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1
Announcements / Site Back End Management
« on: May 04, 2013, 10:31:31 AM »
As you know, we had an issue with the site over the past couple of days which has highlighted that we are lacking knowledge of keeping everything in tip top condition.

The site was repaired by Spike at our hosting company HostAndGo and he has offered to help us to keep the back end of the site running perfectly, keep us safe from hackers, up to date, run backups and general maintainance of the back end so this does not happen again.

I think this would be a good thing as it would allow us to keep everything running perfectly so we can get on with what we do best.

He has offered to do this by adding adverts to the site and he gets what the ads make. They wont be everywhere, just a few banner ads and things like that, and he has assured me that we wont have the Russian Bride ads again, or spam ads, so it wont be like it was when we used to have the ads.

He has also said that this will remove our hosting fees, so the site will run for free and he will look after everything.

I have said I wanted to run it by you all first, but I think it would be a good thing for us allowing us to get on with what we do, while making sure the site stays running perfectly without any hickups.

What do you guys think?


2
North West / Blue 90 stolen - Aspull, Wigan - 27/03/13 2am - WN2
« on: March 28, 2013, 05:11:32 PM »
- Date of theft - 27/03/2013

- Time of theft  - 2AM

- General location from where the vehicle was stolen (e.g “Hallum area of Sheffield”).   Please DO NOT post exact details of the location, particularly if it was taken from your home. - WN2, Aspull, Wigan

- Model of Land Rover - Defender 90

- Body style (e.g “Station Wagon”, “Hard Top” etc.) - Station Wagon

- Engine (e.g “Tdi”, “Td5” etc.) - 2.5 Diesel

- Colour - Blue with White Roof - Red Snorkle

- Registration number - E79 JBF

- Chassis/VIN number (Optional, if you are happy to have this public for risk of 'ringing') - SALLDVAB7AA306500

- Engine number - 19J07781C

- Security features that were employed on the vehicle (e.g “Steering wheel lock”, "Pedal lock",  “Aftermarket alarm”, "Factory alarm".   Please include brand names where applicable) - Toad alarm, & Cut Off Switch

- Distinguishing features (damage, mods, anything that you think would help identify your vehicle)  - Big red snorkle, raised drivers seat, Bulkhead removal bar, new cloth seats, new exhaust, new UJ's, new propshaft, bump on left hand wing, bumper kinked on left hand side, rear seats, tinted rear windows, back door handle is rusty,

- Contact details of the relevant Police force handling the theft + crime number - Greater Manchester Police - Wigan - Crime Ref:42837N/13

- (OPTIONAL)  Your contact details if you are happy to have them public - Kev - 07943 395535

- Pictures of the vehicle - Attached

[Edit : Database updated]

3
Date of theft 10/10/12

- Time of theft 05.30am

- General location from where the vehicle was stolen: Southdene, Kirkby, Liverpool

- Model of Land Rover: defender 90

- Body style hard top

- Engine: Awaiting info

- Colour: Orange and Black

- Registration number F505 MVU

- Chassis/VIN number : Await Info

- Engine number : Await Info

- Security features that were employed on the vehicle: Await Info


Much loved orange 90. Taken at 5.30am today 10/10/12 from Southdene, Kirkby
Vehicle was blocked in by 2 other cars, they broke into house, moved other cars out of the way and took the land rover.

It belongs to a good friend of mine and has spent years being restored.

I am awaiting photos and more information on the vehicle but it is distinctive, being black and orange.

List of modifications to follow. Please keep your eyes peeled, and if spotted please contact the police, and Dave on 07710 424010


[Edit : Database updated]

4
While at my suppliers on Wednesday, I picked up some alarms that may be of interest to us.

A remote unit sits in the car, or garage and senses movement within the garage or within the vehicle.

A remote unit sits in the house and can either chime (similar to a doorbell) or can be set as a 90db siren. There is a switch selecting between loud, off amd siren.

When movement is detected, the siren or chime alerts you indoors, while being silent in the garage or vehicle.

I picked up 4 of them, to see if our members are interested. I will sell them at my cost price plus postage to cover my costs but looking at them they look very handy indeed.

What does everyone think?

5
LandyWatch Security Products and Offers / The LandyWatch Shop
« on: April 03, 2012, 12:40:12 PM »
As some of you will be aware, I have recently started my own business selling tools etc.

I have an eBay shop, which can be viewed here: http://stores.ebay.co.uk/T4Tools

I have created a page on here for items that will be useful to our members, at a discounted price.

From the home page there is a link to the shop, which can also be found here: http://www.landywatch.co.uk/index.php?cID=133

If there are any other items from my eBay shop that you would like to be made available at a discounted rate for LandyWatch members, please let me know and I will add them to the shop page on here at a discounted price.


6
National/General / Another strange occurrance
« on: December 10, 2011, 10:26:35 AM »
On Wednesday, at about 5pm, I went out to look at something in my car, and there was a 90 parked across my driveway.

As I got out to where the driver of the 90 could see me, he took off up the road, so I took down his registration number.
The vehcile was pulling a trailer full of scrap.

I found this rather odd, what do you guys think? If it was someone looking at my car, because they have one the same, I would have expected him to speak to me when he saw me.

In hind sight, I should have followed him to find out where he was going and what he was up to, but do you think it is strange or is it just me?

Ive had the quad bikes outside, and now this so I am getting very worried.

It was a blue 90 with a white roof, on a C plate.

7
National/General / Quad bikes - BEWARE
« on: December 03, 2011, 05:24:46 PM »
Just been talking to a mechanic friend from down the road who was telling me to start making sure my truck is blocked in at night.

He was telling me what they are doing around my way at the moment, and it rang a bell to something that happened the other evening.

We were in the kitchen and heard something outside making a hell of a noise, and before we could run outside, it shot off down the road.

The guy down the road saw them, there was 2 of them on the quad, the passenger jumped off and looked at my motor, and then jumped back on the quad and shot off. When they got to the bottom of the road, a car shot out after them.

The same night, they nicked a 90 from a farm up the road, so it was obvious they where out looking at ones to nick and I guess when they saw my disklok and pedal lock, they thought to try an easier target.

So, be on the look out for quad bikes, as that appears to be the latest technique they are using, and obviously if you run out they can make a quick getaway.

So be on the look out for guys on quads checking out your motors...


8
Announcements / Stolen Vehicle Spreadsheet
« on: December 02, 2011, 01:50:59 PM »
Please see all of Jon's hard work at creating the Stolen Vehicle Spreadsheet.

I hope you find it useful.

Here is the link:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/pub?hl=en_US&hl=en_US&key=0Am51lfZe0e-qdGZmN0s3SDJTcm5OcG9tQXJfZEVPeGc&output=html

9
North West / Maroon astra
« on: November 23, 2011, 02:36:59 AM »
HY06 just drove up my road very slowly with no lights on.
2 people on board I think.
Looks like I'm on guard duty.

10
Visionaire Tracker review

 

Recently have had a Visionaire Tracking system installed and wanted to share my
views with fellow Landywatchers.

 

Given that trackers are most effective when the thief is not aware of its existence,
Admin has kindly agreed to post this review on my behalf to help maintain
anonymity. There’s no photos/screenshots I’m afraid but the excellent Fun Rover
review will give you that http://funrover.com/reviews/visionaire-gps-review/

 

I’ve kept some of the review deliberately vague so as not to give the wrong sort too
much info.

 

Overview of the system

 

Basically, the system is a permanently live GPS tracker that continuously monitors
and reports on the position of your vehicle through a web based interface linked to
Google maps.

 

In addition to permanent tracking, the system can be ‘armed’ so that any movement or
a cut in main power supply to the unit triggers an alert, sent both by text message and
email to up to three telephone numbers and three email addresses. The movement
alert is sent whether or not the ignition is switched on. Only you know how to arm
and disarm the unit so you do not get any false alarms when you are driving. The
system will act only if somebody is moving/tampering with the truck who shouldn’t
be.

 

Cost

 

The unit itself costs £300 which includes the necessary instructions + wiring loom etc
to do a self install. In order for the system to send text alerts, you will also need a
mobile phone Data SIM card, which you can arrange yourself or alternatively, buy an
annual subscription Data SIM card from Visionaire for £36. I went for the Visionaire
SIM just for simplicity and £36 per year seemed pretty good value. I also didn’t like
the idea of putting my own pay as you go SIM in and forgetting to top it up !

 

The unit has it’s own internal GPS antenna but I opted to buy the additional external
GPS antenna at £25 to give best possible reception when the unit is ‘buried’ deep into
the truck.

 

Despite what the Fun Rover lads said about the simplicity of installation, I decided to
pay for the fitting service, which was another £72.

 

In addition to the permanent tracking and text alert capabilities of the unit, there are
some additional elements that you can bolt on to the system. Best bet is to chat
through with the Visionaire guys what you want to achieve and what these bits would
cost.

 


- Remote vehicle immobilisation….. Kills the starter circuit… (Not while vehicle is
moving, otherwise it could be rather dangerous to other road users !). This element
doesn’t appear to cost any extra !

 

- Panic button…… Useful in the event of an accident or car jacking.

 

- Door and/or bonnet micro switches…. Would trigger an alert if the bonnet / door is
opened.

 

Installation

 

The unit and also the external GPS antenna are both well hidden in the heart of the
vehicle and there’s no clue for a thief that the unit is present. Exactly what you
want!

 

The unit requires a permanent live power feed but does have it’s own back up power
so that it would continue to report it’s position and issue alerts even if the battery was
disconnected. I’m not sure for how long the backup power lasts.

 

I also opted for the remote immobilisation option, which will allow you to remotely
kill the starter circuit. I know what you’re thinking…. No it won’t do it whilst the
vehicle is on the move….. that is illegal !

 

Operation

 

Basically, it’s pretty fool proof. The system is always on, tracking your position
and you can check this from a PC or smart-phone with web access.

 

In order to get the ‘move when ignition on’ alert (i.e if somebody hotwires or has
your keys to pinch the vehicle) , you must arm the system. If you were to forget and
the vehicle was pinched, then all the other alerts will cover you and you do still have
the permanent tracking to fall back on. If you forget to disarm the system before
you start up and drive off, you’ll get an alert text pretty quickly!

 

In my experience so far, I would say the accuracy of the tracking is to about five
metres, pretty darn good…. even when the Landy is parked up in the garage!

 

The web based interface gives you the ability to view your routes on Google maps.
Track points are generated by a combination of time triggers, movement and a
reasonable change in direction, allowing for an excellent track of the road. It took me
a while to realise that gentle twists in a winding road do not register as a change in
direction so that explained why it looked like I’d driven through a field ! You’ll see
the type of route tracking possible from the Fun Rover pictures.

 

You define your own reporting in terms of what comes through on text and email.
I’ve set mine up so that the key alerts of movement, main power feed loss and no GPS
signal come through by both text and email. Less important alerts, like confirming
the starter circuit has been immobilised, I’ve set just to come through on email.

 


I’ve put the unit in with security in mind but in addition to showing you the routes
you’ve taken, the online interface gives you a wealth of other info about your
journeys….. handy for example if you needed to record mileage travelled for business
purposes etc or track how long you are travelling for . The Visionaire servers hold up
to 12 months of journey history and the data can be shared with other people if you so
choose.

 

 

Summary

 

It’s cost me about £400 to have the system fitted (£330 if I’d have done it myself) and
going forward it will cost £36 per year for the SIM card. There are cheaper
systems to buy out there (Skytag for example) but their annual subscription cost is
double. Where Skytag and others fail in my eyes though is that the Visionaire
system is ALWAYS live…. You can check it’s working for peace of mind at any
time. It alerts you as soon as the vehicle moves or is being tampered with so you do
not waste valuable time in discovering your vehicle has gone and you don’t need a
crime number to activate the system.

 

I do accept that any GPS system is only as good as the satellite signal it receives and
the additional VHF element of the ‘Tracker’ system does go a stage further but
annual subscription on that system is something like £175 on top of a £400-500 outlay
for the unit itself. Not every police vehicle has a ‘Tracker’ detecting unit either
and with all the cuts backs I doubt they will send up a helicopter or even an equipped
car to find your vehicle.

 

If I was ever unlucky enough to have the Landy pinched, the big selling point of the
Visionaire system for me is that I’m the one that’s going to be in control of
coordinating the recovery with the police. I’m not relying on somebody else in a call
centre to do it for me. It’s down to me and I find that rather comforting.

 



11
North West / MOVED: 1957 series
« on: October 20, 2011, 03:50:58 PM »

12
Carl at ShireFabrications sent me a pedal lock, and has kindly agreed to donate £5 to LandyWatch for all orders which quote LandyWatch when ordering.

Upon receiving the item, its weight gave an indication of its hefty construction and a close inspection indicates how solidly it is built although it isn't to heavy to lift or maneuver around and fit.

The pictures should speak for themselves really, but as you can see the item fits snugly, with very little movement which would make it extremely difficult to remove without a lot of time on your hands and some hefty equipment.

I would say that it would most certainly make any attempt to drive the vehicle almost impossible without a lot of time and noise, and they would move on to a less secure vehicle and coupled with a Disclok, this would make a vehicle impossible to drive away easily.

Fitting takes less than 20 seconds, and is as easy as sliding the unit over the pedals, and pulling it towards the right, slide in the locking pin and turn the key.

Carl has also kindly offered to donate some prizes for our upcoming LandyWatch Autumn Adventure, which will include a Safe-T-Lock and a light bar. Thank you.

Items are available for secure purchase through Paypal here : http://shirefabrications.com/services or by calling

13
Visionaire have kindly offered to discount their basic tracker package by approximately 10%, from £299 to £270 (all prices include VAT)

There is an excellent review of the product at FunRover which can be seen here http://funrover.com/reviews/visionaire-gps-review/

The main advantages of the Visionaire system over other tracker systems is that you can track the vehicle yourself, and set up a lot of parameters, such as alerts if the vehicle is towed away or started with its own keys for example, which would immediately alert you, and allow you to take action quicker than may have previously been possible.

The tracker incurs a monthly fee of £6, which includes a Data SIM subscription and access to their more feature rich online system.   Visionaire also offer a nationwide fitting service for an additional cost.

I would highly recommend taking a look at the device, and similar devices to see how the features of the Visionaire system outshine its competitors.


14
Security Articles & resources / Insight: Land Rover Theft
« on: May 21, 2011, 10:37:18 PM »
Insight: Land Rover Theft

Crime Busters

Land Rover Theft is still on the rise, so is there any way of keeping your vehicle safe and in one piece? Peter Skilton talks to the people in the know.

Many thanks to Land Rover Owner International magazine for allowing us permission to repost this article.
All credit goes to LROI for this article.

I have retyped the article, and also attached the scans to show the pictures and the table.


Last year 1087 Land Rover Defenders were stolen in the UK. That’s 15 more than estimated when John Carroll looked into Land Rover theft in the December 2010 issue.
The figures don’t seem to be falling, as January and February have shown. The first two months of 2011 saw 167 Land Rovers being stolen, with Essex being a particular hot spot. If this rate continues, well over 1000 Defenders will be stolen in 2011, with very few recovered.

The 2010 Figure saw a recovery rate of 21 per cent for Defenders, compared to the national figure of 51 per cent for all stolen vehicles. That accounts for just 217 of the 1087 Defenders that were stolen. And ‘recovered’ doesn’t mean parked back on your drive ready for you to use. It’s a term that’s used whenever a crime is solved. Sometimes stolen vehicles are found burnt out or otherwise written off, but, most often, these Land Rovers are found in pieces, stripped and ready to be sold on for parts – the most lucrative marked for a thief. So, what can we do to stop this from happening?

I travelled to Berkshire to meet up with Mike Brigs, head of vehicle security at Thatcham, a not-for-profit organization aimed at reducing the cost of motor insurance claims, and Detective Sergeant Mark Tidy, working on behalf of AVCIS, the Association of Chief Police Officers’ Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service. They shared their tips on how best to secure your Land Rover against vehicle crime.

What can you do to protect your Defender?
Most recovered Land Rovers are found broken up and stripped for their parts. A ready market for cheap parts means demand keeps fuelling supply, thus more Land Rovers are being stolen.

An increasing trend is the theft of post-2007 TDCi-engined Defender bonnets. With many owners wishing to update the look of their vehicles, bonnets are fetching a premium on the black market.

Thatcham was quick to respond, promoting the use of parts-marking. It’s a cheap, easy solution that will, in time, prevent many thefts. The recommended method is the Retainagroup marking (retainagroup.com), a simple system that relies on three procedures: marking, registration and verification. Parts marked with the International Security Register (ISR) logo, a database of all marked vehicles, including a unique code for the vehicle and a telephone number.

Marking can be done through a variety of methods, including ultraviolet fluid marking, laser engraving or stencil etching. A kit can be supplied to owners to mark their vehicles themselves.

Once applied, the unique code is registered to the Retainagroup website and ISR database, along with the owner and vehicle details. Once marked and registered, a vehicle’s status can be checked by police, insurers or the public simply by calling the phone number and quoting the unique code.

Shown by window stickers and etchings, the vehicle can be seen to have been parts-marked, making the selling of stolen parts much more difficult, with buyers able to check the status of a part, linking it back to a stolen vehicle and giving the police a way of tracking the thief. The ultraviolet method of marking means it cant easily be ground off or painted over, while police can use UV light to identify parts and vehicles.

A marking kit from Retainagroup costs about £40. But it’s not a substitute for traditional methods of security – the more preventative measures that are implemented; the more secure your Land Rover is likely to be.

Thatcham also recommends using mechanical immobilisers, such as a steering guard or a pedal box. Thatcham’s top performers are the Metro Stoplok Pro and the Sakura 4Tress, both of which act as a major deterrent. Although not totally insurmountable, they’ll slow down a thief who wants to make a quick getaway, potentially putting them off completely.

One step up from mechanical immobilisers is to fit an aftermarket electrical alarm, which draws attention to the vehicle being stolen and an electrical immobiliser. Disarming the vehicle by preventing it from starting decreases the likelihood of a thief being able to make a quick smash-and-grab exit from your driveway. A vehicle already equipped with a factory-fitted alarm or immobiliser can always be upgraded to be more secure.

If all of the security systems listed here have been implemented, the vehicle is secured as best as is possible, significantly reducing the likelihood of theft. However, no method is 100 per cent effective, and a determined thief can find a way around the tightest security – say, using a low loader to get the vehicle away.

The next step, then, is to install a tracking device, which helps recover your vehicle. Thatcham approves a wide range of devices, including the Neo-trac and Sky Tag (as fitted to editor John Pearson’s Defender). Should your vehicle be stolen, the police can locate it using the tracking devices.

AVCIS points out some quick and easy methods of keeping your Land Rover secure. Keeping the doors locked and windows shut may sound obvious, but simple things such as this do act as a deterrent, even if the doors can be opened with lolly sticks. If this is the case, upgrade the locks to a more secure type.

If possible, lock your Land Rover in a garage or keep it parked in a well-lit area. If you’re able to, reverse it up to a wall and park another vehicle in front, making any potential thief’s life that much harder.

If a thief is set on stealing your Land Rover, the chances are he’ll steal it – regardless of security. All you can do is make it as hard for him as possible, increasing the chance of him being caught in the act.

www.lro.com

15
We have set up a service with SkyTag, who will supply us with sequentially numbered vehicle roof markings.

Quote
Helicopter observation, Police Officers at high vantage points and the thousands of overhead cameras on motorways, in towns and at ferry terminals means that Skytag really is the ultimate way of protecting your property.

SkyTag have kindly agreed to give £5 from every order to LandyWatch to help support our development.

My SkyTags arrived well packaged and are now on my vehicle which took about half an hour to fit.

Please see the Frequently Asked Questions below
Quote
How long do Skytag markings last?
Skytags are manufactured from top quality vinyl, with a life of seven years plus.

How easy is it to remove Skytag markings?
Skytags are formulated to take up to 5 times longer to remove than standard graphics supplied by vehicle sign companies, giving the necessary authorities the time to locate and catch the thief. Even when the markings are removed, the special adhesive we use leaves traces that take even more time to completely clean off.

Can Skytag markings be painted over?
Skytag markings are resistant to most paints.

Is it worth marking my vehicles?
Vehicle crime is an everyday occurrence, but with the ever-increasing use of camera surveillance, the chances of catching a thief in possession of a stolen vehicle are continually improving. Skytag adds yet another useful tool for the authorities.

I have a tracking system so why would I need a Skytag?
Due to the introduction of readily available cheap jammers over the internet tracking systems no longer give you the security they once offered. (Just tap "Tracker Jammer Blocker" into Google to see for yourself).

Can Skytag reduce my insurance premiums?
If your insurance company is unwilling to give you a discount when you tell them you have registered with Skytag, please contact us. We may be able to assist.

Is it really worth marking my caravan or motorhome?
Most units are stolen to order and generally head straight for the nearest port. Around 5000 caravans alone go missing every year, with a total value of over £45 million. It's big business for thieves. CRiS currently have around 10,000 caravans registered as unrecovered - in fact, at the moment fewer than one in four is recovered.

Why are Skytags cheaper than standard markings?
Skytag concentrates solely on roof markings, and due to volume of sales can pass the savings on to you.

Can you supply Skytags outside of the UK?
Yes. Please contact us for for confirmation of the delivery cost to your location.

To order your SkyTags, visit www.skytag.co.uk and click register, and then select the on-line option.
Fill in the form as normal, but in the 'Details Required on SkyTag' box, put the letters 'LW'
In the 'How did you find us' box, put 'LandyWatch'
They will then supply you with the next sequentially numbered SkyTag.

Once you click Register, you will be taken to the next page where you can pay for your SkyTag either online or by phone.




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