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Old 10-23-2002, 10:53 PM   #1
used to install.....
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vehicle security

in keeping with AIG sub forum on mobile audio...

Vehicle security is the other thing that people tend to get either
by fear of losing what they have, the past experience of loss
before, or just the peace of mind so they can sleep at night.

Obviously, remote control alarms are the way to go since every
manufacturer on the face of the earth makes them.

Features are key in vehicle security. But the most important features one should consider are the ones that will help protect
the vehicle first.

The first thing to consider is "how damn loud is this sucker"?
Wimpy sirens won't even scare small animals let alone the
potential thief. Make sure its loud.....loud...and loud....period.
Adding on things like horn honking, multiple sirens, and the like
help the alarm do one thing important, protect your car and protect itself too.

Second consideration, what other type of attention getting devices can i do to my alarm? Flashing the parking lights is
a given. Head light flash is not a good idea since newer halogen
light bulbs don't last too long with constant powering up and down for a minute or too. They need to stay on and cool off
gradually if you want them to last. Strobe lights are cool if
you can get them bright enough to be seen. The interior lights
(dome light) can also add to the confusion.

The good ol talking alarm can be questionable. How much fear
does the words "warning, protected by security system, stand back" strike in the hearts of die hard theives? Very little. Its more of a novelty for the price. Your money can be better used for different features that are more valuable.

Sensors. Now these are devices that trigger the alarm system
and makes all hell break loose. Shock sensors, glass (audio) sensors, motion sensors (exterior mass motion, not the old school motion detectors of back in the day), tilt sensors ( the good ones that have a memory of position of the vehicle when last parked) are all good to have. Decide which ones you feel
will give you the most peace of mind. Personally speaking,
a proximity sensor that detects the movement of mass outside
the car is the best since it will deter the theft even before the car is even touched. But make sure its not set too sensitive so that
a little bird poop sets it off.

Starter kills and ignition kills. The most used is starter kill since
most cars are automatic transmission. That way, trying to start
the car is like the battery is dead. (click, click goes the ignition)
Ignition by definition is when the car cranks but it won't start.
This is very dangerous especially if this feature malfunctions while
you are driving. Picture yourself driving along and all of a sudden,
the car justs dies in motion. No more steering, brakes, etc.
Can you say "oh f**k"?
There are systems that utilize a anti car jacking set up where
that the car dies after the car jacking has taken place but will only kill the engine after the car reduces speed down to a crawl
and the brakes have been engaged too. Thats a little more
acceptable. And also disables the use of the remote control to
bypass the anti carjacking mode. (ie. clifford blackjack)

Switches. These are the funny looking metal or plastic thingys
that control the dome light in the car. When the door is opened,
it triggers the alarm to sound the siren, flash the parking lights, etc. They can be added to the hood and trunk too. Sometimes
there are factory ones in the hood and trunk that can be used

Pagers. This is the one thing that I seldom recommend unless
you plan to be no farther than like 50 feet away from your car
at any given time. Pagers do only one thing, beep when the alarm is going off. If you cant get to your car in time, (say like in under 15 seconds) forget it. Plus if there are more of them than
you and they have more weapons than you too, think that one out.

All the other stuff. Now this is where you get all the cool stuff like
door locks, trunk release, window roll up and down, remote start, and even turning on and off your stereo. You can even set it up
to remotely open your garage door, turn on your front porch light, and even make a call on your cell phone to the police.
These are all the add ons that give you convenience more so than
security. ( I know the people on the east coast feel remote start
is a must for those real cold winter mornings so I'll let that one
pass as a must).
If youre gonna get all those other things too, just make sure you are getting all the security things first before the toys.

I can go on and on, but I think this will cover the basics.

feel free to ask about other things and I will give my opinion.

I hope this helped answer some questions many of you wanted
to ask but didn't know who to ask.

senior installation guru
mobile security advisor
home audio/video design consultant
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Old 10-23-2002, 11:12 PM   #2
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Good Info.
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Old 10-24-2002, 07:22 AM   #3
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I really hoped as a fellow installer that you would bring up the most important point of all! If you go out and buy a $800.00 alarm and all the toys, and then the guy/gal that installs it doesnt do a great job, well then you just paid $800.00 for an anoying piece of junk. Remember with most systems, almost half of what you pay is going toward labor, so when you are trying to get the best deal keep this in mind. The guy/gal that will do it right won't always be the cheapest!

Good luck!
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Old 10-24-2002, 11:13 AM   #4
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tons of good info there!!
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Old 10-24-2002, 03:09 PM   #5
used to install.....
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 150
Vehicle: 1999 Grand Am SE
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The most important thing about alarms

well...that is a given

Any security system that one purchases should be installed by a
professional installer. This is one type of device for the car that
most manufacturers prefer having a pro install especially if you
want the "lifetime" warranty that comes with most alarms.

The quality of an installer can be very easily determined by a few
simple questions.

Ask him or her if they can explain just how the system works.
(and I mean really, how it does arm, disarm, panic, override, adjustment, led readout status, all of that)

Ask him or her if there is a need for any special adaptors just for you car only. (this is where experience comes into play. the installer who has done a few will tell you if your car is one that
needs some kind of special adaptor and explain why)

Ask how do they connect the wiring in the car. (this is a real test
of an installers method of installation. if he says he uses wire nuts or just splice and tape, I would seriously go somewhere else and as fast as possible)

Ask if there is a way to bypass the alarm system and the exact steps to do it. (installers are usually the ones who end up getting all the phone calls from people who say they cant turn off their alarm and have no clue how to override it. If they cant tell you in person, we have a very serious problem)

See if they really wanna show you all the work they did on your car alarm install or some other installation just done. Good installers love to show off their work to anyone and everyone.
Thats where their pride shines. That is a VERY GOOD sign.

The price of installation has no real set price. Usually the installer
already knows his or her own value as to their ability and also
knows which cars are easy or a bi**h. The end result is your peace of mind and a flawless working security system.

Hows that for guidelines?

senior installation guru
mobile security advisor
home audio/video design consultant
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Old 08-16-2004, 09:57 PM   #6
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Get the Viper 550 or higher series, it has a longer range for paging and also tells you on a screen readout what sensor/sensors are going off. I get around 800' transmisson, more than enough at my job. I also live on the second floor in an all concrete building and park my car under ground under the building and get a perfect signal. It comes standard with auto start and 2-stage shock sensor and one pin (hood or trunk) I suggest you get both. It's supposed to get 1/2 mile range, but I live on Chicago and get a shorter range due to interferance and also all of the buildings.
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Old 05-05-2005, 08:41 AM   #7
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The Viper/Clifford remotes with the LCD screens break alot, just to let everyone know. And they only come with 1 remote, and there is only 1 year warranty on the remote. I usually recommend the viper 771 instead of the 791. Dont notice a difference in range and everything else is the same except for the remote. 771 is 2-way, but has flashing LEDs instead of an LCD screen.
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Old 07-10-2005, 03:35 AM   #8
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well, im not exactly an expert on this area..but something to keep in mind is where the alarm is mounted (in enginebay), i know on some older vehicles alarms would be vulnerable to being disarmed. i know mine, a simple crimeguard cause im a cheap s.o.b., is mounted high in the enginebay so that all wiring is out of reach and it can't be disarmed. one type of sensor that also wasn't mentioned i guess would be called an impact sensor. basically it sets the car alarm off if the car is bumped.

on a personal note, i love the tilt sensor. course it tends to go off if i dont park on an even surface....heh..

eh, other than all that. good faq. its quite informative and gives a good chuckle or two at times.
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