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security systems - built equally?

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  • security systems - built equally?

    I am going to be the owner of a brand new 2007 Scion tC in Nautical Blue within the next month.

    I'm an aftermarket type of guy, so I passed up the Scion security system (pretty expensive for basic security!) to install my own. Since my car will be filled with thousands of dollars in mods (audio/carputer/performance), it's imperative I get the best I can afford. With that in mind, I decided to go for a 2-way pager based system, like the following: Black Widow Kopel Crime Guard Commando Clifford Matrix

    I'm tempted to go for Clifford...but I'm considering other options as the Clifford is the most expensive and most widely used and therefore, I assume, more thieves know how to bypass/disable them. This and range are my 2 main concerns.

    Anyone have personal experiences with these or other 2-way pager systems?

  • #2
    get the one that u can page from your cellphone. think its an add on to the clifford system.

    oh and saying most theives know how to bypass something.
    not true.
    i mean i would throw a load of kill switchs.
    screw them all up.

    they wouldnt be able to find them all.
    and just hide the box really well.
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    • #3
      If they want your stuff, they'll take your stuff. If the alarms are installed properly, then it's not 'easy to bypass'.

      Having a battery backup for the alarm is a must, if you're concerned about them cutting off the battery. Hiding the alarm in a place that's not easy to get to is a must. Having multiple sirens is a must.


      • #4
        Don't get the Black Widow. I have installed many of them, and they are unreliable pieces of crap. Audiovox/Prestige alarms are not much better. I would suggest either the Clifford you pointed out, or possibly another DEI product (Viper, Sidewinder, etc.). Clifford is actually owned by DEI, the makers of Viper and Sidewinder, and they make good product. Just remember that 98% of an alarm's effectiveness is based on the install. If the wires are routed with factory wires, and taped or loomed to look factory, then the alarm will be as functional as possible. Extra sensors and such are cool, but they also complicate the install becuase they require more wiring and more components to be hidden. The Viper 791XV is the Viper equivalent of the Clifford you pointed out, and it has pretty impressive features. It has 6 outputs for extra stuff, horn output (so you can use that as another siren) and is as easy to install and program as an alarm can be. Battery backups are only partially effective; they are supposed to trigger the alarm in the event of a power loss, but they sense the latent current trapped in components throughout the car (for instance, if you have a stiffening cap) and do not go off for several minutes. I personally do not own one. Good luck!


        • #5
          i got the python 881xp 2-way pager alarm.

          most of the big names are all made by the same company, DEI. (python, viper, clifford, etc etc)

          for the love of god, after it's installed (by a pro), check all your triggers!!

          the guys that did mine "forgot" to hook up the passenger door trigger... and guess what? a theif popped the window, opened the door, sat down, ripped out my headunit, got out, shut the door (triggering the shock sensor)...


          after that i made them fix the passenger door trigger, make the shock sensor more sensative, and add a glass breakage sensor


          • #6
            The way I look at car alarm is just for convienience but not security.
            If a pro want your stuff, they will get it no mater what.
            Not that car alarm is ineffective, it does scare away those "thief to be and joy riders".
            Anyway, I installed about 5 alarm system over the years for family cars and they are all Vipers. Their products are rock solid.
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            • #7
              Originally posted by Legarcondemerde
              Battery backups are only partially effective; they are supposed to trigger the alarm in the event of a power loss, but they sense the latent current trapped in components throughout the car (for instance, if you have a stiffening cap) and do not go off for several minutes. I personally do not own one. Good luck!
              Just to clarify, my reasoning behind the backup battery (even though, yes, it will sense the loss of voltage if the main battery is unplugged and will trigger the alarm) is to keep the alarm going if someone breaks into your car and tries to silence it by disconnecting the main battery.

              If you have the right sensors (all door pins, hood pin, trunk pin) so that if ANYTHING on the car is opened, the alarm is already going off. That way if they disconnected the battery thinking it would shut up the alarm, it would keep going.

              Also, another vote here for DEI. I used to install their stuff via Circuit City and have the 790XV on both my car and my Wife's. Great units, although the remotes on the 791's are better.


              • #8
                The Viper 791XV is the best and most reliable system on the market today. You can't go wrong with DEI products because you will always be able to get parts (i.e. remotes) for their products.

                Stuff happens, you can easily break a remote. Try calling a shop to get a replacement remote for any of the brands you are thinking about buying.
                You'll probably only find a replacement for the Clifford (DEI). If you don't have a remote the alarm is useless.

                But even if you don't buy it because of the ease of replacement parts you should buy it because it's the best. If the alarm you get is half of the cost but you have to replace it 3 times it's not cost efficient.

                I've used almost every alarm on the market Viper, Clifford (pre and post DEI takeover), Code Alarm, Derringer, Ungo, Crime Stopper, Black Widow, Alpine, etc. and I've found the DEI products are by far the best.

                By the way I don't work for DEI.


                • #9
                  Thanks for your input all. I took a look at all the DEI looks as if they're all the same save a feature or two, and just rebranded!

                  If that's the case, then it seems likely the range of the pager would be similar. The range on the Avital is "up to 1000" feet and the range on the Clifford Matrix RSX 3.5 is a quarter mile (1320 feet), so I assume the Hornet and Viper brands are about the same. The Kopel I linked in OP claims a 1200 meter (3937 feet) range! I can also obtain the Kopel unit for less than $200, while the Clifford Matrix can cost me upto $600! And the Kopel's remote has pretty colors...

                  I was tempted to go for the Kopel...but there are no reviews for their product, and I don't feel like being a test subject, especially for my first brand new car. I guess it's the Clifford Matrix RSX 3.5 for me!


                  • #10
                    I got a Clifford, now what.

                    Ok, So I have a Clifford Matrix RSX 3.5 system Brand New in the box.

                    I bought it as some kind of employee offer when I worked at Worst Buy about 4 years ago.

                    I never installed it because I was hearing that by having this done, I could void my factory warranty on my (then) new trailblazer.

                    I mainly wanted this for the remote start, but a nice alarm is cool too.

                    After I got gushy on having it put in, I totally forgot about it.

                    Last week I found it in my closet, still int he box, all brand new.

                    Now, I'm debating whether to have it put in, or sell it.

                    I have 150 in it. I don't know how what the extra pieces were I had to buy now.

                    Can anyone give me a brief rundown of what these other parts probably are? It needed modules or something?

                    I mainly want it for the ignition start feature, and the alarm. I dunno what else this thing can even do, so I guess I can't say what other features I DON'T want.

                    Any input is welcome.

                    I'm debating whether to have this sucker installed now, or just sell it on the bay.


                    • #11
                      Furthermore, can anyone tell me ROUGHLY the "Real Cost" to get this thing from the box, to functioning on my car.

                      Maybe I need a little car alarm/remote start 101.(not as an installer, as a consumer)

                      That will really help me decide on whether to sell this thing or have it put in.


                      • #12
                        i have a python 990 and i love it, also, like stated before, battery backup, extra sirens, etc are a must..get them, they are just as good of an investment as the alarm itself.

                        Also, hiding the brain, and making all the wiring look factory (taping / split looming the wires) is a great theft deterrent. If you can look at the underdash of a car, and see a bunch of scotch locks, cheap electrical tape, bright, brand new aftermarket wires, etc, people know where to start following to get to the brain.

                        Oh the python 990's are rated for up to one mile. I personaly cant say i have ever tested it that far, but 1/4 mile i never have problems, my alarm also works when im inside a mall, store, movie theatre, etc...

                        Mayb ill write up a "Alarms + Remote start 101" later on...alot of people seem to have alot of questions on them..

                        But real quick, a rough, real cost of say, a 990 would be

                        990 - $550 with unit install, one siren, and whatever standard options the unit comes with.
                        Bypass - $85 with install, if your car comes with an immobilizer, you will need one, and fork up a key
                        Hood pin - $10 get a good waterproof mercury switch, the cheapo steel ones rust out.

                        So $645 for a "basic" advanced unit install, additional sirens, battery backups, etc..ill write up about later.


                        • #13
                          The range on these kinds of systems are rated for line of sight, with little interference, which is a scenario to be desired. My python 990 gets good range, but in a parking lot, you don't get much more than 1/8 mile.

                          I do like the system though. Works very well. I love having confirmation when my car remote starts. Works wherever I am in my apartment, and I often park kind of far away from my place.

                          All those DEI devices are quite literally the same thing but rebranded because they bought up a lot of their competition, so just take your pick, they're all the same inside.
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                          • #14
                            Thanks for that reply, but I'm not sure I asked the question right.

                            I bought this clifford Matrix RSX 3.5 4 years ago as a best buy employee offer for $150.00

                            So, I have the unit,

                            Then there is some immobilizer or something?

                            Then there is a hood pin? No idea what that is.

                            I vaguely remember from before, some sort of "module" or something to do the engine starting? or maybe it was something to allow an interphase with my door locks? I don't remember? Seemed like it was nearly $100 bucks.

                            I have an 04' Trailblazer.

                            Also, I dunno a ballpark on what it might run to install this thing.

                            It sounds like I can either spend another $200 bucks maybe? and have a cool remote start system installed, or I can prob sell this new unit for $200 and be rid of it.

                            So, it may be a net $400 dollar swing.

                            Is that about right?


                            • #15
                              id get rid of the older unit and pick up a newer, longer range, feature packed units. If you are willing to spend the money on it.