Peace of Mind

Intelligent Deterrence

Tests of the M!nder Bike Alarm

Heard across a street. Highly intelligent. A bike alarm like no other! $210 CAD. Direct from manufacturer: $120 CAD.

Updated: Thursday 28 July 2022

Various outdoor tests of the M!nder bike alarm, carried out over the years. The newest are shown first, on this page.
These do not include the tens (hundreds?) of thousands of internal, development tests executed, but merely some of those shot on video, outdoors.

Pre-Release Tests, 2022

These are some of the outdoor tests carried out before the planned release of the first M!nder bike alarm, in late Summer 2022.

Pre-release tests. Summer 2022. Prototype shown.

Bolt Cutter Attacks

These show various attacks by a bolt cutter, against the M!nder bike alarm.
If the thief knows about the minder, he may well attack _it_ first.
Either way, he’ll have to attack both the minder and the lock.
And he could not claim to be an owner who’s lost his key: The true owner would know the password to de-activate the M!nder with.

He tries to cut the bike alarm, then gives up, and starts to smash the M!nder. On this occasion, the enclosure lasted longer than I expected; depending on the form of attack, it may not last even a few seconds.
This shows an attack that is quickly aborted when the bike alarm goes off. I then wait to show that the system does cease shrieking when the attack ceases.

Sneaky Attacks

These show some subtle attacks, aimed at not awakening the bike’s minder. As the M!nder is highly intelligent, and acts autonomously, it can dynamically adapt to different threats–whether a full-on attack, or a subtle, sneaky one. It does not need an app, and it does not need the rider to adjust its configuration for different parking situations!

Sneaky attempt at unmounting the M!nder. In practice, this is even more difficult than shown, because the bolts will be tight. (For the purpose of testing the algorithm, I loosened the bolts to check whether the M!nder will detect the attack. It did.)

The following shows an attempt to gently roll-away an unlocked bike, without alerting the bike alarm. The scenario I had in mind is for a quick in-and-out, at a familiar shop I always go to, at a safe location, with a less appealing bike, in daytime, perhaps even on a cold, rainy day. __I__ know what I’m doing; I’ve yet to lose a bike to theft, in thirty years. In that scenario, I’ve used a cable lock, without a M!nder. But, even then, I know that all it takes is for the wrong person to _happen_ to be passing by! You must never use the M!nder without locking your bike with at least a D-/U-lock.

Sneaky attempt at rolling away an unlocked bike without alerting the bike alarm. Of course, the M!nder detects this, and shrieks! (In fact, the system detects this sooner than it seems in the video; in this prototype, the less-loud warnings can’t be heard, due to a technical change that was being worked on.)

The following shows an attempt to steal the front wheel. As the most commonly-available position for hanging the M!nder may be from a U-Lock/D-lock on the top bar, the front and rear wheels can be subject to theft. Therefore, I needed to know whether a thief can sneakily steal a wheel. Unsurprisingly, the M!nder caught it! 🙂

Sneaky attempt at stealing the front wheel, while the bike alarm is activated. The M!nder responds with a shriek. (There are less-loud warnings which the video does not capture: This is a prototype, with a hardware fix yet to come.)

Mid-Ride Tests

Some of the tests of the M!nder, to check how the system behaves if the bike is stolen while the M!nder remains on it. (See above. You must always lock your bike.)

A test of the M!nder prototype, in Spring 2022. Some technical problems were shown. Unfortunately, I forgot to take the GoPro with me, so there is no close-up shot.

The following was in October 2021, before a proper enclosure was designed for the M!nder. Unlike the current system, this was attached to the bike frame.

Angle grinder attack on a prototype. The bike alarm is in a tin can, mounted onto the top bar of the DJ bike.

Earlier, Failed Tests

Most, if not all, of these are early, outdoor tests for the sound volume needed to form an effective deterrent. All other bike alarms use beeps to ‘deter’; the M!nder is the first bike alarm with a large siren, and massive intelligence focused on identifying a theft attempt.
(The actual, development tests took place over the six years since 2016. Those were not shot on video.)
No proper enclosure existed, for the M!nder, until 2022.

A playlist of some outdoor tests of the M!nder theft-deterrent for bicycles.

The following shows the bike alarm generating sufficient loudness to stop a couple of kids, playing a few tennis-courts away! There was no proper enclosure, though, and no reduction in size.

Loudness achieved, but within an excessively large enclosure.

The following is a test of a small, 104 dB siren, inside a metallic enclosure. It is not loud. (Do, however, note that the camera’s microphone does not really capture the loudness. These things are always louder _in person_.) The advertised Decibels (dB) of such sirens always fall short of the desired impact. I always go by the actual, outdoor test, rather than rely upon a measured, Decibel rating.
And this was at a quiet spot, let alone on a noisy street!

Just a test of a “104 dB” siren, inside a metallic enclosure, while outdoors.
The same set-up, but closer to a noisy street.

The following tests the scenario of a neighbouring cyclist, at a parking rack, accidentally knocking into your bike. The bike alarm responds briefly, then quietens.

Just a basic knock-test.

The following was likely one of the last of years of testing for voice warnings. Prototyping hardware is shown, not the M!nder’s.

An April 2021 test for the loudness of human voice.

And, of course, the ever popular farting-noise from an amplifier:

Something gone wrong with the amplification! 🙂

The following checks for the effect of a horn, on loudness. I use a pop bottle as an improvised ‘horn’!
Again, prototyping hardware is shown, not the M!nder’s.

How discernible could the effect of a make-shift horn be on loudness?

Plus other tests/videos I can’t be bothered to upload!

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