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  1. #1
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    Default Tracker, Netstar and my Discovery battery

    Maybe the following is common knowledge to many, but I want to share this with the forum:

    When I took delivery of my Discovery I 300 TDi, the previous owner had a Netstar tracking system installed. I was not interested in the tracking system so he cancelled his contract.

    No problem, every thing worked fine untill three weeks ago. When stationary for more than 10 hours the battery was reluctant to swing the engine. I had the battery tested and it was OK. The next suspect was the starter, but it too tested OK.

    The crunch came last weekend, when after two days stationary, the battery was dead. I connected the battery charger, and after two days the charger was still pumping 1 ampère into the battery. Monday morning back to the battery supplier, and again the battery tested OK. We then did a leak test with everything on and in the Discovery switched off, and found a leak current of 1,2 ampères! When I informed the supplier of the Netstar system his eyes lit up. He sent me to a Netstar installer to have the system tested.

    Being Monday 30 April both the local Netstar agents took a long weekend and I ended up at a Tracker agent. They tested the vehicle and found a Tracker and a Netstar system in the vehicle!

    According to them any vehicle with the aforementioned systems installed will have the systems on power, even if the contracts are terminated. These systems has their own built-in batteries. When these batteries go flat, the system draws power from the vehicle's battery, and occasionally the vehicle's battery and charging system tends to damage the tracking system, resulting in more power drawn from the vehicle's battery.

    It cost me a couple of hundred to have the two systems removed. My advice, if you terminate a tracking system contact, have the system removed.

    Regards from a Tracker and Netstar less Land Rover owner!
    Last edited by Thys Willemse; 2007/06/23 at 11:54 AM.

  2. #2
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    Hi Thys,

    I had the same experience, all documented on the old site. Netstar even replaced my old NS unit with a new one, but the battery was still completely flat after some 4-5 days, even with the replacement unit.

    The only viable solution I came up with was to buy a CTEK charger and leave it permanently connected to the vehicle, which stands for long periods at a time. I now have no more battery woes

    The CTEK is not cheap, but buying a new battery every 15 months or so was even more expensive

    -F_D
    Eric Skeen is the Family Dog
    White Fang:
    1999 2700i DC Raider 4x4
    Bull Dog: 1987 4Y-EFI 2200 DC 4x4
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  3. #3
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    I know this is old but after being in hospital for two nights my disco 1 wouldn't start. As luck would have it the previous owner phoned and asked if it is ok if he terminates the Netstar contract. Having worked for a company that did some testing on these units I know how much current the input circuit draws and I do not wont this device in my car, any idea where they typically hide them. Can only be under dash but don't feel like stripping too much in the search. typically they always hide it in the same place per type of car.
    Last edited by ZS5EFP; 2013/01/24 at 05:01 PM. Reason: minced my words

  4. #4
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    I have a "Tracker" installed and now a second tracker from Discovery insure in my Disco 3 TDV6 The same problem as Thys above. The technician packed up his tools and said he could not find the tracker from Tracker. He left. Now i still have two (of which one is not activated, but still takes power. The technician had the same story that it works with it's own internal battery. He did not mention anything about switching over to your car when that battery is finished?!?

    I replaced my battery with a new "deep cycle" battery. R3700 later at battery centre Menlyn
    Last edited by Dirk; 2017/03/04 at 06:14 PM.

  5. #5
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    Probably not a great idea to post the tracking unit locations on a public forum, but if you want to know where they put them on the D3 give me a call

  6. #6
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    I love how they tell us it uses its own battery. It is a tiny 3.7V battery and it runs down in about 6 or so hours(in standby). It is supposed to work as back-up. Baben thanks but mine is D1, I will whip out the RF field strength meter and sniff it out today.

    Luckily it is just GSM module with a U-blox GPS. Just need a way to get it TX more frequently, like getting it to hunt for a tower.
    The value of these units are so low that the company does not even want to recover it and expect us to pay to have the rubbish removed.

    Maybe i should get the unit to send 1000 sms's per day, they might beg me to remove for free :-)
    Last edited by ZS5EFP; 2013/01/25 at 06:25 AM. Reason: fix some typos there are more

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  8. #7
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    OK I found it and removed it!!! Mine is still the old type, with a gel battery (like those house alarm types just smaller). The battery is dad and I measured a consumption of about 2 amp. What a poor installation unit was wrapped in plastic (looks like bread packet) and then wrapped in insulation tape. I found the coax cable and leading from gps antenna and just had to follow it back to the units, and you soon find the non land rover black loom and the rest is history!!!.

    So hopefully now my days of discharged batteries are over :-),

  9. #8
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    Interesting thread this!

    On my Disco 2 I received a second remote along with the normal keys that I am not sure what it is for. I never use it and it did not make a difference until the battery ran down a few months ago.

    I spent ages trying to find the fault when the Disco would not start even after I replaced the old battery.

    Eventually I dug out that second remote and after pressing the button voila the Disco started.

    Could this be some sort of anti-hijack device or what? Anyone have any ideas?

  10. #9
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    JS V8. Correct mine also had the imobilizer function. Very crude on removal I neede to short 2 wires (fuel pump power gets interupted by a relay on the Netstar PCB). My pCb had several dry joints, especially on the terminals of the main connector, explaining my some times eratic engine behavior.

    As an electronic engineer that amongst other spent 4 odd years in the automotive electronic design game I am dead against aftermarket security items that require hacking into cars complex systems.

    There are just too many impedances too consider and complex data lines. At last my problems are over.

  11. #10
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    Thanks for that feedback. I will have to look into this and get the thing removed.

  12. #11
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    Just had mine removed-- a 2006 Netstar unit. Suddenly I don't have to worry about my car beeping when I press the remote to unlock/lock. Felt like the whole neighborhood knew when I was getting ready to leave/had arrived!
    Gambit: MY07 D3 TDV6 HSE
    It's the small things in life that matter

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  14. #12
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    Default Tracker in Discovery 2

    I bought a 1999 LR D2 18 months ago and have always had a battery drain issue, if I do not use the vehicle for more than one day the battery is dead.

    I am now convinced, after reading these posts, that I have an old Tracker unit installed in the vehicle.

    Can someone please send me a private message as to where they place the Tracker units on the D2.

    Thanks in advance
    Rick

  15. #13
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    Tired of having to jump the Disco 3 after it has stood for more than 2 days. Baben please could I take you up on that offer of telling me where they hide the tracking device on the D3?

  16. #14
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    Default Re: Tracker, Netstar and my Discovery battery

    Hello everyone. I hope I'm not too late. This is the only post I can find regarding tracker draining Discovery 3 battery. I've contacted Netstar and they confirm that my vehicle does indeed have a tracker installed. They want me to pay them, for them to tell me where they placed it, what a ripoff. Can anyone please point me in the right direction. It's very annoying having to hope the car starts up everytime I turn the key. Much appreciated

  17. #15
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    Default Re: Tracker, Netstar and my Discovery battery

    Quote Originally Posted by Coby_Jay View Post
    Hello everyone. I hope I'm not too late. This is the only post I can find regarding tracker draining Discovery 3 battery. I've contacted Netstar and they confirm that my vehicle does indeed have a tracker installed. They want me to pay them, for them to tell me where they placed it, what a ripoff. Can anyone please point me in the right direction. It's very annoying having to hope the car starts up everytime I turn the key. Much appreciated
    Firstly, I would be very despondent if somebody posted on an open forum where and how a tracker is installed.

    Secondly a tracker causing a flat battery is a Red Herring the size of a Yellow Submarine. If it is doing so, your Electrics (Battery/Alternator/some or other parasitic cause) are not in order.

    Some guy with a standard six and a 20 year old battery tester he doesn't even understand how it works, beside the meter being in the Red/Orange/Green zone is not what I would call a comprehensive battery/system test. A proper capacity test is somewhat more complex.

    In a modern car there are probably about 30 other computers that are technically MUCH more liable to be the culprit.

    -------------

    I rate this old wives tale right up there with the Discovery brake light switch causing everything from flat batteries, ECU failures, Engine management fault messages, broken crankshafts, heavy fuel consumption, faulty alternators, the three Amigo's, broken air-conditioning and punctures.
    Last edited by Fluffy; 2017/03/04 at 05:16 PM.
    Cheers

    NAGOF

    HAM Callsign - ZS5KAD

    Freedom of speech is useless unless you allow people you don’t like to say things you don’t like………

    If you fly or drive to an anti-Fracking meeting, you have no business being there and you wont get my ear......

  18. #16
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    Default Re: Tracker, Netstar and my Discovery battery

    The newer Netstar units do not drain the battery but the older technology units most certainly do! These are the ones using a separate 6v 4A battery hidden somewhere and when they go kaput, the Netstar unit attempts to charge them at around 800mA. If your vehicle is not used for a few days, it will drain your main battery.

    I had to prove this to our local NS installers a while ago on one of my vehicles. Disconnect the fuse feeding the NS unit and the current draw fell to only a few milliamps and the battery easily started the vehicle after a week or more had passed. They replaced my NS unit with a more modern one.


    -F_D
    Eric Skeen is the Family Dog
    White Fang:
    1999 2700i DC Raider 4x4
    Bull Dog: 1987 4Y-EFI 2200 DC 4x4
    Pra Dog: 1998 Prado VX 3.4 V6
    Hound Dog: 2000 2700i SC 4x4

  19. #17
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    Default Re: Tracker, Netstar and my Discovery battery

    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffy View Post
    -------------

    I rate this old wives tale right up there with the Discovery brake light switch causing everything from flat batteries, ECU failures, Engine management fault messages, broken crankshafts, heavy fuel consumption, faulty alternators, the three Amigo's, broken air-conditioning and punctures.
    Strong words uttered here Mt "Skrik-vir-niks".....................I started this Thread way back in 2007, and the Tracker Battery failure was indeed the cause of my Disco 1 300 Tdi's battery running down. That rig was pure mechanical bliss, no EGR, mechanical diesel pump etc......and the problem went away the moment I had the Tracker removed, I did not touch the alternator, battery at all, and as per Family Dog's reply, the unit now days work different, so I stick to my post, the problem, the fixing there off and the root cause analysis, for goodness sake, it was 10 years ago.......

  20. #18
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    Default Re: Tracker, Netstar and my Discovery battery

    Quote Originally Posted by Family_Dog View Post
    The newer Netstar units do not drain the battery but the older technology units most certainly do! These are the ones using a separate 6v 4A battery hidden somewhere and when they go kaput, the Netstar unit attempts to charge them at around 800mA. If your vehicle is not used for a few days, it will drain your main battery.

    I had to prove this to our local NS installers a while ago on one of my vehicles. Disconnect the fuse feeding the NS unit and the current draw fell to only a few milliamps and the battery easily started the vehicle after a week or more had passed. They replaced my NS unit with a more modern one.


    -F_D
    Sorry Eric, I just cannot and do not buy that.

    Yes you may measure 800mA at some point in time. But for how long.

    That's like 10 Watts. Where does that energy go to. Think about that.

    It's just not a technically realistic scenario. The fact that a tracking devise has a battery, good or faulty, has almost ZERO impact on your car. The battery is only there to keep the tracker electronics devise alive should a thief disable the cars normal battery.
    Cheers

    NAGOF

    HAM Callsign - ZS5KAD

    Freedom of speech is useless unless you allow people you don’t like to say things you don’t like………

    If you fly or drive to an anti-Fracking meeting, you have no business being there and you wont get my ear......

  21. #19
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    Default Re: Tracker, Netstar and my Discovery battery

    Hi All

    Family Dog and Thys are quite correct with their statements regarding the old NS units.

    However another often overlooked issue which nearly threw me a curve ball the other day are bad contacts between ground and battery and also between battery positive terminal and auxiliary positive cable attached to the pos. battery clamp.

    Had an issue with the FFRR, when it used to give me an air suspension inactive message about 10 days after a full battery charge. Vehicle driven daily even over longer distances. After it happened for the 2nd time, I decided to go back to basics. Removed all the terminals, lugs etc and cleaned them with fine emery paper and thereafter giving them a good spray with contact cleaner. Well once everything was fastened again, problem was solved. Also charge voltage was back up to a max of 14.1V, whereas before it hovered around 13.6 - 13.85V.

    Just shows once again, that oxidised contacts DO HAVE an effect on the electrical well being of the vehicle.
    George Bosch
    2003 Range Rover Vogue Td6 (Mine) / 2012 LR Disco4 V8 HSE (Swambo's) / 1998 Disco1 300Tdi ES (Sold) / And some more serious stuff

  22. #20
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    Default Re: Tracker, Netstar and my Discovery battery

    The only item touched on my 2009 Microbus was the Netstar when I had the flat battery problem and it's removal solved the problem instantly.
    There is no task too simple for some people to complicate !



    Ford Figo 2016

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