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Bass LoJack?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Matt Call, Aug 29, 2005.


  1. Matt Call

    Matt Call Supporting Member

    Aug 1, 2004
    Minneapolis, MN
    I've done some searches and haven't really come up with much. I mean, besides the Snagg system, I've got nothing.

    I'm just looking to see where a guy could have something like this done (and how) because, when I finally get that Fodera, I'm going to need to look into it.

    If anyone's got any ideas, links, phone numbers, addresses, etc. let me (and everyone else here @ TB) know.

    I just want the comfort of being able to know that if anyone ever touches one of my basses I can:

    A) Track them down and kindly request it back.
    or
    B) Track them down and inflict bodily harm.
    or
    C) Track down their family(ies)...
    or
    D) Call the cops. (But who really does that anymore? :p )
     
  2. Selta

    Selta

    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    From what I've heard and read about this (pseudo-looked into it at one point), there's no real effective one. The best one (though the name of it slips me right now) relied very heavily on the chip being read by a scanner or something... it had like a chip that was installed on (in?) your bass, and when it was scanned, it'd be like an ID tag. But, how many pawn shops and such have that available? :p. Other than that, I couldn't really find anything useful... just keep that baby locked up, and in eye shot 24/7!

    -Ray
     
  3. Matt Call

    Matt Call Supporting Member

    Aug 1, 2004
    Minneapolis, MN
    Yeah, that's the Snagg system. I just don't see it being really effective. I mean, for one: what are the odds of actually seeing the bass again? and then two: are you just going to be like "Hey... um, can I use this scanner on that bass that you have really quick?"
     
  4. you'd probably have to look into some sort of gps system in order for you to do any sort of tracking on it.... would be very cool though...there's a business venture ripe for the pickings...

    and my vote is:

    b) track them down and do bodily harm.... :ninja:
     
  5. Selta

    Selta

    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    Yeah, it seemed kinda stupid... though I guess it might work?
    Other than that, I'm useless :p.

    -Ray
     
  6. How about having a thumbprint ID system where the bass won't play unless it correctly identifies your thumb scan? That would at least be a deterrent.

    Here's a good way of not having your bass stolen in the first place.

    1) Don't leave it in your car. Ever. Not even for a moment. Seriously. 9 times out of 10, when I hear about a bass getting stolen it's because someone left it in their car.

    2) Don't leave it in your rehearsal space. Rehearsal spaces are often targeted by thieves.

    3) Keep your bass stashed at home or keep the case stashed. A thief is probably going to be less likely to steal a bass if he can't find it or if he can't find the case. (speculation)

    4) Don't leave it in your car. (for emphasis)

    5) Don't get drunk and leave it somewhere.

    - Dave
     
  7. j-raj

    j-raj Bassist: Educator/Soloist/Performer Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2003
    Atlanta, GA!
    great pointers Dave! Most the time that cats have gotten stuff stolen that I have heard of... was the trailer wasn't secured to the truck/van well enough or when loading and unloading, the car/truck/van wasn't locked on each trip back and forth.

    RE: Bass LoJack?
    This concept is a great, I'm interested in it.
     
  8. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    The best way to recover your stolen bass is to never have it stolen in the first place. Like the post above, every single time I've heard of a bass getting stolen, it was from:

    - a car
    - a trailer
    - rehearsal space
    - from a friend's house/apartment
    - leaving it somewhere totally stupid

    Just use your head, and you'll likely never have to worry about it.
     
  9. Spector_Ray

    Spector_Ray

    Aug 8, 2004
    Texas
    That happened to me about 15 years ago. All of my equipment was in a trailer owned by our guitar player. After getting out of a gig exceptionally late, he talked us into leaving our gear in the trailer and we could pick it up later. He reassured me that he was going straight home and was backing the trailer up against the garage. He ended up going to his girlfriend's apartment where someone stole the whole trailer. It still pisses me off thinking about it. I wish there was a GPS tracking system like OnStar that could track the instrument. Someone could make a lot of money.
     
  10. Matt Call

    Matt Call Supporting Member

    Aug 1, 2004
    Minneapolis, MN
    So... who feels a business venture coming on? I'm toying with a few ideas, but being electronic stupid... I think I'm doomed.


    The main reason I'm worried about this is just that I think I'm overprotective. I'm going to college soon and will be taking whatever bass I have. Now, the college I'm going to is small and as far as I know there has never been any problem with theft; but you can NEVER be too safe. Not only that, but in the long term as well. I mean, there is always the slight possibility that someone's going to break into your house and steal stuff. Honestly, if my house was broken into I'd be pissed, but would get over it pretty soon. However, if they took my gear... I'm going headhunting. I'm not saying there aren't things that I'm attached to, just that in the chance possibility that someone jacks my stuff I can track at least my one prized possession down.

    The biggest reason that I'm wondering about this is because I'm starting to save up funds for a new bass (Fodera). It's going to take me a while to get it all together, probably a year or two. I just wouldn't want to see it stolen (no matter what the odds are) with no way of getting it back.

    -Matt
     
  11. j-raj

    j-raj Bassist: Educator/Soloist/Performer Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2003
    Atlanta, GA!
    About a year or so ago Delta Moon, amazing ATL blues/roots/butt-kicking band, had their trailer taken while on tour... there were so many vintage and hard to replace instruments. It was devistating.


    Fall of 1999, I was going back and forth from a rental van after a string of gigs in the Northeast and two punks ran in to the van and snagged my Fender Jazz Plus... Then pretended to walk back in as if they were going into the rehearsal studio for the first time that day... they hid the bass in a dumpster, to come back for it later.

    Someone noticed that they had been in and out of the rehearsal place a bunch that day. So, we held the two of them at the door (large guitarists are useful for something, right?), till we scour the vicinity and finally found it in the trash.

    As for what we did to those two... :eyebrow:
     
  12. Kael

    Kael Supporting Member

    Dec 26, 2004
    Oklahoma City
    I have a fairly simple yet highly effective Lojack system for all my property. I'm a gun toting redneck with a pitbull. C'mon punk, try and take my equipment! :mad:

    Seriously never leave anything in a vehicle. Had some stuff stolen a loooong time ago out of my driveway. Luckily home owners covered it. Now I try to never leave anything in a situaion where it would not be covered by insurance. If someone makes it past my blue collar security protocol, then I look on it as an opportunity to shop for new gear on the insurance companies dime.

    If you could develop some sort of small lojack'esque GPS tracking device to be installed on high dollar items (either musical or otherwise), you could probably market it to all sorts of manufacturers not to mention the insurance industry......
     
  13. Spector_Ray

    Spector_Ray

    Aug 8, 2004
    Texas
    After my ordeal, I don't think there is such a thing as being overprotective at all and your concerns are justified. When it happened to me, I was about 20 at the time and didn't even think of insurance because my gear was always with me. What an idiot I was! :rollno:
     
  14. I've been offering my own lo-buck version of a hidden security system for every bass I've made or modified since I started. I can't disclose it's nature because that would defeat it's stealth characteristics.

    Those that have one of my instruments know what it is. It's nothing high tech but it could very well mean the difference in being able to ID the bass unequivocally without the need for any other positive ID like a serial number.
     
  15. Matt Call

    Matt Call Supporting Member

    Aug 1, 2004
    Minneapolis, MN
    Man. If only there was an easy way to put something in a bass to make it trackable. What about one of those "whistle and find your key" dealios? Just whistle, or push a button and BEEP BEEP BEEP.

    I'm thinking of something along the lines of "Oh, it looks like my bass is on 2nd and Elm Street. Let's roll."

    A GPS tracking system would be perfect...

    Hambone does have a good method BTW.
     
  16. Joe Turski

    Joe Turski

    Jul 29, 2003
    Connecticut
    m
    They have mini wireless gps tracking systems that they offer on cell phones. I don't see why something couldn't be worked out to fit in a bass of other musical instrument. I'm not sure what the cost of something like this would be, but it's worth looking into.


    http://www.synergy-gps.com/
     
  17. slowburnaz

    slowburnaz

    Mar 27, 2002
    Tucson, AZ
    I had an idea for a sort of Club for the bass or guitar. I won't go into the details of it, but the reason I haven't gone ahead with is a lack of machining skills. There's also some options on the lock mechanism that I haven't ironed out...

    Suffice to say, with this thing in place, the instrument would be completely worthless to a person without the means to unlock it. It's also very portable and would fit in any case or gigbag while engaged.

    Coupled with some sort of GPS/Lo-jack system.... hmmm, now THAT would be seriously cool.
     
  18. grygrx

    grygrx Lookout! Here comes the Fuzz! Staff Member

    Dec 24, 2003
    Columbia, MO
    I was doing a little research on these things today myself and the problem comes down to battery life. The Personal GPS trackers I was looking at used a combination of GPS (to know where they are) and GSM (to tell you where they are). I'm sure you can make one small enough to be fit into a bass, but how often do you want to be changing out the battery to keep it functional? 10 days seems to be the max life of these smaller appliances when in "sleep mode".
     
  19. Matt Call

    Matt Call Supporting Member

    Aug 1, 2004
    Minneapolis, MN
    I was doing a ton of searching as well.

    The best solution that I've come up with is to put one in an ATA case or something, embedded in the foam padding. You'd need access to change the batteries though.

    The best battery life that I've found was 90 days.

    They also had a watch that you'd have a child wear and you could activate it with a remote. The battery life was 10 years on each unit, but it was only good for like 100 yards.

    I'm sure that someone with enough electrical knowledge could rig something up. I'm just trying to figure out how to keep it powered.
     
  20. Selta

    Selta

    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    Opaque, you're on the right track with the case thing. Embed a GPS unit in there. What do they run on, a few batteries? So take those batteries, double/triple them, wire them all in parallel, and effectivly go from 90 days to 180 to 270 days (almost a year!). Then just recover it all and I doubt anyone could really tell.
    Bad thing, it relies on your bass being in the case, AND them not removing it, which is rather easy.

    Good idea. You'll never find anything perfect, though.

    -Ray