How are cars stolen?

Car theft is childsplay!

Hardly a week goes by without a news story about cars being stolen. In Kapiti alone, the vehicle theft rate is averaging about 10 per day.

Most of the main stream media seem to blame TikTok for this. The claim being that TikTok provides youth offenders with easy access to information on how to steal a car.

Bragging rights?

They can then share the videos and photos of the stolen car. In doing so, they impress their fellow reprobate Muppet buddies and show how smart and daring they think they are!

Given that children as young as 12 have been caught behind the wheel, it is fair to assume it’s pretty easy.

But is it really this simple?

How is car theft happening and why?

Many of the cars on the NZ Police stolen list are very easy to steal. It’s generally ones that do not come with an immobiliser as standard equipment. Most of the others listed will be stolen with the key or towed.

The general assumption is that only older vehicles lack a factory installed immobiliser, but that’s simply not true. I’ll explain that point later, but first I’ll explain how simple stealing a car is.

How most cars are stolen in NZ:

1: Gain entry

Smashed car window

Either smash a window or break the door lock!

2: Smash ignition barrel

This generally involves ripping or smashing the trim off around the steering column. A slightly more suave method would be to use a screwdriver and remove it undamaged. Given how many get smashed, I’m sure there would be a black market for undamaged steering cowls!

Then all that is left to do is to smash the ignition barrel. These are surprisingly easy to break as they are normally made of cast iron. Despite being strong, cast iron is incredibly brittle and shatters with an impact.

Smashed ignition barrel

With the ignition lock removed, you can then use a flat blade screwdriver in the same way as you’d use the key. It starts the car and disables the built-in steering lock so you can simply drive off.

There is no need to hotwire the car or have any electrical knowledge. Forget the “Gone in 60 seconds” stuff with sparking wires, that’s all Hollywood bollocks!

It’s not sophisticated or even remotely impressive. This can be done by a mere simpleton.

Most NZ car thieves are simpletons.

The vast majority of car thefts in New Zealand are achieved by primitive brute force methods that simply would not work on vehicle that comes with a factory immobiliser.

Why do so many NZ cars not have an immobiliser?

There is no legislation requiring cars to have an immobiliser here in New Zealand. It’s quite remarkable considering that in Europe, all cars manufactured from 1998 are required to have an immobiliser as standard equipment.

Back in 2008 New Zealand nearly made it a requirement for a new vehicle to have an immobiliser. The draft Land Transport proposals can be found here: https://www.nzta.govt.nz/assets/consultation/vehicle-equipment-immobilisers-amendment/docs/immobilisers-amendment-overview.pdf

This all got abandoned with a change of government.

Too late for legislation?

The average age for a motor vehicle in New Zealand is about 14 years. Bringing in legislation now would be a case of closing the stable door long after the horse has bolted.

With hindsight it’s reasonable to assume that we would not be talking about what some halfwit learnt on TikTok had the proposed legislation not been scrapped 14 years ago!

It’s unfortunate that we did not have the wisdom to learn from Europe where the 1998 immobiliser requirements had a big impact in reducing vehicle theft.

New cars without an immobiliser?

Whilst most new cars sold here now come with an immobiliser, about 2/3 cars are still used Japanese imports, many of which arrive here without an immobiliser. The most popular vehicles I’m installing immobilisers to right now are the Toyota Aqua and Mazda Demio. But there are many others which are still lacking what I consider to be basic security.

Even last week I worked on a 2019 Toyota Corolla Wagon that did not have a factory immobiliser. That was actually a NZ new vehicle, not a used import!

Get an immobiliser fitted if your car does not have one

My advice is to check if your car comes with an immobiliser. If it does not, then you can get one installed for as little as $280.00.

And finally a message to the simpletons: If you want bragging rights, then try something that’s actually challenging to impress people rather then cause misery to others. Master the game of Tiddlywinks for example!

Cobra 8510 Immobiliser

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Vodafone Automotive SCD40

Vodafone Automotive

The Vodafone Automotive SCD40 is the GPS hardware used with the MindR Telematics Platform.

It can also be used without MindR as both a Theft Recovery System and an Alarm.

The SDC40 can work in full CAN-BUS configuration, or as a simple 3 wire system (12v, GND, Ignition).

The first thing to know is that it is manufactured by Vodafone Automotive in Italy. It is a quality piece of hardware.

It is small enough to fit in your hand. Speaking as an installation technician this makes it a pleasure to install. So many other system are bulky and this compromises the install.

It won’t flatten your vehicle battery!

The biggest issue I have with most GPS tracking devices in New Zealand is that most importers fail to publish any data about the hardware. Most put a horrifical drain on the vehicle battery and will flatten it in days if the vehicle is not driven.

The SCD40 current consumption is below 5mA when in standby mode.

I know that many (and by many I mean most of the trackers I’ve looked at) pull around 50mA on standby. Some draw as much as 85mA and are simply not fit for purpose. I’ll rant on about that in another post in the near future.

Vodafone Automotive SCD40

It measures 95mm x 65mm x 25mm yet still packs some powerful features and even has an internal GPS aerial.

There is the option of an external GPS aerial, but for the vast majority of installs it is not necessary.

Optional external GPS aerial

CAN-BUS Telematics

This means that the tracker can read the vehicle data (See notes at the end of post) rather than simply using the ignition switch and GPS to work.

The CAN-BUS data available varies among vehicles. It depends on what information the vehicles CAN-BUS carries, along with what has actually been captured and included in the vehicle specific firmware.

Useful Telematics CAN-BUS data will include the odometer and whether driver’s seat belt is fastened. On some vehicles it can even include fuel tank level and engine check light notifications.

SCD40 Alarm

The SCD40 can work as a CAN-BUS alarm in the same way as the AK4615. Whilst it lacks the siren and ultrasonic sensors, it can still read if vehicle has been locked with the remote and a door is open.

It has additional inputs and outputs. These can be used to honk the vehicle horn, as well as flash an external LED to show the alarm is armed.

If subscribed to the MindR Telematics platform, you can be notified if the SDC40 triggers an intrusion alert.

For vehicles that the SCD40 will not work as an alarm with, or for anyone requiring a more comprehensive alarm, then it can be wired up to either the AK4615 or the AK4698.  An intrusion alarm will come through if they get triggered.

SCD40 Theft Recovery

This is a great option if you want to be able to recover your vehicle from theft without the expense of paying for a monthly subscription.

Even though the SCD40 is not connected to the MirdR Telematics Platform, it will still log its most recent locations in the internal memory. Should your vehicle get stolen you can simply phone the MindR on the out-of-hours phone number and they can activate your account to recover the vehicle. Once activated it will send all the stored data to the platform.

There is a one-off cost of $250.00 plus GST ($287.50) to do this. Hopefully you’ll never need it, but it’s a nice insurance policy that will not kill your wallet (or your car battery!)

SCD40 Pricing

*Includes GST and Installation

Standard Installation $650.00 * Additional cost maybe added for a custom install with alarm features.

External GPS Aerial $50.00

Running cost: MindR Telematics Platform

Monthly Plan: $30.00 per vehicle via direct debit.

Annual Plan: $350.00 per vehicle via direct debit.

One time theft recovery: $287.50

PDF iconSCD40 Hardware Brochure

Note: CAN-BUS features varies between vehicles and the firmware available. Please contact me about your specific vehicle details to find out what options are available.

For more information have a look at the MindR Telematics website: https://www.mindr.nz/

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GPS Tracking Hardware and Installation

With so many GPS tracking companies having flashy websites with lots of jargon, it is easy to overlook the basics of the hardware and installation.

My advice is to ignore the testimonials and sales spin and take a good look at what you are actually purchasing.

Very few GPS brands actually disclose all the details about the GPS tracking hardware and installation. In this post I will cover the following:

Where is the GPS hardware manufactured?

Is your GPS tracker made by a reputable company? Or is it one of the many re-branded units from China made in questionable working conditions? Do you even care? Maybe you want a cheap tracker, but even then I’d suggest doing some homework and asking the supplier where it comes from. Most of the cheap systems are not reliable or even that cheap after the product has been marked up and re-branded.

How much current draw does it put on your car battery?

There are a large number of GPS trackers (including well-known brands) that put a unacceptably high parasitic draw on the car battery. This can result in the vehicle being unable to start if left undriven for more than 1 week. A vehicle that won’t start is not really meeting “increased productivity” claims!

Some GPS systems are battery parasites

I suggest that you check how many mA (milliamps) your GPS tracking hardware draws when the vehicle is not in use. Most should be under 10mA when the vehicle is switched off.

If the current consumption data is higher than 10mA or not published by the manufacturer, then I recommend looking elsewhere.

I have a pile of GPS trackers that I have removed from various vehicles that I’ll wire up on the Obsessive test bench for a real world test.

GPS Trackers to be tested for parasitic battery drain.

There will be a link here in the near future with the results.

How large is the unit?

Many trackers are old technology and needlessly bulky. This makes them harder to install and less effective if being used for vehicle security as they are much easier to find and remove.

Again, I’ll be publishing as much info as I can here when I get the time to do so.

Is the installer trained?

Most GPS installs are a simple 3 wire installation so should be easy, right? Yet you’d be shocked if you saw how bad many of the so-called professional installs I come across are.

When I started out installing GPS Trackers in the UK, I recall having to attend a training day to understand the basics of a good installation. This was a requirement for being an approved installer. I’ve only come across one GPS retailer in New Zealand that offers any form of installer training.

The result is often a tracker fitted in a compromised location where the GPS and GSM signal is restricted. Twisted wires without solder or insulation, and a crows nest created by 3 wires alone. I would not believe it was possible to create such a mess had I not seen it with my own eyes!

I’ll cover the basics of how a good install is done in detail in the near future and post it here.

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Toyota Hiace H200 Upgrade Alarm

The H200 Toyota Hiace has been on New Zealand roads since 2004. Sales stopped in 2019 when it was discontinued and replaced with the H300 Hiace. However, it is still in production in Japan, and used imports are still finding their way over here.

The Hiace has had a number of updates over the years, but there are 3 significant generations as far as security is concerned.

All New Zealand new models come with remote keyless entry and a factory transponder immobiliser, yet do not come with an alarm.

Toyota Hiace Alarm

I have installed well over 400 alarms to the H200 shape Hiace

Which Alarm is Best of the Hiace?

I highly recommend the Vodafone Automotive AK4615 upgrade alarm for the Hiace as it works perfectly with the Toyota remote key. This makes it very user-friendly as well as effective.

It works in every model and all years but has to be wired differently depending on which generation your model is as I’ll explain later. Note that it will function the same way regardless and nothing changes from the user’s point of view.

Ultrasonic Internal Protection

As the Hiace is a popular trade vehicle they are often a target for break-ins so having good internal protection is vital. Glass break sensors are simply not effective in large vehicles and a PIR sensor looks crude and is not necessary for an open van without a solid cargo barrier.

Toyota Hiace Alarm Sensors

Ultrasonic Sensors protect the interior space in the Toyota Hiace

The Ultrasonic Sensors look like they were installed at the factory and are a perfect colour match. They protect the internal cabin space of the van and can be turned off using the control button on the LED before arming the alarm.

LED over-ride and optional extra LED

The Alarm comes with a red 3mm LED which is mounted with the over-ride switch, if you want a brighter visual deterrent then an extra LED can be added for no extra cost. Please ask in advance if you want this.

2014 Facelift Hiace dash with LED options

Super Loud Siren and Horn Honk

This all comes as standard and the hazard lights flash too if the alarm is triggered.

Easy Emergency Over-ride

The PIN code override can be customized to any 4-digit number so the alarm can be disarmed if the remote battery fails. The video below shows how it works.

Vodafone Automotive AK4615 Upgrade Alarm: $700.00 (Price includes installation and GST)

Toyota Hiace Generations Explained

2005-2014 Pre face-lift Hiace

Gen 1: 2005-2014 Pre face-lift Hiace

Gen 1 2004-2014

Some Gen 1 Jap imports do not have the factory transponder immobiliser, yet all NZ new models come with one as standard.

There is no CAN-BUS data for the alarm to read so the AK4615 has to be wired up in traditional PLIP upgrade mode.

This is not an issue as the wiring is reasonably simple. It is worth noting that the Cobra AB3686 is also an option for the Gen 1 H200 Hiace which is $500.00 installed.

 

2015 Hiace

2014 face-lift Hiace

Gen 2: 2014-2019

The Hiace electrics have a major update along with new headlamps, grille, and dashboard.

The doors and ignition can now be read by CAN-BUS but there is no central locking data! However, it can be read by PLIP.

I helped develop the firmware for the AK4615 that works with the Gen 2 Hiace. I’m proud of this as it works flawlessly. I’ve seen attempts from other brands that are far from satisfactory.

Gen 3: 2019-

Gen 3 H200 Hiace (Jap import only and comes with Radar and lane departure)

The Gen 3 model looks very much like the Gen 2 but it has had another major electrical update. The alarm firmware is now full CAN-BUS.

Other Alarm options (for all generations)

If you don’t have a working Toyota remote then the Cobra AK4698 would be my recommendation. It comes with Two Cobra Remotes that will give you full key-less entry. There is even the option to have remote controls with the Toyota Logo,

The AK4698 can also be used as a Courier alarm which allows the driver to alarm the van with the engine still running.

Historical Alarms:

Many Hiaces were fitted with the Cobra AK4147 and AK4128, which were a Toyota NZ dealership option.

Other alarms possible

Of course, I know the vans well enough to fit most other systems, if you have a specific requirement then simply ask and I’ll see what I can do.

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Cobra 8510 now with Blue LED option

The Cobra 8510 is a very effective, yet simple immobiliser that I have been installing for years. The only real issue I have with installing it is deciding where to place the touch-key receiver.

It needs to be in a location that is easy for the driver to reach, and ideally in a location that makes the contained LED visible as a deterrent against an attempted theft.

Better the light is seen before a window is smashed right?

Brighter more visible LED

I have had comments in the past that it would be nice if the LED was brighter, so I got my hands on one and had a play. The LED can be swapped and there is no reason why the colour can’t be changed at the same time 🙂

Cobra 8510 with Blue LED

This got me thinking about the receiver which requires a 16mm hole to be drilled to mount it. The size of the thing is often a compromise.

Many vehicles have a blank switch, but these are sometimes too small to accommodate it, or in a location that is not very visible from the outside of the vehicle.

There is no reason why I can’t simply fit the Cobra 8510 receiver in an agreed place that suits the driver, then mount a new LED in a different location that is more visible from outside the car.

I wish I’d thought of this one many years ago, but hey, it’s a job where you are always learning new things.

Anyway, I can now offer the 8510 with a Blue LED or a relocated LED.

Pricing: (Includes installation and GST on most standard vehicles)

Standard Cobra 8510: $280.00
Blue LED upgrade 8510 $300.00

This post covers LED for anyone thinking of a more creative option:

Car Alarm LED Locations and Colours

Full details of the 8510 can be found here:

Cobra 8510 Immobiliser

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MPT Carpentry Review

Getting a bad review is never pleasant. I want my customers to be happy with my service. Happy customers mean repeat business and referrals, which is enough to motivate me to get things right.

The issue I have with online reviews is that as a business you are vulnerable to fake reviews and the occasional grumpy sod who is impossible to please. It can be very one-sided in that you as a business owner are not able to review your customers.

I’d love to be able to write.

Fantastic client. Made me a cup of tea and paid me on time.

Some customers are the better than others 🙂

This way I and other business owners would be able to vet customers and steer clear of the ones who complain and fail to pay on time.

Two-way reviews tend to make people more considerate as anyone who uses TradeMe will be aware.

I find that most issues can be resolved with good communication, however, communication is a two-way thing.

A recent lack of communication has left me with the following bad review which I got when I was away on holiday.

MPT Carpentry Review by owner Mr Te Whata:

The most UNPROFESSIONAL service I have ever had.

Had an alarm fitted by Julian. Luckily I tried starting my van after completion as the battery had been drained. Also lucky that I carry jumper leads as Julian doesn’t. Van was restarted, Julian left me with the arrangement to pay via internet banking when convenient (I was working at a client’s house).

Went to leave later & discovered my digital dashboard, windows & sunroofs weren’t working. Contacted Julian who said he’d come back sometime the next day…

The following afternoon, Julian arrived & fixed everything except intercom system which enables driver to talk with passengers in rear seat (didn’t realise this was also not working). He stated that the fuse was inferior & had nothing to do with him. I stated that it worked fine before he arrived & he needed to rectify. This was done and I paid Julian that night.

Fast forward a few days and the recent foul weather making the morning commute quite dark, I found my headlights aren’t working.

Several text messages have been ignored, and I’m unable to leave a voice message as the numerous attempted calls seem to be terminated.

BEWARE.

I’m going to break down each section and respond to each point in turn:

Had an alarm fitted by Julian. Luckily I tried starting my van after completion as the battery had been drained. Also lucky that I carry jumper leads as Julian doesn’t. Van was restarted, Julian left me with the arrangement to pay via internet banking when convenient (I was working at a client’s house).

I actually pointed out that the battery was low and it was not discovered by Mr Te Whata as claimed here. He also told me that he had been having battery issues yet failed to mention this before I started working on his van! Speaking of which it would have been nice if he had made an effort and cleaned the van before I got to work on it!

In regards to the jump leads; I drive an electric van and jump-starting with it can damage the electrics. It does not have an alternator like a conventional internal combustion engine vehicle. I explained this but Mr Te Whata was not interested and started ranting.

I’ll admit to being slightly flustered here as I’m not used to customers being aggressive. I failed to do my usual post-install electrical checks as a result of this and the flat battery.

Went to leave later & discovered my digital dashboard, windows & sunroofs weren’t working. Contacted Julian who said he’d come back sometime the next day…

The following afternoon, Julian arrived & fixed everything except intercom system which enables driver to talk with passengers in rear seat (didn’t realise this was also not working). He stated that the fuse was inferior & had nothing to do with him. I stated that it worked fine before he arrived & he needed to rectify. This was done and I paid Julian that night.

This is not exactly the way I recall things occurred.

I discovered a fuse had blown. It would pop again each time I plugged in the “Joy Talk” switch. I explained this to Mr Te Whata and asked if he used “Joy Talk”. I did not actually know what it did or how it was supposed to work. He advised me that it was an intercom system and that it was working before I did the installation. The claim that I “stated that the fuse was inferior” is total fiction. I have no idea where this narrative has come from?

Unplugging this switch leads to hate speech!

After some head-scratching, I found that there are two identically shaped plugs. When I put the dash back I plugged the wrong one into the “Joy Talk” switch. This resulted in the fuse popping whenever it was pressed. It’s unusual to have two plugs that fit the same switch and this caught me out.

Issue fixed

I thought Mr Te Whata would be joyful again. I did all my checks and informed him of what had happened.

I had clearly made a mistake, but I always believe it is not the mistakes but how you deal with them that defines us.

I then went on a week’s holiday in the mountains.

Fast forward a few days and the recent foul weather making the morning commute quite dark, I found my headlights aren’t working.

Several text messages have been ignored, and I’m unable to leave a voice message as the numerous attempted calls seem to be terminated.

So upon getting back from holiday I found that Mr Te Whata had left a review both on Google and Facebook. (No one has ever left a review on both before)

I’ll point out here that I do not take my work phone with me when I am on holiday. I’m unapologetic about this. I also don’t do business via SMS as it I don’t want to be available 24/7. I know some people get anxious if they do not get an instant reply, this BBC link covers it in detail.

I have a No SMS please on the website contact page.

Anyway, if Mr Te Whata had sent me an email he’d have got an out-of-office reply explaining that I was away.

My response

I phoned Mr Te Whata to discuss the issue however, he did not answer the phone. I left it for an hour and tried again. Still, no response so I left a voice mail explaining why I was unavailable. I asked if he could please call me back so we can resolve matters.

1 week passes, (maybe Mr Te Whata was on Holiday?) so I tried the phone again. Still, he did not pick it up or get back to me. It was strange as he clearly expected everyone else to respond instantly!

BEWARE.

A lack of Joy Talk = Hate Speech? (CAPS = more ranting)

To finish I’d like to point out that I have done my best to keep Mr Te Whata happy.

Did I make a mistake? Absolutely, it happens to the best of us.

Did I try and resolve my mistake as quickly as possible? Yes

Is this is a fair review? That’s not really for me to judge, but I do take this seriously and don’t know what else I could have done to improve my service.

I had hoped that as a small business owner Mr Te Whata would understand that not all jobs go smoothly, and not all customers are easy to deal with.

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Vodafone Automotive AK4698/8509 Combo

The Vodafone Automotive AK4698/8509 Combo replaces the Cobra AK4138.

It’s a top-of-the-range alarm with 3 immobiliser circuits. The system is designed for older vehicles that lack factory remote locking and immobilisation.

From an installation point of view, it is a big step up over the outgoing model. It comes with a wireless battery back-up siren that’s waterproof as well as loud. Horn honk can also be added.

Programming can now be done with a laptop which makes it very versatile. Plus troubleshooting is much easier as the alarm trigger history can be viewed by the installer using the Andromeda software.

Vodafone Automotive Alarm

AK4698/8509 Combo

What’s included as standard?

All the usual trigger inputs such as door, boot, bonnet protection, and internal ultrasonic movement sensors come as standard. Plus the LED over-ride button remains the same.

The alarm comes with a couple of 2 button padlock remotes as standard but these can be swapped for 3 button remotes that support boot pop. The full list of features and options can be found at the end of this post.

Vodafone Automotive AK4698/8509 in Action

One noticeable difference with the AK4698/8509 Combo is how to disarm the Immobilser once it has auto-armed. You simply turn the ignition on then press the lock button. Previous models used the unlock button so this may take some getting used to. There is also the option of an ADR card as explained in the video below:

ADR Card Option:

Cobra ADR (Automatic Driver Recognition)


Vodafone Automotive AK4698/8509 Remote Alarm/Immobiliser

Vodafone Automotive AK4698/8509 Combo

RRP: $880.00

Optional ADR Card $100.00

ADR Leather Wallet $30.00

Obsessive Rating:
This top of the line alarm system comes highly recommended for high risk older vehicles that lack factory security


OVERVIEW

Features:

Options: (not standard features so additional cost applies)

Additional Information:

PDF icon4698 User Manual

Alarm Sensors:

Need extra protection? This post explains what alarm sensors are available and how they work:

Car Alarm Sensors

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Toyota Prius C Alarm

The Toyota Prius C or Aqua as it is known in Japan first came into sale in 2011.

The models with a smart key and push to start button come with a factory immobiliser. But if you have a base model with a traditional remote key then it may lack one. You can normally tell if there is an immobiliser as there will be a flashing padlock symbol in the instrument cluster.

Smartkey models already have a factory immobiliser

For models that do not have the factory immobiliser then I recommend the Cobra 8510 as a minimum level of protection.

Immobiliser = minimum recommended level of protection

 

No Alarm

All models lack a factory alarm so if you are looking to improve your security then I recommend the Vodafone Automotive AK4615 CAN-BUS upgrade alarm.

Alarm features

  • The alarm is fully functional using the Toyota remote
  • Door, Boot & Bonnet Protection
  • Internal Ultrasonic Movement Sensors
  • Digital Battery Back-up Siren
  • Horn Honk & Hazard Light Warning

Here are some photos of how the alarm looks in the Toyota Aqua

Ultrasonic internal movement sensors in the Prius C

LED over-ride switch in the Toyota Aqua

Easy Emergency Over-ride 

The PIN code override can be customized to any 4-digit number so the alarm can be disarmed if the remote battery fails.

Toyota Aqua Alarm

Cobra AK4615 CAN-BUS Upgrade Alarm:

$700.00 (Price includes installation and GST)

Works with the factory remote

Optional Cobra Remote: $115.00

Optional Extras:

Tilt Sensor $150.00

Cobra Tilt Sensor

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Obsessive Workshop

Introducing the new Obsessive Workshop:

137A Ruapehu Street
Paraparaumu
5032

Google Map Link can be found here…

Regular readers may have noticed that the blog has been rather quiet over the past year or so. I’ve still been super busy, but most of my time has gone into fixing up my new house and garage. It was all in a rather sorry state when I first moved in.

Before…

Upon undertaking the work I joked that I’d have the house finished before Transmission Gully opened (I’ll spare the details but the work was considerable).

Well, not only is the house finished but the Garage has also been done up. All before the promised road to Wellington has been opened!

…and after

I’ll let the photos do the speaking. It’s now a useful garage that is big enough to work in with comfort. The roller door has a 2 meters clearance so can fit most standard-sized vans etc. Although I’d love it to be higher as a Toyota Hiace with roof bars will not fit!

Levin Car Security

The garage door has a 2.02 meter clearance

What does my re-location mean?

Not much for existing customers as the mobile installation service remains and I still cover the Wellington region.

Levin Car Security

I am now happy to travel up to Levin for vehicle security installations. It is much quicker to get to than Wellington. Especially with Transmission Gully still not being finished and roadworks on SH58 looking like slow travel to the Hutt will be a permanent thing.

The Obsessive test bench now sits proudly above a solid workbench

I’ll now try and update the blog and Website more often. There are some exciting products which I’ll be posting about soon…

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Viper 3400V

The Viper 3400V is the replacement for the 3100. It’s the new entry-level alarm system so what’s new?

First off are the 4 button remote controls. Whilst not new (the 7145V remote is found with other Viper alarms) they are an improvement over the old 3 button remote.

This is a win as the additional button allows for a separate lock and unlock button that make the system easier to use.

Viper 7145V remotes come with the 3400V

Smaller Siren

There is a new siren which is smaller than the old one. It’s still a standard none battery back-up model and the smaller size makes it nicer for the installer to hide.

514L siren, smaller than the old 514LN

But is it still as loud?

I put both on the Obsessive test bench to find out.

 

What else is new?

Well other than a new box and user manual, not much! It’s still the same hardware as the 3100 including the plastic case for the alarm module which still has 3100 moulded into it.

Viper 3400 is actually a 3100 with new remote controls and a smaller siren.

 

The 3100 reviews can be found here…

Rather than repeat the old review have a good read up there to get the full details.

Viper 3400V

Suggested Retail Price: $400.00 (may vary depending on vehicle and requirements)

Obsessive Rating:
My favourite entry-level alarm system!

OK it’s still the Viper 3100 with updated remote controls and a smaller siren.

But there is nothing wrong with that!

OVERVIEW

Features:

  • 6 Tone Standard Siren
  • Two 4 Button remote controls
  • Starter immobiliser
  • Impact sensor
  • Blue LED
  • Hazard/Parklight output
  • Two Aux outputs
  • Valet Mode

Options:

Additional information

PDF icon3100 User Manual (Will update with 3400V PDF once it’s available)

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