Car Alarm Features Explained
Car alarms and similar units come with a variety of features which can seem overwhelming at first look. Items like factory alarm arm, grounded output when armed and onboard relays are just a few. We will explain common auto security system features and how they apply to your installation.
Passive and Active Arming: Passive arming is when the alarm unit will automatically lock and arm your vehicle 30 seconds after your last door shuts. This will prevent any chance of the vehicles car alarm being left disabled. Active arming is where the owner must press the lock button inorder for the vehicle to lock / arm.
Automatic rearm is similar to passive arming. When you press the unlock / disarm button on your remote, but never open the vehicles doors, auto rearm will lock and arm the vehicle for you. This feature is handy if you forget you have unlocked the vehicle or if it is unlocked by accident.
Ignition Controlled Door Locks:
Ignition controlled door locks are exactly as decsribed. When the keyless entry unit or car alarm sees the key turn on, it will automatically lock all of your doors. When it sees the key turn off, the doors will unlock. This feature is usually programmable to be used in diffrent varieties. ex... lock with key on but do not unlock with key off etc.
Factory Alarm Arm / Disarm:
When installing an alarm or remote car starter into a vehicle with a factory alarm, you must have these outputs availiable. When the alarm is disarmed or remote starter is activated, it will send a pulse to your factory alarm unit to disarm. When the lock button is pressed, the alarm unit will send a pulse to the factory alarm to arm it once again. This will prevent any interference between your new car alarm or remote starter and your vehicles factory installed equipment.
Grounded Output When Armed:
The grounded output when armed is generally used for starter disable applications. When the lock / arm button is pressed, this wire becomes grounded. This will trigger the relay which will inturn cut off the desired circut.
Car alarms with a dedicated trunk output will support a vehicle with either a factory or aftermarket trunk release installed. Using a relay, you can wire between the car alarm and the trunks trigger wire. When the button is pressed, the trunk should pop.
Dome Light Supervision:
Dome light supervision is a saftey feature built into most car alarm systems. When the disarm / unlock button is pressed, the dome light in the vehicle will come on solid for 30 seconds. When the lock / arm button is pressed, the dome light will come on solid for 10 seconds. If the alarm sounds, the dome light will flash in the same pulse duration os the parking lights.
Parking Light Output:
Parking light outputs are visual deturants as well as user confirmations. Parking lights will flash 2 times for unlock / disarm and 1 time for lock / arm. When the alarm sounds, the lights will flash in a semi-rapid pace to attract eyes twords the potential violator. Parking lights are also handy in car finder mode.
Car Finder Mode:
Most car alarm and keyless entry systems are equipped with a car finder mode. If you cannot locate the exact point of your vehicle, say in a parking lot, you can press this button to chirp the siren continously as well as flash the parking lights.
These are the common features of todays car alarm systems. There are many to choose from, the above are just a guideline. Choosing the right features the first time will ensure you are satisified with your system and the way is performs.