Jump to content

"chipping" Concertinas ?!?!


Noel Ways
 Share

Recommended Posts

I just read another stolen concertina story. I imagine we all are pained and even perhaps feel the loss when we hear of such incidents. I know I do.

I have been thinking about something for quite some time now and suppose that it is worth putting on the table at this point. But the technology for identifying things has grown enormously. We "chip" our cats and dogs. We attach "tiles" to out key rings. There are now GPS units to track almost everything. And I am sure that there are other technologies that I am not aware of. AND, in most cases, these can be hidden or are at least unobtrusive.

Has anyone ever thought of or tried using such a system with their concertina. For example a "chip" or tile or something else hidden inside the bellows, or under the inside lining of a concertina case?

I was looking at one type of unit by the company: https://store.thetrackr.com/

Here, if you lose something, EVERYONE on who has the system will be alerted if it should come in close proximity to their iPhone etc. if they have the app. It is their unit, “bravo”; and as part of the bundle, there is a system for alerting the owner.

I once had an incident where a student of mine lost their iPhone, and we went to a computer in the next room and followed the phone down the highways, into the streets, and into a home. We knew the city, street, and house into which unit went (thankfully, here, it was an innocent mistake and everything worked out just fine).

There must be a cost-effective way of tracking lost concertinas !!

Any thoughts?? And, thanks in advance.

Edited by Noel Ways
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've never read a positive review of one of those tracking systems that relies on other people having an app on their phones. Nobody has the apps or lets them just be on all the time, and a phone has to be very close to the object in order to pick it up.

 

If you put an actual GPS tracking device in the concertina (like what's in your iPhone), and were able to use "find my iConcertina" (akin to "find my iPhone") to track the blue dot on a map on your laptop, that would be useful. There, you're looking at a lot of money, some weight, and the need for a battery you'd have to keep charged... but it would work, so long as its battery did.

 

When wireless charging technology gets smaller and better and cheaper, you could put a wireless charger in your concertina case and plug your case into a power outlet every night, and your concertina's GPS tracker would recharge with the instrument just sitting in the case.... I could see that working five years from now.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Don't buy the thetrackr product. It's not fit for purpose.

 

There are some small cat tracking devices using GPS which contain a phone SIM and a battery. Maybe it could be hidden inside a concertina case.

https://www.thepawtracker.com/blogs/the-pet-tracker-blog-by-the-paw-tracker/84621315-top-13-gps-pet-trackers-dog-and-cat-cell-phones-best-of-2016-reviewed

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 years later...

Just wanted to resurrect this as the first thread I found on this subject (apologies if it's been done again since). 

 

I drunkenly left my Wheatstone on the bar of the Bedford in Sidmouth at 2am a couple of years ago (luckily I was chased up the road by someone who was also in the bar at the time) and it spooked me enough at the time to think on this subject.

 

I bought a Tile Slim (https://www.thetileapp.com/en-eu/store/tiles/slim) which I hid within the lining of the box which seemed like a cost effective solution better than no protection at all. The problem is that it's no use if some scally swiped the box of a table at a session.

 

I have noticed since that they now make a small stickable tracker (https://www.thetileapp.com/en-eu/store/tiles/sticker) and I'm thinking this could be stuck underneath the reed pan to track the instrument itself. Apart from the deficiencies in the tracking method (which regardless, is better than no tracking at all), would sticking something like this affect the instrument / playability etc? How unsensible is it to glue something beneath the reed pan of a valuable Jeffries for example?

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some of these gadgets are intended for things you mislay, which are likely to remain nearby. They have limited range so would be no use for tracing something that is stolen. A device for tracing a stolen concertina (or anything else) would need GPS, a SIM for talking to a cellphone network (with a contract or pay-as-you-go account), a control system making it transmit its location at appropriate intervals, and a battery. I don't know whether commercial manufacture of such a device would be viable: one could be hidden inside a concertina fairly easily but not inside many of the other kinds of thing that get stolen.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, Richard Mellish said:

A device for tracing a stolen concertina (or anything else) would need GPS, a SIM for talking to a cellphone network (with a contract or pay-as-you-go account), a control system making it transmit its location at appropriate intervals, and a battery. I don't know whether commercial manufacture of such a device would be viable: one could be hidden inside a concertina fairly easily but not inside many of the other kinds of thing that get stolen.

 

The Tile device works in a similar way to the NHS Track and Trace system - it tries to talk to other bluetooth enabled devices and if that device also has the Tile app installed it registers the location and informs the owner. It's a long way from a perfect system but it's better than nothing. I've looked at instrument GPS trackers and the drawback there is battery life - I don't really want to be taking the reedpan off every 48 hours to charge the tracker. This is why something like the Tile system seems like a reasonable compromise. The question though is how sensible it is glue a small device of any sort to the inside of a vintage concertina reedpan, eg what would be the implications for the handling, resonance and the material of the instrument itself?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a Tile on my keys; this allows me to find my keys by looking on the phone and find my phone by ringing it from the keys. It has saved me a lot of time many times over. How well it works if the keys are out of bluetooth range from my phone I don’t know but I would not expect many other people to have the app running where I live so I’m not depending on it. 
 

If you can find a place to put it on the reedpan where it does not foul a reed, valve or the bellows  I doubt whether you will change the sound. I wouldn’t worry about damaging an older instrument, they are well made and if you are careful how you do it there will be no problem. If you want to drill a hole, its yours, you can do what you want. Just be sensible. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 hours ago, makeitfolky said:

 

The Tile device works in a similar way to the NHS Track and Trace system - it tries to talk to other bluetooth enabled devices and if that device also has the Tile app installed it registers the location and informs the owner.

The need for other devices to have the Tile app installed seems a significant limitation. It's reminiscent of the old fax machine problem: the more there are, the more useful each one is. By all accounts the NHS Track and Trace system has been remarkably unsuccessful, despite the propaganda urging us all to install the app.

The "How it works" page on the Tile website explains, very briefly, how to use it but not how it works. Fortunately Wikipedia offers a better explanation: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tile_(company)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just concerning the Tileapp models, if you had the Slim fitted then the range would be 61 metres and the Pro model would be 122 metres. It will show you a map of the last recorded location (and time?) of your wayward concertina -and that location would presumably be about 80 metres down the road from the pub car park, riding in the vehicle of the laughing degenerate who had just swiped your beloved concertina. But all is not lost! You just match that to the close circuit TV (with time) from the pub and Bob’s your uncle!

-Of course that makes assumptions about the thief...

 

I guess another option would be an alarm in the concertina that goes off if the car keys in your pocket are more than a certain distance from it. Worst case scenario for that would be if you left your concertina on stage and the lavatories are 65 metres away! :) 

 

Edited by simon ds
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here’s another one for cats. Actually, I might build something like this.

https://perfectight.store/products/cat-gps-tracker-locator-device-for-pets?utm_medium=cpc&utm_source=bing&utm_campaign=Bing Shopping&msclkid=2dda3fe90b3d1e22906a5fc2b2c65190

 

Hmmmm. It would be easy :) just strip out the gps module, use a large, long-life wafer thin battery secretly glued under a veneer on the reed pan, a blue tooth arduino for added options and a large wattage battery in the base of a beautiful mahogany concertina box used as a charging unit -one which works when placed on it’s side. This would allow you to be aware of the location of your concertina 24 hours a day at ten minute intervals.

 

Another much simpler option would be to fit the concertinas with tracking coils (that they have in shops), use a database, and have sensors and silent alarms at the doors of pubs, venues etc.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, simon ds said:

It will show you a map of the last recorded location (and time?) of your wayward concertina

 

That's really the appeal of the Tile solution. It's far from perfect and foolproof but it's better than nothing. Consider the scenario: you wake up bleary eyed in a tent, 9:30am, Sidmouth Folk Festival with a hangover. The box is nowhere to be seen. A look at the Tile app might give you a reassuring "2:30am Bedford Hotel". It could also say "4:30am M5 Gloucester Services" which would save you the time of trudging down to the Bedford hotel or calling the Sidmouth night bus office. Quickly responding to either could be the difference between ever seeing your box again one day or not.

 

I'm going to order one of the Tile stickers (small round stickable trackers) for my concertina and see how it goes. I think it's it's got be worth the £20-odd on a several-thousand-£ concertina.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ha, ha it will probably be helpful. :) 

-and of course it will only say ‘4:30am M5 Gloucester Services’ if that’s where your phone and your concertina were together at 4:30 or if there’s someone there with the Tileapp app active on their phone.

Actually, you could possibly get readings from the locator months later.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...