Many users of motorhomes and caravans are struggling with concerns about the safety of their mobile homes during their absence. So, is therefore any way of keeping the vehicle alone on a campsite without worries and set off on a bicycle tour? Polish system Trineo Move comes with a solution to that problem, and we decided to test it.
Since alarm systems are installed in houses and apartments, there’s no problem to use it also in caravans and motorhomes. Trineo Move is a system developed by a Polish company with its head office in the Pomeranian Science and Technology Park in Gdynia. It’s possible that the product will soon be patented, as appropriate proposal in this regard has already been made. So how does the Polish "invention" really work? We checked it!
How does the alarm work?
The test kit includes one motion detector, two proximity pendants, two cards with QR codes, as well as mounting elements. The principle of operation of the whole system is very simple.
After installing the application Trineo Move on your smartphone with Android system, we make the initial setup, including:
- e-mail account from which alarm messages with pictures will be sent
- e-mail addresses and/or phone numbers of recipients of those messages
- amount of pics taken after motion detection and their resolution
- time to arm and disarm the alarm
Then you can upload detectors to the application, which involves reading the QR code glued to the detector with the smartphone. Thanks to this the application will be able to identify from which detector comes the alarm (it is possible to connect several detectors simultaneously).
In addition to detect motion, the detector also measures the ambient temperature and can transmit alarm when too low or too high temperature is reached.
When the alarm is armed and the detector detects motion, this information is transmitted via Bluetooth to a smartphone with the application, and the phone sends an e-mail and/or SMS to pre-set recipients. Additionally, the e-mail may contain pictures taken with the smartphone’s camera, so it is important to set the detector in a location that is able to detect an object in motion at the same time within the camera lens range, after all, we would rather want to record an image of the burglar.
When the motion is detected, the application waits for a set period of time to disarm the alarm. However, the captured images are sent immediately as soon as the motion is detected. This prevents the possible loss of images due to the destructive actions of the burglar.
Disarming of the alarm can be done in one of four ways:
- Enter a preset PIN (quite uncomfortable when we have a limited access to the phone's display)
- Putting pendant against the phone, which through NFC module sends the code to disarm the alarm (convenient way, if we are using the phone equipped with NFC module and the phone will be mounted "back to front", which is recommended by the manufacturer - in our test the phone was mounted with display facing the front side, and it was difficult to read the code)
- Show the card with QR code towards the display (the most convenient way – it worked even from a bigger distances than NFC, allowing the phone to be hidden in an inaccessible place)
- Send an SMS message.
Arming the alarm is done by:
- Clicking the icon on the display of your smartphone
- Applying the pendant
- Show cards with QR code
- Sending an SMS message
Of course - so the whole messaging functionality could work - the phone must be within a GSM network range (if it has to send only SMS) or if it need the Internet access (if you want to send e-mails with pictures). If there’s no Wi-Fi anywhere near your motorhome, you might want to buy an Internet package from your operator. Abroad, we can use roaming or – to lower the costs - buy a SIM card from a local mobile phone operator.
In order to minimize data consumption you can reduce the resolution of uploaded photos. During the tests, a single image with a resolution of 8 megapixels took about 400 KB, while at low resolution 640x480 - only 25 KB.
A very important issue is also the power supply of the system - the detector is powered by a battery CR123. According to the manufacturer, it should withstand up to three years, so after a week of testing its level was still 100%. As for the smartphone, it's best to keep it connected to the charger permanently, what may be difficult in camping conditions. Fortunately, the manufacturer took care of the energy saving. In the armed mode scanning of QR and NFC codes doesn’t work until the detector doesn’t detect motion. According to the manufacturer, operating time on a fully charged battery, depending on your phone model, amounts 12-36 hours, while with power bank 10000 mAh (you can buy it for approx. 100 PLN – 23 EUR), working time may be extended to up to 5 days.
A significant drawback of the application itself is that when the phone battery level falls below 60%, the alarm can no longer be armed and will need to plug the charger. According to the manufacturer, this solution gives customers certainty that their smartphone will not run out when working, eg. in the middle of the night, interrupting its action in the least appropriate moment. However, we think it is an exaggerated caution, which may not be approved by the users – the limit could be set lower.
Does it pay off?
The essential question that any potential customer may ask, refers to the price. A basic set, using a single motion detector, now costs slightly less than 400 PLN (88 EUR). Is that a lot? Considering the price of alarm systems used in homes and apartments, no. The alarm used in the home can cost up to several thousand PLN.
This doesn’t mean, however, that it is impossible to buy it cheaper - for a long time in stores with applications on various operating platforms (Android, iOS, Windows Phone) you can find applications literally for a few euro or completely free of charge, which assume a similar or even greater functionality. Some of them, for example, detect the movement of the object located within the frame of the lens (simple lens without special detector used by Trineo Move), send a photo or even movie as an attachment to an e-mail, they also send SMS.
However, what is significant is the difference in operation. As explained by Trineo Move manufacturer, inexpensive applications detecting the motion in the field of view of the camera are very susceptible to interferences. A person passing outside the window, and even shadow on the roller blind can be enough to trigger the alarm. Also, strong gusts of wind swaying the vehicle, can trigger the alarm. Trineo Move is, however, resistant to such confusing signals.
In the case of this system the movement is detected by the PIR sensor, which operates in the infrared band and is able to detect human movement at night, which cannot be done by other applications. It’s also possible to mount additional sensors that can sent the notification about movement (it’s an important amenity for larger vehicles, even those that have a few rooms).
Advantages and disadvantages of Trineo Move
Those looking for the cheapest, but also the simplest solutions can start by testing a few cheap or even free applications available in Android/Windows/iOs stores. But if it turns out that a simple solution isn’t enough or that we want more developed and professional protection of our motorhome or caravan, Trineo Move should meet the expectations.
Tests of the version 1.0.2 on LG L Fino with Android 4.4.2 showed that the application is running stably, and each time sends the corresponding notice, but in our opinion has also several flaws that could be corrected in subsequent updates to the application.
We asked the manufacturer to complete our test of their comments and observations. Here are excerpts of the speech we received.
In professional security systems, anti-burglar function is almost always done using motion detectors, and the image from the camera is rather used only to verify the alarm. Intrusion detection only on the basis of analysis of images from the camera, as done by a lot of free applications for mobile phones, it is burdened by a high probability of false alarms, and besides, continuous analysis of the camera causes that the smartphone battery runs out very quickly. In addition, when using motion detectors, you can protect several rooms at once.
Although Trineo Move works on the smartphone, our system is not just a gadget. Trineo Move detector contains optics and electronics to detect movement coming from one of the most reputable manufacturers in the world. It doesn’t generate false alarms while assuring that an intruder has been detected. At the time of its launch at CeBIT this was probably the first in the market, professional motion detector for security systems equipped with Bluetooth radio technology 4, which enables it to communicate directly with your smartphone.
Acc. To us, for the comfort of using our system, what is also important is that the application Trineo Move uses voice. This makes it possible to be used both by 5-year-olds, who still cannot read, as well as 100-year-olds, who is not familiar with electronic devices. There’s no need to remember and enter PIN numbers. You just have to swipe the card, and the system will confirm the command, as well as will communicate its status, eg. low battery. In this way, we turn the traditional approach to work with an application.
If you are interested in Trineo Move system, right now there’s a unique opportunity to buy it cheaper! Only till the end of June, when shopping online via the website www.sklep.trineo.pl you pay 10% less. To use the discount, when purchasing you have to enter the code "KamperCR".