The Dynatron NZ website is still up but the phone is not being answered.
So what does this mean if you have a Dynatron alarm?
Well if you have one of their (crap) Dynatron Digital alarms you’ll probably struggle to get spare parts or any support. I’ve never sold one personally as the product was too crap to be associated with! Dynatron Digital alarms were re-branding Kodinis Raktas alarms which they sold since 2013.
My suggestion is to either import your own parts directly or replace the alarm with a decent system.
Old Dynatron alarms are still supported
If you have a pre-2013 Dynatron alarm (see the logo at the start of the post) then relax. These were re-branded Dynamco alarms and are still available. I keep replacement remote controls for these.
I’ve lost count of how many times an alarm has been the accused of being…
(fill in your own random complaint here)
…the reason things stop working on a vehicle.
Yet it nearly always turns out to be something else.
Here is the most recent one which I’ve had to deal with:
Just wanted to get in contact with you in regards to an alarm you installed in our vehicle.
Please see below previous correspondence we’ve had regarding this.
I’ve attached an invoice from an auto electrician who has identified the issue with the draining of the battery with the alarm.
I look forward to hearing your response on how to go forward from here to resolve the issue.
Thanks (Name edited)
I’m always skeptical when it comes to the work of 3rd parties. I’ve lost count of how many Auto Electricians have pointed the finger at the alarm yet fail to back it up with any solid evidence.
Take the above invoice for example:
Pull alarm fuse and leave the vehicle for 5 days = Must be the alarm.
It’s not exactly what I’d call an efficient use of time, and it’s certainly not best practice.
Doing a current draw test
So the alarm draws about 8mA. This is a super quick test to do and it is proof that the alarm is not the reason the car battery is going flat!
So what is happening with the battery?
I put the multimeter on the battery and had a quick look:
It’s pretty obvious that something on the Clock/Room fuse that is causing the battery to go flat.
So much of my job is trying to keep an open mind and not jumping to false conclusions. It’s satisfying to get a result, but also super frustrating to have to deal with these complaints. Sadly it happens far too often!
I’m now making an effort to put more of these stories on the Trouble Shooting section of the blog. Hopefully, some people will read it and learn!
It did not take me 5 days to get to this stage and unlike the Auto Electrician who is probably not an alarm specialist, (well they have AVS listed on their website) I actually have some evidence. ?
Especially when you’re looking at an issue someone else has caused!
I got approached by a client to have a look at their alarm system. It did work but since Auto Electrician had installed the new car stereo it does not work. In fact, the car is now immobilised and stuck in his garage!
The Auto sparky wanted to replace the alarm with another “5 Star system” and didn’t seem to think that his work had caused the issue.
Then comes the lack of competent installers. Every car audio shop and DIY mechanic thinks that they can install an alarm!
Most of them can install an alarm, it’s just that they don’t do a very good job! This is why so many are not reliable and they have such a bad reputation.
Would you trust an AA car alarm?
The irony was not lost on me when I found out that the AA alarm install alarms. It turns out very badly too!
Watch the video below…
2006 Toyota Hilux – Previously an AA Service Vehicle
So I inspect the alarm because the doors randomly lock (this turns out to be a faulty tactile switch in the remote control). There is also the issue of two doors that do not lock as the hacked central locking install has fallen to pieces!
The front door lock actuator was attached to a random piece of wood, by a hodgepodge of miscellaneous bolts and screws as shown in the photo below!
AA central locking
I’m curious about the legal implications of what the AA has done to the central locking. It only takes a press of the remote button to lock the doors (remember that the faulty remote was locking them). What would happen if you needed to get out of the vehicle in an emergency?
What about the rest of the Install?
The immobiliser remote next to the factory immobiliser warning LED
Then came all the usual faults such as the rusted bonnet switch and a crap siren location.
I could go on…
But the point is simple. The AA really should stick roadside assistance as they clearly don’t have any competence when it comes to vehicle security! Yet they can publish a blog a post about an issue which they have helped to create! 🙁
Recently I took a 3 day weekend down in Nelson lakes to climb some mountains and play in the snow. Whilst I love my work, I value my playtime even more.
Not everyone respects work hours so I normally turn my phone to flight mode for the weekends. It also ensures I have some battery life left when I need it!
It’s not uncommon to find multiple voice mails, text messages, and emails when I connect back to the digital world. People get super needy when their car does not start!
Here is a typical example of what I have to deal with:
It’s really rare for immobilisers to fail (well decent ones at least), however, I like to keep an open mind and not draw any conclusions until I see the car and find the actual fault.
This car had a Cobra AK4138 alarm/immobiliser. These are normally bombproof! Whilst I’ll never be arrogant enough to dismiss my handy work as the problem, I was starting to have some doubts, afterall two so-called professionals had pointed the finger.
Keeping an open mind!
One thing I’ve learned over the years is not to be defensive or to draw any conclusions.
Keeping an open mind is often a challenge, but it helps in all aspects of life. This is especially true when it comes to troubleshooting.
I do understand how the mechanic and the AA chap drew the wrong conclusion. There are so many shit quality alarms fitted by incompetent installers that it’s not funny. I remove them on a weekly basis! It’s certainly one of the potential causes of the problem that needs to be eliminated.
But pointing the finger without any evidence is simply not cool. In fact, I’d even call it incompetent!
Another Happy Customer
So I’ve started the week with a very unhappy customer through no fault of my own, to being appreciated for my methods. (remember, don’t get defensive or take things personally!)
So much of my work is dealing with people. Often it’s harder than the actual installation work!
I not sure if I’ll ever master that aspect of it, but it’s certainly something I’ve got much better at over the years.
Having a flat battery sucks! It’s important that your alarm is not causing a parasitic drain as it won’t even work if your battery is flat. Let’s see how these two get on when wired up to the test bench:
The Vodafone Automotive claims to draw 8.5mA when armed. My multimeter read an average of 5.5mA
The AVS A5 has a sticker on the case saying 20mA. My meter read an average of 17.5mA
Note: I did not wire the siren up for either test.
Time to open up the case and see what is inside:
The AVS does not even come close to the Vodafone Automotive in terms of build quality. It looks like an old relic, even when compared to an old Cobra alarm made back in 1995. If I did not know better I have guessed that it was made in the early 1980’s!
The Cyclops/Dynatron TX-11 Remote is the old remote for both the 3 Series and 7 Series of alarms.
When I say old they pre-date Obsessive Vehicle Security existence (April 2008) so I’ve not ever sold one. That said I have repaired heaps over the years and continue to do so.
Often a remote repair is as simple as replacing a tactile switch on the circuit board along with a quick clean up. I have a frequency reader so I can confirm it’s transmitting.
I also have some old alarms kicking about which I can wire up on the Obsessive test bench. This way I can code the remote to an alarm for testing. This is great when I don’t have access to the customer’s car. It’s always good to double-check it’s working perfectly before returning it.
I still stock replacement remote cases and tac switches for these remote controls.
About The TX-11 Remote
The TX-11 came with a Green LED for the 3 Series and a Blue LED for the 7 Series. The difference is that the 7 Series remote has a transponder chip inside.
Remote Case: $25.00
Green LED TX-11 Replaced by TX-111 (3 Series) or TX-90
Blue LED TX-11 Replaced by TX-90T (T for transponder)
I have a couple of reconditioned TX-11 remote controls kicking around for anyone who prefers the style.