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I wish all projects on the web had as many pictures as this one. This how-to, by Brian Trump, covers installation of a car alarm with remote start and a few other features. The only problem is, I can’t remember the last time I heard an alarm go off and people actually bothered to look.

Read more about Installing your own car alarm

Marc de Vinck

I’m currently working full time as the Dexter F. Baker Professor of Practice in Creativity in the Masters of Engineering in Technical Entrepreneurship Program at Lehigh University. I’m also an avid product designer, kit maker, author, father, tinkerer, and member of the MAKE Technical Advisory board.


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Comments

  1. Mario says:

    For the most part, car alarms are more show than anything else. As you say, they´ve become so common now, nobody pays attention to them anymore.

    About 10 years ago I bought a used car and it came with an ignition kill, an no alarm: if you don´t have the right key, it won´t start, simple as that. I haven´t gone back since. No false alarms, no annoying siren blaring at 3 AM in my garage.

    Aside from that, I simply left the factory installed sound system as it was, and added no more additional devices.

    Best thing I ever did. The factory radio takes way more time to rip out than your average car burglar has. And with an ignition killer, there´s no way your average crackhead is gonna steal the thing if it´s sitting on the street.

    Add your standard car owner precautionary measures, mainly don´t leave your laptop in the car… and the net result is I haven´t had a break-in in over a decade.

  2. mattd says:

    oh no, not me. I call 911 every single time I hear a car alarm go off. You never know, a terrorist may be stealing the car stereo to fund an attack. Even that car parked across the street, it’s alarm goes off every 30 minutes, all night. must be something valuable in there that would cause so many people to try to break in. Yep, better call 911 just to keep America safe.

    1. Marc de Vinck says:

      @Everyone

      Yes, we all hate alarms, but he installed a remote starter too! Here in the NYC area, that is a really nice feature for both the winter and summer months. (although it does waste gas!)

  3. RocketGuy says:

    How about this: dashcam with auto-upload via cell?
    And cc’ing the local cops might be a nice touch if they’re open to it.

    If I’m irritated enough, usually right after a break in has once again blown out the driver’s door lock, I think about wiring a coil to the frame for a high voltage kick, but liability and home ownership have, alas, put that project out of reach.

    But a really powerful flash on that dash cam… Hmm…

  4. Aud1073cH says:

    I’ve thought about all the neat stuff that a James Bond’s car might be able to do to a car thief.

    I’ve got a car that has a thumb button to press to release the door latch from the outside. both the button and the handle are chrome, so why not put some high voltage across them? Then only someone looking to enter the car would get a deterrent jolt. Nothing dangerous, but perhaps the power of some of the novelty shocking lighter or pen.

    Perhaps putting the siren of the audible alarm on a delay, and inside the cabin, say hidden under the steering column. Anyone trying to hot-wire the car would be deafened.

    Perhaps a built in FogShield. Besides making it tough to see inside the car, more attention may be attracted by a “smoking” car than a car alarm.
    http://www.gizmowatch.com/entry/fogshield-security-fogger-a-novel-idea-to-prevent-thefts/

  5. Shadyman says:

    The problem with high voltages is that any burglar who’s intent on stealing your car, and fast, is going to smash the driver’s-side window out, and gain entrance like that.

    As Mario said, a starter kill is probably the most effective. I have mine set to passively arm at 5 minutes, or when I press the “Lock” button on my keyfob. That way, even if someone decides to bash the ignition switch (again, the fastest way), it won’t start. They’d have to rip open the under-dash wiring compartment and start fiddling with wires. (The compartment on a Chevy Corsica is in there pretty hard. I’ve tried busting one out, legally, of course… It’s not easy)