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Microchip in a geocache?


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Hello! Not sure which category to put this one in but a friend of mine recently has had some problems with his caches being stolen (mostly ammo cans) they are in usually deep forested areas and not so easy to muggle. I was curious if anyone has thought of microchipping their containers? Don't know what one would do with tracking info except to see where all these kidnapped ammo cans end up (hmm local geocacher? Nahhh ) just curious if this is something that would work. I can't imagine showing up at someone's house and asking for the ammo can back would turn out too well. :D

Edited by candlestick
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Unlike a car or something with as many parts, an ammo can doesn't have any  spots to hide something like that.

"In deep forests", I'd simply use a sturdy chain and lock.  Not many interested in them if the handle's ruined for some reason.  

 One premium member stealing ammo cans was caught by us. 

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Is your friend mentioning in the cache description that the container is an ammo can? Are there any logs that mention it?. If so your friend could ask the finder to edit their log. If you are real clever at metal construction then perhaps a false bottom in it concealing a tracker.

Edited by colleda
typo
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9 hours ago, candlestick said:

Hello! Not sure which category to put this one in but a friend of mine recently has had some problems with his caches being stolen (mostly ammo cans) they are in usually deep forested areas and not so easy to muggle.

I think many would be surprised how many "things" are found by people not playing this hobby.  Many locations that were cool enough to place a cache are often popular local spots visited by others as well.  I've found more true letterboxes hunting and fishing than with this hobby, and probably coulda filled a pickup bed by now with aged, "lost"/neglected animal traps (another hobby that claims their items "stolen").  :)

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Last week I talked to a guy in a preserve near a regional airport used by sky divers. He was trying to retrieve a parachute (worth around $3000 per guy).

They do put small trackers on those.

  I though it interesting that he was pursuing it from the plane shot jump video, rather than the tracker. And that his sole retrieval tool was a fishing pole.  He's been doing this for years, I assume his technique predates the trackers, so he sticks to it.

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I buy used ammo cans for $5 and $8 dollars each, and have no idea how much a micro chip would cost and if it could be easily removed, but surely noticed in an empty ammo can.

I have a PVC tube cache that I constructed tethered with a lock and chain in a high muggle area in a State Park, making it difficult to find by non-geocachers seems to be helping.

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12 hours ago, candlestick said:

Hello! Not sure which category to put this one in but a friend of mine recently has had some problems with his caches being stolen (mostly ammo cans) they are in usually deep forested areas and not so easy to muggle. I was curious if anyone has thought of microchipping their containers? Don't know what one would do with tracking info except to see where all these kidnapped ammo cans end up (hmm local geocacher? Nahhh ) just curious if this is something that would work. I can't imagine showing up at someone's house and asking for the ammo can back would turn out too well. :D

 

It is not likely that a thief would scan a "microchip" after the container is stolen, and post the location.  But if that could work, a note on the container may work just as well, and cost less to make.  "After stealing this cache, let me know where it is". :ph34r:

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An active tracking device would be obvious even if it was small like one that would fit in a bicycle downtube.  It would also need a power source. There are a number of passive devices that could possibly work but most likely would also have to be disguised in order to not be cast aside. 

Some powered chips, the size of a quarter and a little thicker, can be programmed for certain apps so that when they are detected they send location info to the owner using a phones computing power.  The random phone has to have that app active though and typically the range very small.  More than NFC but less than BT. The button battery of the chips are only activated when the device is near so can last a long while although not speaking for durability in the elements.  (They originally were meant for tracking kids or animals or crowd sourcing information but everyone has a phone anyway so they never caught on.)  You can buy them to attach to your keys so you can use your phone to find them but like I said you need the proprietary app on the phone and usually they only work around 5-10 ft away.  They say 30. Good luck with that.

The best thing to would be to put a USB stick that had a hidden lowjack program on it so when the thief plugged it in you could find the location.  You could label it with something like 'movies' or 'my passwords' on the outside.  I don't know how you would keep a cacher from grabbing it though.  Glue or weld it to the can?  Although I would never plug a random strange stick into my computer even if found in a cache.

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13 hours ago, OwenfromKC said:

The best thing to would be to put a USB stick that had a hidden lowjack program on it so when the thief plugged it in you could find the location.  You could label it with something like 'movies' or 'my passwords' on the outside.  I don't know how you would keep a cacher from grabbing it though.  Glue or weld it to the can?  Although I would never plug a random strange stick into my computer even if found in a cache.

Definitely not the "best thing" if you wouldn't plug it in either...      :D

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A decent cable lock would be less expensive than putting lojack on ammo cans.  But if someone really wants it, even that's going to come in second to a determined thief with bolt cutters.  As my grandfather used to say, locks are for honest people.

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What OwenfromKC mentioned reminds me of something I heard about a few weeks ago while discussing bike theft with some folks. I guess there's something out there that's like a small chip that can be attached to things that might get lost/stolen. The owner of that item could 'activate' that item when it's lost/stolen and then if anyone using that particular app is in range of the chip, then the app would notify the owner of the item's location. For example, if Jack's bike gets stolen, then he 'activates' it as missing in the app and if Jane has the app running and walks near the bike, then the app would send Jack the location of the bike based on location info obtained from Jane's phone when she walked past it. Jane is just a passive locator.

I don't recall what the range was, so not sure how close someone would have to be for their phone to notice the chip. I also don't recall the battery life of the chip.  The concept itself seems like a good idea. Of course, as with most crowdsourcing apps, it becomes more effective when there are more people out their with the app.

I came across a stolen ammo can myself recently. Found the contents of a cache, which was an ammo can, while out hiking on a minimally busy trail. Seems that someone swiped the ammo can sometime between my find and the previous finder, yet they left the contents and even covered them back up with leaves in the correct hiding spot.

Edited by noncentric
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Noncentric, are you thinking of nfc tags ? I read about them a while ago, and thought they had some interesting potential for use in multi or puzzle caches ( a bit like chirps) but stopped my research when I found my current not-very-smart-phone doesn't support them.

I don't think they would be a lot of use for tracking lost or stolen items though, the range is very limited, you have to have your 'phone right next to them to have them work it seems.

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On 3/3/2018 at 10:41 PM, cerberus1 said:

Unlike a car or something with as many parts, an ammo can doesn't have any  spots to hide something like that.

"In deep forests", I'd simply use a sturdy chain and lock.  Not many interested in them if the handle's ruined for some reason.  

 One premium member stealing ammo cans was caught by us. 

I'm curious for the story on how you caught them.

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7 hours ago, hal-an-tow said:

Noncentric, are you thinking of nfc tags ? I read about them a while ago, and thought they had some interesting potential for use in multi or puzzle caches ( a bit like chirps) but stopped my research when I found my current not-very-smart-phone doesn't support them.

I don't think they would be a lot of use for tracking lost or stolen items though, the range is very limited, you have to have your 'phone right next to them to have them work it seems.

I'm not sure what the tech was.  It came up in a casual conversation about bike theft and someone mentioned it. I was only half listening.

It might be something on Kickstarter or something like that.  I think the main 'product' was the app and the crowdsourcing aspect of it, and supposedly the range would be better than 'right next to'.  I'll need to see if I can find the actual product and will report back here if I find it.  It might be new tech, or maybe just a new twist on old tech.

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8 hours ago, noncentric said:

I'm not sure what the tech was.  It came up in a casual conversation about bike theft and someone mentioned it. I was only half listening.

It might be something on Kickstarter or something like that.  I think the main 'product' was the app and the crowdsourcing aspect of it, and supposedly the range would be better than 'right next to'.  I'll need to see if I can find the actual product and will report back here if I find it.  It might be new tech, or maybe just a new twist on old tech.

 

Those may be the bluetooth "phone finder" tracking tags that some have mentioned.  Some tags have a removable battery.  Others like the "Tile" are sealed, so you buy a new Tile each year.  Either way, the owner pairs it with his phone, there's an App to install.  With some kind of magic, that App will send location info, when installed on anyone's phone.  So if you lose an item, someone passing the location of the missing item helps you find it, within range of the device.

So if you suspect someone, and place the Tile on the outside of the ammo can, and the thief doesn't remove it, and the thief stores it in a way that someone will receive its signal with the App, AND you replace it every year in advance of it being stolen, that's a great plan. :cute:

 

Tile-Slim-Tracker-01a.jpg

Edited by kunarion
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Just tried to find the items that I had heard about and came to the realization that there A LOT of products out there nowadays. Some have geo-fencing, some are the size/shape of a US Quarter coin, some claim that batteries will last up to 2 years, some use crowdsourcing, some have alarms, some are affordably priced, etc.  A bit of information overload!

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If a cache is very expensive or hard to make, like many of the gadget caches, I think it'd be a great investment even if you had to replace a battery once a year.

Not sure I'd worry too much about an ammo can, personally. If they want to make off with my ammo can and bring in the cutters to break the chain to even remove it then I guess they can have the can. :lol:

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