would have been way cheaper to suck up the loss of the few bikes that went missing. The tracking was accurate to within maybe a 20 to 30m radius which isn't much good in a built up area, the police wouldn't act on information that vague, even to go and ask around.

The trackers were fitted to e-bikes, and the integrated cache batteries were wired up to the main battery so got a top up whenever the bike was on, but still ran out of signal after a couple of days of idle time. Don't often get a signal if the bike is indoors either.

It helped in one case where a bike ended up on a farm in Wales. We actually recovered that one. And we can still see that another of our bikes is getting plenty of use on a street in a one horse town in Slovakia.

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Sweep
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Re: Advice on GPS Trackers

Postby Sweep » 19 Jun 2020, 8:48am

Vitara wrote:I use a Vodafone V Multi Tracker, in my case so my minder knows where I am, especially on Night Riders.

After initial purchase it costs £2/month. Charge lasts about 4 days. I've had it a year, take it with me on all my rides & have been happy with it.

It's currently on special offer at £22.50

https://eshop.v.vodafone.com/uk/v-multi ... av~1~1~5~3

Looks interesting indeed, though i assume it has a built-in non swappable battery and am always wary of such things.
Sweep

ChrisF
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Joined: 22 Mar 2014, 7:34pm

Re: Advice on GPS Trackers

Postby ChrisF » 19 Jun 2020, 12:51pm

One thing to bear in mind with any tracker is the availabily of useful SIMs. Some trackers (the cheaper ones?) work on 2G signals (rather than 3G or 4G) and many new SIMS don't support that any longer. OTOH many service providers don't any longer provide a SIM which, having been topped up, will last for longer than a month. So you may get stuck with a £10 a month SIM charge just to keep your tracker going. The Vodaone V system mentioned above appears to solve the problem by only charging £2 a month, but Vodafone was one company that arbitrarily stopped top-ups lasting more than a month, thus making useless the vehicle tracker that I had been using it in. If somebody knows of a SIM that works on 2G and will last for several months on one topup, please let me know!
Chris F, Cornwall

Vitara
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Joined: 12 Feb 2014, 11:18pm

Re: Advice on GPS Trackers

Postby Vitara » 19 Jun 2020, 2:53pm

Sweep wrote:
Vitara wrote:I use a Vodafone V Multi Tracker, in my case so my minder knows where I am, especially on Night Riders.

After initial purchase it costs £2/month. Charge lasts about 4 days. I've had it a year, take it with me on all my rides & have been happy with it.

It's currently on special offer at £22.50

https://eshop.v.vodafone.com/uk/v-multi ... av~1~1~5~3

Looks interesting indeed, though i assume it has a built-in non swappable battery and am always wary of such things.


Yes it is built in rechargeable. I've been using it for 18 months and battery life is still good.

If the battery fails at some future date, which it probably will, I'll open it up and see if the battery can be replaced.

If not I expect it could be used connected to a USB power bank, but the price is low enough that I'll just buy a replacement tracker.