• Effective immediately we will be deleting, without notice, any negative threads or posts that deal with the use of encryption and streaming of scanner audio.

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Protect Your Radio Investment - Car Alarms & Insurance Riders

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W9WSS

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I've spent most of the afternoon and evening today reading about the fantastic installations, and the beautiful pictures that many have posted to this forum. As a sworn law enforcement officer in a community 25 miles southwest of Chicago, I have a few things to suggest. Unless your vehicle is parked in your garage at home, and in a well-lit and "human guarded" parking garage at work, and if you never visit a shopping center, then consider an alarm for your car or truck. I know the argument, "Those things go off all the time; Most people ignore them in a parking lot," etc., ad nauseum. This may be the case, but the more noise your alarm produces and the more lights you flash, the better chance that the thief will be scared off if he/she starts tampering with your vehicle. I have taken numerous reports over the past 30+ years for auto burglaries, and rarely are the perps apprehended. When they are, they're usually responsible for many other incidents, not just one. Although ONSTAR is an expensive investment, they have an alarm monitoring system where your car alarm would notify ONSTAR, in turn they will call you on the telephone number of your choice, usually your cell phone. Also consider a rider on your car insurance. Here in Illinois, car insurance covers anything factory installed. Not even your homeowners policy would cover serious vandalism to your car or truck, and not only the loss of equipment, but the damage caused by low-lives ripping your vehicle apart to get a piece of equipment they probably don't have the vaguest idea what to do with, except trade it to a fence for a "fix." Anti-theft stickers also are a good deterrent, along with little dashboard LED's blinking. Chances are more than likely the would-be thief will pass your vehicle by, and work on another. Something else I do is get a large bath towel the same color as the interior of your vehicle. Merely drape it over your radios and electronic devices. The old addage "Out of sight, out of mind," may work in some instances. But in closing, consider getting something that will make a lot of noise if someone breaks forcibly or if you forget to lock the car, also consider a system that will alarm itself once you've exited the vehicle after a certain period of time. Case reports are running rampant in the law enforcement communities for vehicle burglaries. Not just in my agency, but all over the United States. Again, if you can affort ONSTAR, and can opt for the burglary notification package, consider it as an insurance policy. And don't forget to check with your insurance carrier for riders for extra equipment installed after you took possession of your vehicle from the dealer or private party. Members of the ARRL (American Radio Relay League) offer a reasonable policy for ham radio, electronic equipment, antennas, towers, computers, and more.

Soap box mode deactivated. Have a nice day!
 

kb9tyc

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I have a $1500 endorsement on my vehicle insurance for my radio equipment in my vehicle. This costs me $30.00 a year with no deductible. Not too many insurance companies will cover radio equipment that is taken from a vehicle.

Another good idea is to mount your equipment in a way that it is easier to remove. I have 2 radios on a Gamber Johnson mount that only requires an allen wrench to remove. I have had a couple friends car stereos taken before and the damage caused by the removal of the stereo is often more than the replacement cost of the stereo itself. Either way if someone wants it they are going to get it.

Good post.
 
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jellotor

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Hamilton, ON
I've been a victim of vehicle breakins in the past...I've learned to keep the valuables stored in my vehicle to a bare minimum. In fact, I had my passenger side window smashed in the parking garage two weeks ago. They rifled through my stuff but finding nothing more than BetaSP video tapes, an ancient Sony NP-1 battery charger and a few more assorted odds and ends, they took nothing.

Perhaps after I clean up the interior, I'll post a pic or two of my PanaVise mounts that I use for the scanners. They're cheap and they allow me to remove & hide the handheld scanners pretty quickly.
 

W9WSS

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Vehicle Security

NeFire242 said:
You'd be amazed at how many people don't even record serial numbers of equipment.
This is a "disposable society." I think the term "planned obsolescene" is what many people refer to, when something breaks, quits working, or isn't doing what it's supposed to after a period of time. You'll notice how cheap "buy an extra year of warranty" costs, specifically small electronics. I purchased an additional cordless phone to match the set I had bought a few weeks prior. I paid $39.95 for the handset, and $5.95 for "an extra year" of warranty. Glad I did; we were out in the yard and I had the cordless in my back pocket; it must have slipped out because I found my dog chewing on it! I called the warranty company, and they sent me a check for the full replacement price of the phone.

After the break-in is discovered, the damage to the vehicle is hundreds of dollars. In some instances, the radios didn't cost as much as retail if they were purchased at a hamfest, bought on eBAY, etc., but ripping out a wiring harness, breaking windows, and tearing carpeting is paramount up and above to the cost of replacing the radios and associated hardware.

Cover it up, remove it, or sleep in your car with a big mean dog to avoid vandalism!
 
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I had a $750 alarm system installed in my vehicle to kept secure my Scanners, mobile credit card machine, car opening tools & lock picks secure, Know that if a disgruntle locksmith wants my stuff there is no way to stop him from getting it. The thief or I can can get in to a car or truck with out leaving a scratch or any evidence. If my tools or scanners get into the wrong hands, Guess What crime spree. Plus I had amber light mounted on the roof wired to active when the alarm is set along with the all other flashing lights .
 
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Signal3and2

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Iowa
I've thought about it, but if someone can remove my radio equipment from my car fast enough for someone to not see them do it, and the equipment is still usable, good for them. It would be almost impossible to take my equipment out without damaging it beyond repair, unless you had basic hand-tools, anti-theft bits, possibly a sawzall, and a general knowledge of how the puzzle is put together. If you don't have all those, the equipment is going to come out damaged and will be of no use to a thief. If i had a less permanant setup however, I would DEFINATELY invest in all the siren speakers and extra lights i could for an alarm.
 

W9WSS

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Car Alarm Protection Continued

kc0jar said:
I've thought about it, but if someone can remove my radio equipment from my car fast enough for someone to not see them do it, and the equipment is still usable, good for them. It would be almost impossible to take my equipment out without damaging it beyond repair, unless you had basic hand-tools, anti-theft bits, possibly a sawzall, and a general knowledge of how the puzzle is put together. If you don't have all those, the equipment is going to come out damaged and will be of no use to a thief. If i had a less permanant setup however, I would DEFINATELY invest in all the siren speakers and extra lights i could for an alarm.
Most if not all the burglary suspects I've encountered in my career have less than a pristine reputation. There was a guy about 20 years ago that all of us knew well in my agency who had an impressive arrest record. I became suspicious when I saw him at a couple of local area hamfests. Turns out that this boob was stealing 2-way radios out of school and transit buses, and peddling them at hamfests. The proper authorities were notified, and from what I recall, he went to the penitentiary.

Oddly enough, I saw him recently at a local hamfest. He looked at me and made a 180 degree turn in the opposite direction. I doubt if he's reformed, but hey, he's rehabilitated!

My point being is that most enthusiasts generally take care of their investments, but as others have posted, if someone wants to get in, they will. I personally have opted for the ARRL Ham Radio Insurance program. It paid for itself the 1st year when my (now ex-wife's) car was broken into. The faceplate of the radio was damaged, and the mic plug ripped off the end of the microphone. Guess they must have been frustrated, because they didn't take it. My ex-wife had a propensity for not arming the alarm; This was the case when the car was burglarized way back when.
 

cristisphoto

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I wonder If there any insurance plans for those of us whom don't drive yet have A LOT of valuabe electronics..
OTHER than the ones some stores offer the consumer...

Anyways
Just a question
Tnks
Crista
 

mkewman

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it's easy to test who does and doesn't put their car alarm on: lean on the car, causing it to sit lower on the shocks. if the car alarm is on, it'll go off. if not, woo! crimespree!
 

flyingwolf

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Not all alarms are set with a height or ride sensor, mine for instance is only set via a few key elements, my favorite element being the motion detection unit I built, You cannot get to my van from the front or sides so you would need to come in from the back. Have fun. Your gonna instanly be seen, recorded, have an amazingly bright strobe and 120db alarm going off in your ears in a closed in area, I am pretty sure the last thing your going to be able to do is take my stereo or speakers, or even see straight before the police (2 blocks away) are on thier way.

Oh and if you decide to come in through the backyard to get to the van, well lets just say I will make sure to notify your next of kin when my dog um "releases" your wallet from his small intestine.
 

tiawah466

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I found out last summer that my insurance did not cover any thing that I added to my car. My 97 Expedition burned and I lost a radio, 2 scanners, and a laptop.
 

OpSec

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tiawah466 said:
I found out last summer that my insurance did not cover any thing that I added to my car. My 97 Expedition burned and I lost a radio, 2 scanners, and a laptop.
It's like flood insurance. Unless you buy it specifically as a rider to your policy, the equipment won't be covered.
 
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