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Track your stolen car *without* a GPS.

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  • Track your stolen car *without* a GPS.

    I don't know if this would work in the US:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/g2/story/0,,1699080,00.html

    All you'd need is a phone secreted somewhere in the car. Probably pay as you go would work to keep costs down. And there you go.

    None of this complicated using your GPS and somehow uploading it via war driving connections to wireless networks. Much simpler and probably more than accurate enough to track down a stolen car...
    Progress: 80% - Permanent install left.
    Motion LS800 Tablet PC and dock.
    Vista, Bu-535 GPS, RoadRunner, MPT2006.

  • #2
    Now we just need to track down the unnamed website...
    Progress: 80% - Permanent install left.
    Motion LS800 Tablet PC and dock.
    Vista, Bu-535 GPS, RoadRunner, MPT2006.

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    • #3
      I have tried this along time ago, 2 years ago perhaps.

      There is like a demo that when you txt their number it will reply back saying where you are.

      As far as I remember the accuracy is about 1 mile, that kinda puts me off.

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      • #4
        The article doesn't really say how accurate it is. The only reference is that the map puts the phone '100 yards from our home'. That's a lot better than a mile but we don't know how consistently it is.

        Being able to get within 100 yards of my stolen car would make me happy...
        Progress: 80% - Permanent install left.
        Motion LS800 Tablet PC and dock.
        Vista, Bu-535 GPS, RoadRunner, MPT2006.

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        • #5
          Accuracy of mobile phone tracking will vary depending upon the number of mobile phone masts in the area of the phone. In central city areas accuracy can be within 100 meters, whilst in rural areas accuracy can reduce up to 10 kilometres, particularly where the mobile phone signal strength is poor. This is the same for all mobile phone tracking solutions.

          Upto 10Km is way too much.

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          • #6
            I <3


            http://www.followus.co.uk/
            http://www.mobilelocate.co.uk/

            Let me know if you find a US site.
            freak3dot - Computer Science Degree
            ---------------------------------
            1994 Chevy Cavalier

            Phase 1 parts purchased.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by freak3dot


              Thats where I got the info from.

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              • #8
                How about using gps and a cellphone, and having the cellphone sms or page the GPS co-ords.
                Hey Laserlips, your momma was a snowblower!!

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                • #9
                  this method would replace the need of the extra effort......for fairly cheap
                  PC Components:
                  Lilliput; XPC/FLEX mobo; 1.7 ghz P4 Mobile;512 DDR; 160 gb HDD; opus 150; slot usb dvd-rw
                  My work log

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by adaminc
                    How about using gps and a cellphone, and having the cellphone sms or page the GPS co-ords.
                    I looked into that. The amount of effort involved to get that to happen is pretty huge without the computer on. With the computer on it's actually pretty simple for many phones. I found I could easily connect to my phone over a serial connection and tell it send sms messages. So having the text being the GPS coordinates would be very easy to write a program to do (it's probably even possible to do from a script!). But the computer would have to be on. At the time I didn't have mine set up to automatically turn on/off using a shutdown controller. Now I do so the only additional cost over just 'locating' the phone would be the cost of large numbers of sms messages. T-Mobile doesn't make that cheap.
                    Progress: 80% - Permanent install left.
                    Motion LS800 Tablet PC and dock.
                    Vista, Bu-535 GPS, RoadRunner, MPT2006.

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                    • #11
                      I did consider having it set up so you could sms the phone and have the computer respond with the GPS coordinates. Then it's a when-needed system. You'd just have to hope it was still working when you needed it!
                      Progress: 80% - Permanent install left.
                      Motion LS800 Tablet PC and dock.
                      Vista, Bu-535 GPS, RoadRunner, MPT2006.

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                      • #12
                        I looked into it, and the amount of effort involved, at least for me, doesnt seem like it would be that much. It would take 1 microcontroller, one that has 2 serial ports, then all you would need is a GPS that had a serial interface, and most phones I know of have data ports and have serial networking.

                        So you program the microcontroller to read the NMEA data from the GPS reciever, and at certain intervals it would parse and transmit that data to the cellphone, where a program that could easily be written in java would be sitting and waiting for the data, it would then construct a SMS message and send that data to another of the same hardware/software setup which would reverse the process,

                        recieve sms > send to microcontroller > plot on gps

                        sounds simple in theory, probably a lot more work then it seems, and I'm not sure if you can serially plot data onto a GPS.

                        The only major hurdle is what Arathranar said, the cost of SMS messages. But one of the providers in my area (Bell Canada) does offer an Unlimited SMS for $10/month, I dont know if thats a lot because I dont send SMS's, never have.
                        Hey Laserlips, your momma was a snowblower!!

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                        • #13
                          My first post...

                          You guys realize there is already a service out that uses the cell phone network to track your car? It's called boomerang... a Canadian company. check out their website: http://www.boomerangtracking.com

                          Had a car stolen (towed away) around a month ago, since then I've been looking into different tracking systems for my own car... this seems to be the best one so far, but I'm still researching.

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                          • #14
                            Yeah I know there are already services, but for some reason, I like to do things the hard way, lol, and I just recently found out that for $5/month, Bell Canada has an unlimited mobile browsing plan, so I could surf the net for $5/month, which means I could easily modify the system I mentioned before to use the internet instead of sms, that way the updates could be nearly instant, instead of sms which is queued on the provides sms server, and anyone I wanted could also see where I was by surfing to a webpage that has a google maps based map system on it, or something like it...

                            oh the ideas are flooding in now!
                            Hey Laserlips, your momma was a snowblower!!

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                            • #15
                              Its actually pretty easy to get a phone to use the gps if its one that can run java, it can then respond to an sms or report back at a set interval to any website or by sms with the current position. It doesn't solve the problem that organised theives will have a car in a sheilded warehouse/container pretty quickly in order to block any tracking device.

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