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Instrument Tracking Devices ?

Alan Day 18 Aug 10 - 02:36 PM
Will Fly 18 Aug 10 - 05:52 PM
Will Fly 18 Aug 10 - 05:55 PM
pavane 19 Aug 10 - 05:57 AM
Alan Day 19 Aug 10 - 08:47 AM
JohnInKansas 19 Aug 10 - 05:44 PM
Alan Day 20 Aug 10 - 04:27 AM
Jack Campin 20 Aug 10 - 04:43 AM
Alan Day 20 Aug 10 - 05:03 AM
JohnInKansas 20 Aug 10 - 06:03 AM
pavane 20 Aug 10 - 06:37 AM
Alan Day 20 Aug 10 - 08:28 AM
Jack Campin 20 Aug 10 - 08:44 AM
GUEST 09 May 12 - 12:13 PM
Alan Day 09 May 12 - 01:19 PM
Jack Campin 09 May 12 - 02:15 PM
Gurney 09 May 12 - 04:04 PM
Leadfingers 09 May 12 - 05:59 PM
JohnInKansas 13 May 12 - 08:45 PM
GUEST,Screaming Stone 13 May 14 - 01:08 PM
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Subject: Instrument Tracking Devices ?
From: Alan Day
Date: 18 Aug 10 - 02:36 PM

Some time ago I suggested that tracking devices or chips be installed into valuable Musical Instruments, at that time nothing was available.
Is it now?
Al


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Subject: RE: Instrument Tracking Devices ?
From: Will Fly
Date: 18 Aug 10 - 05:52 PM

Al, as far as I can tell, the main problem with tracking devices is the size. The smallest I've seen fits into the palm of a hand. They need (a) power to transmit a signal (b) a powered receiver to track the GPS location. All perfectly feasible for something as large as a car - not so feasible for a small or sensitively made musical instrument. By "sensitive" I mean an instrument where the addition of a plastic box affects the look and tone - such as a violin.

The problem is not so much with the chip as with the peripheral circuitry and power output required to make it work. The other problem is one of setting it off. When a car is broken into, a circuit can be activated - much as a car alarm is activated - which triggers the tracking device. No such triggering is available for an instrument as far as I know.

All this describes "active" tracking systems. I suppose 'passive" systems are more easily implemented - i.e. the equivalent of special "invisible" paint on a bicycle frame, or a chip in the neck of a dog - but they require some device to read the paint or chip. If I walk on stage carrying your expensive, stolen Jefferies concertina, who's going to have a chip scanner on their person to check my honesty?


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Subject: RE: Instrument Tracking Devices ?
From: Will Fly
Date: 18 Aug 10 - 05:55 PM

PS, Al: when you come round to my place tomorrow morning for rehearsal, take care - I've got my eye on your twin Jefferies boxes. A swift clout to your cranium and they'll be mine - ALL MINE! HAH! No amount of chips will save you from my fiendish plans...


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Subject: RE: Instrument Tracking Devices ?
From: pavane
Date: 19 Aug 10 - 05:57 AM

Smart water can prove it was yours - but only if you find it, of course.


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Subject: RE: Instrument Tracking Devices ?
From: Alan Day
Date: 19 Aug 10 - 08:47 AM

My Sons think I need a tracking device, but that's a different story.
Al


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Subject: RE: Instrument Tracking Devices ?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 19 Aug 10 - 05:44 PM

Putting a tracking device in an instrument is a bit of a problem; but putting a tracking device, of a sort, in an instrument case is pretty trivial.

All wireless telephones, at least in the US, have been required to have GPS capability for a couple of years now. Thus any phone left in the accessory box in your case can tell law enforcement where the phone is located. If the phone is buried in a bunch of stuff like tuners, spare strings, a few hundred picks and the usual other miscellanea most musicians have there, it's likely to be unnoticed until there's an opportunity to make at least one trace.

You would need to make a habit of always keeping the instrument in the case when it's not in your hands to have good odds that the case will be stolen with the instrument; but the more valuable the instrument the more likely that the thief will want to take the case "if convenient."

With many prepaid phones, you can buy a year of service for about $100 US, and you'd have to keep the service turned on; but that's probably a little less than you'd have to dish out for a GPS bug that fits into a good instrument without spoiling the music.

John


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Subject: RE: Instrument Tracking Devices ?
From: Alan Day
Date: 20 Aug 10 - 04:27 AM

There must be a massive market for small tracking devices not only for instruments, but for children and valuable objects of all sorts. A tiny tracker that could be switched on by the owner in the event of something ,or someone getting lost or stolen.Perhaps as suggested linked to mobile phones. Some of our instruments are worth thousands and with classical instruments over a million.Alternatively micro chipping that could easily be checked by Pawn shops, Auction Rooms Music Shops etc to make sure the instrument ,or object has not been stolen.
How lovely to knock on a thief's door and demand your favourite guitar or concertina back.
We can laugh about it, but even Nursing Homes and Old Folks homes have a problem of patients going off for a wander,
Al


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Subject: RE: Instrument Tracking Devices ?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 20 Aug 10 - 04:43 AM

The problem with microchipping is that it only works if the people with the readers know where the chip is. It wouldn't take long before the thieves worked that out too.

The most unexpected use of microchipping I've seen was an ambulance crew assisting a blind man who'd collapsed in the street. They were using a chip reader on his guide dog's ear to identify him. The mind boggles that this was a common enough event that they'd be prepared for it.

I can think of quite a few folkies who might be easier to identify by a chip in their flute or fiddle than by anything they'd be in any condition to say when coming home after a gig.


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Subject: RE: Instrument Tracking Devices ?
From: Alan Day
Date: 20 Aug 10 - 05:03 AM

Very funny Jack.
I can just see a number of wives checking the person coming in through the door was actually their husband !!
Al


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Subject: RE: Instrument Tracking Devices ?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 20 Aug 10 - 06:03 AM

TV ads - actually for a battery - have run in the US recently showing a "tracking device" worn as a small bracelet or pin by a child, with "mother" able to find the child using a search device similar to a cell phone in size.

I don't recall whether the ads I've seen identified the tracking device, although they loudly tout the batteries that this particular "mother" uses in it.

It also appears that the range at which the presumedly "passive" device worn by the kid can be detected would be on the order of the "expected range of wander" for a kid at a playground or in a shopping mall within the few moments before mom would notice the child was no longer visible.

Most "chip devices," like those used for pets or livestock require the sensor to be within, at most, about a meter of the chip to read the ID.

If you have an instrument valuable enough to merit a real search, many police departments, at least in larger US cities, have "crime prevention" disignates who may be able to provide information (and local legal limits on use) for what's actually available. If the "cop shop" can't help you you may be able to find the "cop shop shop" that sells police equipment to the cops (and to persons of more vaguely defined professions), and they may - if you give them a rea$onable ju$tification - provide additional help.

John


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Subject: RE: Instrument Tracking Devices ?
From: pavane
Date: 20 Aug 10 - 06:37 AM

I am sure I have seen keyring devices which tell you when an item (e.g. child) goes out of its range - that could give warning - but only after it has gone!


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Subject: RE: Instrument Tracking Devices ?
From: Alan Day
Date: 20 Aug 10 - 08:28 AM

Sounds as if the tracker is not far from being available in some format. It is a question of supply and demand.I am certain that nobody is aware of this potential market and what could result in a World Wide Tracking agency to find the missing article and recovery.It could unearth gangs specialising in certain items and put a stop to it.
Al


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Subject: RE: Instrument Tracking Devices ?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 20 Aug 10 - 08:44 AM

For short-range searches, dunking the instrument in something smelly and having a pack of dogs at the ready would do it.


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Subject: RE: Instrument Tracking Devices ?
From: GUEST
Date: 09 May 12 - 12:13 PM

They can send a man to the moon but they cant make a decent tracker device for peoples stuff like music instruments


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Subject: RE: Instrument Tracking Devices ?
From: Alan Day
Date: 09 May 12 - 01:19 PM

Trackers for children.is also a future sales possibility .They can track Asbos now, but they are still too large for musical instrument use.
Al


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Subject: RE: Instrument Tracking Devices ?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 09 May 12 - 02:15 PM

In the Good Old Days, a sufficiently malignant curse would do the trick.

Want my fiddle? Fine - free contract with Satan included. Hear thet distant subterranean sound of hounds howling when you play it?


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Subject: RE: Instrument Tracking Devices ?
From: Gurney
Date: 09 May 12 - 04:04 PM

A record of the serial number, backed up with a photograph if it is unique, identifies an instrument for the purposes of police reports and insurance. 'Chipping' is superfluous.
Tracking is different and it requires power supply in the unit, and the unit is large enough to be obvious to a thief, and it also requires a receiver unit.
Maybe one day.


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Subject: RE: Instrument Tracking Devices ?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 09 May 12 - 05:59 PM

What about the radio stuff they use fir tracking migrating birds and such ? Though I dont think for one moment that they would be very cheap .


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Subject: RE: Instrument Tracking Devices ?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 13 May 12 - 08:45 PM

Apparently someone saw our little discussion here and decided to explore the subject:

Track Low-Tech Stuff

Unfortunately, the article doesn't offer anything other than "take a picture" and "write down the serial number," and the obvious "call a cop" when your stuff disappears; but it does, in sort of a lukewarm fit of concern, indicate that we're not the only ones who recognize the problem.

John


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Subject: RE: Instrument Tracking Devices ?
From: GUEST,Screaming Stone
Date: 13 May 14 - 01:08 PM

Since this thread started, there have been GPS trackers introduced that work for musical instruments. The main challenge was developing a battery that could last longer than a few days.

The micro-GPS is right now the best solution to track music instruments - AND tour trailers. It's small enough that you can hide it inside a case and lasts for about 2 weeks (recent test I did lasted three weeks.) This all depends on how much the GPS unit is moved (thus triggering the motion alert) and if the signal needs to work harder (if the GPS is in an all metal trailer).

Check my site www.ScreamingStone.com for a review.

Rock on, and protect your instruments.


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