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Old iPhone as a cheap tracker..


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I have an old iphone which I wanted to leave in the car so we can track location via 'find my phone'. cheap sim at ~£3 a month etc..

 

The cigarette lighters are permanently on so this is going to drain the battery...

 

I've tried using a fuse tap like this one:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07PLVLN7Q/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o08_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 

 

but not charging the iphone (long story and still not quite sure why), but this would stop charging when the car battery drops below 11.6V, avoiding the above disacharing on the cig lighter.

 

2nd thought - people using AirTags as cheap trackers.. not perfect but has some good plus points.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/barrycollins/2021/05/15/apple-airtag-a-brilliant-car-tracker-as-this-road-test-proves/?sh=16cc5ccb4a36

 

Has anyone else attempted this?  Thought appreciated as always. 😄

 

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2 hours ago, futureechos said:

I have an old iphone which I wanted to leave in the car so we can track location via 'find my phone'. cheap sim at ~£3 a month etc..

 

The cigarette lighters are permanently on so this is going to drain the battery...

 

I've tried using a fuse tap like this one:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07PLVLN7Q/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o08_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 

 

but not charging the iphone (long story and still not quite sure why), but this would stop charging when the car battery drops below 11.6V, avoiding the above disacharing on the cig lighter.

 

2nd thought - people using AirTags as cheap trackers.. not perfect but has some good plus points.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/barrycollins/2021/05/15/apple-airtag-a-brilliant-car-tracker-as-this-road-test-proves/?sh=16cc5ccb4a36

 

Has anyone else attempted this?  Thought appreciated as always. 😄

 

Not tried it but thinking about it, it probably really goes down to what you want it for, if it’s to reduce your insurance premiums by saying there’s a tracker then I doubt an insurance company would recognise an old phone or an AirTag as a valid tracker and reduce the premium.
 

If it’s to just track the vehicle then most trackers are hidden somewhere in the car so that rules out connecting to the cigarette lighter, AirTags may be a good alternative but they aren’t quite real time so may make it difficult to use in reality until the car thief stopped.

 

Interestingly enough I read that car thieves are apparently using AirTags to track cars back from supermarkets etc to their homes and then steal from the driveway.

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I've got an AirTag squirrelled away in the car. I don't claim it to be a tracker for insurance purposes and it's far from a perfect solution, but at the price, it can't be beaten IMO. I've had a quick look at it's location a few times when it's been with the garage, seems to do the trick, for very little money and no power drain.

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15 hours ago, Acquell said:

Not tried it but thinking about it, it probably really goes down to what you want it for, if it’s to reduce your insurance premiums by saying there’s a tracker then I doubt an insurance company would recognise an old phone or an AirTag as a valid tracker and reduce the premium.
 

If it’s to just track the vehicle then most trackers are hidden somewhere in the car so that rules out connecting to the cigarette lighter, AirTags may be a good alternative but they aren’t quite real time so may make it difficult to use in reality until the car thief stopped.

 

Interestingly enough I read that car thieves are apparently using AirTags to track cars back from supermarkets etc to their homes and then steal from the driveway.

 

Not for insurance - just a 'would this work' for sod all money question.

 

Interesting that thieves are using.. they are supposed to start beeping after being out of range of a registered device after 48(?) hours.. I guess they know this and would recover them before then.. or steal the car..

 

I mean this is a 10 year old car, can't see it being a big target for theft... there are more expensive one's around.

 

Focus ST/RS seem to be targets at the moment as they can be broken into easily and started from OBD ports.

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13 hours ago, Stutopia said:

I've got an AirTag squirrelled away in the car. I don't claim it to be a tracker for insurance purposes and it's far from a perfect solution, but at the price, it can't be beaten IMO. I've had a quick look at it's location a few times when it's been with the garage, seems to do the trick, for very little money and no power drain.

Thanks - I think this might be the way to go.

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5 hours ago, futureechos said:

 

Not for insurance - just a 'would this work' for sod all money question.

 

Interesting that thieves are using.. they are supposed to start beeping after being out of range of a registered device after 48(?) hours.. I guess they know this and would recover them before then.. or steal the car..

 

I mean this is a 10 year old car, can't see it being a big target for theft... there are more expensive one's around.

 

Focus ST/RS seem to be targets at the moment as they can be broken into easily and started from OBD ports.


This was/is quite a big issue with the Focus, mainly the RS that are being pinched over the ST. But still just as easy to take both with the OBD port. 

On my ST I installed a fake OBD port made up out of OEM Ford parts, it has a piggyback connector on the back which plugged into the real one which you then moved a hide up inside the dash. As it was plugged in any OBD ready would power up and receive a signal, but it didn't have the correct wires connected for it to read the ECU, just had to remember to let any garage know, or plug the real one back in for any work needed. 

May not have stopped any theft, but would have slowed them down a far amount. 

You can't really beat a wheel clamp or full steering wheel cover to stop them pinching it, but if someone wants your car these days, they will just drag it onto a trailer and be done with it... plus you never really know how 'tooled up' they would be if you tried to stop them. 

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