Car Alarms

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Jason Tracewell, Jun 18, 2003.

  1. Jason Tracewell

    Jason Tracewell Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2001
    Messages:
    54
    Likes Received:
    0
    Okay, I soon may be in the market for a car alarm (if all goes right).. I tried searching for different models and features, but found little information and pricing...

    So, I was wondering if anyone here knows where I could find information for car alarms or if anyone could recomend any certain models... I am not sure of price ranges or features, but I don't want a bare bones system either...

    I have seen something on ones that page you when the alarm goes off... Are these any good, or are they more gimicky?

    Any help would be cool... As I am stumped...

    Thanks guys!

    -Ice
     
  2. Adam Barratt

    Adam Barratt Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 1998
    Messages:
    2,343
    Likes Received:
    1
    Real Name:
    Adam
    I've been looking at one of these also. The pager models seem pretty good, as I just know that anyone near the car will ignore it if the alarm goes off (like I do when I hear an alarm go off).

    I'm looking at a locally made model, but I'm also considering importing one from the US, like the Inspector Boomerang Alpha 2000 (if that isn't a cool name I don't know what is, and who wouldn't want to remotely monitor the interior temperature of their car? [​IMG]).

    [​IMG]

    Adam
     
  3. Jason Tracewell

    Jason Tracewell Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2001
    Messages:
    54
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yeah, I usually ignore the car alarms too, which is why the pager idea seemed to be be a good idea, I just wasn't sure if they were actually good or not...

    That Alarm is pretty comprehensive! I'm not sure I need anything that 'feature rich', but it is pretty cool... [​IMG]

    And what about installation? Would I have to take it to a shop to get installed?

    So far, your help has helped! [​IMG] I am heading in the right direction!

    Thanks!

    -Ice
     
  4. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2000
    Messages:
    5,030
    Likes Received:
    0
    How are you with taking your car apart? car alarms are a major pain to install, but can be DIY if you're so inclined.
     
  5. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

    Joined:
    May 8, 2001
    Messages:
    8,390
    Likes Received:
    0
    i've tried a few car alarms in my day.

    had an ungo. i liked the mercury switch sensor a lot. it rarely gave me false alarms. but the guy who installed it did a hokey job, so i eventually had to take it out.

    had a clifford. worked well enough, but the sensor (engine compartment mounted) gave me constant false alarms.

    now i have a pursuit (which i think is made by audiovox - yeah...i kow). but suprisingly enough, it works pretty well. no false alarms (interior mounted sensor) so i'm happy.

    but i'm not too finicky these days. as long as it deters the casual thief, disarms my doors (cuz i'm lazy), and helps me find my car when i'm lost in the parking lot ( [​IMG] ) then i'm happy.

    installation is a little tricky. you have to know how to run your wires to your existing interior light switches (door switches) and cut into your ignition switch (for the ignition kill feature), etc. i've never done it myself, but i guess i could if i was motivated enough.

    regarding the paging alarms, i have a story (straight from my uncle) to tell you.

    in a nutshell...the alarm goes off, pages the guy. guy runs to his car ... promptly gets shot by the burglar. just something to think about.
     
  6. Jason Tracewell

    Jason Tracewell Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2001
    Messages:
    54
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well, it'll be a newer car, so I don't think I would personally like to try do it... Knowing my luck, I'd finish and end up with 'extra' parts... :b Although, when I installed my stereo in the car I have now, I did a decent job.. [​IMG] But I am sure alarms are much harder...

    I'd probably have to have it professionally installed, so (if I say got one off the internet) could I just go anywhere to have it installed? The last alarm I had was the $50 special from Kragens that basically mounted in the engine and tied into the battery line... But that was years ago.... [​IMG]

    -Ice

     
  7. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

    Joined:
    May 8, 2001
    Messages:
    8,390
    Likes Received:
    0
    hey, i just noticed you're down the street from me. i think we typed before? [​IMG]

    i'd just cruise over to circuit city or good guys. they do a decent enough job and, iirc, they offer a lifetime warranty on their installs. they should have a alarm to suit your needs.

    unfortunately, unless you really get high recommendations, i'd stay away from mom-and-pop shops. you just don't know if they're gonna be around in the future. that happened to me when i had my ungo installed - like three months later the place was gone.

    common alarm features:
    • keyless entry
    • passive arming
    • dome light activation
    • automatic door locking (when car is turned on)
    • automatic window roll up
    • operate other devices (garage door, etc.) from key fob
    i really like the automatic door lock - as soon as i start my car the doors lock. nice safety feature. i also like the window thing. when i leave, i just close my door and arm the truck - everything locks and all the windows (including my tailgate and sunroof) close. cool!

    it's been a while so i'm sure there's probably other really cool features.
     
  8. Tony Whalen

    Tony Whalen Producer

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2002
    Messages:
    3,150
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've got an older Viper system on my car (800HF if I'm not mistaken) ... similar features to Ted's system. It was their top system. (Current one is the 800-something-or-other)

    Keyless entry (nice to have on an older car!) remote trunk release, dome light activation, passive arming, auto door locking, ignition lock-out, 2-stage alert and much more.

    Plus my system has another six channels/functions unassigned should I want to add to it. (Window control, paging, automation of various other functions, including lights and so forth.)

    I'm going to add a remote-start option to the system... just so I don't hafta go outside for those cold winter starts. [​IMG]

    Get the system installed. It's a real PITA to do it yourself. [​IMG]

    Also, stay away from anything with a "voice" warning. You know "Please Step Away From the Vehicle". It seems cool, but every alarm tech and sales rep I've ever spoken to says to stay away. Kids will come along and kick your car just to hear it talk. Not good.

    Viper also offers GPS/lo-jack tracking systems too... just found that out. Cool!

    So far, I've been very happy with Viper. It's made by DEI (Directed Electronics).. here is their website.

    Also.. remember that ANY alarm system will usually not deter a professional thief. But it stops most of the kids/joyriders and such. [​IMG]

    Options to consider (DEI options)

    Mini-Piezo siren - installs inside the vehicle. Basically causes the would-be thief nice splitting head-pain. [​IMG] 18 bucks.

    They also offer an "Invisi-Beam" sensor. (87 bucks) Made for trucks & convertables... creates a detection field around your car. I've heard mixed results about this sensor, but as you have a convertable, it might be worth checking out. (You could leave the top down, and anyone reaching inside the car would set off the system.)

    Have fun with your search! [​IMG]
     
  9. AjayM

    AjayM Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2000
    Messages:
    1,224
    Likes Received:
    0
    Car alarms....well here's 3 most important things to consider when looking at car alarms. Install, Install, Install. Period, end of report. You can have the greatest, uncrackable, super-uber alarm that costs $10k, but if it has a crappy installation, it will be worthless in about 10 seconds. On the other hand you can take a $99 el-cheapo alarm system and throw a big install around it and it will be many, many times the alarm as the former.
    For instance some common things I've seen in crappy installs (like those from Circuity City, Best Buy, etc);
    - When I open the hood, can I see the siren? If I can, I can make it stop making noise.
    - When I pull the battery terminal off the battery, does the alarm shut down?
    - Is your valet switch visible or in a "common" place in the car? You know you can turn the ignition to "on" and flip the valet switch and most alarms will turn off (including kill switches in the alarm)
    - Can I look under the dash and find the wiring or the black box?

    I did a couple of installs on cars of mine, using just simple/cheap alarms from Ungo, Clifford, etc basically just giving me the features I wanted, and then I did the installs which average around 10-16hrs (10hrs because I knew the car backwards and forwards), that includes taking apart most of the dashboard to put the "brain" in a place that is not easily found, wrapping/integrating wiring in with factory wiring/looming, installing a backup battery and associated circuits (I used a fairly decent sized UPS battery with some diodes), installing 3 sirens in the car (one super-duper loud/illegal siren, a "screamer" under the dash and a regular siren, all hidden and not easily found/manipulated), etc.

    Andrew
     
  10. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

    Joined:
    May 8, 2001
    Messages:
    8,390
    Likes Received:
    0
    tony -

    what's a 2-stage alert?
     
  11. Jason Tracewell

    Jason Tracewell Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2001
    Messages:
    54
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ted: Yep, I am in your neck of the woods... In fact, I was up in Sac over the weekend... Which was probably a mistake with that college track meet going on...

    Anyway, I figured installation would be important... That's why I was not wanting to attempt this myself.. I like DYI stuff, but.. I know my limits.. [​IMG]

    I have seen where some of these things can control 2 cars as well, has anyone used this feature and how does it work?

    My wife has a car with a cheap-o alarm, but it would be nice to control both cars from one remote.. Even if we had to upgrade her car as well... I don't need my pockets to be buldging from 2 remotes, a handfull of keys and other misc. crap.. [​IMG]

    This has all been very helpfull so far! Thanks guys!

    -Ice
     
  12. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

    Joined:
    May 8, 2001
    Messages:
    8,390
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  13. Tony Whalen

    Tony Whalen Producer

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2002
    Messages:
    3,150
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  14. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2000
    Messages:
    5,030
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  15. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

    Joined:
    May 8, 2001
    Messages:
    8,390
    Likes Received:
    0
    hey...that's pretty kewl. ain't technology wonderful!
     
  16. Tony Whalen

    Tony Whalen Producer

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2002
    Messages:
    3,150
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  17. Ryan Wright

    Ryan Wright Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2000
    Messages:
    1,875
    Likes Received:
    0
    Make sure the +12V link coming out of the alarm to flash the parking lights is fused. Otherwise, the scenario goes as follows:

    1. Remove taillight cover & bulb.
    2. Short bulb socket.
    3. Break into car.
    4. Alarm emits one half-assed chirp and fries itself.
     
  18. Nick_G

    Nick_G Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2000
    Messages:
    67
    Likes Received:
    0
    JASON -- as someone who works EVERYDAY with law enforcement in AUTO THEFT PREVENTION programs listen to me.

    yes, alarms are good, BUT as some have mentioned they have a tendency to be ignored sometimes when they go off.

    depending on how NEW your vehicle is and/or how valuable you vehicle is you can do a few things to help protect it.

    you can use an alarm if you want. BUT also use a PHYSICAL DETERRENT such as a CLUB. when a potential auto thief is looking at cars and they see a car with a steering wheel lock like a CLUB they know they IF they want to steal your car they will have to work at it and a steering wheel lock will provide another layer of protection which means they will have to WORK if they want it. that means spending more time at the risk of being seen and/or caught.

    a physical detterent like a CLUB will send a VAST MAJORITY of auto theives in another direction looking for a more vulnerable easy target like a car NOT protected.

    use a "layered approach" to auto theft as your pocket book dictates. use an alarm, a CLUB, an engine immobilizer, a LO-JACK tracking system, and maybe even register in a "Watch Your Car" or "H.E.A.T" program. these programs allow police to pull your car over if it is seen out on the road during the hours of 1AM to 5AM. since most cars are stolen during this time period and if you normally do not drive during that time that may be a program to look into registering in.

    also look into getting all of your windows VIN etched. that is the your VEHICLE IDENTIFICATION NUMBER that all cars have. by getting your VIN number etched on your windows is another good measure of protection because if someone is trying to steal your car for profit it would be less lucrative to steal a car with the windows etched because anyone wanting to purchase that car for resale would have to purchase all new windows and that would be MORE costly and troublesome to do so.

    all in all i feel a steering wheel lock is your #1 line of defense first. and probably the MOST cost effective.

    just my 2 cents through experience!!
     

Share This Page