Vehicle: Car: Alarm
Separate Alarm Battery   (+1, -1)  [vote for, against]
A separate battery for the Car Alarm

The Tale: In the mid-90's my car was broken into several times prompting me to install a car alarm, immobiliser and central locking. Over the last couple of years I've had battery problems because the alarm was draining the car battery by drawing too much (possibly due to an alarm short circuit). A couple of months ago it was so bad I had the alarm removed because it was draining a extra heavy battery within a month despite constant use of the car.

What I am suggesting is that rather than hooking the car alarm directly to the car battery, car alarms should have a battery specifically for them. This alarm battery could be charged off the alternator like the normal car battery. This avoids the car alarm sucking the car battery dry when there is a fault with the alarm system.
-- CrumbsDM, Oct 19 2002

Let's Ban Car Alarms
He makes a good case for banning them entirely [krelnik, Oct 19 2002]

I read once that they did a study in New York City on car alarms. Because of the density of the population, if a car alarm goes off at night in NYC, it can easily disturb the sleep of 10,000 people.

They calculated the damage that did to the economy (people late for work, not focused on their jobs, etc) and recommended that the city make car alarms illegal. The damage done to the economy by alarms going off FAR outstripped the value of the car it was protecting.

All in all they said it was cheaper to let the car be stolen.
-- krelnik, Oct 19 2002

And nobody pays attention to them, anyway.
-- waugsqueke, Oct 19 2002

Your independant battery could be charged by a solar panel, as well as the alternator.

//it can easily disturb the sleep of 10,000 people//
Not if it's a silent alarm. I had a pager alarm in my old peecup truck, and could set it as sensitive as I liked, since false alarms bothered only me. At 3am one night, the alarm went off. I looked out the window and someone had yanked the camper shell hatch open and was rummaging around. So I raced to the front door, grabbed my baseball bat, and ALMOST ran out there. Just then I realized the only two people in the world who knew the about the break-in were him and me. And I wouldn't be too intimidating in my skivvies, even with a bat.
So, I'd suggest along with a silent alarm, have a nearby phone. A floodlight might be handy.
-- Amos Kito, Oct 19 2002

Good point, Amos.
-- krelnik, Oct 19 2002

I pay attention to them, just enough attention to swear at them for being too sensitive :-). However I would have paid more attention to my car alarm going off on Thursday night, when the car was broken into in my driveway, if I hadn't had the car alarm removed because of the battery problems it caused. I -want- the car alarm, I just can't afford the cost of a new one yet (and now I have to delay even longer) and I can't afford the cost of replacing the car battery every month. When I mentioned the battery problem to someone else on Friday, they said they had the same problem with theirs. Truth be told, you don't need an alarm that is raucous so much as a alarm facility to SMS your mobile phone (assuming you have one) to say "your car's being broken into" or to transmit to a small portable beeper. That would solve the noise problem but not the electrical drain problem.
-- CrumbsDM, Oct 19 2002

//Not if it's a silent alarm. I had a pager alarm // //mobile phone.... or ....portable beeper//

That was quick. You must have slipped it in just before me :-). I didn't know that there -were- silent car alarms. Just goes to show :-).
-- CrumbsDM, Oct 19 2002

What I really want for the back of my peecup truck is a kind of sequenced "alarm". First it should send out a couple gallons of molasses in a 10-foot blast radius, followed by several cubic feet of feathers. I'd bet that burglar would think twice before trying that again. Easy to spot him, too.
You may not want that in a nice car, but if you ever see my old truck, you'll understand why it wouldn't matter to me.
-- Amos Kito, Oct 19 2002

I remember the "Omega"-class alarm from the James Bond Movies. That sounded similar. Basically it was a warning sticker stating that breaking into the car could have serious consequences. The Henchman sneered and broke a window, the car blew up. Hmmm.... a small high-powered flash laser that will imprint the words "car thief <license plate number>" on their skin (preferably their forehead)
-- CrumbsDM, Oct 19 2002

Off with their hands!

Oh, Did I type that out loud, sorry guess I just got kinda caught up in the spirit of the moment.
-- 2 fries shy of a happy meal, Oct 19 2002

I'm not after an improved car battery, just a separate battery for the alarm system. That having been said, I don't think that the extra battery would necessarily be useful. The alarm system was after all about 5 years old when the problems developed, so maybe I should have just had the system replaced. It's easily possible that it had reached the end of its life expectancy and I'm whining about something that can't be helped.
-- CrumbsDM, Oct 19 2002

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