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Author Topic: Parking lot car finder  (Read 46546 times)
namobo
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« on: January 26, 2009, 08:25:34 PM »

Like many others getting over sixty, I too often come out to the mall parking lot and can't quite remember where I parked the car. Why can't X-10 design a transponder that can be installed in the car, and a key chain device that will seek out the transponder.  A compass on the key chain  would point in the direction of the car, and perhaps a laser light might blink or twirl above the car, activated when the key chain device is pressed. These devices would need to have greater range than current remote keys, which act only within about 100 feet or so, and then only blink headlights briefly ( -:)if you can't see the car, you can't see the lights).
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dave w
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« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2009, 09:51:20 AM »

I always remember where I parked, but after leaving the store, find that jokesters have moved my car. Seems to happen most at Home Depot and Walmart.

This is a great suggestion, but unlikely to generate much interest at X10, because it is fairly far removed from their "expert" (used loosly) areas.

Automotive alarm and remote start manufactures would be the typical developer. I think one reason we have not seen such a device  is; any radio device required to transmit a signal more than a couple hundred feet (on a good day) will be at a high enough transmitter power level to require FCC type acceptance, which makes development very costly.

We have a couple of the longer range GMRS/FRS  2-way radios and I just leave one with my wife. She has more brain juice than I and can always find the car. laugh

« Last Edit: January 27, 2009, 05:48:59 PM by dave w » Logged

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steven r
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« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2009, 02:04:18 PM »

My memory tends to like to store things like the nth digit of Pi. My brain also tends to favor a short term memory of almost anything else other than where I parked my car.  While I need to find my car more often than calculate things to 4+ digits of accuracy, that's the way my brain likes to work. I've learned to type my parking space location into my phone as a reminder. Failing that my car alarm has a window mounted antenna that has a really long range and is very loud!  Wink
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Alan V
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« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2009, 03:36:20 PM »

Like many others getting over sixty, I too often come out to the mall parking lot and can't quite remember where I parked the car. Why can't X-10 design a transponder that can be installed in the car, and a key chain device that will seek out the transponder.  A compass on the key chain  would point in the direction of the car, and perhaps a laser light might blink or twirl above the car, activated when the key chain device is pressed. These devices would need to have greater range than current remote keys, which act only within about 100 feet or so, and then only blink headlights briefly ( -:)if you can't see the car, you can't see the lights).

Why not use a handheld GPS such as this one http://www.amazon.com/Garmin-GPS-72-Handheld-Navigator/dp/B00006J6SA/ref=pd_bbs_sr_9?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1233091482&sr=8-9#  It even has a compass display.

Set your parking space location as a waypoint.  Then you're not limited by distance from the car.

The SNR of some of these GPSs is very impressive, however you might still have trouble in some parking structures.  Open parking areas should be fine.
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steven r
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« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2009, 11:12:36 PM »

...Why not use a handheld GPS...
...Set your parking space location as a waypoint.  Then you're not limited by distance from the car....
Forgot to mention that I've done that in the past also.  Grin
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dave w
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« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2009, 10:06:41 AM »

Hang a pair of underwear on the antenna, Fruit of the Loom label out...works for me.
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« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2009, 10:31:27 AM »

Ramsey electronics used to make a device that allowed you to track a model rocket via two-meter receiver.  Worked up to 1/4 mile.  (model rockets are an expensive thing to lose) It was called the MR6 kit.  Maybe you could find one of those and set it up in your car.
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« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2009, 01:00:59 PM »

Hang a pair of underwear on the antenna, Fruit of the Loom label out...works for me.

I think I've seen your car at the mall before.
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dellzip
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« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2009, 01:53:03 PM »

Like many others getting over sixty, I too often come out to the mall parking lot and can't quite remember where I parked the car. Why can't X-10 design a transponder that can be installed in the car, and a key chain device that will seek out the transponder.  A compass on the key chain  would point in the direction of the car, and perhaps a laser light might blink or twirl above the car, activated when the key chain device is pressed. These devices would need to have greater range than current remote keys, which act only within about 100 feet or so, and then only blink headlights briefly ( -:)if you can't see the car, you can't see the lights).
Now this would be nice!  Lets get GPS on this think also...
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dave w
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« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2009, 02:14:23 PM »

Hang a pair of underwear on the antenna, Fruit of the Loom label out...works for me.

I think I've seen your car at the mall before.
Big Grin  Grin
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steven r
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« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2009, 04:15:31 PM »

Ramsey electronics used to make a device that allowed you to track a model rocket via two-meter receiver.  Worked up to 1/4 mile...
An excerpt from a Google search of the MR6 kit manual...

    PLEASE READ THIS IMPORTANT INFORMATION
    The MR6 operates in the 2 meter Amateur radio band and should be used
    by or under the direction of a properly licensed ham operator.

    [/list]

    So figure the cost and study time to pass the technician ham license test if you plan to use this option.
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    tybirdtybird
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    « Reply #11 on: August 05, 2010, 06:12:29 PM »

    if you have an iphone there an app for that.  Grin
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    Dan Lawrence
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    « Reply #12 on: August 06, 2010, 12:26:19 PM »

    I always remember where I parked, but after leaving the store, find that jokesters have moved my car. Seems to happen most at Home Depot and Walmart.

    This is a great suggestion, but unlikely to generate much interest at X10, because it is fairly far removed from their "expert" (used loosly) areas.

    Automotive alarm and remote start manufactures would be the typical developer. I think one reason we have not seen such a device  is; any radio device required to transmit a signal more than a couple hundred feet (on a good day) will be at a high enough transmitter power level to require FCC type acceptance, which makes development very costly.

    We have a couple of the longer range GMRS/FRS  2-way radios and I just leave one with my wife. She has more brain juice than I and can always find the car. laugh



    Excuse me Dave, but don't you LOCK your car at Home Depot and Walmart?  If you have Keyless entry, the odds somebody else has the exact same keyless entry key is 50 Million to 1.  My wife got a Toyota Yarris that has it and she wanted to get a second key for it for me. The price was $300.00.  The car has 1 keyset.
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    beelocks
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    « Reply #13 on: August 06, 2010, 03:22:20 PM »

    It's not the key that costs big money, nor is it the transponder inside the keyhead.
    The huge price tag on a replacement key for a modern Toyota is the technician cost, computer rental and programming time for your Toyota dealer to plug in their laptop for approximately 15 minutes so that the car will recognize and respond to the new transponder within the key.

    Your local friendly automotive locksmith will clone your existing transponder if possible, reprogram your car for a smaller number if possible, install a transponder bypass system if possible, or tell you to suck it up and go to your Toyota dealer.

    Just remember that if you lose your only key whilst you're in Walmart you get to pay the towing fee to your dealer before they start the clock on reprogramming and rebuilding your computer and the physical car locks. Total cost for that service usually runs into four figures.

    Also, another transponder key doesn't stop the jokesters from moving your car 3 rows across and 2 spaces down like they do with everyone else. Although with a Yaris they could just pick it up and hide it in their pocket Smiley
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    Dan Lawrence
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    « Reply #14 on: August 06, 2010, 03:28:04 PM »

    Although with a Yaris they could just pick it up and hide it in their pocket Smiley

    Sure, if they are Superman!!!!   Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy
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