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OT: grocery store theft detectors/alarms

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  • OT: grocery store theft detectors/alarms

    you know, those panels you walk through when entering/exiting the store....that if you've stolen something important...make the alarm go off. I frequent the local CVS drugs...mostly for a pack of smokes on the way home from work, and when I'm out, a bottle of rum...but that's not important. The last 3 times I've walked in the door (over the course of the last 6 days)...the theft alarm sounds.....while I'm walking in....and while I'm walking out. I didn't think much of it until tonight, for some reason it prompted thought. Not sure why. Anyway, I asked the checker lady why I keep setting the alarm off...and she threw out some stupid ideas. So I went back to my truck, unloaded my rum, smokes, cell phone, keys, wallet, emptied the pockets...etc... The only thing on me was clothes...I'd emptied my breast pocket of chips from the night before in the shop earlier in the day. I walked back in the door and the alarm went off again. The only thing made of metal on me was the zipper and button on my trousers. Then I started thinking...this is the first time in a long time I've been doing a considerable and consistant amount of a machine work....and the alarm started going off about the time my latest project started....I've kept busy picking chips out of my socks/clothes/fingers/forehead, but as far as I know I've got all of 'em. What sets off those stupid alarms? Do I have a piece of swarf of a piece of busted carbide endmill stuck in me somewhere?

  • #2
    No its just your rfid personality .

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    • #3
      Some of those security tags are just little resonant antennas... Basiclly, a precision chunk of metal.

      You may very well have a very precisely machined chunk of swaff somewhere in your hair or boot. Etc.
      Play Brutal Nature, Black Moons free to play highly realistic voxel sandbox game.

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      • #4
        I am no expert on the alarm systems, but I am fairly sure they are activated by a tuned circuit on a chip (small holder). The first thing I would think of is... are you wearing any new clothing, say six days old? Another thing you could do is take everything you were wearing when the alarm activated and bag it up. Then with a different change of clothes on (remember the shoes), go back and confirm that you don't set off the alarm. Then try it carrying the bag of clothes you were wearing. If the alarm goes off then you know it is in the clothes. With the help of a store employee you will be able to figure it out quickly and the store will be grateful.
        Robin

        Happily working on my second million Gave up on the first

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        • #5
          It's quite possible that you have one of those little paper tags stuck to your shoe or something.

          In our area the blasted things go off all the time, and the store personnel invariably wave people through without checking... well, as long as the person looks reputable.

          The paper tag holds a tuned antenna that resonates when it passes between the plates of a detector. While it is possible that you have accidentally created such an antenna from swarf, it's not likely. From: http://www.best-microcontroller-proj...g-circuit.html

          Systems have been developed wherein the circuits to be attached to protected articles comprise only a small piece of metal of a special size and shape to form a resonant circuit. These systems transmit continuously in the vicinity of the checkpoint at the resonant frequency of the circuits attached to the merchandise. When an article of merchandise bearing such circuit or piece of metal passes through the checkpoint, the circuit begins to resonate as a result of the transmitted energy. This in turn causes absorption of a portion of the energy in the vicinity of the checkpoint. Means such as a grid dip meter are provided to monitor such changes in ambient energy level and to sound an alarm when the level drops as a result of its absorption by a resonant circuit passing through the checkpoint.
          At the end of the project, there is a profound difference between spare parts and extra parts.

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          • #6
            Odds are it's a tag either sewn into your clothes or inside your shoes. Stores have had to get more creative at hiding tags.... Take the pads out of your shoes, there might be one hidden under there. For your clothing, all it takes is a bit of metallic thread in a seam and you have a "tag".
            "The Administration does not support blowing up planets." --- Finally some SENSIBLE policy from the Gov!

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            • #7
              It's a government conspiracy thing. They planted a microchip in you the last time you drank too much rum.
              They know your every move.

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              • #8
                I had a customer once who truly believed the goverment was watching us thru tv sets. After thinking about it I realized that my job wasn't that bad, LOL, can you imagine having a job watching folks scatch their selves while watching hours of tv a day?
                "Let me recommend the best medicine in the
                world: a long journey, at a mild season, through a pleasant
                country, in easy stages."
                ~ James Madison

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                • #9
                  Walk through naked, dont forget to take off your watch, spectacles and all your body piercings!

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                  • #10
                    The company which calibrates two of the stores in my area comes through once every 6 months. I can always tell when the alarms have been freshly adjusted because I set them off going in (and again going out.) I finally caught the tech when he was sorking on one of them and had him check out his device on me. I set it off and it puzzled him.

                    He took his wand to me and had me empty my pockets, remove my carry piece, belt and my boots. Still set it off. We finally found that it was the shrapnel in my right leg. He made some notes while moving his wand about on my leg. Whatever he discovered and calibrated for, I haven't set them off since.

                    Pops

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                    • #11
                      Those "product alarms" are utter crap and give much more false positives than real alarms. They peep even from a Cat5e cable in my bag or some similar.

                      And in here, if the alarm sounds...so what? Just continue walking. No law enforces you to stop or gives anyone the right to search you based on the peeping machine. You have to be caught in action stealing something or running from a crime scene in order to detain you until the police arrives. Only te police would be able to search you and if there is just a hunch or suspicion that you might have stolen something, they probably won't even come to check it out, as personal privacy is aknowledged quite high in here.
                      Amount of experience is in direct proportion to the value of broken equipment.

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                      • #12
                        I love to 'own' this one but it happened to a guy I don't even know.

                        This guy pays for his groceries, puts them into two bags and is walking out the store when the alarm goes off.

                        Never missed a heartbeat, just dropped both bags, stuck his hands up in the air and shouts out. "DON'T SHOOT "

                        Quite funny over here as we don't have guns.
                        .

                        Sir John , Earl of Bligeport & Sudspumpwater. MBE [ Motor Bike Engineer ] Nottingham England.



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                        • #13
                          I do service work in supermarkets and never set those things off unless I am carrying a rolled up extension cord. Sets them beeping every time. I just keep walking. The cop on duty never says a word. Yes, we have police located at the entrance of the stores to discourage shoplifting.

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                          • #14
                            I have also had them go off a few different times while walking in. Didn't have anything different with me at the time (at east that I knew of).
                            Andy

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                            • #15
                              I used to set them off all the time. Turns out the little antenna thingy was under the padding in my shoe.

                              I've been tempted many times to do Sir Johns "Dont shoot!!!" shtick. One of these days I will. If nothing else, it'll give the employees something to talk about for awhile.
                              Definition: Racecar - a device that turns money into noise.

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