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GPS /GSM Trackers and recorders

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Hi all,

I'm looking for some advice.

I was thinking about getting one of the numerous 'cheap' gps trackers that are around. I have two jobs for it and as such it needs to be fairly good quality. The first job is to retreive the car (my Esprit in this case) after a potential theft. I'm aware that these types of trackers can be jammed and it's for this reason I may end up having a proper 'Tracker' unit fitted as after a chat with them they can't be jammed, they claim. But the cost and continued subscription puts me off, especially when the car is locked in a garage most of the time.

The second reason I'd buy a cheap one is for the recorder and data logging capability. I've spotted one that does exactly what I want in this regard (distance, acceleration, speed, max G-force etc etc) but it can't be contacted to find it's current location, it really is just a data logger, you download the data from the unit once you have it again. The reason I want this is because last week I dropped my BMW 335i into the dealer to have a rattle in the wastgate nvestigated and it came back with 1/4 of a tank of petrol gone and the average mpg on the computer down from 20mpg to 12mpg. I'd love to be able to go back and ask them why the car hand been driven at all and show them exactly where and when it went. This has happened before and the car is going back in on the 25th to have a new wastegate fitted.

My question is, has anybody already bought one and do they have any reccommendations or advice?

I'd like to know as much as I can before I buy one so any advice gladly taken.

Thanks in advance!

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We do something that may work out.

Slightly more expensive than the above but theres a couple versions - one is good for infrequently used cars as it's a self contained brick (not big - say 2"x3"x6") that lasts up to 5 years (you can configure it likewise with the above geofences and it'll change behaviour depending on if it thinks it's been stolen etc).

Unlike some units it's also setup to work worldwide so even if it goes abroad you could still get it back.

The accelerometers are accurate but it really depends how you want to use it.

if it's a general "see where I've been" type affair then thats fine however units able to measure accurately and fast enough for say track day work is much harder (and expensive).

But you do have to ask yourself the question - if a lowlife did manage to steal the car and drive off in a cloud of dust and wheelspin would you really want the car back?

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Depends, imo Esprits are going to be stolen for parts, not joy riding - unless you are stupid enough to leave it in such an area.

Mine gets legally joy ridden and I know plenty of ppl on here that can drive an Esprit and HAVE driven their Esprits much harder than any joy rider would - they're supercars afterall.

Short version, if it was a common Lotus like an Elise, no I wouldn't bother.

End of the day if it's that screwed the insurance will cough up anyways, but I have put so much effort into mine which is un-insurable - the car is nigh on irreplaceable so yeah I'd like the chance to get it back.

It can be complex situation, you're better off having the car not nicked in the 1st place rather than having to try and retrieve it.

At the end of the day though, if someone wants the car and has the means, they'll have it.

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What are you guys worried about its an Esprit for god's sake! You just need one of these;


Heaven is where the police are British, the chefs Italian, the mechanics German, the lovers French and it is all organized by the Swiss. Hell is where the police are German, the chefs British, the mechanics French, the lovers Swiss and it is all organized by the Italians.

You make something idiotproof, they'll make a better idiot

You think professional is expensive, just wait until you pay for amateur.

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The secret is, or so I'm told, get a licence for a firearm. Then if it is stolen report as such with a pump action shotgun in the boot. I'm told this motivates plod into instant action. The one instance I know of this actually happening, the car was recovered within the day!

Life is like a sewer, what you get out of it, depends on what you put into it. (Tom Leahrer)

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the law states in the UK that you should take all reasonable measures to secure a gun in your car and if possible remove part of it, ie to prevent it being fired, and take it with you when you leave the car...

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.

Friedrich Nietzsche

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