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Old 11-10-2014, 03:12 PM   #43
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Interesting thread; our AS is an item and it's insured. If we are NOT inside or sitting outside and it's broken into, so be it. That said, if someone breaks in while we are inside, we are both Life Members of the NRA, I am a Benefactor of same and a qualified instructor as well as ex military more than familiar with weapons and the consequences of using them. My wife and I are licensed to concealed carry in 43 states and avoid those with liberal progressive laws against such personal protection. For those against weapons of self defense, don't own any or buy any, but always keep in mind, God forbid anything happens while you are camping; as it takes on average 21 minutes for police to respond to someones home in the event of an emergency. I cannot even to begin to imagine how long it would take in a campground be it remote and in the middle of no where or a resort. Plus in many areas there is no cell coverage, then what. Those of us who responsibly own weapons and know how to use them NEVER want to do so, but unfortunately more and more people attack other people and when they see targets of opportunity they strike. I don't want my last thought to be, "I wish I had protection".

It's always a personal decision and again those of us who know guns and legally have secured permits et al are not the issue, it's those who own and or carry illegally are the ones to be concerned about whether they have criminal intent or are simply gun owners. As pointed out accidents happen, however, when I teach firearm safety I tell people I do not consider any "accident" with a firearm and accident - every gun is loaded and chambered PERIOD. Be Safe - EVERYONE.

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Old 11-10-2014, 03:33 PM   #44
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I want to apologize to the original post and creator of this thread cantdr55 and to the mods for going way off topic. The second amendment and indeed the whole constitution and all amendments are important to me.

I too am very interested in the names of any type alarm system anyone is using that they have confidence in. I am ok with where our RVs are stored and ok when we are on the road and IN them. However, we travel with our dog and often a foster dog and our major concern is leaving them alone in the RV, AS or Motorhome while we are out traveling around seeing sites. Our concern is someone breaking in and fire. We know an alarm will not stop break-ins, but my deter the criminal intent, so our real major concern is fire.

Thanks

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Old 11-10-2014, 03:53 PM   #45
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could people who have alarms expand on the alarm, the type, and how it is installed when away? Is everyone using pretty much a motion sensor type shown earlier plugged through shore power if you are hooked up? I am parked at home so that would be fine.

If you are away, is it then just the alarm that goes off hopefully spooking the person who tried breaking in to buzz off...or perhaps the noise will alert a neighbor? Or do some link up with home wifi and alert your smart phone?
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Old 11-10-2014, 04:08 PM   #46
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Old 11-10-2014, 04:45 PM   #47
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Our AS is equipped with an Amateur radio APRS (Automatic Packet Reporting System) unit that reports its position and status at intervals.

You have to possess a ham radio license to use this, but effectively I know what the AS is up to at all times, including location, speed if it is moving, and battery status.

I've wired it into door and window sensors that change the transmitted message if anything happens out of the ordinary.

Yeah, it's a techie solution, but I'm often guilty of that...


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Old 11-10-2014, 04:53 PM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmkrum View Post
Our AS is equipped with an Amateur radio APRS (Automatic Packet Reporting System) unit that reports its position and status at intervals.

You have to possess a ham radio license to use this, but effectively I know what the AS is up to at all times, including location, speed if it is moving, and battery status.

I've wired it into door and window sensors that change the transmitted message if anything happens out of the ordinary.

Yeah, it's a techie solution, but I'm often guilty of that...


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WHHHAAAAT? Never heard of this before. Looking for a solution without a subscription. How about a rundown on equipment, mods, costs, licensing cost, etc. Power consumption...12v? how to make work while in storage without shore power, etc.
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Old 11-10-2014, 06:08 PM   #49
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That's a stack of questions. Let me get to a real computer later tonight and see what I can put together. It does require a minimum of a Technician license, but that's not too hard to get. I'll get a decent response together, meanwhile, visit www.arrl.org for info on getting a license...it's full of info there.


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Old 11-10-2014, 11:36 PM   #50
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Arrow Ham Radio (APRS) systems

Background:

Ham or Amateur radio is a licensed radio service/hobby that does require (in the USA) passing a multiple-choice examination on radio operations, rules, and methods. This does NOT require knowledge of morse code, period. That requirement is a thing of the past--I was one of many involved in lobbying the FCC toward removing that requirement in the recent past.

APRS Explanation:

Automatic Packet Reporting System or APRS is a method of sending digital data over a ham radio system at frequencies in the 144-148 MHz band, or 'Two Meters'. Using these frequencies requires a "Technician" license wich is currently the lowest class of amateur radio license in the US. Canada has similar requirements, I guess, but I'm not familiar with them. Canadian hams please chime in and cover this subject.

APRS basically uses a GPS receiver, a radio, and an interface to generate the necessary audio signals to make the radio deliver digital data at pre-determined intervals. Typical APRS systems report location, speed, altitude, and a short message that may include battery voltage, weather observations, and other data useful to the operator or other recipient of the message. APRS uses a US-wide network of stations run by other Hams that receives these messages, decodes them, and in many cases, puts the content of the message out on the internet for others to see. If you know the callsign (license ID of a Ham) you can look at the data these APRS systems put out and then read it and act upon it as you wish.

For example, in my case, the APRS status data from the AS shows up in an application on my iPhone in a human readable manner, or on my TV dash mounted Ham Radio system direct on the air, or on my handheld radio transceiver. In this manner, I know where my AS is, what it's doing, and can detect some problems. Note that this is NOT an automatic process--I have to look at the data somehow, then act on it.

How this pertains to this thread:

APRS is NOT an alarm system per se, it is a packet reporting system that gets data to me at a remote location. It does not call the cops, defend the AS, or anything like that. It simply sends me status data that I can act on. It also spreads that data across the airwaves, the internet, and other places, so it is NOT a private system like a monitored alarm in a home. It does allow me to monitor what the AS is doing from wherever I may be.

What does it take to set this up?

First, you need appropriate hardware, then the skills to wire this up, a computer to set all the parameters for the interface--which is a tiny computer in its own right, and the means to power the system with 12v power. I have a solar panel that continuously charges the coach batteries and the APRS system only draws a few tenths of an amp when it is transmitting, considerably less on standby. The antenna has to be mounted outside...mine is bolted to the side of the solar panel mount, and only sticks up a foot or so. It's flexible, so it does tend to survive tree branch encounters that don't clean off the AC unit from the roof (grin). The necessary GPS antenna is mounted inside the existing plastic solar panel junction box on the roof to give it a good view of the sky and keep it dry and concealed. Wiring comes down into the closet area with the solar panel wire chase and goes to the hardware (which is quite small) that is mounted in the end of an overhead bin. The user interface is a small wall mounted 3" by 4" LCD screen and a single switch that turns on the system and selects high and low power transmitter output. There is a connector to plug in a computer keyboard for programming and other purposes, but I don't use it much.

Conclusion:

APRS is a viable alternative to a wired or wireless vehicle alarm system providing you understand its limitations and capabilities... A complete and thorough in depth discussion of what is needed, technical requirements, licensing requirements and general ham radio subjects is WAY outside the intent of this thread, so if there is more interest, I'm willing to move this to it's own thread shortly. I've hijacked this sufficiently

There are other ham radio related discussions on AirForums currently, please search them out beause I'm not sure how to link them here yet.
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Old 11-11-2014, 06:31 AM   #51
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rmkrum, this is very interesting. So if I understand. It is not a proactive system, but could act as a Lojack type system in that you could locate a stolen AS?

Could switch disturbance be in the packet....like could one be able to tell if someone has opened a door or hatch since last checked on?

What's your SWAG on putting together a system, on both ends, assuming self build?
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Old 11-11-2014, 08:54 AM   #52
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Possible Solution like mine

I use a Micro-Track from Byonics -, but it is no longer made. I estimate a similar solution could be built using a pre-built TT4 based unit with added display and keyboard interface, the power amplifier, an antenna and GPS for it, and the switches and a relay (for RF isolation) to do the alarm circuit for about $200-300 max. This unit has a built-in radio.

The TT4-based tracker has a switchable mode that just requires a contact closure across two pins on the board to change the output message. one would be a normal position report, the other would be set in the configuration parameters in the TT4 to be the indication of alarm when the alarm circuit is opened (typical alarm operation).

You would also need an appropriate ham radio license and either an application on a smart phone to access the internet or the APRS network directly.

It's terribly ealy here, so this is just a quick overview--I need to look into this a bit more because I think the TT4 also needs a radio on second thought. Let me look at it after I get the morning properly handled and get back to this...
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Old 11-11-2014, 01:52 PM   #53
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One time my brother had an alarm that when triggered sounded like barking dogs-
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Old 11-11-2014, 02:03 PM   #54
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Probably cheaper than feeding doggies 😃


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Old 11-11-2014, 02:49 PM   #55
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The APRS network in the U.S. provides very good coverage (required for propagating your "packets" to the internet) but it is not universal coverage. I made a quick search for anything resembling a coverage map but found none. What I can suggest to provide a clue about APRS coverage is to go to aprs.fi and zoom the map way outwards to view a large territory. The white squares I think represent no activity so there is likely no coverage. Zoomed in to a locale you can see individual stations and internet gateways (it means what it sounds like it means).

Hope that helps.

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Old 11-11-2014, 03:15 PM   #56
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Very true. Most places it works. Our experience was with about 5 watts out of a Yaesu VX-8 into an external 1/4 wave antenna we got coverage most places along I-20 except in the mountains in west Texas. I expect coverage to be better near the coasts, Midwest big cities and the southeast. Mountain coverage can be iffy. The Byonics trackers can do 10 watts into an antenna, and he does have one that cranks out 50, but I'd avoid that power level because the self-contained ones do NOT listen before they transmit. The older one I have does...


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