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Old 04-10-2002, 11:54 PM   #1
xivera
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Review: Aladdin alarm system

Hello all! I just found this post on Honda-Acura.net. It is real world test done on the Aladdin system.

OK following all the online hype about this system and after several installs for customers, I decided to do a comprehensive review of the system so those looking for an alarm will have a professional opinion on security vs features.

As many of our members know, for security the best alarm on the market is Clifford in my opinion. Either the AvantGuard, Solaris, or Intellegaurd series.

However in my other business as a personal security agent, this technology could work to my advantage if I could also be aware of tampering with a vehicle used to escort a client. Usually I dont have to worry about this since I work with a team of highly trained and skilled individuals and the vehicles are always occupied by an agent when transporting a client.

The Aladdin is a pain to install. Maybe it just takes time to get used to, when I first started Clifford alarms I thought they were impossible. The Aladdin is feature packed with the remote start and LCD remote which "notifies" the owner of an alarm violation and sensor. This isnt new, its just being marketed well by Aladdin. Alpine did this in 1989 offering an alarm pager, but it didnt identify what sensor was triggered on the pager. They did have a cellular phone that automatically dialed a programmed number that would let you listen in on the car when the alarm was triggerred.

Installation took a couple of hours including setup on a Lexus GS400. What I do not like is the seperate transmitter module that has to be mounted visible in the car on the sunvisor or dash. The module is an antenna to transmit the signal to the pager remote, and is about the size of a garage door opener remote. I will describe the disadvatage of this module later.

Remote start programmable features are nice, with the interior temperature display on the remote. All the standard features: starter kill, dome light survailance, parking light flash, shock sensor, selectable siren tone, automatic door lock/unlock, etc. And of course their main sell: the remote/pager which notifies you if anything happens.

All the wires and alarm brain were concealed and blended to the factory wires. Most were hidden behind unaccessible panels to prevent tampering or easy identification and disabling.

On to the real world test. I decided to demo the alarm at a shopping mall with another installer who would be working as a "car thief". He had the regular tools, coat hanger, slim jim, screwdrivers, wire cutters, razor, etc.

I parked the car and armed it, and went into the mall for lunch. I parked near the food court for decent range and monitored the remote knowing an "intrusion" would be expected during my time there, but wasnt supposed to interrupt my lunch. Lunch lasted for 30 minutes then a casual stroll of the mall, checking the remote/pager every so often expecting something to happen. My distance from the car was a 1/4 mile from the car during lunch and 1/2 mile maximum during my stroll. I continued walking around and glanced at the remote/pager often before wondering when he would trigger or if he already had disabled the alarm.

I spent about 45 minutes inside the mall before deciding to call his cellular to check if he was still in the parking lot. I wanted to also be able to respond in time to catch him in the act or explain to any security personnel or officer who might also catch him, which I was also afraid of. I called, he awnsered and told me his mission was accomplished and go check out the car.

I immediately checked the remote/pager for any confirmation of an alarm violation, nothing. I rushed back towards the parking lot in case I was out of range of the transmitter, but nothing came up even when I walked right up to the car.

Here is what happened, the alarm was triggerred when he unlocked and opened the door with one of his "tools and technique of the trade" However the transmitter in plain view I was complaining about earlier was disabled, hence no remote/pager notifcation. This alarm becomes a sitting duck at this point, and the entire purpose of having this particular alarm because of its pager/remote notification unit is useless at this point.

This bought him more time since I wasnt notified to respond. It took him about 2 minutes to disable the system because of the difficulty of the installation. He couldnt find the alarm or brain, and also he couldnt just wrecklessly cut wires since it was a customer's car. He opened the hood, disabled the battery, but a second alarm backup battery continued the siren and protection. He had to crawl under the car to disable the siren hidden from plain view and difficult to access. The 2 minutes were to pop the hood, yank the battery terminal, get under the car and reach the siren. He couldnt get the siren wires to cut since they were wrapped secure to the car, so he used an instrument to pull them until the broke from tension.

With the siren disabled, he could take his time. Also without the vehicle owner being notified, they would never expect a burglary. Just to make his point of his professional "thief" skills he managed to roll down all the power windows without a key. With the siren disabled he could reconnect the battery for power as he needed. If he wanted the effort could have been put forth to start the car, but he was instructed not to damage the vehicle or factory wiring in any way.

He explained how he did everything and his real world assesment of the alarm. Easily disabled, but most alarms he has encounted are, with the exception of most Cliffords, Alpines, and Code Alarms. It would have taken him 4 minutes to drive the car off, my difficult installation only bought 2-3 minutes more of time.

Also upon returning to the car the parking light were flashing for visual confirmation of the alarm going off, but the siren was disabled. When I tried to manually disarm the alarm, it wouldnt work because the transmitter was disabled by the "thief". That would suck if the car was really broken into and you couldnt turn off the alarm to drive it home after you found it.

Im not saying there is a thief proof alarm. Its all up to the installation and the secutiry features of the system. My assesment of the Aladdin system is it is a convenience based alarm rather than a security based alarm. They market and focus thier product as a pager and convenience item. For security I will stick with Clifford.

DISCLAIMER: I in no way was compensated by Aladdin or any other security company for this review. I provide this review and information as a service to our Honda-Acura.Net family and members who use our forums seeking information about new products, and providing the best assesment of a product for thier evaluation and personal needs. I am not bashing Aladdin or thier products, merely providing a real world review.

The "theft" techniques mentioned in this article are common practice by most professional and amatuer thieves, in no way did I reveal any new techniques that are not already in use or widely known, nor did I promote theft techniques and methods to damage or burgularize vehicles. This information is commonly explained by insurance agencies, law enforcement agencies all over the country, and myself in order to improve better security methods and awareness by car owners and the aftermarket security industry.

courtesy of arch-iceman on H-A.net
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Old 04-11-2002, 04:52 PM   #2
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damn that was good. glad my friend didn't buy it~!!
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Old 04-11-2002, 05:24 PM   #3
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I told you all awhile back the alarm stunk -- and that no alarm will protect you. There is ONE thing that they didnt think about as far as the transmitter, however the Alladdin one sucks anyways... but for those of you with the same type of setup and you need to have it somewhat open -- try stashing the transmitter in the upper dash vent -- keeps it out of view and hopefully wont loose much range on it -- try it out first before you go and finalize things though :finger:
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