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HA-Friendly Car Alarms?


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#1 MrGibbage

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 06:23 AM

Anyone know of any home automation-friendly car alarms? I have an Elk M1G with PowerHome, so I could pretty much use anything. What I had in mind was an alarm system that would communicate with my home system when my car is parked in the driveway. So it could be Wifi, maybe even bluetooth, or perhaps some proprietary system. I would like to be able to lock the car doors and arm the car alarm from the house, and if the alarm sounds in the car, it should communicate to the HA system so I could sound my house alarm as well, send text messages, etc.

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#2 Lou Apo

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 06:42 PM

Having your HA system control your car is easy. Tear open a keyfob and solder-up the buttons to relays on your Elk. This assumes you park you car close enough to the Elk that the RF makes it. If not, run some wires from the Elk to a spot close enough to the car, and put the "hotwired" keyfob there.

As far as the other way around. Since your car alarm probably sounds the car horn, you could splice into the horn wiring an rf relay transmitter which closes the rf relay which is attached to an elk zone. From there you can write rules to do whatever you want.

#3 Work2Play

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 01:35 AM

Car alarms can be a bit interesting. In the old days, everything was about voltage/relay closure. There were outputs for most scenarios and places you could hook in for just about anything. Unfortunately, just like cars, alarms have gotten much smarter, and now there's a lot more data communication rather than simple relays.

For car supervision, you could so something as simple as an X10 motion sensor inside the car that triggers events in the home... depending on the car alarm, there's often an input that's live when armed or similar; so you could power the X10 transmitter when the car is armed; if your security system sees the sensor activate, someone's in your car. I've thought about doing this before especially after my car was broken into in front of my very automated home. You can also use a wireless sensor tied to an input that triggers only when the alarm is going off - just make sure it's not a supervised zone.

For remote starting, definitely modify a remote or use Dan's solenoid solution - that's the only way I know of offhand. I personally use passive arming (car arms after 30 seconds) so I never worry about whether the car is locked.

A long time ago, clifford made a module that would clone a pager and respond to pages - but that's long gone - so now I wonder if it'd be possible to integrate with the iPhone app, or something along those lines? I dunno - it'd be fun to research.

#4 BraveSirRobbin

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 09:36 AM

Does the remote have a light on it which will light up during an alarm?

#5 MrGibbage

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 11:07 AM

Does the remote have a light on it which will light up during an alarm?


My remotes (key fob) do not have any lights on them.

I had already thought about buying some extra key fobs and soldering some wires across the buttons and "mounting" them somewhere close to where I park my car. That will take care of remote locking/unlocking/starting.

As for sending information from the car back to the house, I hadn't thought of Lou's idea.

Funny, the thing that got me thinking about this was my car was also broken into from in front of my very automated house. Sound familiar Work2Play?

I'm still going to think about this for a bit. If anyone else has ideas, I'd love to hear them.

#6 Dan (electron)

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 11:30 AM

Most of the higher end systems (DEI/CompuStar) offer an internet add-on, allowing you to control it via the web or mobile phone. The CompuStar one also allows you to track location. You could probably scrape the web based interface for status info, and control.

#7 Work2Play

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 12:29 PM

Unfortunately when my car was broken into, they only went through the window and never opened a door, so the alarm never triggered (I had the shock sensor turned off because of false alarms) - so that's why I actually like the simplicity of an X10 motion sensor in the car or something like that.

The Internet control option would be awesome - especially if you could use the location tracking to have the house prepare for your arrival on your way home - like override whatever crazy things the wife had done to the thermostat during the day. That would be enough to make me upgrade my alarm right there. I'm a big fan of DEI/Clifford products so I'll have to look a little closer.

#8 Lou Apo

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 01:25 PM

Unfortunately when my car was broken into, they only went through the window and never opened a door, so the alarm never triggered (I had the shock sensor turned off because of false alarms) - so that's why I actually like the simplicity of an X10 motion sensor in the car or something like that.

The Internet control option would be awesome - especially if you could use the location tracking to have the house prepare for your arrival on your way home - like override whatever crazy things the wife had done to the thermostat during the day. That would be enough to make me upgrade my alarm right there. I'm a big fan of DEI/Clifford products so I'll have to look a little closer.



Wouldn't a motion sensor get tripped if someone walks by the car or other motion occurs just outside the window? One of my home motion detectors gets tripped by a tree moving in the wind outside (even though it isn't supposed to). Also, I don't know how many amps those sensors use, but you could have trouble running down the battery.

You could also consider a glass break detector. I am unsure if car glass breaking produces the right frequency however. Windshield glass is laminated and holds together when it is broken, the other windows I think are just tempered. Anyway, stuff to think about.

#9 MrGibbage

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 02:31 PM

Wouldn't a motion sensor get tripped if someone walks by the car or other motion occurs just outside the window? One of my home motion detectors gets tripped by a tree moving in the wind outside (even though it isn't supposed to). Also, I don't know how many amps those sensors use, but you could have trouble running down the battery.

You could also consider a glass break detector. I am unsure if car glass breaking produces the right frequency however. Windshield glass is laminated and holds together when it is broken, the other windows I think are just tempered. Anyway, stuff to think about.

Motion sensors are passive IR. That means it has to see heat moving. Like a body moving in front of the lens. So why does your tree seem to set it off? More likely it is the sun that is setting it off. Yes, the sun can move fast enough to trigger it. And it doesn't have to see the sun itself. All it needs to see is something warmed by the sun. Like furniture, carpeting, or a driver's seat. Yeah, PIR motion detectors may not be such a great solution for inside a car. Not only that, they are kinda big (compared to a car interior) and bulky. I can't think of a clever place to put one, except maybe under the dash???

#10 Lou Apo

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 02:45 PM

Motion sensors are passive IR. That means it has to see heat moving. Like a body moving in front of the lens. So why does your tree seem to set it off? More likely it is the sun that is setting it off. Yes, the sun can move fast enough to trigger it. And it doesn't have to see the sun itself. All it needs to see is something warmed by the sun. Like furniture, carpeting, or a driver's seat. Yeah, PIR motion detectors may not be such a great solution for inside a car. Not only that, they are kinda big (compared to a car interior) and bulky. I can't think of a clever place to put one, except maybe under the dash???


Yes, I know they aren't supposed to go off with motion on the other side of a window. But this particular one would go off every time it was windy and only during daylight. I finally just disabled it. Direct sun never comes in that window (it faces south and there is a large covered patio so sun is never low enough in the south sky to clear the patio roof and hit the window). Plus it would go off on cloudy windy days or during the middle of the day when the sun is high in the sky and absolutely not even close to comming in. Sun does come in a window on the second floor direcltly above the motion detector and light up the room with direct sunlight, but wind has no affect on that light becuase it is above the trees.

Anyway, maybe a glass break detector would work for car glass. Maybe you can take one to a junkyard and break out a window to test it? Plus you could hid that in the car. It would definitely look pretty dorky to have a motion detector mounted in your car.

Edited by Lou Apo, 03 August 2011 - 02:46 PM.


#11 JimS

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Posted 04 August 2011 - 12:48 PM

One way to make a link between a car and your home is with packet radio. You need a ham radio license to do it but you can do some nifty stuff like get the location of your car at all times. Here is one variation. Not cheap but has almost unlimited possibilities.

http://kliers.net/in...ojects/69-mhats

#12 Work2Play

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Posted 04 August 2011 - 05:21 PM

The motion sensor idea came from some other posts I've read here a while ago actually in relation to tracking when your vehicle is home... The ones we're talking about are the little X10 ones that are powered by two AA's, not the car's battery - and yes - I think people were mounting them under the dash - whatever picks up the drivers' legs. Then again, why not just do something like this? You could hook in the outputs from it to a non-supervised wireless zone on your security system - and have both sensors so you know when people are peeking in the windows, and more importantly, if they go for something they want.

I've used the DEI ones before when I used to leave my windows down in the heat - no real false alarms, but sensitive enough to detect if I tossed a pack of smokes through the open window - and they mount out-of-sight (my last one was under the center console).

#13 Dan (electron)

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Posted 05 August 2011 - 06:25 AM

I used to use a motion sensor under the steering column for the longest time. Worked really well too, not sure why I stopped using it (I think I even created a tutorial for it somewhere).

#14 Lou Apo

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Posted 05 August 2011 - 10:01 AM

The motion sensor idea came from some other posts I've read here a while ago actually in relation to tracking when your vehicle is home... The ones we're talking about are the little X10 ones that are powered by two AA's, not the car's battery - and yes - I think people were mounting them under the dash - whatever picks up the drivers' legs. Then again, why not just do something like this? You could hook in the outputs from it to a non-supervised wireless zone on your security system - and have both sensors so you know when people are peeking in the windows, and more importantly, if they go for something they want.

I've used the DEI ones before when I used to leave my windows down in the heat - no real false alarms, but sensitive enough to detect if I tossed a pack of smokes through the open window - and they mount out-of-sight (my last one was under the center console).



If you get one of these things, PLLLLLEEEEEASE don't have your car do one of those total cheese ball things where it chirps or says some dorky thing when someone gets near it. Please!

#15 Work2Play

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 12:27 AM

If you get one of these things, PLLLLLEEEEEASE don't have your car do one of those total cheese ball things where it chirps or says some dorky thing when someone gets near it. Please!

Posted Image


Nothing makes me want to kick a car more than when it makes noise for me just walking past it. Especially when you park in front of my office building every day (even though you work next door). When I had it, you pretty much had to press up against the car (to look in) to get the warning; and something had to be about an inch or two minimum inside the car to trigger the full alarm.

My father had one put in one of the Vette's by Invisibeam when they first came out - it had two modes based on a switch in the glovebox... in one mode it was a normal polite "Step Back" type message; in "Ghetto" mode, it would say "Yo! I know you wanna look inside, but I suggest you step away from the ride." I still laugh everytime I think about that.




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