SMS007 Tracker Review

Discussion in 'Motorhome Security' started by journeyman, Mar 21, 2013.

  1. journeyman

    journeyman Read Only Funster

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    Thought some members may find this useful, which is a review on a GPS tracker I've just purchased. My motorhome is parked in a yard a few doors from me and I wanted to ensure I would be the first to know if it was getting interfered with. I know some members don't see the point, but for me its piece of mind.

    My requirements were that I wanted a British supplied tracker, with long battery life, self monitored, software that was compatible with Mac OS and inexpensive to purchase and run.

    The tracker is from a British company called www.absolute-tracking.com based near Luton. They had a deal on ebay, offering a GPS tracking unit(Model SMS007) for £119. Its a self monitoring device, that has the ability to send an SMS message to your mobile phone if any movement on your vehicle is detected. You then log onto their server and track it via GPS. Access to the server is free for the first year, then £24.99 per annum there after. The device is factory fitted with a Lebara PAYG simcard, this costs 5p per text and works abroad(you can request other providers). The only other cost is for your Poll credits. The company provide 35 polls at the point of purchase. Overall if the device works it has the potential to be cost effective. The device is just smaller than a credit card, its waterproof and has 4 magnets for attaching. Its powered by a lithium battery.

    The company claims that the device has a battery standby time of 15 days when set to "Setshock3" mode. This means the unit is effectively asleep, drawing minimal power and will only fire up when the vehicle moves. My thinking was I could recharge every 7 days. This way I can conceal it away from the obvious power sources, I would also have enough power to track it.

    You send it commands to the device using SMS from your mobile. The unit sends you a reply SMS telling you that it has complied with your instruction. It also includes the battery power percentage in the message. You track the device using your PC/laptop/3g Phone.

    I received the device by Royal Mail, some 20hrs after ordering. I did have a problem with the charging unit, so I phoned the company who promptly offered a replacement by post. Customer service at this stage seems ok

    The set up procedure is fairly straight forward. The user interface and mapping appears to be clear and simple. I charged the device for 4hrs(mains/12v or laptop).

    Then after setting it up, I popped it into the car. SWMBO then drove to Sainsburys, about 3 mile away. I clicked "Poll" and got a fix at the supermarket. Whilst she was in the store, I sent a command to the device setting it to "Setshock3" It responded "Set Shock & Move Alarm OK Battery 100%." When SWMBO got back into the vehicle and drove off, I received an SMS stating "SHOCKALARM Battery 100%" This is the device basically telling me the vehicle has moved.

    So it does work, I like what I see so far. Especially the SMS interaction. The next stage will be to get an idea of the battery life. Also I need to find a place on the van where I can conceal it, which allows it good GPS coverage and where I can easily remove to recharge. I would be interested in hearing from other members who also have this product.

    Thanks

    Jmn
     

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    Last edited: Mar 21, 2013
  2. journeyman

    journeyman Read Only Funster

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    Update.

    Getting on with the unit pretty well. On the Shock(movement) Alarm aspect. I've concealed the unit within the van. On a test I entered the van through the side door, picked up an item, then left closing the side door. I received the "Shock Alarm" sms message within 30 secs. The SMS interface is very good and easy to understand.

    Batteries: its been operating for 3 days and is at 70% full. Obviously every time I send a command to the unit it causes some power drain, so without the testing etc, it would give back a higher percentage reading. Overall i'm very happy with the unit, it gives me piece of mind and it works well. The UK supplier is responsive to its customers, so at the price I paid i'm happy. I think I will get an electrician to have a look and identify a live feed that would be possible to run it off.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2013
  3. electricscott

    electricscott Funster

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    thanks for the review, do you know if it is approved by insurance companies and do they do a life time fee?
     
  4. rainbow chasers

    rainbow chasers Read Only Funster

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    These type are tracked by yourself - you buy credits to access your 'airtime' They are entry level, and designed more for asset tracking/spy market. Useful for people to keep an eye for their own comfort and peace of mind, but falls short with insurers/police. Doesn't make it a bad choice by any means - but depends on what you want from the system.

    Think of it as a an off the shelf wireless house alarm that shouts and screams, and one that is hard wired and is monitored by the alarm company. They both do the job, just one does it slightly better, recognised, and will have the police rushing to your door, but costs more.

    In order to be insurance approved they need to be hard wired, be tracked by a tracking company and be accessible by the Police. Though you could tell the police exactly where your vehicle is - could be in a barn you are standing next to - they cannot do anything about it. Seen this happen before with a similar system - they only accept approved systems as being 'reliable' to warrant entry of premises.

    A decent system will knock you back around £299 with £350 tracked for life europe wide (or £130 a year) which allows a tracking agent and you to track your vehicle. I believe their is a deal MHF have with another system (through eddievanbitz?) which works out slightly cheaper for the same deal with a funster discount.
     
  5. Bollard

    Bollard Funster

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    Tracker Review

    I have recently purchased the appelloGEO. Its the latest piece of kit approved by 'The Camping and Caravanning Club'. If you log on to 'Club Secure' section of the 'Camping and Caravanning Club it is pretty extensive on detail. It is based on ground-based radio signals and does not rely on GPS signals which are not as reliable. This is the latest technology! It is 'Diamond Secure' the highest rating given for this type of equipment and undergone extensive trials. No wires and can be moved to any vehicle. A big plus is the company (human beings) do all the tracking and recovery for you!! Battery power for 1 year plus. It tells you when the unit needs charging. Includes Europe. It is more expensive but discounts through the CCClub bring the price down both on the unit and your insurance ie Discounts 10% for motorhomes. Loads of trackers around . . . take your pick. I think at the end of the day you get what you pay for and with cheaper alternatives the professional thieves know what they are doing so you need to make life as difficult as possible for them!! :thumb:
     
  6. eddievanbitz

    eddievanbitz Trader - Funster

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    Excellent post Jmn, well written and explained. This is another example of "self tracked systems" is this another excellent little beastie

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Realtime-Mini-Personal-GPS-Tracker-GSM-Car-Tracking-Spy-Bug-/230674079354

    Under £50 and includes the software to track your self as well as receive SMS messages so no yearly subscriptions

    With Cat Five tracking systems costing about £700 - £800 and Cat Six starting around £200'ish mark you will save money, but as Jmn states they will not be acceptable to insurers. So no suitable for those owners of more expensive motorhomes where a recognised, tracking system is often a condition of insurance.

    The more vehicles that have racking devices the harder it becomes to steal:thumb:

    Eddie
     
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  7. journeyman

    journeyman Read Only Funster

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    Sorry about the late response Eddie, 'i've only just picked up on your comments. That unit you've flagged up looks good value, especially if you have the knowledge to hard wire it and the in-veh microphone is a bonus. Potential purchasers need to check that the software is compatible with Mac OS if that is their computer of choice.

    In my force area, most high value veh thefts are via burglaries or hook and cane, where the keys are stolen, normally they target flash cars. The thieves then normally drive the vehicle to a public access car park not covered by CCTV and leave the veh to soak. If its left alone for for a day or so, they will assume its not fitted with a tracker and continue to process the vehicle. So its that soak period where the tracker will potentially reunite you with your pride and joy. I'm aware of an incident similar to the above in my own force area in the last 3 months. The police logged on to the victims tracker account and located the vehicle. For a relatively low cost, its another tool in protecting your van.

    Don't necessarily believe all the "police supported" hype about monitored systems. If your vehicle is stolen and you tell the police where it is i'm pretty sure they will respond, certainly in my force area thats the case. From my own experience, even if its druggies rolling along in your 1995 Vauxhall Nova you'll get a response. Appreciate it might be different in areas of large population.

    Update: I had a problem charging the unit. Spoke to the owner of the company and it was replaced within 48hrs.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2013
  8. journeyman

    journeyman Read Only Funster

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    Looks like a good bit of kit Bollard. Fantastic battery life! Also advertised on Amazon at £418 including 12 months finder service. [ame="http://www.amazon.co.uk/AppelloGEO-Indoor-Outdoor-Protection-Tracking/dp/B009ZWXQ1Y"]AppelloGEO Indoor / Outdoor Theft Protection Tracking: Amazon.co.uk: Electronics[/ame]

    I have previous experience of radio trackers, i'm assuming nationally they've tracking beacons fitted on existing TV masts etc, otherwise in remote hilly areas without GSM coverage they might struggle to locate the device without GPS. Unless the tech has moved on considerably in the last 5 years? :thumb:
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2013
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  9. journeyman

    journeyman Read Only Funster

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    Update

    Two nights ago at 12:30am, we had our first "Alarm SMS" from the tracker unit within the van. Myself and the Missus(she likes a fight...she's Irish!) were piling into the yard within about 5 mins. Had a good look around, nothing to be seen. Anyway went back to bed thinking one of two options:

    1. Technical error with the software

    2. Local thieves(druggies), giving the vehicle a firm push to see if its alarmed.

    Next day, I discovered that 20 mins after the tracker alarm initiated, a lady in a nearby cottage had disturbed two guys trying to break into her house along the same 300m stretch of road of village road.

    The following night an attempt was made to get into my daughters Focus, which was parked on the drive.

    Today we're having a Cobra alarm fitted.

    So the tracker unit's doing its job. What i'm after now is prevention. So hopefully all stickered up and a flashing led will persuade them to move on. If they don't, they may have an introduction to the Missus and her hockey stick "Henry" !
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2013
  10. Reallyretired

    Reallyretired Funster

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    I have one of the cheap (under £50) fitted and seems to work fine . It is wired to a permanently live so is charging all the time. It doesn't give any discount on insurance, as it is self tracking, but gives a degree of peace of mind as my storage place is 15 miles away. If moved it sends a text, with a link to google maps so you can see where it is.
     
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  11. jhorsf

    jhorsf Read Only Funster

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  12. journeyman

    journeyman Read Only Funster

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