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Thread: Car Alarm Guide

  1. #1
    Silver Member 47.46.45's Avatar
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    Car Alarm Guide

    Car Alarms?!?!?
    So, you're in this thread which (presumably) means you're pretty interested in getting an alarm for your car. Firstly, why bother getting an alarm in the first place? They cost a decent amount of money and - for most people - your car has never been in a situation where you've wished you had one. Well, while you might have never actually had your car broken into, it's very definitely worth getting a car alarm; if your car ever is attacked by some random off the street, you definitely, definitely want a siren to be going off. It can mean the difference between a broken window and a broken window, ruined interior, stolen headunit or - worst case scenario - a stolen car. In the whole time you have your car and alarm, the majority of the times it goes off are going to be accidental, but for the one time it goes off when something is actually wrong, it's very worth it. If you think your lude is worth more than the cost of an alarm system, then definitely, definitely pay the money for an alarm. Alarms can also have other benifits - take a look at the features section - but their primary use is in deterring thieves.

    The three basic alarm types
    i) Budget Flashing Light ($1-$10)
    What is it: Basically, you want something that might scare a thief away and you don't want to pay any money. You wire up a simple light and capacitor to your car battery (via the cigarette lighter) and bingo! Flashing red light. It barely constitutes an alarm system but it needs to be mentioned. You can make this yourself in about half an hour with a screwdriver and the right components, recommend mounting it on one of the dash blanks (ie, the sunlight sensor space on the right hand side)
    Advantages: It's ridiculously cheap (we're talking sub ten dollars)
    Disadvantages: Not likely to really convince anyone, and on the offchance they actually break the car there's no sensors/alarm to activate.

    ii) Entry level alarm ($50-$400)
    What is it: An entry level alarm has some basic features to protect your car for a fairly decent price. You can probably install this yourself (read the insurance section first to see why you might not want to). Generally an entry level car alarm will set you back around $120 dollars, although the price can vary a bit between different units for whatever features you get. Expect an immobiliser, one or two shock sensors and a few remotes; the basic kit can include some other cool sensors, backup sirens and so on. Some also come with sensors for the hood and boot; these are a pretty worthwhile investment if you're worried about someone trying to steal your skis or whatever.
    Advantages: Decent protection for your car, still a fairly low price. Widely available.
    Disadvantages: Any real pro is probably going to be able to neutralise the alarm. Oh noes! That said, this alarm category is more than enough to deal with your average teenage ice addict.

    iii) High end alarm system ($400-$1000)
    What is it: A high end car alarm system will set you back a fair bit more than your basic system, but in return you get some really cool features (see the features list). Will have all black wiring, two point immobolisation and all that good stuff; worth paying if you think someone might try and steal your car and you want some extra features while you're installing the alarm system.
    Advantages: Heaps of really, really cool features. Possible insurance discounts.
    Disadvantages: Costs a mint, and no matter how much you pay, there's no such thing as a foolproof alarm.

    Features

    While the majority of features are pretty self explanatory, there are some that you might not understand. This section of the Car Alarm Guide goes over the functions of some of those features.
    - Anti-Hijacking: An anti hijacking Alarm System will automatically lock your doors when you start the car, and will unlock them when you turn the engine off.
    - Code hopping: Changes the transmission code and frequency to stop someone recording the unlocking signal.
    - Remote start: Gives you a button on your alarm remote that can start your engine without you in the car. Guaranteed to get you heaps of ladies.
    - Two-way remote: The average alarm remote only works from the remote to the car, and can lock/unlock the car, arm the alarm and so forth. A two way remote (or two way pager) can lock the car and so forth, but can also be notified if something goes wrong with the car. This way if someone hits your car you can know about it straight away (provided you're in range - usually about a kilometre).
    - GSM Two-way remote: Capable of notifying a designated mobile number via phone call and/or SMS the moment the alarm has been set off.

    Insurance
    Depending on what car alarm system you have and what insurance company you're with, you can get a discount on your premiums if you have an alarm installed. Usually the company will have three requirements: that it have all black wiring, two point immobilisation and that it be installed by a professional.

    Common Brands
    Viper
    Black Widow
    Tenon
    Cheetah
    Rhino

    Where to buy

    You can get a car alarm system from pretty much anywhere. A lot of retailers have them (JB Hifi for example) or if you feel brave you can pick one up off ebay.


    Good trades w/ otisp2005, skinnyboy, xriztoz

  2. #2
    Silver Member Veilside's Avatar
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    Yeah i have an alarm in mine, previous owner put it in.

    I would say its medium range, not low end. Hasn't got any of the high end features you mentioned.
    Brand : Mongoose
    Features :
    Central locking
    two button remote
    two ring microwave sensor
    auto imobiliser
    high frequency interior sensor
    impact sensor etc the other standard stuff

    Works a treat, dual microwave sensor is the most annoying thing in the world i swear. Works by sending two circular sensors around the car set at adjustable distances. If something comes withing the sensor is gives off a warning chirp, if its activated three/four or more times/if the intrusion doesn't leave within a time limit, it sounds the alarm for 30 seconds. To be honest people in shopping centers trying to get into there car or trying to put shopping into there cars don't need to hear my crazy loud alarm going off at everyone. so a simple unplug of the sensor unit worked well
    The sensor fields are full adjustable at could be really well used so if something comes withing 5 cm to the door handles triggers it i guess it would be ideal. The alarm has the high pitch internal sensor though, so its actually useless because if say a window was left open the sensor builds a field within the car so if a hand enters the opening it triggers. Though strong winds trigger it as well so its also a neusence

    All in all the alarm is great though, i'd recommend it.

    ps: i love the spell check on this forum, though it still doesn't help me spell things correctly

  3. #3
    Silver Member rogue_mc's Avatar
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    Nice info writeup 47.46.45

  4. #4
    Administrator azjs's Avatar
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    Nice info - anything to add about Satellite tracking for the 'alarm' enthusiast?

    -az
    B68-P 4th Gen Si - Tuned H22, Tuned Chassis, Detuned Driver

  5. #5
    Silver Member 47.46.45's Avatar
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    Lol, why not Will have to wait till I'm home, PDA keyboard sucks.


    Good trades w/ otisp2005, skinnyboy, xriztoz

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Veilside View Post
    Yeah i have an alarm in mine, previous owner put it in.

    I would say its medium range, not low end. Hasn't got any of the high end features you mentioned.
    Brand : Mongoose
    Features :
    • Central locking
    • two button remote
    • two ring microwave sensor
    • auto imobiliser
    • high frequency interior sensor
    • impact sensor etc the other standard stuff

    Works a treat, dual microwave sensor is the most annoying thing in the world i swear. Works by sending two circular sensors around the car set at adjustable distances. If something comes withing the sensor is gives off a warning chirp, if its activated three/four or more times/if the intrusion doesn't leave within a time limit, it sounds the alarm for 30 seconds. To be honest people in shopping centers trying to get into there car or trying to put shopping into there cars don't need to hear my crazy loud alarm going off at everyone. so a simple unplug of the sensor unit worked well
    The sensor fields are full adjustable at could be really well used so if something comes withing 5 cm to the door handles triggers it i guess it would be ideal. The alarm has the high pitch internal sensor though, so its actually useless because if say a window was left open the sensor builds a field within the car so if a hand enters the opening it triggers. Though strong winds trigger it as well so its also a neusence

    All in all the alarm is great though, i'd recommend it.

    ps: i love the spell check on this forum, though it still doesn't help me spell things correctly
    How much would an alarm like this one cost? im really into that "two ring microwave sensor"..and something on the extra like boot + bonnet sensors :S

  7. #7
    PA Resident typevu's Avatar
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    few hundred? ask places like JB hi-fi they got a nice range of alarm systems...

  8. #8
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    thx Vuuuuuuu

  9. #9
    PA Resident typevu's Avatar
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    And you wouldnt want dual microwave sensor anyway - I had the microwave sensor before but it shits me when it goes off in the middle of the night due to random things flying around the sensor in the car so I removed it.

    Just leave the badges off til you finish school then put it back on, you get them jealous kids when you drive a nice car like that in year 11/12 - put some kind of sticker in its place instead hehe

  10. #10
    Silver Member Veilside's Avatar
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    yeah man the sensor can be a pain aye.. specially in parking lots. As for price i couldn't tell you it was installed by the previous owner, i might have the price somewhere, but i'll have to check for you. I'll pm you if i find out.

  11. #11
    Gold Member Connections's Avatar
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    I got a Rhino one on my integra, its got alot of cool features apparently cost $800
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  12. #12
    Junior Member Dan Dan's Avatar
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    i have a viper alarm in my car (dont know the model) but it doesnt seem to work... changed the battery on the remote and the light flashes but no response at all... would it worth looking around for someone to repair it or just hook up a whole new one? if so... anyone here got any contacts to hook me up with a cheap/decent kit in Melbourne???

    Pretty sure JB had the ones mentioned above and usually reasonably cheap with their stuff... what do you all think...

  13. #13
    Silver Member 47.46.45's Avatar
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    Does your current alarm include an imoboliser? Sometimes it's easier to just rip it all out but it definitely depends on how handy you are with electronics, you might want to take it to a professional place to get it done.
    If you do decide to buy a replacement unit, JB HiFi and Ebay are both pretty good provided you know what you're looking for. Anything with all black wiring will *probably* meet Australian standards but yeah... you want to be careful.


    Good trades w/ otisp2005, skinnyboy, xriztoz

  14. #14
    Regular Member ludini's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 47.46.45 View Post
    you might want to take it to a professional place to get it done.
    The most important part of the alarm is the install, you can have a $800 alarm but if its put just underneath the steering column then you might aswell have bought a
    $50 alarm, as most actual thieves, not vandals, can disarm and start most cars with cheap installs in about 30 seconds.
    A good install will set you back $300-$500. where they take the dash out and install the unit and run wires in timely/hard to get to places.

  15. #15
    Silver Member EVL51N's Avatar
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    ^^^ Couldn't have said it better myself

    I've had alot of experience with immobilisors/alarms stuffing up (as the nsw members would know) and had to get it re-done 3 times because of dodgey installation so like ludini said...installation > product

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