Thinking of getting a car alarm/starter combo and getting it installed.

DarkThinker

Platinum Member
Mar 17, 2007
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UPDATE:

Yaay, after looking things up here and there I bit the bullet and finally I have made up my mind and purchased a new system off Ebay for ~$150 after Ebay discounts. The seller offers an extended 3 year warranty for $20 so I have the option to make that decision very soon.

What do you guys think of this system and price?
Here is the description:

Compustar 2-Way Remote Car Starter & Alarm 2W900FM-AS

900MHz frequency with a 3,000 ft Range.

Works on MANUAL & AUTOMATIC Transmissions!



**Included Remotes:


(1) 2 Way Remote

(1) One Way Remote

Remote Features:

* Audible and Vibration Notification

* 2-Way Paging Remote

* Valet Remote

* Largest LCD Screen of All Compustar Remotes

* Compuglow Backlight

* Mulit-Colored LCD Display

**Alarm & Starter Features:

*Includes dual stage shock sensor

*RPS (remote paging system)

*External Siren (six-tone)

*Super bright blue LED

*2-auxillary outputs

*Dedicated trunk output

*Horn honk output

*Includes anti-grind and starter-kill relay

*Driver's priority unlock

*Ignition controlled door locks

* Trunk output

* Remote start

* Diesel features built-in



Now my car doesn't have trunk open feature, I am thinking of getting one of those universal solenoid kits that are connected to the alarm system of any car, will I have any issues with that?

====================================================================
- I am shopping around for a car alarm / starter combo with trunk open function after my car got broken into.

- I am considering installing it myself, people have warned me about this, since I have never done this before but, I was told my car might not start if I screw up.

- I am also planning on hacking the system so that I can add sensors of my own and maybe transmitters too! I am planning on making my own proximity sensors so that I don't have to pay and arm and a leg for them in stock products. I am thinking of using IR and UltraSonic transmitter/receiver pairs inside

- The car is a 1996 Honda Accord LX 2Dr 5-speed manual it does not have an OEM system in it if that makes a difference.

So I have been looking of Ebay for a good system. I have been told by some members about Viper and Clifford systems. Also I have been checking lower priced systems for Manual cars that also have trunk release and the one that I have been eyeing is this Ultra Start I like the price and there are some hardcore live.com discounts going around so I ought to be able to drop the price by %20 too.

Please post your recommendations and installation tips and warnings

Thanks
DarkThinker
 

EightySix Four

Diamond Member
Jul 17, 2004
5,121
49
91
I worked for a Car Toys that installed remote starts for quite some time, and I will tell you the two times I sold a remote start and alarm to someone planning to install it themselves, they ended up being pulled into our parking lot on a flat bed. That's not to say it can't be done, just saying most people end up failing.
 

DarkThinker

Platinum Member
Mar 17, 2007
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Originally posted by: crazySOB297
I worked for a Car Toys that installed remote starts for quite some time, and I will tell you the two times I sold a remote start and alarm to someone planning to install it themselves, they ended up being pulled into our parking lot on a flat bed. That's not to say it can't be done, just saying most people end up failing.

I appreciate the input, but can you specifically tell me what people fail at doing properly ? What information where they missing out on?

I really want to do this myself, not much motivated by the money savings rather than the challenge of knowing that I did it and I know how to from now on. However I want to research what I am doing well and want to make sure I have all the documentation I need.
 

nwfsnake

Senior member
Feb 28, 2003
697
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0
I have had luck with Viper. Compustar at CartronixPlus.com is another good company that makes models especially for manual transmissions. Also, you can get a t-harness from Bulldog that allows easy access for the remote-start function. $20 or so and you can hack it to work with whichever alarm you purchase, but the two connectors on it to break into the ignition connector is worth every penny.
 

zoiks

Lifer
Jan 13, 2000
11,787
3
81
I'd rather pay the 150 for the installation. I installed an alarm in my older car and it took all day to do it and it wasn't worth it. You have to open panels in a lot of places to reach wires. You also need to get a service manual that tells you which wire to tap into.
 

EightySix Four

Diamond Member
Jul 17, 2004
5,121
49
91
Originally posted by: DarkThinker
Originally posted by: crazySOB297
I worked for a Car Toys that installed remote starts for quite some time, and I will tell you the two times I sold a remote start and alarm to someone planning to install it themselves, they ended up being pulled into our parking lot on a flat bed. That's not to say it can't be done, just saying most people end up failing.

I appreciate the input, but can you specifically tell me what people fail at doing properly ? What information where they missing out on?

I really want to do this myself, not much motivated by the money savings rather than the challenge of knowing that I did it and I know how to from now on. However I want to research what I am doing well and want to make sure I have all the documentation I need.

The major thing is that they pay a yearly fee to a database that shows us exactly what wires need to be tapped and where they are in the car. The instructions available for the kits are pretty lacking as far as I have seen.

You have to tear off door panels, do wire runs from all over the car, tap into the ignition system, and disable the factory alarm system. Like I said, it can be done but the two that have attempted it have been failures.
 

SoulAssassin

Diamond Member
Feb 1, 2001
6,135
2
0
Yeah, basically it doesn't come with any vehicle specific information.

I would really recommend having a shop do it. Also, in my experience the advertised ranges on these things are BS. 1000' ft may work from 100' ft. I would get an mile range if you want it to work from any decent distance. Also, if you will be starting it from outside of visual range you may want a 2way so you get confirmation that it started.
 

DarkThinker

Platinum Member
Mar 17, 2007
2,822
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Yaay, after looking things up here and there I bit the bullet and finally I have made up my mind and purchased a new system off Ebay for ~$150 after Ebay discounts. The seller offers an extended 3 year warranty for $20 so I have the option to make that decision very soon.

What do you guys think of this system and price?
Here is the description:

Compustar 2-Way Remote Car Starter & Alarm 2W900FM-AS

900MHz frequency with a 3,000 ft Range.

Works on MANUAL & AUTOMATIC Transmissions!



**Included Remotes:


(1) 2 Way Remote

(1) One Way Remote

Remote Features:

* Audible and Vibration Notification

* 2-Way Paging Remote

* Valet Remote

* Largest LCD Screen of All Compustar Remotes

* Compuglow Backlight

* Mulit-Colored LCD Display

**Alarm & Starter Features:

*Includes dual stage shock sensor

*RPS (remote paging system)

*External Siren (six-tone)

*Super bright blue LED

*2-auxillary outputs

*Dedicated trunk output

*Horn honk output

*Includes anti-grind and starter-kill relay

*Driver's priority unlock

*Ignition controlled door locks

* Trunk output

* Remote start

* Diesel features built-in



Now my car doesn't have trunk open feature, I am thinking of getting one of those universal solenoid kits that are connected to the alarm system of any car, will I have any issues with that?
 

Hyperlite

Diamond Member
May 25, 2004
5,664
2
76
seriously, think about having a shop do it. I was in your position as well, and dissuaded myself from a DIY job. I don't really want to run the risk of setting an airbag off in my face.
 

DarkThinker

Platinum Member
Mar 17, 2007
2,822
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Originally posted by: Hyperlite
seriously, think about having a shop do it. I was in your position as well, and dissuaded myself from a DIY job. I don't really want to run the risk of setting an airbag off in my face.

Yes, after looking at member input I got dissuaded. The only reason being is that this is my commuter I don't have a backup car currently, so if I screw up I am a stuck duck. Had I had another car I would have done it on my own I have years of experience in electronics after all one of my degrees is a BS in Electrical Engineering and I should be able to take care of this system properly. However I don't have that much exposure to car systems and don't know what hidden surprises there could be, so I am playing it safe so that I don't waste too much time for now. But as soon as I get another car I will move the system to it on my own.
 

DarkThinker

Platinum Member
Mar 17, 2007
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So I am going to be calling up some installers tomorrow, I know for sure there is one car system installation place in the area that does CompuStar systems, I'll find out how much they charge with respect to others

Also, I have been doing some research about what needs to be done, and I am making a To Do list on what to request and make sure the installer does or doesn't do, here it is so far:

- Should I purchase automotive relays ahead of the installation, so that I am not charged an arm and a leg for them at the shop or would that not make a difference because the shop's installation fee is fixed?

- Make sure that the installer places sensors at the right place

- Make sure sensor is responding to proper level of input

- Make sure that the installers sets up an ignition kill switch / "immobilizer" so that the car can't be started when armed even with key

- Make sure that the trunkc open solenoid can be easily installed

- Does honda's ECU for the 1996 Accord provide information about a neutral gear position? Some cars (i.e Subaru) have a wire at the cars ECU that shows ground when in gear.

- Make sure to at least use 12 gauge wire for the trunk solenoid because they need quite a few amps to make a strong pull.

- When T-taps or Screw cap connections are used some odds occur somewhere, something might come loose and make the alarm freak out.
 

DarkThinker

Platinum Member
Mar 17, 2007
2,822
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Called up a place that will install CompuStars, they want > $250, another place wants $350 if not more booo:thumbsdown:

The only place that will do it under $200 is a Viper-Only place and the alarm has to be purchased from them, now I couldn't find a decent Viper that does all I wanted so I had to go with the CompuStar.

I happen to find $150 very very acceptable, hell $200 is pushing it but if it's a good and clean job fine I would pay up....but $250 ----> $350 is REALLY one hell of a rip-off, do these people think I am a dumb ass? Am I being impractical here? Cause this has %100 turned me off when it comes to professional installation.

So how about this, WHAT IF I install the alarm-starter and ONLY connect any ignition related circuitry once I verify the alarm is working in other areas? Wouldn't that at least least NOT render my car unusable till I figure it out?