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Old 09-08-2013, 05:48 PM   #1
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Alarm and Security Systems for Interstate

Has anyone installed an alarm system in their interstate that has work without any major glitches or false alarms?
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Old 09-09-2013, 06:55 AM   #2
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I bought a Viper alarm system. It works pretty well. Only two false alarms in major thunderstorms where EVERYBODY'S alarms went off after a near-miss lighning strike. And if you have a smart phone, you can get an app that will alert your phone when the alarm goes off, and you can reset the alarm from anywhere you have a cell phone signal.

If you get a Viper system, don't try to install it yourself. Get a Viper-authorized installer to do it for you.

Only downside is that the alarm system tends to draw down the chassis battery pretty quickly. I have to start my engine every week-and-a-half or so to keep the battery charged.

If you have an auxiliary battery under the hood, have the alarm system wired into that battery. That will keep your main battery from running down. I don't have the auxiliary battery, and the hassles/expense of getting my Sprinter dealer to install one and transfer the wiring from the alarm, sliding step, and awning to the new battery aren't worth the effort.
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Old 09-09-2013, 03:05 PM   #3
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Thanks Protaganist
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Old 09-09-2013, 07:28 PM   #4
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I don't have the auxiliary battery, and the hassles/expense of getting my Sprinter dealer to install one and transfer the wiring from the alarm, sliding step, and awning to the new battery aren't worth the effort.
Curious as to why you'd need to transfer the sliding step and awning wiring to the Aux battery. I figured they're on the house batteries.
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Old 09-09-2013, 08:05 PM   #5
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See post #131 in the "insterstate mods" thread for gmillerok1 's description of his Drone alarm with remote start. It's on my todo list!

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f240...ml#post1269505
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Old 09-10-2013, 05:08 AM   #6
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Curious as to why you'd need to transfer the sliding step and awning wiring to the Aux battery. I figured they're on the house batteries.
Nope. Sliding step and awning are both on the main battery. I can understand the step being on the main battery, but the awning surprised me when I discovered it was wired that way. As for how I discovered itů

While having to pack up to go home during a rainstorm at Chicot State Park, LA, I had no choice but to put the awning away wet. Later, next good weather I had, I thought it would be a good idea to extend the awning at home to let it dry properly. It wasn't until after I extended the awning that I realized I still had the house batteries switched off for storage.

So, either the awning runs off the chassis battery, or it bypasses the house battery disconnect. And given that an alarm sounds when the awning is extended (even partially) with the engine running, it makes sense that of the two possibilities, it's wired into the same battery as the engine.
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Old 09-12-2013, 06:41 PM   #7
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I had a Drone system installed. I can control the alarm and be notified of a alarm on my iPhone no matter how far I get. Pricey but worth it.

Gerald

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Has anyone installed an alarm system in their interstate that has work without any major glitches or false alarms?
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Old 09-12-2013, 08:24 PM   #8
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Gerald,
Can you tell me what all I need to buy to create a complete 'Drone' system? does it all come together? I'm wanting a system also and I like the features Drone offers.
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Old 09-13-2013, 10:44 AM   #9
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Information can be found at Remote Start and Security | Smartphone Control | GPS Tracking | DroneMobile.com

Basically, you have a central unit, a shock sensor, a glass break detector, a cellular modem, and small antenna that goes inside on the top central part of the windshield, and the key-fob that runs it all (and the App for the Android or iPhone). To make the steering wheel controls work, you need an adapter as well. If there is a shock, glass, or door opened, the alarm is tripped. I think it is the best system out there, although the Viper system is similar.This is not an install for an amateur. The electronics to the ignition must be removed and tapped into; the extra key-fob must be sacrificed and is used for the auto-start, and the can-bus has to be hacked into as well. It a difficult install, don't try to do it yourself.

Search for an approved dealer in your area on the site above and let them do the install. They will know what they need for the install.

Gerald

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Gerald,
Can you tell me what all I need to buy to create a complete 'Drone' system? does it all come together? I'm wanting a system also and I like the features Drone offers.
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Old 09-13-2013, 10:55 AM   #10
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I think it is the best system out there, although the Viper system is similar.This is not an install for an amateur.
I won't debate "best." I went with Viper because after my pride and joy was burglarized, the company that installed the replacement Kenwood unit for the dealer just happened to be an authorized Viper installer, so it was convenient to have all the work done at once.

Viper does have an (optional) module for a tilt sensor in case someone tries to jack it up to steal a tire or load the vehicle on a tow truck. I got that one.

They also have a proximity sensor module - that says "Please step away from the vehicle" if someone gets too close. I absolutely did NOT get that one. Too much chance for false alarms. I hate it when I'm parked alongside a car that has one of those, and approaching my own car sets off their proximity sensor, so I won't have one on any vehicle I own.

Anyway, the point is, the good systems are modular, and you can get as basic or as complicated as you want, with the option to add other modules later if you feel the need.
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Old 09-13-2013, 11:27 AM   #11
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At the time I got mine, Viper had not figured out a way to do the install on a MB Sprinter back in 2011. They didn't have compatible hardware. I went to Viper installer and tried but he gave up after a day and said it couldn't be done. Heck, for that matter, my van was one of the first installed in the country using the Drone system. I think both Viper and Drone now use similar hardware and obviously Viper finally got it going, and as they both work the same, I would suspect they are equal in quality. Although, to be honest, mine does not seem to run down the battery as yours seems to do (takes about a month for me to drop below 12vdc). Maybe it has something to do in "sleep" mode in the Drone system as opposed to the Viper system. I know last year I boon-docked for ten days without a problem at all. I'll check and see if I can figure out how much current is being drawn by the system while parked-maybe we can compare the two.

Gerald

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I won't debate "best." I went with Viper because after my pride and joy was burglarized, the company that installed the replacement Kenwood unit for the dealer just happened to be an authorized Viper installer, so it was convenient to have all the work done at once.

Viper does have an (optional) module for a tilt sensor in case someone tries to jack it up to steal a tire or load the vehicle on a tow truck. I got that one.

They also have a proximity sensor module - that says "Please step away from the vehicle" if someone gets too close. I absolutely did NOT get that one. Too much chance for false alarms. I hate it when I'm parked alongside a car that has one of those, and approaching my own car sets off their proximity sensor, so I won't have one on any vehicle I own.

Anyway, the point is, the good systems are modular, and you can get as basic or as complicated as you want, with the option to add other modules later if you feel the need.
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Old 09-13-2013, 11:36 AM   #12
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Maybe it has something to do in "sleep" mode in the Drone system as opposed to the Viper system.
Might be that. Mine doesn't have a sleep mode. Could also be that I opted for more sensor modules. And the extra "Viper" flashing logo on the windshield, because even when I use an interior windshield sunshade, the extra flasher is still clearly visible and not obscured by the sunshade.
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Old 09-13-2013, 01:39 PM   #13
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Sounds like ill find an installer I can trust first, then figure out what he installs. Thanks for all the input.
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Old 09-13-2013, 04:48 PM   #14
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FYI, the installer of my Viper couldn't get the remote start to work, but that feature wasn't a priority for me anyway. I just wanted the 2 way paging capability. I also didn't get the iPhone app because I didn't feel like paying the ~$70 annual fee, but I might later because the RF range on the key fob is not that great (depending on the terrain). It's ok in the driveway at home or right outside a restaurant, but it won't page me at a mall or any highrise bldg
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Old 09-14-2013, 04:33 PM   #15
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Drone is only 30 bucks a year, so that's one thing better than the Viper system.

Getting the remote start to work takes a talented installer. Not anyone can do it. Drone lists qualified installers on their web page. Any Drone installer should be able install the remote start.

I use it occasionally, but I agree, it's not a deal breaker for me.

Gerald

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FYI, the installer of my Viper couldn't get the remote start to work, but that feature wasn't a priority for me anyway. I just wanted the 2 way paging capability. I also didn't get the iPhone app because I didn't feel like paying the ~$70 annual fee, but I might later because the RF range on the key fob is not that great (depending on the terrain). It's ok in the driveway at home or right outside a restaurant, but it won't page me at a mall or any highrise bldg
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Old 09-16-2013, 01:44 PM   #16
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I've got the Drone installed in my '13 and I've been pretty happy with it. I have one 1-way FOB, one 2-way FOB, and the smartphone app. The smartphone app is great for times when I need to get something out of the rig and don't have the keys on me. My only caveat would be that they use ATT's 2G network for comms. On a x-country trip this summer, I found that there were many places between Colorado and California where I would have Verizon cell coverage, but the Drone apparently didn't have ATT coverage. There were also times where the inverse was true So make sure that where you live and where you plan to travel has reasonable ATT 2G coverage else the app might not be worth the money.

Also, we got the advanced shock sensor to try to avoid false alarms due to loud vehicles driving by, etc. For the most part its quite good, but it can't deal with trains. Whenever we parked near rail yards, it would go crazy.
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Old 10-02-2013, 11:01 PM   #17
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Hello all,

For those with the drone/compustar systems;

I'm talking to an installer about this system but I am a newb and feel like I am about to be led down a very expensive installation path. After my many questions, they seemed to imply that this was going to be real expensive. How hard is it? I would love some insight from the Drone owners and their experience with the out the door cost of system w/ installation and a ballpark of what I could expect. Any pitfalls and gotchas of this system in a 2013 EXT would be most appreciated! I heard there may be a single component for remote start that is $800 on top of the alarm kit itself for Mercedes engines. Could this be? Please help. Thank you all!
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Old 10-03-2013, 08:02 AM   #18
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I doubt anyone could know more than me about this as mine was one of the very first installs in the country for the Sprinter, and THE first in an Interstate.

I paid $1500.00. It is a very difficult install, and the installer is being honest about it. There is at least two modules. One, allows the CANBUS (the computer in the Sprinter) to talk to the alarm's computer. The other is a small module that allows use of the steering controls. The install itself requires using one keyfob, and in additional, tapping into the starter electronic board. It took two full days, but granted, they had never done one before.

Was it worth it? Absolutely. No pitfalls and gotchas. I had to turn down the sensitivity of the shock sensor a bit, but other than that, it has worked perfectly.

Gerald

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Hello all,

For those with the drone/compustar systems;

I'm talking to an installer about this system but I am a newb and feel like I am about to be led down a very expensive installation path. After my many questions, they seemed to imply that this was going to be real expensive. How hard is it? I would love some insight from the Drone owners and their experience with the out the door cost of system w/ installation and a ballpark of what I could expect. Any pitfalls and gotchas of this system in a 2013 EXT would be most appreciated! I heard there may be a single component for remote start that is $800 on top of the alarm kit itself for Mercedes engines. Could this be? Please help. Thank you all!
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Old 10-03-2013, 03:38 PM   #19
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Gerald,

Would the Parametric Special Module (PSM) option on a Sprinter help to ease the install?

The Sprinter parameterisable special module (PSM) provides an interface for accessing the vehicle electronic system. Vehicle information - for example open doors, wiper switch positions, etc - can be accessed and vehicle functions can be modified via 10 inputs and 20 outputs.

I know PSM is required for high idle. Would it get in the way of a Drone system?

Barry
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Old 10-03-2013, 10:44 PM   #20
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You would have to ask an installer, as I really don't know.

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Gerald,

Would the Parametric Special Module (PSM) option on a Sprinter help to ease the install?

The Sprinter parameterisable special module (PSM) provides an interface for accessing the vehicle electronic system. Vehicle information - for example open doors, wiper switch positions, etc - can be accessed and vehicle functions can be modified via 10 inputs and 20 outputs.

I know PSM is required for high idle. Would it get in the way of a Drone system?

Barry
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