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Discussion Starter #1
Sorry repost.
I think it would be a very good idea to add a little more protection and piece of mind against theft of your new Elise, than what comes on the vehicle from the factory.
As we all know the "Elise" is a very special vehicle and unlike most other vehicles out there when it comes to vehicle theft. By this I mean that if say your new BMW or Benz is stolen, you will be upset and psychologically devistated for a short while, however you can get a replacement vehicle the next week. If your Elise is stolen you will have to wait many months and maybe years before you get a replacement.
Has anyone thought about getting some kind of vehicle tracking installed in their cars??? I currently have a system called "Boomerang" in my Subaru STI and it gives me a little piece of mind. The funny thing is that I saw on the news the other night that the Subaru WRX's are the most stolen vehicle per capita.
When the Elise shows up I am going to install the Boomerang tracking unit and an additional device from Compustar. It is a long range pager unit (range over 1 mile) that comes with a key fob LCD that lets you know where the break in occurs.
We all know that most alarms are useless, are constantly going off in parking lots, and these days nobody pays attention to them any more. Thats why a pager unit is great because it lets you know that someone is messing with your car.
Something to think about. I would really hate to have to wait another year for a replacement.
 

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If it gets stolen and someone beats the crap out of it for a few days/weeks and the insurance company fixes it, I'm not too sure I'd want it back - get me a new one - I hope it's never recovered personally IMHO
 

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I had LoJack installed a couple of days after I got my car. I'm not worried about someone trying to keep my car or part it because it sticks out too much and where do you go with the parts once the car's been stripped. No joy riders on the other hand do worry me. So I spent the money and had the installation done including the "extended notification" plan which calls me at about 5 numbers if the car is moved with out the chip in proximity. I am planning on keeping my car for a long, long time and the few hundred dollars so i can sleep better is well worth it. BTW, Lojack too 4 hours to do the install (typically it takes 1 hour). They made a point not to "cut" or "drill" anything in order to do the install. The regional manager even sat in on the installation to make sure it was done right. I'd recommend it to anyone who intends to use their car on a daily basis.
 

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If it gets stolen I certainly don't want anyone to find it and give it back to me , no way. Not after some scumbag put his hands on it.
Chris
 

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i own a company in this business. it currently operates overseas only. all i can say is that the systems currently available in the US are total crap. You're much better off saving your money.
 

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I think Lotus Sport of al people can put your mind at ease a bit more.

Simply buy a removable steering wheel :) That should eliminate 95% of all car thiefs from being able to steal your car.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
offroader35...I will have to disagree with you on this one..

I don't know if you have heard of "Boomerang" but it uses cell phone technology instead of satellite technology. Using GPS is not very good because all you have to do is put the stolen vehicle either underground or under cover in a shipping container just block the signal from the satellite and the vehicle cannot be tracked. The beauty of the Boomerang is that they can recover your car even if it is underground or in a container.
I have the Boomerang 2 which comes with a key fob. If my car is moved without the fob in the car, whether it is hotwired and driven off or towed away, Boomerang will know this and call me to see if it is stolen. They know before I do that the car has been stolen. It works. I gave a friend of mine the valet key to have a go at the STI (I was too lazy that day to go inside the house for the keys) and sure enough I got a call on my cell phone about 4 minutes after he drove away from the house. I totally forgot about the key fob device. So I know this system works.
I recommend this system over any satellite tracking systems because it is far too easy to block these systems.
Cheers
 

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There are issues with cell phone location systems...

1) digital cell phone coverage is still limited to urban areas and major highway corridors.

2) phone locating is currently still only as good as cell tower location. That means the best you'll get is "it's sorta in this area". No exact location. In Nov of 05, the E911 mandate goes into effect. Carriers are to be able to locat a phone within about 15'. However, the commercialization of the technologies are like another year off.

So, while cell phone location can locate in building or other areas masked to GPS reception it too has its issues. Most of the carriers will be using hybrid technologies (combined cell tower/network solutions + GPS) to comply with E911 to try to get the best of both.

Kiyoshi
 

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If someone is determined enough to get past the stock immobilizer, they probably came with a covered truck to put the car in and shuttle it away. (It wouldn't be hard to buy or build a truck that completely blocks all RF signals, rendering any notification useless.)

So the Joyrider isn't going to get past the Start immobilizer, and the pro thief is just going to trailer it anyway.

No offense to the fine Elise, but given that the 'premium' price on these is still $50k and there is zero parts market, it's not really Pro Thief material.

A pager fob would be nice to alert you if anyone is dorking around your car and set off the alarm. I'd go for that.

But I still haven't heard anyone describe how the stock immobilizer works.. is it integrated with the ECU in such a way as to need a 'spare' ECU to start the car? Or is it just as lame as any aftermarket kit and needs only a relay bypass to start? If it's just a stick-on Cobra alarm, I'd trust it less.

Even the Avalon/Camry needs a complete $2500 ECU swap to use unprogrammed keys.
 

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Ground Loop said:
is it integrated with the ECU in such a way as to need a 'spare' ECU to start the car? Or is it just as lame as any aftermarket kit and needs only a relay bypass to start? If it's just a stick-on Cobra alarm, I'd trust it less.
I don't believe that the alarm is integrated with the ECU, but it's also not an aftermarket kit. The Cobra alarm is fully integrated into the wiring of the Elise - part of the wiring harnesses, not "cut and spliced". I would expect the Cobra to be pretty hard for the casual thief to defeat.

By the way, from examining the Installation Manual's wiring diagram (do a search there is an unused output signal line on the Cobra (when the alarm triggers) - one output triggers the alarm siren, and the second (unused) output can be set for continuous or pulsed output. If set to pulsed, you can connect it to the stock horn (probably via relay). Set to continuous, the output can trigger another device - like a paging unit. I wonder how much an add on paging transmitter would be...:)
 

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>phone locating is currently still only as good as
>cell tower location. That means the best you'll get
>is "it's sorta in this area".

Nope. I tested a product 1.5 years ago that used the current infrastructure. It was a cell phone with some modded software and it would tell me which storefront I was standing in front of as I walked around various towns in the bay area. It had embedded maps and was able to pinpoint (~ <20 ft) me.

So... I don't know if boomerang is that accurate but they could be if they wanted to be. A simple matter of software ;)

-doma
 

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doma said:
[BNope. I tested a product 1.5 years ago that used the current infrastructure. It was a cell phone with some modded software and it would tell me which storefront I was standing in front of as I walked around various towns in the bay area. It had embedded maps and was able to pinpoint (~ <20 ft) me. [/B]
I too have seen such "tests" for the past 2-3 years. All I can say is that it's close to deployment, but is crap in rural areas, thus doesn't meet the E911 mandate.

These systems use triangulation, thus at least 3 towers are required in some sort of "grid-like" placement. In urban settings they work pretty well. Typically the network uses cell sector (approx angle from the cell tower) & signal strength (affected by obstructions) to derive the estimated location.

However in rural areas where towers are typically lined along a major highway corridor, thus triangulation is difficult, if not impossible. So, you'll only get some "general" idea of location.

I'm not trying to say these systems aren't good or don't work. They do, but there are still limitations in the technology used and the purchaser is wise to know what they are before signing on the dotted line.

Kiyoshi
 

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> but is crap in rural areas

True; I totally agree. I guess if they take your car to BFE then the location gets fuzzy fast.
 

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doma said:
> but is crap in rural areas

True; I totally agree. I guess if they take your car to BFE then the location gets fuzzy fast.
A car thief in an Elise in a rural area attracts a ton of attention :)
 

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>>> zero parts market, it's not really Pro Thief material.<<<

Exactly! If they can't easily sell it or use it themnselves they won't steal it. I suspect that the Elise may wind up with a low car theft rate. As far as I know none have been stolen so far. Yet a number of C6 Vettes which have barely come out have been stolen.

I'd be careful about bling bling addons like fancy stereos though as folks will break into cars for that sort of stuff.
 

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Stan said:
[BI'd be careful about bling bling addons like fancy stereos though as folks will break into cars for that sort of stuff. [/B]
Sooooo... how many of us have actually removed the faceplate on our systems when parked?

I'm guilty... only removed it once so far just to see how to do it! :(
 

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khamai said:
I too have seen such "tests" for the past 2-3 years. All I can say is that it's close to deployment, but is crap in rural areas, thus doesn't meet the E911 mandate.

Please don't lump all phones and networks together. Each is employing different solutions to the same mandate, with varying success.


These systems use triangulation, thus at least 3 towers are required in some sort of "grid-like" placement. In urban settings they work pretty well. Typically the network uses cell sector (approx angle from the cell tower) & signal strength (affected by obstructions) to derive the estimated location.
This is exactly how CDMA networks (Sprint PCS, Verizon) do not work.

When the phone requests a position determination, the network uses the approximate location (from sector usage) to predict what GPS satellites are in-view and computes useful information to help find them. It sends this information to the phone, which then switches away from the PCS or Cellular CDMA network to tune the GPS frequencies (which also use a kind of CDMA for their signal). The GPS signals (From Outer Space) are super-weak, compared to phone signals in town, so good phone designs differentiate themselves from poor designs here.

Because the phone already knows where to look, doppler factors, ephemeris, etc, it's much like a GPS receiver doing a 'warm start' and can get a lock very quickly on any birds in view. It's almost cheating.

It gets better -- the phone doesn't even solve for location. It just records the GPS signals it gets, and sends those back to the network for computation. The network does the hard number crunching on the pseudoranges, factors in some other known-goodness, and gives the phone a position determination. It's very fast, and depending on how many GPS sats are in view -- remarkably accurate. As good or better than a top-end GPS unit that has been receiving for minutes.

If you can't see sky, then the network does indeed have to depend on range estimates to the cell sectors. For CDMA phones, you have quite a bit of data in this regard already inherent in the handset... much more than just signal strength, since a very accurate clock and distance estimate is already an integral part of the system. Resulting quality will vary depending on multipath, coverage, etc.

If no network is available, the phone makes a poor GPS receiver since it doesn't have strong math skills or sensitive receiver to go look for satellites itself. (To my knowledge, no phones on the market currently try to be a stand-alone GPS receiver.)
 

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khamai said:
Sooooo... how many of us have actually removed the faceplate on our systems when parked?
I've done it twice at work - just to see home much of a hassle it is. Then I have to figure out what to do with the face plate, since I don't have a glove box to put the carrying case when it's not in use. All-in-all, I figure that the motion detector will trigger if anyone reaches in to try to take the face plate, and I don't leave the car any place that's too dangerous...
 

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Has anyone found a "lock box" that could be welded/bonded to the car? I had something like this once:

http://www.gunvault.com/ministandard.asp

Very nice. Very easy and fast to open, even in the dark, so it wasn't too much of a hassle to actually use it.

Having that well-mounted, even in the trunk, would be a nice place to put faceplates, sunglasses, wallets, LoJack transponders, etc..

I wonder if it would fit in the passenger footwell, or under the dash, or behind a seat..
 
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