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Best tracker?

Coolcats

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I wonder how many of the companies offering tracking devices are using vhf tech? Does it cost a lot more? Don't you need a Licence to transmit on VHF?
Regarding the licence the operator needs one and if the receiver does then it’s in the annual fee
 

eddievanbitz

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There is a "Handful" at best of VHF equipped Police vehicles, a stolen vehicle has to pass withing 2k of one of that handful nationwide

The Police don't have the manpower to send a Police Officer to visit a stolen vehicle crime most of the time, I am unaware of them every launching a helicopter to locate a stolen motorhome

Back in the late 90's when "Tracker" was the main contender solely using VHF RAC Trackstar destroyed the VHF argument and public challenged the statement that "Every Police force in the Country has the ability to track stolen vehicles"
 

Coolcats

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There is a "Handful" at best of VHF equipped Police vehicles, a stolen vehicle has to pass withing 2k of one of that handful nationwide

The Police don't have the manpower to send a Police Officer to visit a stolen vehicle crime most of the time, I am unaware of them every launching a helicopter to locate a stolen motorhome

Back in the late 90's when "Tracker" was the main contender solely using VHF RAC Trackstar destroyed the VHF argument and public challenged the statement that "Every Police force in the Country has the ability to track stolen vehicles"
You would not need every police vehicle to have the equipment and if the claim of any company cannot match what they advertise (including yours) it is misleading and therefor unlawful.

a vhf signal can certainly transmit further than 2km otherwise your TV transmitter would be at the end of your street like the mobile Phone mast is

You mention the 90’s that’s well over 20 years ago. And as a business you re sell a tracking system ( which happens to have a managed service) which sort of makes you biased.

I know you have a good alarm product that is installed well but knocking the competition is never a good thing to do.

All I was asked was what alternatives to a SIm is there and I gave one example

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eddievanbitz

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You would not need every police vehicle to have the equipment and if the claim of any company cannot match what they advertise (including yours) it is misleading and therefor unlawful.

a vhf signal can certainly transmit further than 2km otherwise your TV transmitter would be at the end of your street like the mobile Phone mast is

You mention the 90’s that’s well over 20 years ago. And as a business you re sell a tracking system ( which happens to have a managed service) which sort of makes you biased.

I know you have a good alarm product that is installed well but knocking the competition is never a good thing to do.

All I was asked was what alternatives to a SIm is there and I gave one example
There are only a handful of Police vehicles equipped to locate VHF tracking systems in the UK. Who do you think pays for the supply and installation of such equipment? Certainly The Police have no spare cash to waste.

I am not knocking competition, I said they are all pointless unless a condition of insurance or cheap Including our Tracking system.

VHF tracking is last century technology and it was inadequate then.

As for range, small little covert devices have none, hidden antennas low power transmission, and that was when they could actually activate them

Funny how we want honesty in business, but don’t like it when we get it!
😉
 
Last edited:
Oct 20, 2015
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There are only a handful of Police vehicles equipped to locate VHF tracking systems in the UK. Who do you think pays for the supply and installation of such equipment? Certainly The Police have no spare cash to waste.
Eddie is quite right, and I am in a position to confirm that is it was within my personal knowledge as part of my job.

There are even fewer police vehicle fitted with such systems now than were fitted with the original Tracker location systems back in the 1980s, and even then one car off the road for service could mean that an individual police force had no available tracking capability.

Nowadays, with Road Policing vehicles no longer mandated to be on or within striking distance of major roads at all times, and being constantly diverted to other policing tasks and calls, the likelihood of a suitably equipped and crewed vehicle being available at a time it might be required to interrupt the journey of a stolen and tracked vehicle is about on a par with me winning the lottery, and I haven't bought a ticket for years.
 
Aug 16, 2018
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I use smart track, can see where vehicle is, and track it via an app, lifetime one off payment.
Yes it uses a sim, but on multi network both here and over Europe and beyond.
If you supply the company with a crime number they will liase with police in event of it being stolen, or, I can see where it's from phone tablet or whatever.
I just had one renewed for free under their maintenance schedule, and the fitter couldn't even find it ! Found wires, no box, it was there somewhere, so just cut the wires and installed new one in an obscure place again !
If battery is disconnected, or wires cut, am notified, battery on vehicle low, am notified.
It drops insurance price as well, well worth the money I would say.

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Coolcats

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There are only a handful of Police vehicles equipped to locate VHF tracking systems in the UK. Who do you think pays for the supply and installation of such equipment? Certainly The Police have no spare cash to waste.

I am not knocking competition, I said they are all pointless unless a condition of insurance or cheap Including our Tracking system.

VHF tracking is last century technology and it was inadequate then.

As for range, small little covert devices have none, hidden antennas low power transmission, and that was when they could actually activate them

Funny how we want honesty in business, but don’t like it when we get it!
😉
I gave an example of VHF not requiring a SIM VHF is the carrier wave not the technology, the technology are the box's at each end of the signal. An example of a carrier wave is that a single fibre optic cable has the theoretical capability to carry the voice of every man woman and child on the planet twice over......but the box's have not yet been invented to do this (the technology).

When you talk about last century technology this also includes, GPS, GSM, 4G, and 5G. The radio spectrum exists, the higher up the frequency you go the shorter the transmission range. 5g great stuff but as Grommit pointed out he can do most stuff on 3 or 4g you do not actually need 5g to achieve some of the 'new ideas' and he is quite right.

Due to miniaturisation of components even VHF Transmitters and receivers are smaller than back in the 90's

You mention Tracker.......you clearly have not viewed the product range and the technologies (note: technologies) they deploy its not a one trick pony eg GSM or VHF but a combination including MESH and of course GPS. So if you do not have a GSM signal you can be picked up on VHF

As with anything you pay your money and take your choice, I am sure Phantom provide a great product but....why do you sell it if you think they are a waste of money?

IRHP did ask what else other than a SIM is there and I provided an answer.
 

Coolcats

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Eddie is quite right, and I am in a position to confirm that is it was within my personal knowledge as part of my job.

There are even fewer police vehicle fitted with such systems now than were fitted with the original Tracker location systems back in the 1980s, and even then one car off the road for service could mean that an individual police force had no available tracking capability.

Nowadays, with Road Policing vehicles no longer mandated to be on or within striking distance of major roads at all times, and being constantly diverted to other policing tasks and calls, the likelihood of a suitably equipped and crewed vehicle being available at a time it might be required to interrupt the journey of a stolen and tracked vehicle is about on a par with me winning the lottery, and I haven't bought a ticket for years.
So Tracker provide Monthly stats for recovery here is January's, I am not saying and never said all police cars have the technology, I also assume some cars are not recovered due to Jamming or lack of Police resource but you cannot paint the picture of 'its all rubbish' and not just Tracker but any of the managed retrieval systems. I also note the word 'was' not 'is' part of your job things change when you leave an organisation. maybe its worse than you describe or maybe its better but if the stats are correct which they should be as in this case Tracker disclose tracked vehicle recovery and non tracked.
 

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Oct 20, 2015
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So Tracker provide Monthly stats for recovery here is January's, I am not saying and never said all police cars have the technology, I also assume some cars are not recovered due to Jamming or lack of Police resource but you cannot paint the picture of 'its all rubbish' and not just Tracker but any of the managed retrieval systems. I also note the word 'was' not 'is' part of your job things change when you leave an organisation. maybe its worse than you describe or maybe its better but if the stats are correct which they should be as in this case Tracker disclose tracked vehicle recovery and non tracked.
I'm not saying it doesn't work, only that direct police involvement in tracking is not as widespread as perhaps Tracker would have you believe. On one page of their website they claim that their detection units are fitted in "most police patrol cars", yet on another they give a figure of "over 1700 police vehicles" across the UK. Sounds a lot, but spread across the whole of the UK and allowing for vehicles being serviced or repaired, those written off in tactical pursuit and containment and awaiting replacement (the very vehicles that are often most likely to have the devices fitted, and you might think that an unlikely occurrence but there were normally a few vehicles in that condition sat outside our fleet garage on any day you might choose to visit) and being otherwise deployed at the time they might be most useful to Tracker, that's really quite a thin spread across the whole country. There will almost certainly be more equipped vehicles available in populous metropolitan areas, and staff to crew them too, but that further depletes the coverage in more rural and remote areas. Hence the Tracker "Mesh" system, which doesn't necessarily tell you where a vehicle is, only where it was at a specific time.

But I have been involved in operations where we have visited locations as a result of information from Tracker. Mostly, what tends to be recovered are the remains of the partially or wholly dismantled vehicle, because it doesn't take the thieves very long at all to reduce a vehicle to a pile of parts once they get it into their "chop shop". It was then my job to examine all the parts to obtain evidence to prove the identity of the vehicle concerned, as well as any other vehicles that we might have found parts from at the same location. Often hundreds if not thousands of parts and a very time consuming investigation. The number of complete vehicles we recovered directly from tracking device activations in around 20 years of my involvement in those investigations was very low in comparison to the number of stripped and crushed parts.

But, the tracking companies will claim those as successful recoveries, and if in turn we find the remains of other vehicles that would have been fitted with their tracking devices, even though they weren't recovered as a direct result of those specific devices but as a result of our investigation techniques following the location having been flagged up because of a tracking device on a completely different vehicle, those other vehicles will often form part of the tracking companies statistics for successful recoveries too.

I agree things change, sometimes very quickly, for better or worse. But after three years I still have contact with my ex-colleagues and my next door neighbour now works in the same department too!

Yes, the stolen vehicle being stopped and occupants led away in handcuffs as illustrated in the tracking companies sales literature does happen, but it is not the predominant way in which those vehicles are "successfully" recovered, unfortunately.

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eddievanbitz

Trader - Funster
Oct 4, 2007
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You mention Tracker.......you clearly have not viewed the product range and the technologies (note: technologies) they deploy its not a one trick pony eg GSM or VHF but a combination including MESH and of course GPS. So if you do not have a GSM signal you can be picked up on VHF
They were VHF originally, they then went GSM & GPS as their "premier" system, then I am pretty sure (I have been installing tracking systems since 1996 so lots of systems under the bridge since then ;) ) they did or intend to retire their VHF system but GPS /GSM jamming products started to make their mark and suddenly it was popular again.

I know that virtually every Police Officer I have every spoken to about VHF tracking, the claims and its effectiveness have been less than complimentary.

As with anything you pay your money and take your choice, I am sure Phantom provide a great product but....why do you sell it if you think they are a waste of money?
It is a good question directed at the wrong Company we don't sell Phantom!

The point I originally made, and still make, as someone who does sell GPS/GSM tracking system is that "IF" you have to have an insurance approved tracking system as a condition of getting your insurance, you have no option, which is why we offer an insurance approved tracking system, to answer the other part of your question.

If it isn't a condition of insurance, there are better ways of using GSM/GPS and spending your money

Otherwise, again as I have already said buy a cheapy if your really want tracking, but it is not an insurance condition.

If you disagree with me? fine, spend your money and get a warm fuzzy feeling, but I was really getting to grips with this with Thatcham prior to the Covid lockdown, which has stopped those discussions for the time being.
 
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Very interesting points about the claims made by Tracker. They lost my attention when their sales blurb mentions military grade VHF technology.
 

Coolcats

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Very interesting points about the claims made by Tracker. They lost my attention when their sales blurb mentions military grade VHF technology.
Remember VHF is a carrier signal not the technology that sits either end. You asked what else if not a SIM and you had your answer as you said you were genuinely interested.

Whilst not exactly relevant to Tracker this is a Military Grade VHF Radio

Here are VHF transmitters that are attached to wild life, which are not exactly big and cumbersome as has been suggested. GSM would certainly not work in this enviroment so I wouldn't knock VHF out of hand.

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Coolcats

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I'm not saying it doesn't work, only that direct police involvement in tracking is not as widespread as perhaps Tracker would have you believe. On one page of their website they claim that their detection units are fitted in "most police patrol cars", yet on another they give a figure of "over 1700 police vehicles" across the UK. Sounds a lot, but spread across the whole of the UK and allowing for vehicles being serviced or repaired, those written off in tactical pursuit and containment and awaiting replacement (the very vehicles that are often most likely to have the devices fitted, and you might think that an unlikely occurrence but there were normally a few vehicles in that condition sat outside our fleet garage on any day you might choose to visit) and being otherwise deployed at the time they might be most useful to Tracker, that's really quite a thin spread across the whole country. There will almost certainly be more equipped vehicles available in populous metropolitan areas, and staff to crew them too, but that further depletes the coverage in more rural and remote areas. Hence the Tracker "Mesh" system, which doesn't necessarily tell you where a vehicle is, only where it was at a specific time.

But I have been involved in operations where we have visited locations as a result of information from Tracker. Mostly, what tends to be recovered are the remains of the partially or wholly dismantled vehicle, because it doesn't take the thieves very long at all to reduce a vehicle to a pile of parts once they get it into their "chop shop". It was then my job to examine all the parts to obtain evidence to prove the identity of the vehicle concerned, as well as any other vehicles that we might have found parts from at the same location. Often hundreds if not thousands of parts and a very time consuming investigation. The number of complete vehicles we recovered directly from tracking device activations in around 20 years of my involvement in those investigations was very low in comparison to the number of stripped and crushed parts.

But, the tracking companies will claim those as successful recoveries, and if in turn we find the remains of other vehicles that would have been fitted with their tracking devices, even though they weren't recovered as a direct result of those specific devices but as a result of our investigation techniques following the location having been flagged up because of a tracking device on a completely different vehicle, those other vehicles will often form part of the tracking companies statistics for successful recoveries too.

I agree things change, sometimes very quickly, for better or worse. But after three years I still have contact with my ex-colleagues and my next door neighbour now works in the same department too!

Yes, the stolen vehicle being stopped and occupants led away in handcuffs as illustrated in the tracking companies sales literature does happen, but it is not the predominant way in which those vehicles are "successfully" recovered, unfortunately.
Excellent so you agree the technology works which is a good thing, it is also unrealistic for anyone with any tracking technology to expect the police to jump straight to a stollen vehicle, but again as you say sometimes it does happen.

So lets assume you have your keys stollen, the car is taken and you have a tracker onboard, it fails to respond as it has been jammed, next person's vehicle is taken has a tracker and this is jammed etc etc
Eventually one Tracker (lets say 1 in 10 it may be less it may be more) shouts and its location is pin pointed. The overstretched Police happen to have had a large number vehicle thefts in an area and this particular one draws attention and as you say you the police raid the premises arrest the gang and it goes to court.

Now here is the issue for the ordinary law abiding owner, if the vehicle is more than £20K the insurance companies really do not like paying out for total loss, even if you have no claims your premium will probably increase and unless the insurance company claims against the thieves after they are convicted, you the innocences cent party will have F for Fault against your driving history.

Insurance companies have two categories Fault and Non Fault, Non Fault is only applied if the company can recover ALL their costs. So even if a tracker recovery only works 5% of the time an insurance company will factor that in to the risk profile (probability and all that)...its not personal it is just how it is, so anyone who installs a tracker based on knowing they will remarked as a fault if there MoHo is not recovered or value of the same is going to get an insurance hit.

One large weak link in the track and recovery process and its not personal....is the police themselves under manned and under funded.
 

Coolcats

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They were VHF originally, they then went GSM & GPS as their "premier" system, then I am pretty sure (I have been installing tracking systems since 1996 so lots of systems under the bridge since then ;) ) they did or intend to retire their VHF system but GPS /GSM jamming products started to make their mark and suddenly it was popular again.
Clearly things have moved on since the 90's as one would expect
I know that virtually every Police Officer I have every spoken to about VHF tracking, the claims and its effectiveness have been less than complimentary.
Most Police Officers could not describe how the technology works, but then again why would they need to? if I needed help walking through a riotous crowd I would be happy to have them by my side

It is a good question directed at the wrong Company we don't sell Phantom!
Oh well maybe its something like shadow

The point I originally made, and still make, as someone who does sell GPS/GSM tracking system is that "IF" you have to have an insurance approved tracking system as a condition of getting your insurance, you have no option, which is why we offer an insurance approved tracking system, to answer the other part of your question.

If it isn't a condition of insurance, there are better ways of using GSM/GPS and spending your money
Absolutely as I have said you pay your money and take your choice

Otherwise, again as I have already said buy a cheapy if your really want tracking, but it is not an insurance condition.[/QUOTE] Absolutely as I have said you pay your money and take your choice

If you disagree with me? fine, spend your money and get a warm fuzzy feeling, but I was really getting to grips with this with Thatcham prior to the Covid lockdown, which has stopped those discussions for the time being.
I am sure your voice will be one of many Eddie and Thatcham noting what is said along with other industry interests.
 
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