So I think we can all agree on some basic principles behind this project:
- most police don't take moped owners seriously, and telling them you've installed a high-tech tracking device on a moped would probably only make things worse, so any kind of tracking device should be something you could track yourself.
- GPS or any other sattelite system is too expensive to make it worth putting on anything less than a collector's item.
- the homing device should have it's own power source, since the primary use for this is for vehicles to small/simple to have onboard power (although possibly using the magneto to charge the power source)
- problems with rf trackers would include interference from buildings as well as other radio signals, and a limited range of operation (although the limited speed at which one could steal a bicycle or moped would make them idea for radio tracking as opposed to more powerful GPS)
- unlike lojack or onstar, what bike owners need is a simple concealable device that would afford us a modest window of time in which we could track down our bike and get it back, either by reporting to the police, or more likely, just taking it back.
I had the idea to build a tampon-sized rocket radio that ran on a AA or AAA battery, and you could hide it in the tubes of your handlebars, take it out and replace the batteries ever few weeks or so, or have some way of discreetly switching it on when you park.