Placing a GPS Tracker on a Car

If you’ve purchased a Spark Nano 3.0 and plan to use it to secretly track the movement of a vehicle, there’s a right and wrong way to do it. Done correctly the device could be a goldmine of valuable information. Done incorrectly it could yield no useful results and land you in jail.

In terms of federal law the only concrete “regulations” we have come from a Supreme Court ruling sent down earlier this year. But that ruling is very narrowly focused to only include law enforcement agencies and some of the surveillance practices they use. We have no federal guidelines about the private use of GPS tracking systems.

State law is a different matter. As far as we know they’re only a couple of states (Texas is one of them) that regulate GPS tracking. But you should check with your state before you go about planting your Spark Nano on a vehicle.

As a general it is legal to track a vehicle in this way if you or another family member living in your household owns it. In the case of a vehicle not owned by you or a family member you can only install a GPS tracking device if:

  • you are using it to obtain the same information you would through physical surveillance
  • you don’t have to enter the vehicle to install it
  • you don’t have to trespass on private property to install it
  • the vehicle is in plain view during the installation
  • you don’t hardwire it to the vehicle’s electrical system

In a nutshell, you’re allowed to do whatever you want with your own cars. With the vehicles of other people you are limited to a temporary installation on the outside of the vehicle using a battery operated unit. It seems pretty straightforward.

Placing the Spark Nano

If you’re working with your own cars the only thing you need to know is that metal interferes with the device’s signal. Therefore, putting your Spark Nano in the trunk is a bad idea. You might try under the seats, in the glove box, under the carpeting, behind the door panel, or even high up under the dash. If you’d prefer an external installation you can attach it underneath a plastic bumper, behind the plastic in the wheel wells, between the grill and radiator, etc. Just so long as the device is not completely surrounded by metal you’ll be fine.

All-Weather Magnetic Case For Your Nano & Battery

All-Weather Magnetic Case For Your Nano & Battery

If you’re placing the device on a vehicle you don’t own you need to be very careful. The quickest and easiest way to do so is to purchase a magnetic case the Spark Nano can easily be slipped into. You can quickly reach your hand underneath the car and attach it to one of the side rails of the frame. The quicker and easier you can make the installation or less likely you’ll be discovered and the less likely you’ll be in violation of the law for altering the vehicle in question.

Is Private GPS Tracking Legal?

In November of last year the U.S. Supreme Court was hearing a case having to do with the legality of GPS tracking for police investigations.

At the heart of the case was a lower court ruling that threw out the conviction of a suspected drug dealer because the FBI did not obtain a warrant before installing a GPS tracking device on the suspect’s car. The Supreme Court’s eventual ruling on the case was very narrow, dealing only with certain types of police actions.

That leads us to ask whether or not private GPS tracking is legal. In other words, can you track your spouse if you suspect he or she is cheating on you? Can you track the movements of your children without informing them you’re doing so?

A General Summary

Though state laws do vary there are some generalities which apply across the board. Before we list them here however, it’s important to say that you should always check with your state before using a GPS tracking device like the Spark Nano 3.0. As long as you know and follow the law you’ll have nothing to worry about. That said, it’s generally acceptable to use GPS tracking as an individual citizen if:

  • you own the vehicle or piece of equipment being tracked
  • you can install the device on the outside of a vehicle or piece of equipment you don’t own
  • the vehicle or piece of equipment is clearly in the public view
  • the vehicle or piece of equipment is not located on private property belonging to someone else
  • information you obtain from the device could also be obtained by physical surveillance

In most cases you cannot legally use a tracking device if you must open the vehicle or equipment to install it, connect the device directly to an existing electrical system, or enter an area where the subject of your tracking is legally allowed to expect privacy. That means you can’t break into a car, break into someone’s private garage, or hardwire a GPS device to a car battery.

Family Use

It’s generally understood by the courts that there is no right to privacy among family members living in the same household. Therefore, it’s completely legal to use a GPS tracker to monitor the whereabouts of your children, keep track of their driving habits when they get their licenses, and conduct surveillance on a spouse. Whether or not it’s wise to do such things is the domain of the individual GPS owner. But it can be done legally nonetheless.

When it comes to your own vehicle you are protected by the law as well. You have every right to install a device like the Spark Nano 3.0 regardless of who might drive your car in the future. And you don’t have to warn other drivers about it. Whether you want to monitor how fast and safely the car is being driven, or give yourself some measure of protection against theft, your car is yours to do with as you please.

Five Tips to Help You Get the Most of Your Spark Nano 3.0

As far as the GPS tracking devices go the latest version of the Spark Nano is one of the best on the market. The Spark Nano 3.0 gives you all the features you need in a reliable device that can be used for both personal and commercial tracking purposes. You can use one of these devices to protect your kids, monitor your vehicles, and manage various parts of your business. All in a unit that costs less than $30 per month to operate.

Whether you’re currently a Nano owner or you’re planning to purchase your first device here are five tips to help you get the most out of it.

  1. Get the Magnetic Case – In most cases your Spark Nano 3.0 will be exposed to the elements from outdoor use. One of the best ways to protect it is to invest in the magnetic case from Brickhouse Security. This magnetic case allows you to mount the unit on any magnetized metal surface; it’s ideal for cars, trucks, RVs, boats, and more.
  2. Set Maximum Time between Reports – The Spark Nano 3.0 has the option of programming your reports to be transmitted in one, five, or 10 minute intervals. Every time you request the unit to report its position it’s using extra battery power. Unless you have reason to believe there’s an emergency, you can preserve your battery life by making the default setting 10 minutes. If you suspect you do have emergency you can always increase the frequency of your reports.
  3. Utilizing Geo-Fencing – Brickhouse Security has included a unique feature in the Nano called “geo-fencing.” This feature allows you to program into the device certain areas where your teenage drivers are allowed to go. If the vehicle goes outside of those predetermined areas you will receive an e-mail or text message informing you of what’s going on. From there you can track your vehicle’s movement and know where is at all times. Geo-fencing is one of the best ways to make sure your kids don’t go where they’re not supposed to.
  4. Don’t Hide the Nano from Kids – Typically we think of a GPS tracking device as a method of stealth surveillance. While it may be true, when you’re using your Spark Nano to monitor your teenager’s driving habits, stealth is not helpful. You want the teen to know up front so that he avoids undesirable behavior. It doesn’t do any good to find out after the fact, especially if you’re teen gets in trouble in the interim.
  5. Add It to Your Daily Planner – Nothing is worse than tracking an activated GPS device only to have it die because the battery is completely spent. If you utilize a daily planner use it to remind yourself to charge your GPS device on a regular basis. A fully charged Spark Nano is one that always functions the way you’re expecting it to.

Spark Nano 3.0: Peace of Mind in a Small Package

Let’s face it, there are things all of us worry about. Some of us worry about our teens when they’re out with friends on the weekend; some of us worry about our cars when they’re parked in the long-term parking lot at the airport. So if there was one simple thing you could do to erase those worries and get back your peace of mind, would you do it? If so, the Spark Nano 3.0 may be just what you’re looking for.

Spark Nano 3.0

Spark Nano 3.0

The Spark Nano is a small GPS tracking device that’s been on the market leader ever since Brickhouse Security released version 1.0. Today’s 3.0 version is the best one yet, offering you the most features in a rugged, durable unit that will provide reliable service for years to come. You can use the Spark Nano to keep track of items prone to theft, stay abreast with the whereabouts of your children, monitor your teenager’s driving habits, and so much more.

Buy Now >> Spark Nano 3.0 Real-Time GPS Tracker

Spark Nano 3.0 Specifications:

Any electronics device is only as good as the components used to make it and the capability of those components. Under the hood, the Spark Nano 3.0 packs a lot of power. Take a look at this:

• reliable uBlox 6 GPS Chipset
• 1300mAh battery; 3.7V Li-Polymer backup battery
• external GPS antenna connection
• GSM Phase 2/2+ Compliant
• quad-band 850/900/1800/1900MHz
• mini-USB port (connecting/charging to PC)
• water resistant (rating: IPX-5)
• temperature resistant (-40° to 185°F)
• accurate within 10 feet
• GPS sensitivity – 50 Channels
• cold-starts in 29 seconds; hot start in less than 1 second
• multiple monitoring options (Brickhouse server, white label software, third-party software)

Spark Nano 3.0 Best Features:

When you purchase the Spark Nano 3.0 you’re getting a GPS tracking device packed with plenty of features. One of the best is the detailed tracking reports you can receive according to parameters you set up. For example, your reports can be configured to keep you updated of the device’s location in one, five, or 10 minute increments. The real-time tracking allows you to always know where the device is at any given time. International tracking is also available. Even better, you can track your device using virtually any PC or mobile device without the need for any expensive software or smart phone apps.

Every Spark Nano customer has the option to utilize the Brickhouse security server, purchase white label software that can be installed and run on your own servers, or use the device with your existing software and servers. The tracking options provide the most flexibility to make using the Spark Nano as easy and cost effective as possible.

Commercial Use:

The Spark Nano 3.0 is ideal for both small and large businesses that operate company vehicles. There’s no better way to keep track of where your vehicles are, how safely they are being driven and, of course, their location if one is ever stolen. For companies with large fleets the Spark Nano represents a very cost-effective way to manage your fleet and the drivers who operate it. With proper management is GPS tracking device will help you get maximum efficiency out of your vehicles.

Personal Safety:

For personal use the Spark Nano 3.0 is also a great tool. Give them to your kids to carry whenever they’re out of house and you’ll always know where they are 24/7. Mount one in the car and you’ll be able to monitor how it’s being driven, when it’s being driven, and whether or not the vehicle is being used without authorization. And for teenagers just beginning to drive on their own, detailed reports will tell you if the car is being striven safely and at reasonable speeds.

You could even use the Spark Nano on family vacations when everyone splits up to go their own way for a couple of hours. There’s no more getting lost in large crowds, wondering where your spouse is, or trying to remember where your central meeting location is. There’s so much you can do with this cutting-edge tracking device that once you have it, it’s hard to imagine what you did without it.

Buy Now >> Spark Nano 3.0 Real-Time GPS Tracker