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  • Nice and cost-effective, but limited

    posted by ewinters on 09/10/2010
    3

    Involvement:Expert (understands the inner workings) - Ownership:1 week to 1 month

    Pros:

    It works, most of the time.

    Very cheap, specially considering other alarms and professional tracking services.

    Hability to report position through SMS or internet (I'm using Orange's website gps-trace).

    Hability to set-up emergency button (wich sends SMS to pre-configured numbers).

    Hability to set-up power-cut function (blocking your vehicle).

    Cons:

    The google-translated manual can make tough men cry. Incomplete and confusing. Worth googling for other online versions of similar equipment (like "TheDoberman).

    Easily hackeable by someone who knows the phone number attached to the device (I'm considering not keeping the number stored in my mobile memory, in case it is stolen, even though I'd also have to keep deleting messages exchanged with the device).

    Minimum position sampling time of 10 seconds (I'm using the most extreme configuration, 10 sec. each position and 1 minute upload interval).

    If fails to upload, those 6 points taken during the 1 minute interval are lost, meaning occasional gaps on your track.

    SMS-only interaction, does not accept configuration over the internet.

    Mine is not accepting calls (its supposed to answer, hang-up, and send you an SMS with current position).

    History function (supposedly able to keep around 4000 points) not functional. It confirms "history upload" but the tracking website does nothing.

    OtherThoughts:

    Not waterproof from factory (fixed with a plastic bag and silvertape). Should be waterproof and smaller (it's slightly smaller than a cigarrete box).

    Doesn't feel absolutely reliable (I'm getting gaps in 40% of the track).

    Impossible to update firmware.

    To test the device at your desktop, with a 12V source, don't forget to connect the green wire, wich tells the device that the ignition of your motorcycle/car is ON.

    For Brazilian users: does not work with VIVO operator. I'm using a prepaid TIM chip that will cost me R$ 15,00 per month, without considering the SMS fee, around R$ 0,35 each.

    Bottomline:

    If you're looking for a security device for your motorcycle/car, this may be the best option at this price. Every vehicle should have one.

    For me, still not a replacement for the insurance.

    I would rather pay twice or three the value to get a pro and smooth running device, capable of configuration over the internet, but those are very hard to find. If you know were to get one, please tell.

    Don't buy if you're not tech savy (like if you couldn't program your vcr to record or if you take more than 1 minute at the ATM).

    I've spent dozens of SMSs until it finally worked (about 5 are necessary).

    Now I can check the current position of my motorcycle even on my mobile. \o/

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