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Terms Dealing with Alarms and Electrical Stuff
August 30, 2005


I'll try to have this in a logical order, but don't hold your breath. There will be two sections. One is dealing with basic electrical stuff, and the other will be alarm terms.

Electrical Terms;

Volts; It's volts that force the current through the wire. What is real important to keep in mind is that a voltage is always in reference to some other point. Normally this is called "ground".

Ohms; This is the resistance to current flow.

"Electricity is just like water in a hose"; This is an analogy that a lot of people use to explain how wiring functions. It goes like this; Electrons are like water in a hose. If the hose is too small, the water can't get through the fast enough and the hose bursts. It kind of works but doesn't include the fact that the water (electrons) has to return to it's original source!! You can't just have the water squirt out on the lawn. In order to have an electronic circuit work, it has to be able to make a complete circle. The voltage that leaves the battery has to be able to return back to it!!


Alarm Terms;

GPS; This is Global Position Sensor. What you have to know is that it's a receiver only! It picks up signals from a couple satellites and triangulates where you are. Think about this; you can buy a GPS unit at a camping store and it will tell you where you are. If your car is equipped with one, the car knows where it is. However, the fact that your car knows where it is does no good by it's self. It would be like if your girl friend was sitting in the car, but didn't have a cell phone to call you. That information has to be transmitted to somebody that cares, and that's pretty much done over a cell phone line.

Teletrac; This is a system that uses a GPS unit and also cell phone line to monitor your phone. The company can call your car over the cell phone line and ask it for the GPS location.

Lojack; In this system, a unit is installed in your car where it can be activated by the police. Once activated, it sends out a signal that the police can use trackers installed in some of their cars to locate it. The reason I don't like this unit is that it's only the police that can activate it and they don't do it until you have filed a written thieft report. So, think about this; After you notice that your car is gone, you have to go to a police station (you can't phone it in) to file the report. Then it's up to the police if your car is important enough to worry about!

Digital Tilt Sensor; This is a unit that can be added to an existing alarm unit (or your unit may already have one). What they do is once the car alarm is activated, it takes a reading of the tilt of the car. If the car is jacked up, and the tilt changed, the unit sets off the alarm.

Window Control Module; It's a unit that allows your alarm system roll up or down the windows. Most units only control 2 "functions". In other words, one module can roll down two windows. If you want to also be able to roll up those two windows, you would need an additional module.


Links to other pages worth seeing or companies; This is a site with a lot of valuable information and also a forum where you can post questions. It's all about alarms and stereos.