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Author Topic: Theft prevention?  (Read 2568 times)
WA9YOZ
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Posts: 28




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« on: June 30, 2010, 09:21:37 AM »

Just think, if some one could create a program where the owners' call letters are sent when the mike is keyed. This way if the rig is stolen, the thief can't remove the original owners call letter or the password.
The original owner would be the only one able to remove his call letters. This software program could also be used on other electronic stuff. The insurance companies sure would love that idea!
Also some jobs could be created with this type of programmable software.
That's just my 2 sense worth.
All have a nice day !
Tony
wa9yoz
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W0FM
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Posts: 2056




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« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2010, 03:08:05 PM »

Nice thought, Tony and I've heard that discussed before. 

Unfortunatley, that is only a deterrant to people who KNOW that the radio has that feature.  Most criminals steal something because it is readily accessible and easily stolen, then they try to find out what they can get for it.  Much of the ham equipment stolen from vehicles ends up in lakes, rivers and bushes because the crooks can't figure out what it does.  Same goes for home stations to a lesser extent.

Now, as far as assisting in the recovery of the equipment, it could play a role if it was sold and not dumped in the drink.

73,

Terry, WØFM
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K5CQB
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Posts: 223




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« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2010, 05:23:17 PM »

Neat idea.  Not much beats recording your serial numbers.  There is a nationwide program now where pawnshops enter pawned items into a database thats accessible by law enforcement agencies.  A couple of years ago I was searching for a friends radio that was stolen.  I found an identical radio in the next city pawned two days after his was stolen.  It wasn't my friends but turned out to be another hams radio that was stolen 5 years earlier. 

73,
Jim
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KE3WD
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Posts: 5689




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« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2010, 12:51:41 PM »

So then there would be a black market on the chip that stored the callsign.  Solder in the new chip, program what you want into it and nobody knows.  These black market replacement chips would be available on ebay, natch...
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G3RZP
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Posts: 4715




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« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2010, 09:01:51 AM »

Hidden in the depths of a 256 or 512 ball grid array, it would be so much hassle to change that it wouldn't be worth it.
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AA4PB
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Posts: 12893




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« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2010, 09:52:30 AM »

Hidden in the depths of a 256 or 512 ball grid array, it would be so much hassle to change that it wouldn't be worth it.

You expect Icom/Kenwood/Yaesu to custom program every radio that they sell with a call sign? How would dealers handle that? If they did, then they'd hear the screams from all those who find they can't sell their radios because they can't get the call sign changed without shipping it back to the factory and paying big bucks.

Make it remotely programmable and anyone could change it, including the thieves.

Then there's the question of the ID format. Make it CW and a lot of people could copy it by ear but it would become rather annoying to hear that with every PTT after a while. Make it some digital format (i.e. a quick burst on PTT) and you'd need some kind of software to decode it. Who is going to be responsible for monitoring?


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AA4PB
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« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2010, 09:59:26 AM »

By the way, there is "RF fingerprint" software available that can supposedly tell the difference between radios, even of the same make/model. RF rise time, stability - things that vary from radio to radio. If are really interested I suppose you could purchase that software and "fingerprint" each of your radios and keep the files. Then if your radio is stolen you can monitor all the stations on the air with the software and tell if someone is on the air using your radio.
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KE3WD
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« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2010, 04:04:13 PM »

Far simpler to install good quality alarm system in yo' ride, man. 

(and install some fishnetting with a handful of sharp treble-hooks tied to it behind the rig...)

Seriously. hams are the cheapest bastards ever seen in the sales world, ever whining, ever drivign prices lower, having driven almost all mom and pop dedicated merchants out of business already by demanding that they meet the same or lower prices than the high-volume purchasers and online stores, now they complain about the lack of local merchants catering to their hobby.  It is highly unlikely that the few remaining manufacturers of amateur radio equipments are going to add a feature of this type to their lineup with no foreseeable monetary gain, much less compensation, for such.  The consumer drives the market price. 

There also has to be a *market study* done in order to find out how many future purchasers would be willing to pay the price differential in order to have such a feature.  My prediction is that there wouldn't be enough interest to make it worth the development cost. 

On the other hand, this might be a nice add-on feature for the enterprising young electrical engineer/designer - and there may just be enough market share overall for a small SMT board that is able to be installed in many different transceivers that would or could provide such a service.  "LoJack for Transceiver" or the like.  Couple it with one of the now readily available and tiny GPS boards, you could not only id the rig but also send location data. 

Here again, the lock would be only as good as the thief - there will be those who would know how to go inside and disable or remove.  Still, with clever design it might be possible to make it not worth the while on the part of the thief to do so, which is what most high end locks are all about. 

Me, I'd just settle for sticking a small device inside there that would blow the damn thing up when I sent out the secret digital signal...

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K0BG
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« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2010, 04:42:00 PM »

Clark is dead on!

I might add, that a good insurance policy is in order too. Most companies nowadays, require you to notify them if your vehicle has amateur radio gear installed (at home, the gear is almost always covered without notification).

In my opinion, far too many amateurs try to hide their hobby by using mag mounts, and hiding their transceivers inside compartments, what have you. About all that does is make you warm, and fuzzy. The crook couldn't care less! Fact is, most will bypass vehicles with antennas all over it, knowing full well, that what's inside can't be fenced, and is therefore a waste if time.

This said, some parts of the country (Honolulu, is a good example), you leave anything in sight inside your car, and you'll suffer a break in.
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WB2WIK
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Posts: 20611




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« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2010, 05:20:48 PM »

By the way, there is "RF fingerprint" software available that can supposedly tell the difference between radios, even of the same make/model. RF rise time, stability - things that vary from radio to radio. If are really interested I suppose you could purchase that software and "fingerprint" each of your radios and keep the files. Then if your radio is stolen you can monitor all the stations on the air with the software and tell if someone is on the air using your radio.


That only works for FM rigs.  If your SSB or multimode is stolen, this technique won't find it.

And even with an FM rig, unless your rig had been previously "fingerprinted" (so to speak), there's nothing to compare it to so nobody'd find it, anyway.

I agree with Terry.  Most rigs stolen out of vehicles, unless the thief himself is a ham, end up sold for $5 to a pawn shop or thrown on somebody's lawn.

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W7ETA
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Posts: 2527




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« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2010, 05:48:09 PM »

If somebody breaks into my house and steals a rig, its covered by my home owners insurance.
If they break into the saddle bags of my motorcycle, there isn't anything in them worth stealing.

You could put a device similar to a "Roger-beep" with you call sign in it.  Try it out on 1o meters.  Hi hi.

I had a two meter rig in my car for a few months but got board with it and sold it.

73
Bob
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KD6KWZ
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Posts: 276




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« Reply #11 on: July 06, 2010, 12:59:53 AM »

Auto makers do something like this on the higher end radio/audio equipment options. You need the exact passcode entered in after it loses power. On the downside, a dead battery has lead to an expensive trip to the auto Dealer to reset the systems after the power loss!

Of course, I do have some "200 TO 600 VOLTS" labels around that I think I'll put on my rigs to discourage theft. Yes, some crooks would steal it anyway, like the copper thiefs that rip into power substations, WITH THE JUICE STILL ON (several deaths & severe burn cases have resulted!!), but some may get a second thought after seeing that!
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W0FM
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Posts: 2056




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« Reply #12 on: July 08, 2010, 11:58:05 AM »

KD6KWZ,

The high voltage stickers could be a slight deterrent.  Assuming that the perps CAN READ!  ;o)

Terry WØFM
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WB2WIK
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Posts: 20611




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« Reply #13 on: July 09, 2010, 03:16:54 PM »

KD6KWZ,

The high voltage stickers could be a slight deterrent.  Assuming that the perps CAN READ!  ;o)

Terry WØFM

My favorite label is:

DANGER!  50 MILLION OHMS!
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AA4HA
Member

Posts: 1482




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« Reply #14 on: July 12, 2010, 10:33:27 AM »

My favorite label is:

DANGER!  50 MILLION OHMS!

Isn't a ohm what people chant while walking in a circle around a stone pillar?  Ohmmmm ohmmmm ohmm

Tish
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Ms. Tisha Hayes, AA4HA
Lookout Mountain, Alabama
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