If you’re a bike owner, consider buying a tracking device to prevent bike theft. The bike’s size and portability make it a great means of transportation in cities with traffic congestion, but it also make bikes the popular target of thieves. In the United Kingdom alone, about 376,000 cases of bike theft are reported each year—that’s about one in every ninety seconds! And only a small percentage of stolen bikes were recovered.
St. Bennett recently got himself a decent bike. Knowing how rampant bike theft is these days, he created a GPS tracker for his bike.
Scroll down for videos
Prevent Bike Theft with DIY GPS Device
For his base, he used Arduino. The platform uses GSM Shield and a GPS component, together with some other small bits and pieces. For the device’s power, he uses a 2-cell LiPo battery, enough to give the GPS tracker a longer operating life. The metal cable part of the bike’s lock served as a conductor in the circuit. When the wire is inserted and stuck into the lock frame, a circuit is completed, restricting electricity from passing through a transistor to Arduino. In short, the DIY GPS tracking device will only work if the bike lock is on. This prevents the the device from working 24/7 and depleting the battery.
While the bike’s lock cable is off, the tracking device is idle. But once the lock is cut, the Arduino will wait 15 seconds before activating the alarm system. This will allow the bike owner to reconnect the bike lock and turn off the alarm system. If the user fails to re-engage the lock, the bike’s GPS device will start transmitting data and sending the GPS location coordinates through SMS. The coordinates will serve as your access code when you view your bike’s location on Google Maps.
Trackimo is similar to this system but with extra added features. Trackimo is a motion-activated tracking device, which means that tracking will be activated only when a movement is detected; otherwise, it will just sleep and save your battery, enough to help you retrieve your bike in case of bike theft.
Of course, it would also help if you could park your bike in a safe place, that would help prevent bike theft. But if you haven’t found the perfect spot yet, a GPS device is what your bike needs.