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Better Alarm Viper 790VX or Hornet 554T

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Forum Name: Car Security and Convenience
Forum Discription: Car Alarms, Keyless Entries, Remote Starters, Immobilizer Bypasses, Sensors, Door Locks, Window Modules, Heated Mirrors, Heated Seats, etc.
Printed Date: January 24, 2022 at 12:53 AM

Topic: Better Alarm Viper 790VX or Hornet 554T

Posted By: windowpane
Subject: Better Alarm Viper 790VX or Hornet 554T
Date Posted: May 31, 2003 at 8:22 PM

I was figuring on the Hornet because it has nearly everything I want and is fairly cheap for what I get, but I recently found the 790vx for about $70 more than the Hornet.  The problem I see w/ getting the 790 is first the price difference, which turns into more than 70 bucks because my warranty will be void if I install it myself and the warranty is a key selling point for it over the hornet.

From what I have seen and can tell the 790vx has the viper Vehicle Recovery System built in and the hornet doesn't.   The hornet comes with the pager remote and a regular remote the 790 doesn't, the hornet's pager remote has a backlight, time display, and temperature display.  Other than those differences and perhaps more zones on the 790, I really don't see any other differences.

My question is am I missing some key selling points on the 790vx and do you think they would justify the near $200 (70 & about 100+ for install) difference in price between the 790vx and the hornet 554t?  For me for what I see as the differences (mentioned above) it's unclear, I'd still lean towards the hornet because it's cheaper and the 'lifetime" warranty will probably only be 'good' for 4-5yrs until I get a new car and alarm then the protection plan for 2500 i think is only good for the first 1 or 2 years.  Also understand I'm mainly getting the hornet because I wanted to install keyless entry and remote start but figured why not spend a little more and get a pager alarm (the only kind that makes sense to me)  with some other features. 

Any clarification or insight that you can offer would be appreciated.


Posted By: trckn4life
Date Posted: June 01, 2003 at 10:44 AM

What is this Vehicle Recovery System in the Viper that you speak of?  What does/can it do?  Is that like what is needed to install the new Viper GPS system?  Also, how many channels does the Hornet have because I am in the same boat as you but I need a few additional channels and doesn't the hornet only have lock unlock?  are there any buttons on the side of the remote? 

I am curious is the 2500 deductible coverage that DEI provides if your vehicle is that ONly good for 1-2 years????  That kinda stinks if so...

Posted By: windowpane
Date Posted: June 01, 2003 at 7:33 PM

My basic understanding of the Vehicle Recovery System that the VIper (790vx) has is that it will allow a carjacker to take your car with the keys and then shutdown the engine in 2-3 minutes then either won't start, sounds the alarm or  both until you press the valet button x many times to disable it.  That just allows you to 'give' your car to the thief and let him get away from you so you can go get your car after he leaves.

There are some better and more accurate descriptions of the VRS on viper's site and around on some of the web companies that sell it.  The VRS is also offered as a seperate item that can be added to an alarm for about  $150 but that's almost as much as the hornet 554T.

I'm not sure if the hornet has something similiar or not, though it looks like it doesn't.

The manual which you can DL online:

Shows you some configurations for the remote (hornet), I think you can have 3 additional functions like lock/unlock and something else in addtion to arm/disarm/remote start/panic. 

From what I've read the Viper alarms need to be installed by a pro to be covered by their lifetime warranty and to qualify for the 2500 deductible if stolen in 1-2yrs, after that you still have the lifetime warranty.  If you install it yourself you get nothing but the alarm.

The hornet does not have that kind of warranty or any deductible from directed so you don't lose much by doing it yourself.

Posted By: nighthawk2k
Date Posted: June 02, 2003 at 9:35 PM
I've installed numerous viper 790xv's for the car audio company i work for. I've also installed Viper track. The 790 has an AWD feature installed. Basically it it initiates the starter kill after you start the car.


-Clifford/Directed/Alpine-Audio & Security-
New York Installerposted_image

Posted By: DeathsJester12V
Date Posted: June 02, 2003 at 10:38 PM
Aight, here's what We'll do...a side by side comparison...and what the heck...I'll even do the GPS tracker...

First here's the Hornet 554T\

Introducing the Hornet 554T 2-Way Remote Start/Security System. A state-of-the-art FCC-Legal 2-Way system that leaves the competition in the dust!


Smaller is Better!
The Hornet 2-Way doesn't take up much room in your pocket, and the in-vehicle antenna doesn't take up much room in your windshield.

Excellent Range!
The Hornet 2-Way should get similar range to other superheterodyne systems: over 1,000 feet under optimum conditions.

Cool Blue E-L Backlighting!
Nobody does Electro-luminescence like Hornet. You'll love it in the dark!

Learns Directed transmitters!
The 554T can learn up to 4 transmitters, and it comes with one 2-Way and one regular 4-button remote.

Time/Temp via Remote, including Parking Meter Timer!
Read the time on your 2-Way just like a cell phone, and remotely sense the temperature in your vehicle. Too hot or too cold? Time for remote start!

And I believe it uses the 553T for the majority of the Security features, and those would be:

The all-in-one Hornet 553T is just right for someone looking for convenience and security. With this system, the convenience of remote start and the assurance of a protected vehicle are available with the push of a button.Pre-warm your car in the winter, and pre-cool it in the summer with the top-of-the-line Hornet 553T remote start security system.

Shutdown diagnostics reported by LED
Auto-timer for cold climates/starts via timer
Tach learn with confirmation
Auto-restart, safety inputs, pinswitch
Power door lock outputs
(+/-) Ignition controlled power locks
Valet® mode
Fuel-injected automatic transmission only
Pre-ignition, program runtime 12/24 min
Doorlock pulse duration (prog. 0.8/3.5 sec)
Horn honk output
DEI standard 12 pin harness
Passive lock/not lock
Channel 2 output
Domelight output
Failsafe® Starter kill ready (active/passive)
Neutral safety input
HCRS-3 relay/high capacity relay satellite
Parking light flash (program constant or pulsing) relay

Now onto the Viper 790XV

What It Is:
2-Way Remote Start and Security System
The first FCC-legal 2-Way Remote with 66-Bit Clone-Safe Code-Hopping
What It Does:
Protects your vehicle and starts your engine with the push of a button
Full-featured vehicle security system
Confirms all commands with easy-to-understand icons with text
Alerts you to security system alarm events by beeping or vibrating when the system is triggered
Lets you keep track of vehicle status
State-of-the-Art Remote Transceiver with Responder Technology:
Optimum Range and Reliability
Bright, Easy-to-Read LCD Screen
Vibrate Mode
23 Different Icon/Text Messages
Remote Start* Features:
Remote Start Convenience
Safety Shut Down
Timer Mode
Complete Engine Monitoring
Engine Checking
High-Capacity Relay Satellite
Tach/Voltage Checking
Security Features:
High-Output Mini Neo Siren
Failsafe® Starter Kill
Forced Passive Arming
Active/Passive Arming
Progressive Door Trigger
True AlarmTM Technology
Stinger® DoubleGuard® Shock Sensor
Clone-Safe® Super Code Hopping–266 Codes
Nuisance Prevention® Circuitry (NPC)
LED Status Indicator
Silent ModeTM
Learn Routine
Ignition Controlled Door Locks
Soft Chirp
Secondary Warning Zone
Remote Controlled Valet® Mode
Bitwriter® Compatible
Parking Light Flash
Panic Mode

This 2-Way LCD remote confirms all commands, with easy to understand icons plus text. Monitor your vehicle’s status at all times. Responder alerts you when your alarm is sounding, even if you’re too far away to hear it. Extreme range – up to a quarter mile under optimum conditions. Responder beeps to confirm – vibrate mode too.

Well the first thing I noticed is that the Hornet has a cool little backlit screen...and the Viper doesn't...Big Deal...

Other things..the Viper is more expandable than the Hornet, and has more channels...but that is also fixable, with a DEI Part, that turns one channel into 3. and yada yada yada.   Basically... whatever the Viper has that the Hornet doesn't can be added on, using some sort of DEI part. It just comes down to one thing $$$$$. Me personally I'd go with the Viper jsut to take out the hassle of having to get expander modules and such. But I'm also lucky enough to have a friend that owns a shop, so my warranty won't be voided
Here's what I'd do....if you feel confident enough to install an alarm yourself...get the Hornet..they're basically the same alarm with a different name, only difference is, that the viper has more channels, and costs more for the few features. Now if you dont' feel confident get the Viper, and have it installed....That's what I'd do..

Now onto the VIPER TRACKER

Viper GPS Comparison Chart Viper GPS
Real-time vehicle location with street address     
Roadside assistance 1     
Nationwide coverage 2     
Tracking via web and phone (no agent required)      
Continuous tracking on the web, which shows history of a vehicle track over time      
Remote start and door unlock via web and phone (no agent required) 3      
Overspeed notifications to any phone or e-mail address      
Alarm notifications to any phone or e-mail address 3      
Confirmation of all commands      
GPS device links directly to Directed award-winning ESP2 alarms      
Available to consumers in retail stores      
Free monthly status e-mail check with every plan      
Remote Vehicle Shutdown      

1 = Available on upgraded Safety & Security and Ultra packages
2 = Based on cellular coverage
3 = Directed ESP2 system required

Due to continuing product development, specifications subject to change without notice.

Well it does seem better than LoJack. me Personally I'd get it...

Well Hope this helped..

Posted By: mobiletoys2002
Date Posted: June 02, 2003 at 10:40 PM
the 790 has no vrs on it that is not correct.neither do.. they are basically the same unit and they get the same range i installed many of both units they ar eboth very good.. For the money i'd buy the hornet. you can do just about everything with both and the hornet has more features than the 790 does.

Posted By: nighthawk2k
Date Posted: June 02, 2003 at 10:45 PM
I agree the Hornet and viper piece have basically the same features. they both have illuminated screens. The 790 you have to turn it on.


-Clifford/Directed/Alpine-Audio & Security-
New York Installerposted_image

Posted By: demaio
Date Posted: June 03, 2003 at 9:49 AM

I have the Hornet in my 2001 Prowler and the Viper in my 2002 Jeep....I prefer the Hornet....size does this case smaller is better....the big remote from the Viper is just too big. As is the antenna..

Dave D.

David DeMaio

Posted By: windowpane
Date Posted: June 03, 2003 at 12:50 PM

 After I replied to trckn4life I pretty much made my decision for the hornet.  The price difference is just too great for me and to install the viper voids the important warranty/deductible which is a key selling point for the $70 difference.  And any features or components the hornet lacks I can always add later and install myself but by then I'll have had some prior experience from when i install the hornet.

Thanks all!

Posted By: trckn4life
Date Posted: June 03, 2003 at 6:33 PM
windowpane wrote:

 After I replied to trckn4life I pretty much made my decision for the hornet.  The price difference is just too great for me and to install the viper voids the important warranty/deductible which is a key selling point for the $70 difference.  And any features or components the hornet lacks I can always add later and install myself but by then I'll have had some prior experience from when i install the hornet.

Thanks all!

I'm glad I kinda helped you make your decision.  Let us know how it goes? 

Posted By: djfearny2
Date Posted: June 03, 2003 at 7:16 PM
ok here is the difference

the 790xv and the 554t are yes the same alarm they both have the same features and both have to extra channels. out.. problem now . the 554t two way remote. is am band and what that means is any little thing can interfere its signal to or from the car, now the 790 xv is a fm based transmiter it works ten times better., i have owned both. i had the 790 and then tried out the 554t in my car and only after 4 days have i desided. not for me..... too slow . ... the 790 is ontime meaning when you press unlock as long as you have range it will be activated by a short simple press and a conformation is givin at the same time as the car is doing it command,. now the 554t is not like that you have to hold it and wait for a response not long but its not as quick as the 790 and that is the difference .. another difference is the antenna the 790 ant is consists of a 1.5 inch x 1.5 inch box with two antenna stincking out of each side small skinny antenna but still the 554t is a single antenna which is a little fat. but thats ok.

my choise is the 790 over any other alarm on the market.. its worth the extra money...

Installer/Help Technician
---coral springs florida---
mecp certification is not always needed. I have it and it has not helped me out at all. my experience out shines it.

Posted By: x6369x
Date Posted: June 04, 2003 at 7:52 PM
I've installed both the 554 and the 790, and the installation is identical. The only difference is the antenna.

Here's my list of plusses for each:
  • second non-LCD remote,
  • smaller LCD remote,
  • clock on LCD remote,
  • timer on LCD remote (shows how much time is remaing on remote start and parking meter timer)
  • in vehicle paging to LCD remote via valet switch

  • longer range,
  • LCD remote will actually differentiate between triggers (sensor 1 or 2) and types of triggers (warn vs alarm)

Friends Don't Let Friends Bump Stock.

Posted By: antonio_resayo
Date Posted: June 05, 2003 at 11:31 PM
Some company hurry up and devlop an alarm that can be integrated to my IPAQ 3955. All the features of the 790, data logging, infinite control, etc. (I'll just have to wait, *sigh*)

Posted By: shimmy
Date Posted: June 18, 2003 at 1:39 PM
just fyi, the viper does have a backlit LCD.

Posted By: nighthawk2k
Date Posted: June 19, 2003 at 10:01 PM
DEI Viper 790 Does have a backlit LCD Screen. You just Have to turn it on.
Press all four buttons down on the remote and you'll hear a beep. then you press unlock. Wait 5 seconds and it will exit programming. You'll have Illumination. It kind of uses the battery alot faster than usual.


-Clifford/Directed/Alpine-Audio & Security-
New York Installerposted_image

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