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Thread: Alarm & Security 101

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    Alarm & Security 101

    pLEASE read & use the information to help your alarm/security purchase or concern. Do not post replies here. start a fresh thread to keep this post clean & simple.


    Abbreviations & Terms:

    OEM: Original Equipment manufacturer or stock stuff.

    Remote: short for remote control or the key chain transmitter used to activate functions remotely.

    Keyless: Short for Keyless entry or remote door locks.

    PPL: Progressive power Locks. This is a description of the stock keyless function. Pressing the unlock button once unlocks only the driver’s side door. A second press of the unlock button unlocks all the other doors.

    Proximity Sensor: this is a single or dual stage microwave type sensor that detects changes in the microwave’s wave pattern around the vehicle. When a disruption is detected, a -12v signal is created to sound the alarm or a beep-tone generator (see warn away) this is sometimes called a Perimeter Sensor, Field Disturbance Sensor, Microwave Sensor, or Convertible Top Sensor.

    Warn Away: this is a beep or chime device that is connected to either the impact sensor or a perimeter sensor letting intruders or people lingering to close to the vehicle for too long there is an active alarm present. Note talking alarms or sensors are part of the category.

    Single Stage: protects the outer perimeter of the vehicle only. Usually sounds a beep or chime tone (see Warn Away)

    Dual Stage: Protects the outer perimeter with a beep/chime tone (see warn away) & then has a full alarm section if a hand, body part or tool passes through the window, sunroof or other original or man made opening.

    Impact Sensor: a special type of sensor that detects blows to the body. This is accomplished by measuring vibrations in the body. Also called a Magnetic Resonance sensor, it is superior to any other type of sensor for measuring attacks to door locks, handles, windows, or other bashed items to gain entry.
    Shock Sensor: A very simple type of sensor that typically measures movement in the body by using wither a bulb of magnetic or mercury fluid. That literally works like the old thermostat in your home. Some times used as a jacking sensor too

    Reed Switch: this is that little sensor you see on doors are retail stores for their alarms & door chimes. It detects the breaking of a magnetic field between the 2 parts of the sensor. Used for doors where a pin-switch might get broken or be in the way; can be used on sliding rear windows, camper shell doors, & also to detect the removal of a part.

    Pin Switch: a simple plunger type device that can either detect something has been opened or closed. The OEM door pins are “normally open” meaning that the switch naturally wants to be extended by the spring in the switch.
    Also used on hoods & trunk lids.

    Starter Interlock: an OEM security device that reads the resistance in the key to prevent a dummy key from starting the vehicle. Versions are called PATS (Passive Auto Theft System) Newer OEM keys have a computer chip for higher code combinations. For Remote starts in our trucks, the PATS only requires both key's for programming, you do not loose or have to pay for another key to be left inside the truck.

    Starter Interrupt: A system that allows the alarm to intercept the key’s signal & not allow the vehicle to start. There are 2 types, see Fail Safe & Fail Secure

    Fail Safe: If there were a complete failure of the alarm brain, the vehicle will start without any action on the driver’s part. More convenient but less secure.

    Fail Secure: this means if a thief could find the alarm brain & rip it out, the vehicle will not start. Most secure method of starter interrupt, but if the alarm brain fails, you’re towing the vehicle to the alarm dealer.

    Valet/Override/Program Switch: A switch usually hidden that allows both override of the alarm in the event a remote is lost or damaged, also it acts as the programming control for the alarm.


    CONTINUED.....

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    Ant-Carjacking: Originally required a specific action on the part of the driver in the event a gun is produced & someone wants your ride. A hidden switch or sequence was required. Now the alarm with Anti-Carjacking, watches the sequence of the brake lights & door pin. If it sees the door pin open with the vehicle running & then close & brakes pressed to drive it starts a timer. The best system is owned by Clifford/DEI.

    Glass Breakage Sensor: A specially calibrated microphone that listens for the specific frequencies associated with the action of metal on glass. NOT the impact. As many pro thieves cut or punch the glass very quietly.

    Back Up Battery: a special small usually Gel cell construction battery that is linked to the car’s battery. It is charged b the vehicle’s alternator, but is on board if a thief cuts the main battery cable(s).

    Auxiliary Inputs/Outputs: this is a measure of an alarm’s expandability. Inputs are for optional sensors. Outputs are for controlling accessories like window controls, trunk releases, door releases.

    Power Window/Sunroof Module: an optional box that allows the alarm to open, vent, the sunroof or windows by remote. Also automatically closes the windows &/or sunroof when arming the alarm. Usually 1 module will do 2 windows or a window & a sun roof or rear gate glass.

    Remote Start: pretty easy here this allows remote starting of the vehicle. Run time is usually from 12-60 minutes & often adjustable from the remote. Anything that was turned on will be on hen remote started, heat or AC, radio, seat heaters etc.

    Defrost Output: on a remote start it allows the system to turn on the rear glass defroster. Also great to activate seat heaters.

    LED: This is a small to medium sized light of various colors that indicates to people passing the vehicle an alarm is present. This is 60% of the alarms effectiveness. It should be placed is a very prominent view from all angles of the vehicle. Most alarms can handle up to 5-7 LED’s on the standard output wire. Relays can be used to add even more.

    Passive Arming: the concept that once the last door is closed the alarm will automatically arm the alarm for you without doing anything. A nice feature for neighborhoods & late night arrivals home. Also nice to know if you are in a hurry you are protected. Be aware that if the alarm passively arms there will be a n allowed entry window of 15 seconds after the door is opened. That is technically more than enough time for a pro to find & rip out the alarm brain.


    CONTINUED

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    Ok general rules to live by:

    1.) Ask yourself this one question: WHY do I want an alarm? What am I REALLY HONESTLY worried about? Whole vehicle theft? Smash & grab? Or do I want a bunch of convenient accessory items & I have to buy an alarm to get them. Right? Wrong. Whole vehicle theft/Car jacking is a unique challenge. Smash/grab & accessories is where 65-70% of the general public want to be protected & consider an alarm.

    2.) a Professional thief will not be stopped by an alarm. Period. Don’t kid yourself. The job of a vehicle owner is to make the thief think twice about hitting your vehicle. If they think twice you did all you can. Because if he thought twice after seeing the LED, & still smashed the window. You still have to replace a window. Smash & grab comprises over 80% of the vehicle claims that an alarm might have prevented. Smash & Grab thieves avoid alarms. A pro will take the entire vehicle to a safe location to take the vehicle apart carefully.

    3.) An alarm is nothing more than a baby blanket with accessories. It allows you to hopefully sleep better knowing you are doing what you can to prevent a smash & grab.

    4.) Alarm pagers, as general rule are a very BAD idea. Smash & grab thieves are , typically, druggies & punks looking for quick cash items to hock. They are usually armed in some way & are not logical especially when all coked up. They will shoot without thinking. A pager is not a badge or a Super Hero’s mask… If you have one (belt type or on your remote control) use it to go somewhere you can SAFELY look at the vehicle…

    5.) Talking alarms are always a bad idea. They simply do nothing but tick off a smash & grab thief. & they advertise to Pro’s you have a cheesy alarm. Neither is a good situation.

    6.) There is not a sensor made to help detect or prevent tire theft that is worth the headaches of false alarms. The tilt type sensors will be offset when parked in a hill or step driveway, A loud Stereo, a Harley rolling by with open pipes, etc will set these & cheap shock sensors off.

    7.) Car jacking is not a new phenomenon. The first car jacking occurred back in early Henry Ford’s production days @ knife point. The media gives thieves ideas by the additional coverage of the problem. The only anit-carjacking technology I have found worth a crap is the Clifford/DEI system. Bottom line, if they walk up, give them the vehicle.. They do & will shoot. Often they shoot even after taking the vehicle. If they say they want it, get out & run toward the front of the vehicle, get the driver’s door in his way…

    8.) Perimeter sensors are good. 2 stage impact sensors are good. Glass breakage sensors are good.

    9.) Proximity Sensors come in several versions. "Warn away" sensors use a microwave field around the truck. It is adjustable for the exterior "zone" the alarm will chirp the siren if people get too close or are lingering too long around the truck in close range. Usually the exterior zone will not trip the full alarm siren. The interior "zone" is an automatic trigger... if the window is open & someone reaches in.. The alarm goes off... no chirps. This type of sensor was designed for convertibles & people who leave windows open. I like mine from Clifford on my other 2 cars. It’s adjustable for both zones on the dash.

    10.) The alarm brain needs to be as hard to get to as possible.

    11.) The LED needs to be seen from any angle around the vehicle. Adding more LED’s into the taillights, 3rd brake light, rear side windows, etc are all great additional protection.

    12.) GOOD alarms cannot be purchased online or mail order & keep any warranty. Most installers will not install alarms that are not sold by them or have been previously installed are older technology

    13.) Accessory items like Remote start, trunk release, window controls, door releases, hood, deck or door power opening etc are all possible with the auxiliary outputs of the alarm. Always remember, if it is 12v powered, an alarm can control it, open it, move it or close it.

    14.) Flashing Lights: the headlights is never a good idea, First it uses a HUGE amount of battery power. Also, the head lights are expensive & the on-off-on is what causes them to burn out. Not being on for long periods of time. Flash the parking lights only.

    15.) Siren location is always a challenge. Putting it where it can be heard best versus where it could be grabbed & ripped out from underneath. Hidden, firing into a wheel well to create a “megaphone” effect is always desired.

    16.) Additional sirens are never a bad idea; also consider them in the rear, 2 under the hood, one visible the other totally hidden. Also interior “screamers” are piezo high pitched sirens that hurt the ears. Talk with your installer about options

    17.) Valet switch is the programming switch & the emergency override if you lose, break or forget the remote to disarm the alarm. So, if you lost your remote, you could hit the unlock code on your door keypad, unlock the driver's door...as soon as you open the door the alarm should go off. Put your key in the ignition, reach to wherever you hid the valet switch, & press & hold the switch this will disarm the alarm. Also, the same process, will put the alarm to "sleep" of in bypass mode.. Like when you are washing/detailing the truck. Or if you are at a show & you are sitting with the truck... When you put the truck in valet, you still will have keyless entry with the remotes. As for where... that's a tough one... since it requires the ignition key ot be on I would put it somewhere within reach of you sitting in the driver's seat but out of immediate line of sight.


    18.) Passive arming is where if you do not set the alarm by remote, the alarm does it for you so you are always protected. Also, if you accidentally have your keys in your pocket & a quarter hit your remote & unlocks & disarms the truck, if a door is not opened in 3 minutes, the alarm rearms itself so your truck does not stay unprotected. One thing with passive is that you DO NOT want it to passively arm & lock the doors... VERY bad... drive through car washes etc are just one example of this problem.. Passive arm is good & important... auto-lock with passive/rearm.. BAD.

    19.) There is nothing wrong with building an alarm in stages. A typical alarm, remote start, keyless set up will run about $500-750 installed depending on the options. Adding more sensors, accessories like window modules, Neon controls, or door releases are all great round #2 upgrades. Tell your installer how far you eventually want to go up front. He/she can tell you which options will cost more later than first round due to the install complexity. Above all do not skimp on basic security to get a trinket or accessory.

    20.) Ask questions. Understand how each sensor or accessory affect or effect the overall operation of the alarm system. Don’t tell your installer/salesperson what you feel the solution to your problems are; tell them what your fears are & what you want it to do.


    Rob W.

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    Good post, did you type all that? LOL
    '03 Two-Tone #00664
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    typed up in word then cut & pasted, but it is all my wording. I didnt take anything from any of the security sites... its actaully the sales process I used to use when I wourked the floor.

    Rob W.

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    Thanks for the info. I used it while shopping for a alarm today, and the salesman didn't know the answer to this one. Since I will be giving up one of my keys to the pats bypass system, what is needed to replace that key? Do I just need another one cut the same? Everywhere that I have read (ebay, and one other web site) was not dealing with this type of system (the pats bypass module), they were just trying to sell the extra key, and they both stated that I will need 2 keys and the vehicle that they goto to program a new key. But, since the truck will now be equipped with the bypass module, won't I just need to have the correct type of key cut correctly, and it should work ok, right? Thanks in advance guys!!!
    Scott

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    You will still need to have the two keys to program your new key. The bypass is only for your remote start. make sure that you get this done before you have your original key installed in the bypass module. Otherwise, the dealer will charge you an arm and a leg to program your key. Most new alarm systems no longer require a key, so make sure that you are not getting an old system.

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    great post

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    thanks... gotta do all we can to make the forum useable...

    rob w

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