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What Remote Start/Alarms Are Good These Days?


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soundnsecurity 
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Posted: February 05, 2024 at 2:44 PM / IP Logged Link to Post Post Reply Quote soundnsecurity
Whats up, it"s been forever since ive posted anything on here and ive been out of the game for a minute or two. Ive got a 04 dakota im looking to install a remote start alarm on sometime soon. It doesnt have any key transponder, it's very basic. What im really looking for are your personal opinions from installers who have more recent experience with todays brands and models.
Ive always used viper or DEI products but im not opposed to trying new things. I was looking at compustar and they seem to have good review but those are from users, not from installers. Ive done thousands of alarms and remote starters in the past so im well aware of what is necessary but i just want to hear the good and the bad of what your personal favorite brands and models. Thanks very much in advance.
chev104275 
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Posted: February 06, 2024 at 8:17 AM / IP Logged Link to Post Post Reply Quote chev104275
Good to see your still around, I used to do a ton of DEI stuff as well. I recent years I've switched over to compustar/idatalink. I like the compustar stuff better. It's nice to be able program the modules and bypass in one shot. Also, if you use a blade bypass module its nice and compact as the blade slides into the module. I don't have nearly as many Tach issues with the compstar stuff.   If you go to idatalink.com and put in your truck it will give you the wiring diagram.
If i Can't Install it    I Don't need it   Joe
kreg357 
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Posted: February 06, 2024 at 10:14 AM / IP Logged Link to Post Post Reply Quote kreg357
A bit has changed. DEI was bought out by VOXX. I've never beev a DEI dealer but have used their products on occasion.
As you already know, most any quality brand will perform well IF installed properly. The major players currently are iDataStart, Fortin, Compustar and the VOXX brands. As always stay away from the off-shore no-name units.
Most new vehicles have a transponder based immobilizer system and several CAN Bus data communication systems. The industry has realized that and started to produce "all in one" systems that include bypass and convenience functionality and T-Harnesses that make for a faster installation.
While your Dakota might not have a transponder based immobilizer system, some do. Unfortunately, your vehicle is not supported with T-Harnesses. I usually try to match the system to the vehicle's needs. In your case, the chosen system would need to support two Ignition wires, two Accessory wires and one Starter wire. Some bypass modules will use the vehicles J1850 system to supply convenience items like Door Status, Tach, Brake and power Door Lock control. This will make the install easier.
I'm with Chev104275 on favorite brands. My preferences are iDatalink, iDatastart and Compustar. Just like with DEI, you will need some additional tools to flash and program these units.
Soldering is fun!
soundnsecurity 
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Posted: February 11, 2024 at 12:52 PM / IP Logged Link to Post Post Reply Quote soundnsecurity
Thats good to know man, i wont be buying any kind of data module as it would only be able to give me a few convenience functions that i can do manually pretty easily. I guess the main thing im worried about would be the actual operation, programming features, range, keypad durability, common problems that you typically see, things of that nature. Most likely wont be messing with tach wires if i can avoid it, ive had good success with just using a timed crank. It's my own truck so im not too concerned about a failed start here and there. The truck starts reliably so i dont see a need to over complicate the install. Ill be running a dedicated power from the battery to keep the ignition harness as clean as possible. I've always gone out of my way to make things look really nice. I appreciate your advice glad to see there are still some familiar people on here
soundnsecurity 
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Posted: February 11, 2024 at 1:02 PM / IP Logged Link to Post Post Reply Quote soundnsecurity
Yea im still familiar with the idatalink modules, it wasn't that long ago that i stopped installing professionally. Those are definitely the way to go but i wont be using one on my truck because there's no chip in the key and all it might give me is power lock control which i can do manually with a relay/resistors. Ill probably use the aux outputs of whatever i get for some lights around the truck. Nothing too complicated.
What i was really asking for was more of a testimonial on things like reliability, ease of programming, common problems that you see, range issues or keypad durability issues. Things of that nature.
kreg357 
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Posted: February 11, 2024 at 2:53 PM / IP Logged Link to Post Post Reply Quote kreg357
Compustar system programming is pretty easy with the OP-500 Programmer. It's kinda like the BitWriter without the large display. You can also use the ADS USB programming cable to set Compustar controller options while on-line. It is also possible to set options with the remotes but that is a bit more challenging.
I've found the newer Compustar remotes pretty solid. Very durable and with decent range.
I rarely have any issues with the system itself. Occasionally a soft pin in a harness but even that is rare.
A convenience module will save some time but your Dakota is very doable with one. Hardwire solder connections always work.   What Remote Start/Alarms Are Good These Days? -- posted image.
Soldering is fun!
soundnsecurity 
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Posted: February 13, 2024 at 12:03 PM / IP Logged Link to Post Post Reply Quote soundnsecurity
Now that is something i didn't know. I used to have a bitwriter back in the day and was wondering if something like it existed for compustar but nothing ever came up or i just never noticed. I hate to buy it just for one alarm but it seems like there are options that are only programmable with this device, just like a bitwriter let you access more features. Is this actually true? I do plan to use the aux channels for some lights, probably latched on/off, maybe timed, im not sure. Would gain anything with this op-500?
kreg357 
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Posted: February 13, 2024 at 8:19 PM / IP Logged Link to Post Post Reply Quote kreg357
Typically the Special Option Groups need the OP-500 but I've successfully changed them with the ADS USB cable while flashing a Blade cartridge or updating the Compustar controller firmware.
The OP-500 can attach to the controller via the 4 Pin antenna harness unplugged from the antenna. No need to go under the dash and plug in directly at the controller. A bit quicker than using the BitWriter on a DEI unit.
Soldering is fun!
chev104275 
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Posted: February 15, 2024 at 5:45 AM / IP Logged Link to Post Post Reply Quote chev104275
I have the OP500 and I find it really useful for quick changes after install. I usually use the laptop and flash cable to change what I need during the initial programming. For one install I would just use the flash cable.
If i Can't Install it    I Don't need it   Joe
soundnsecurity 
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Posted: February 17, 2024 at 11:36 AM / IP Logged Link to Post Post Reply Quote soundnsecurity
chev104275 wrote:
I have the OP500 and I find it really useful for quick changes after install. I usually use the laptop and flash cable to change what I need during the initial programming. For one install I would just use the flash cable.
So if im understanding you, you can use a usb to flash the actual brain of the alarm?
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