Battery Back-up Sirens are a basic requirement for any 5 star rated alarm. Being the part of the alarm that screams for your attention it is arguably the most important part of the alarm. I decided to put the major brands to the test to see how effective they are.
Before looking at the sirens I shall explain the different terms:
Digital Battery Back-Up Siren: These communicate with the alarm via a data wire so know if the alarm is armed or disarmed. As the siren knows the state of the alarm there is no need for an over-ride key so the siren can be hidden.
If the alarm is disarmed then the vehicles battery can be disconnected and the siren will not go off, this means that the Digital Battery back-up siren is not only easier to live with but also offers a higher level of protection.
Basic Battery Back-Up Siren: These sirens trigger when they detect a negative or positive pulse input, They are cheaper to to manufacture than Digital Battery Back-up Sirens and have no way of knowing if the alarm is armed of disarmed. Because of this disconnecting the power to them causes the siren to sound even if the alarm is disarmed. To get around this problem they have an over-ride key which will disable the siren. Due to this the siren needs to be accessible which makes it vulnerable to attack.
The Battery Back-up Siren Review…
The Autowatch Siren is of the Digital Variety, hence is has no over-ride key to worry about and can be hidden for that extra level of protection. It has soft arm/disarm chirps or can be programed to silent arming (actually silent arming isn’t strictly correct a it gives a very discreet blip). The Autowatch comes a very respectable second here. It is not as loud as the excellent Cobra and does not offer arm/disarm volume control.
Obsessive Rating 8/10
Apart from the Cobra the Autowatch puts the others to the sword!
The AVS Siren is a data siren, this means that it can not be tricked into being silenced by tampering with the wires as it does not rely on a negative or positive trigger wire. So whilst it is better than the Basic battery back-up sirens found with Dynatron, Mongoose and Meridian it still has an over ride key and needs to be accessible. Despite the sales spin from AVS the siren is still easy to defeat and should not be confused with the digital sirens found with the Autowatch and Cobra alarms.
Obsessive Rating 3/10
Let down by over-ride key!
Cobra 4310 Siren
The Cobra 4310 is a true Digital Battery Back-up siren. It is extremely solid and better still has a very high pitch sound. It is certainly the loudest and most attention grabbing of the brands on offer here. The other great thing with the Cobra siren is that the Arm/Disarm chirps can be adjusted in volume to suit the owner.
The Cobra siren is so advanced that it will even give a diagnostic warning if it has been tampered with!
It’s also worth noting that the Cobra siren is waterproof.
Obsessive Rating 10/10
So good that the Obsessive Wagon has 2 of them!
The Dynatron Siren is a basic battery back-up siren with an over-ride key, Dynatron make a large and a small version but both need to be placed in an accessible location for the over-ride key access.
As with the AVS, Mongoose and Meridian siren this simply defeats the whole point of the siren being Battery Back-up!
Obsessive Rating 2/10
Go for the 4 Star Dynatron -At least the siren can be hidden!
Whilst it is much better than the Meridian alarm that it comes with (probably because it made by someone else) it still isn’t very effective and is best avoided.
Obsessive Rating 2/10
More over-ride keys…..
The Mongoose siren is another basic battery back up system with an over-ride key. It comes with bullet connectors which is a concern as unplugging the trigger wire and grounding will it disabled the siren in seconds! The bullet connections really should be cut off and the wires soldered and taped.
The M60G siren can even be turned of without the key which is a worry!
Obsesive rating: 1/10
Would be 2/10 if not for the poor Bullet connectors!