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RF vehicle tracking device, "Bumper Beepers".
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RF vehicle tracking device, "Bumper Beepers".

by Bigins on Wed Jul 08, 2009 1:37 am

Hello, I have some questions about the Wave Bubble.

I'm having a problem with being tracked in my car and it sounds like it is likely a Bumper Beeper attached to my car. A BB is a RF device that allows people to follow you and/or to know your where abouts within about a 5 mile radius. Will a Wave Bubble work to jam this?

Now, if this device is a transmitter(is it?). Then won't the WB just make me(my car) easier to track?

And will a WB cover all the possible RF's they(the people following me) might use?


Thank you.
Bigins
 
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Re: RF vehicle tracking device, "Bumper Beepers".

by Bigins on Sat Jul 11, 2009 12:04 am

No thoughts or comments on this? This is the Wave Bubble section right?
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Re: RF vehicle tracking device, "Bumper Beepers".

by antares on Tue Jul 14, 2009 6:00 pm

It is. But it isn't frequented that much lately

To answer your questions:

From what you wrote a 'Bumper Beeper' seems to be one of the less common tracking devices. Newer ones use a GPS receiver attached to a microcontroller and cell phone module to log and send the position of a certain object. Therefore they need to receive the signals of GPS satellites and a working connection to the cellular network. And this is why they can be jammed easily using a Wave Bubble:

A Wave Bubble has enough power to interfere with the receiving channel of the bidirectional communication of such devices within the range of a few meters. But it is not enough to disturb the signal of any RF beacon (like a 'Bumper Beeper') with enough power to transmit over a distance of kilometers.

In other words: a Wave Bubble simply isn't 'loud' enough to drown the 'sound' of a transmitter like this. It just helps if you've got a device that needs to 'listen' to a network in order to establish a communication.

Now this explanation should also answer your second question: a transmitter like the Wave Bubble with such a small coverage would definitely not make you or your car easier to track. Besides, how would anyone know that the RF noise he's receiving belongs to a Wave Bubble?

Regards,

antares

P.S.: If you know that there might be a tracking device attached to your car, why don't you search it and remove that thing (and maybe attach it to something else)? Wouldn't that be easier?
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Re: RF vehicle tracking device, "Bumper Beepers".

by Bigins on Sun Jul 19, 2009 2:52 am

antares wrote:It is. But it isn't frequented that much lately

To answer your questions:

From what you wrote a 'Bumper Beeper' seems to be one of the less common tracking devices. Newer ones use a GPS receiver attached to a microcontroller and cell phone module to log and send the position of a certain object. Therefore they need to receive the signals of GPS satellites and a working connection to the cellular network. And this is why they can be jammed easily using a Wave Bubble:

A Wave Bubble has enough power to interfere with the receiving channel of the bidirectional communication of such devices within the range of a few meters. But it is not enough to disturb the signal of any RF beacon (like a 'Bumper Beeper') with enough power to transmit over a distance of kilometers.

In other words: a Wave Bubble simply isn't 'loud' enough to drown the 'sound' of a transmitter like this. It just helps if you've got a device that needs to 'listen' to a network in order to establish a communication.

Now this explanation should also answer your second question: a transmitter like the Wave Bubble with such a small coverage would definitely not make you or your car easier to track. Besides, how would anyone know that the RF noise he's receiving belongs to a Wave Bubble?

Regards,

antares

P.S.: If you know that there might be a tracking device attached to your car, why don't you search it and remove that thing (and maybe attach it to something else)? Wouldn't that be easier?


Thank you antares. How do you know about what the latest devices are used in tracking vehicles ect? If the newest ones use GPS and cell phone, would a cell phone jammer like this be better?

http://www.phonejammer.com/product.php? ... 249&page=1

I'm also wondering about RF frequency hopping technology. Do you know anything about that? But I'd really like to know how sure you are that the very latest tracking devices use GPS and cell phone to do so.


I've looked on my cars for a device, but haven't found anything. And no, it's not in my head.

Thanks for your help.
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Re: RF vehicle tracking device, "Bumper Beepers".

by antares on Sun Jul 19, 2009 5:59 pm

I'm pretty sure about that. I once attended a lecture on this topic where it was described in detail how GPS trackers work. But you can also find a lot of information if you look for it on the internet.

Any other cell phone jammer that covers the common cellular bands should also work against the mentioned GPS/cell phone based tracking devices. Especially the one you suggested. And considering that this is a 10 Watt device with a range of up to 30 meters it would probably jam a couple of phones around your car too. But it is also quite heavy and seems a bit of an overkill to me. I think a Wave Bubble would do the same job and at the same time be more of a hand-held device you can take with you in your pocket.

Concerning the frequency hopping thing: it is said in the make section that you can program the Wave Bubble to constantly sweep through a certain frequency band of predefined length and thus prevent any cell phone that uses frequency hopping technology from switching to another channel. I guess other jammers have similar features, but I'm definitely no expert on this.

Regards,

antares
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Re: RF vehicle tracking device, "Bumper Beepers".

by Bigins on Mon Jul 20, 2009 8:19 pm

Thanks again antares.

It says that it's 1.75kgs. So I believe that's 4lbs. Though not pocket size, I'd be using this in the home an vehicle. I figure if I'm going to buy one, might as well spend the extra $. Besides, I've already spend money on a low watt GPS jammer, and an inexpensive bug finder that was mickey mouse. I'd like something that will work without tinkering with things. Besides, how would one test if things work after tinkering with it?

I'm looking to see if there's a car power attachment for it.
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Re: RF vehicle tracking device, "Bumper Beepers".

by antares on Tue Jul 21, 2009 5:50 am

It's a pity I can't find the slides or any other material of this particular lecture any more. It would have been quite helpful since it was also explained where to look for GPS trackers on a car. From what I can remember they are usually cleverly concealed underneath the bumper or any plastic cover where not metal bothers the reception of the GPS antenna.

I forgot to point out that there might be laws in your country that prohibit the use of such jammers.
You may want to have a look at the Wikipedia article on mobile phone jammers for the legal situation in your home country.
antares
 
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Re: RF vehicle tracking device, "Bumper Beepers".

by Bigins on Tue Jul 21, 2009 7:41 pm

antares wrote:It's a pity I can't find the slides or any other material of this particular lecture any more. It would have been quite helpful since it was also explained where to look for GPS trackers on a car. From what I can remember they are usually cleverly concealed underneath the bumper or any plastic cover where not metal bothers the reception of the GPS antenna.

I forgot to point out that there might be laws in your country that prohibit the use of such jammers.
You may want to have a look at the Wikipedia article on mobile phone jammers for the legal situation in your home country.

Do you remember if the tracking devices are magnetic and connect that way to the car? With this device they'd be able to possibly have audio as well which makes some sense. The other issue is how is it powered, either internal battery or power to the cars battery. If it's internal, how long does it last? I'm sure it's motion sensored to save battery life.

These are just thoughts of mine. I'm planning on hoisting the car(s) at some point to get a better look. If I can find one of these tracking devices, my life will be 100% better because then the people helping me with the overall picture will have more evidence to go on.

If you remember anything else or can help me, I'd appreciate it.

Thanks!
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Re: RF vehicle tracking device, "Bumper Beepers".

by antares on Sat Jul 25, 2009 11:13 am

Yeah, sometimes they are hidden underneath the car, attached with the help of magnets. But, of course, this construction only makes sense if there is ferromagnetic metal around.

Theoretically it is possible to have a device that's able to also act as a bug and transmit audio signals. But I'm not sure if this is acutally done. I guess in most cases it is just the cellular module that transmits and receives data and not the rest of the CPU and logic of a normal mobile phone (I mean this would be just another feature that draws some more current from the battery reducing battery life).

As far as I know GPS trackers are usually battery powered. And yes, some come with inertial sensors to save battery life so they're only active when the car is moving, that's correct. But nothing definitive can be said about the estimated battery life. They may also just use a bigger battery.

What's also important is that a lot of these devices have a "store and forward" function to store places you've been and transmit them later if they were not received. It makes jamming a bit harder because you wouldn't normally operate your jammer 24/7.

As an addendum, here are some links I found at first glance and that might be helpful:


You also get a lot of hits if you look for "GPS tracker". But most of them are commercial sites offering such devices for sale.

I'll let you know if I can find anything else on that topic.

Regards,

antares
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Re: RF vehicle tracking device, "Bumper Beepers".

by Bigins on Fri Jul 31, 2009 6:13 am

antares wrote:Yeah, sometimes they are hidden underneath the car, attached with the help of magnets. But, of course, this construction only makes sense if there is ferromagnetic metal around.

Theoretically it is possible to have a device that's able to also act as a bug and transmit audio signals. But I'm not sure if this is acutally done. I guess in most cases it is just the cellular module that transmits and receives data and not the rest of the CPU and logic of a normal mobile phone (I mean this would be just another feature that draws some more current from the battery reducing battery life).

As far as I know GPS trackers are usually battery powered. And yes, some come with inertial sensors to save battery life so they're only active when the car is moving, that's correct. But nothing definitive can be said about the estimated battery life. They may also just use a bigger battery.

What's also important is that a lot of these devices have a "store and forward" function to store places you've been and transmit them later if they were not received. It makes jamming a bit harder because you wouldn't normally operate your jammer 24/7.

As an addendum, here are some links I found at first glance and that might be helpful:


You also get a lot of hits if you look for "GPS tracker". But most of them are commercial sites offering such devices for sale.

I'll let you know if I can find anything else on that topic.

Regards,

antares

You've been very helpful, thank you very much. I'm not that worried about it showing where I went while the signal was jammed. It will work for me. I ordered one but it takes a long time for delivery.

I'm going to look up "GPS tracker" and search more this weekend. I'm now wondering about how small of unit it could possibly be?
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Re: RF vehicle tracking device, "Bumper Beepers".

by phil.drummond on Sat Aug 01, 2009 1:09 pm

A very good method to eliminate magnetically attached devices is to look for the magnet, not the device.
A simple compass will respond to the local and much stronger field of the magnet being used to attach the device.
Sweep the entire vehicle with a good-quality compass (Silvia or Suunto) looking for a deflection that is non-typical ... that is, look around for a magnet on the vehicle.
Range will be good, like a foot or more and the activity of searching will also allow a fairly good visual "tour" of the vehicle as well.

Another method for resolving suspicion of tracking attachments is to discontinue using the vehicle for a week or so. The party tracking you will have to re-start their survey, requiring additional equipment and a second tracking team. They will not be sure which car you are using so they will have to watch both of them.

Lastly, if you suspect a radio-frequency device, you can detect -anything- that emits radio energy. Look for a web site that is posted by a radio amateur group such as the ARRL. (American Radio Relay League)
They will have links and other information leading to the type of device called an "RF Sniffer".
These tools are commonly used to repair low-power radio equipment and can be configured for any frequency range you are interested in. Build or buy one and "sniff" your vehicle.
The best place to do this is inside a rented storage unit. The 100% metal enclosure of the storage building will screen a lot of RF and the privacy will allow you to crawl all over your car without drawing attention.

Good luck! And stop doing whatever it is that's drawing attention to you! :)

Follow-up: When you find the device, do not destroy it. Attach it to a city bus.
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Re: RF vehicle tracking device, "Bumper Beepers".

by Bigins on Sun Aug 02, 2009 6:57 pm

phil.drummond wrote:A very good method to eliminate magnetically attached devices is to look for the magnet, not the device.
A simple compass will respond to the local and much stronger field of the magnet being used to attach the device.
Sweep the entire vehicle with a good-quality compass (Silvia or Suunto) looking for a deflection that is non-typical ... that is, look around for a magnet on the vehicle.
Range will be good, like a foot or more and the activity of searching will also allow a fairly good visual "tour" of the vehicle as well.

Another method for resolving suspicion of tracking attachments is to discontinue using the vehicle for a week or so. The party tracking you will have to re-start their survey, requiring additional equipment and a second tracking team. They will not be sure which car you are using so they will have to watch both of them.

Lastly, if you suspect a radio-frequency device, you can detect -anything- that emits radio energy. Look for a web site that is posted by a radio amateur group such as the ARRL. (American Radio Relay League)
They will have links and other information leading to the type of device called an "RF Sniffer".
These tools are commonly used to repair low-power radio equipment and can be configured for any frequency range you are interested in. Build or buy one and "sniff" your vehicle.
The best place to do this is inside a rented storage unit. The 100% metal enclosure of the storage building will screen a lot of RF and the privacy will allow you to crawl all over your car without drawing attention.

Good luck! And stop doing whatever it is that's drawing attention to you! :)

Follow-up: When you find the device, do not destroy it. Attach it to a city bus.

Thanks for the advice Phil. I'll look around for that and the RF sniffer. I like the idea of the compass. The Silva brand looks good. You said to get a good one, could you recomend one or more of these? I'm looking for the most sensitive one's I would assume(if there is such).

http://www.thecompassstore.com/silvacom ... DAodXWr4_A


When I find the device it will be photographed and uploaded along with many other steps that will be taken.

Thanks!
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Re: RF vehicle tracking device, "Bumper Beepers".

by Chuck on Mon Aug 03, 2009 2:04 pm

I'm just curious.

How do the GPS receivers get a signal from under the car?
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Re: RF vehicle tracking device, "Bumper Beepers".

by antares on Tue Aug 04, 2009 2:45 pm

antares
 
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Re: RF vehicle tracking device, "Bumper Beepers".

by Bigins on Tue Aug 04, 2009 3:34 pm

The devices are much more high tech now. I'm now thinking that they're using a computer or GPS travel location screen(that's compatible) to track me. Doing various google searches for such devices, I found a place that sells them. Remember money is no problem at all with these people, even though it's very inexpensive to do what they're doing. This is just the vehicle tracking section of this site.

The 2nd one has a 120 day battery life. Be sure to look down at the SR-7 GPS World Tracker.

http://www.spysource.net/vehicletrackingsystems.htm


Would any of those compasses locate the magnet on those devices in the way that it was described here? Or are the magnets just too small? That's why I'd want a very sensitive compass if there are differences.


Edit: The police now have internet in their squad cars.
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