Mon­i­moto alarm/tracker £147

RiDE (UK) - - Products - BRUCE DUNN

www.mon­i­ THE MON­I­MOTO IS an alarm/tracker which, as the de­scrip­tion sug­gests, raises an alarm (via a smart­phone app) when it de­tects unau­tho­rised move­ment of your bike. The unit is a 126mm x 35mm ro­bust black plas­tic cylin­der that houses a bat­tery, SIM card and GPS elec­tron­ics. It needs no spe­cial­ist fit­ting or wiring, just at­tach­ing dis­cretely to a sturdy and rigid part of the bike.

The unit is paired to a mas­ter key that you put on your bike’s ig­ni­tion keyring. If the mas­ter key stays in prox­im­ity to the GPS unit, the tracker re­mains dor­mant. But if it de­tects move­ment with­out the mas­ter key, it starts try­ing to call your phone while the app re­ceives GPS or GSM co­or­di­nates of the bike’s lo­ca­tion.

The sup­plied SIM card only lasts for two months, af­ter which you have to re­place it. I used a £5 per month one from Gif­f­gaff — this is the Mon­i­moto’s only monthly cost, so there are no hefty sub­scrip­tions as with other track­ers. The GPS unit is stand­alone and pow­ered by 3V lithium CR123A bat­ter­ies, last­ing up to 12 months and cost­ing £7.

The Mon­i­moto does ev­ery­thing it claims and it’s sim­ple to in­stall on the bike. The app is in­tu­itive, with an un­clut­tered de­sign. Un­like a lot of track­ers, you can’t in­ter­ro­gate it to get a lo­ca­tion re­motely, so you have to rely on it send­ing data to your phone. This is why the bat­tery lasts for so long, be­cause most of the time it’s asleep.

To test the de­vice I loaded a bike into my van and took it for an ‘unau­tho­rised’ drive. Sure enough af­ter 1m 20s the Mon­i­moto woke up and called my mo­bile, let­ting me know mo­tion was de­tected. The app then no­ti­fied me of GSM lo­ca­tion. I drove for an hour, dur­ing which nine alerts were sent to my phone, of which only two were GPS co-or­di­nates – the other seven were GSM lo­ca­tions. These are pretty use­less as they cover an area of sev­eral square kilo­me­tres. The GPS lo­ca­tions did have an ac­cu­racy of around five me­tres though. In the event of my bike be­ing stolen, it would only have been of any use if the fi­nal rest­ing place of the bike gave a GPS lo­ca­tion.

Com­pact stand­alone unit gives GSM and GPS lo­ca­tions

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