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Old 23rd May 2010, 09:49   #1
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Default Review of MicroVBB Black Box

MODS, i know there is a thread running here (Micro VBB Car Security Systems), but thats just a news article. I have fitted this in my car & this is a full review of the same.

Guys, as every car owner in T-BHP, i love my car. its a Scorpio VLX. I also love to spend on my car in terms of shampooing, accessories, etc. I have spent thousands on ICE & minor external mods, but nothing for car security & i think that was the biggest mistake i made.

if you read this thread (Mahindra Scorpio VLX theft attempt) of mine, you will realize that today my car is with me just because i was plain lucky. henceforth i dint want to take chances & i have implemented a lot of security measures in my car, out of which one is MicroVBB Black Box. Special thanks to Dhabar Behram Sir.

Linky- MicroVBB

I chose the Elite model as it has a back up battery which can run for 2-3 hours even if a thief disconnects the main battery, it had remotes & it had the facility for two add-on users.
Linky- http://www.microvbb.net/pdf/vbb_elite.pdf

The fitment was done at bandra & it took 3.5 hours. The staff was very courteous & helpful & answered all my queries (some very strange) patiently. Pricing of the same is as below-
Black Box 'Elite': Rs. 12,600/-
Fitting Charges: Rs. 750/-
Remote locking motor: Rs. 1500

The remote locking motor was fitted because, unlike nippon which came standard with my car, this one's remote only arms/disarms the system but does not lock/unlock the doors. since it was cumbersome to carry two remotes, i installed a motor which will lock the doors & arm the system with one remote itself.

Coming to the product, this black box is a GSM based system which needs to have a SIM card inside it. In the Elite model, it will save a total of 3 numbers to whom it will send messages on intrusion. Intrusion can be like door open, audio removal, engine start attempt, hood or hatch open, black box tampering attempt or SIM card removal attempt, etc. Once you get an alert (which by the way is an SMS on your phone followed by a missed call), you can choose to send back any commands you like. You can send a command to switch off the engine immediately. if the vehicle is running, the hazard light will blink for 20 seconds after which the engine will be switched off. it will only switch on if you send an engine ON message again from your phone or disarm it using remote supplied. you can also send a command to know the present location of your car, in case the thief managed to drive away or tow away your car. Also, if i have armed the car using remote & even if the thief manages to get in the car, he wont be able to start the engine, as the immobilizer is active.

Interestingly, while the installation was happening in my car, a guy in a black Scorpio came next to my car, rolled down his window & gave a thumbs up to the MicroVBB guys saying that this product saved his car twice. then he looked up to me & said, "You will be a happy man". Thanks buddy.

Overall, i would rate this product quite high & its an investment for your piece of mind. Of course, you cannot solely depend on electronics, so this is one of the many measures i have taken for my car to prevent such an incident happening again...
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Old 23rd May 2010, 12:04   #2
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Congrats on your new GSM security system. Its the first time that i am getting a first hand review of such a system.

In a big country like ours, such a system is worth every penny, if it is able to save your car from theft.

Is the sim card from any particular GSM operator? will it be able to operate if it goes out of range from the operator's coverage area? will it be able to lock on to any available operator, in such a case? Like GSM roaming?

Hope to hear the usage reviews as time goes by.

Last edited by Abes : 23rd May 2010 at 12:13.
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Old 23rd May 2010, 16:03   #3
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Congrats on the installation.
It was quite scary to read the attempted theft of your Scorpio
Great product indeed. Worth every penny (paisa) Infact I was on the hunt for such a product way back in 2007 (when I bought my Safari) and I always knew that know that this kind of a product existed but as I din't know the product name or the name of the company hense wasn't able to find a source for installation.


BTW as you've just got this product installed please try and clarify some doubts that come to mind
  1. What is the cost of the SIM card. Is it the normal monthly rental that we generally pay or does the company has a special kind of a tieup with the telecom companies through which we can get special rates?
  2. Is this product transferable from one vehicle to another or is it like those gear locks which once fixed is bound with that particular vehicle along.
thanks
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Old 23rd May 2010, 18:42   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abes View Post
Congrats on your new GSM security system. Its the first time that i am getting a first hand review of such a system.

In a big country like ours, such a system is worth every penny, if it is able to save your car from theft.
thanks buddy.

Quote:
Is the sim card from any particular GSM operator? will it be able to operate if it goes out of range from the operator's coverage area? will it be able to lock on to any available operator, in such a case? Like GSM roaming?
nothing like that, it can be from any operator of your choice.

yes, it will work globally as long as you have roaming activated in your SIM.

Quote:
Originally Posted by harjeev View Post
Congrats on the installation.
It was quite scary to read the attempted theft of your Scorpio
Great product indeed. Worth every penny (paisa) Infact I was on the hunt for such a product way back in 2007 (when I bought my Safari) and I always knew that know that this kind of a product existed but as I din't know the product name or the name of the company hense wasn't able to find a source for installation.
thanks.

Quote:
What is the cost of the SIM card. Is it the normal monthly rental that we generally pay or does the company has a special kind of a tieup with the telecom companies through which we can get special rates?
its a normal SIM which you use for your phones with any plan as you wish.

it should preferably be a post paid since there is no way you can check the balance if you install a pre paid SIM.

no tie ups as such.

Quote:
Is this product transferable from one vehicle to another or is it like those gear locks which once fixed is bound with that particular vehicle along.thanks
yes, it is transferable to another car.

only thing to remember is that the SIM card is not easily accessible. it is inside the black box & to remove the SIM, you will have to remove the BB & then unscrew four screws. you can also see this as a safety feature!

Last edited by raj_5004 : 23rd May 2010 at 18:47.
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Old 23rd May 2010, 21:52   #5
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Raj,

Thanks for the first hand review!

A follow up question with regard to the sim: does this mean that we have to provide the sim card to them at the time of installation?
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Old 23rd May 2010, 21:55   #6
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yes, a working SIM card has to be provided at the time of installation.
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Old 23rd May 2010, 23:05   #7
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Quote:
it should preferably be a post paid since there is no way you can check the balance if you install a pre paid SIM.
Why we need a postpaid ? Just get a SIM with life-time validity and recharge it occasionally !
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Old 24th May 2010, 07:52   #8
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I too made an enquiry with the MicroVBB guys for a security system for my car, i was considering Economy and Classic models, priced at 7K and 10.5K respectively. I have not yet made a decision whether to go for them or not.

Could you explain this part? Did you mean you replaced all stock remote locking motors in the door with the MicroVBB motors? So micro vbb unit is not able to handle the central locking system unless their motors are used?

Quote:
Originally Posted by raj_5004 View Post
The remote locking motor was fitted because, unlike nippon which came standard with my car, this one's remote only arms/disarms the system but does not lock/unlock the doors. since it was cumbersome to carry two remotes, i installed a motor which will lock the doors & arm the system with one remote itself.
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Old 24th May 2010, 08:13   #9
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Definitely one cut above the regular remote locking. I just hope that the immobilizer that comes with this cannot be disabled by anyone except the company authorized service.
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Old 24th May 2010, 09:26   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mithun View Post
Why we need a postpaid ? Just get a SIM with life-time validity and recharge it occasionally !
how do you check its balance?

i was not willing to take that risk. if you can or if you want, you can insert a pre paid SIM too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sankar View Post
I too made an enquiry with the MicroVBB guys for a security system for my car, i was considering Economy and Classic models, priced at 7K and 10.5K respectively. I have not yet made a decision whether to go for them or not.

Could you explain this part? Did you mean you replaced all stock remote locking motors in the door with the MicroVBB motors? So micro vbb unit is not able to handle the central locking system unless their motors are used?
see, according to them, if you have an innova (also applicable for some other cars maybe), they can directly link the remote locking to the OE remote locking of your car. that means the car can be locked & BB will be armed simultaneously with the same remote, there is no need to carry the company supplied remote. (by the way, innova comes with remote buttons in the key itself!)

but in scorpio, since it comes with Nippon, the BB & Nippon cannot be paired. so an additional motor was installed in the door. stock motors were NOT touched. infact they have not touched any of the OE nippon's components. this one has got its own immobilzer & central locking.

so basically now my car has two central locking system & two immobilizers! i can operate whichever i want or both if i want to! both work independently & unaware of each other. if i arm the BB & lock with the nippon too, both will lock the doors independently & both will activate its own immobilizer.

NOW, the ECONOMY model does not come with remote. so no point in installing such motors if you are opting for that model. alternatively, what we can do is LOCK/UNLOCK the doors by sending an SMS from our phone. but that again is cumbersome. hence, the remote & extra motor.

i hope i cleared the confusion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by theMAG View Post
Definitely one cut above the regular remote locking. I just hope that the immobilizer that comes with this cannot be disabled by anyone except the company authorized service.
i too hope that.

but to disable the immobilizer, he will need to enter the car first. as soon as he opens any of the door/boot/bonnet, i get a SMS.

Last edited by raj_5004 : 24th May 2010 at 09:32.
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Old 24th May 2010, 10:47   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raj_5004 View Post
see, according to them, if you have an innova (also applicable for some other cars maybe), they can directly link the remote locking to the OE remote locking of your car. that means the car can be locked & BB will be armed simultaneously with the same remote, there is no need to carry the company supplied remote. (by the way, innova comes with remote buttons in the key itself!)

but in scorpio, since it comes with Nippon, the BB & Nippon cannot be paired. so an additional motor was installed in the door. stock motors were NOT touched. infact they have not touched any of the OE nippon's components. this one has got its own immobilzer & central locking.

so basically now my car has two central locking system & two immobilizers! i can operate whichever i want or both if i want to! both work independently & unaware of each other. if i arm the BB & lock with the nippon too, both will lock the doors independently & both will activate its own immobilizer.

NOW, the ECONOMY model does not come with remote. so no point in installing such motors if you are opting for that model. alternatively, what we can do is LOCK/UNLOCK the doors by sending an SMS from our phone. but that again is cumbersome. hence, the remote & extra motor.

i hope i cleared the confusion.
Understood perfectly So this one motor in the driver's side will actuate the lock and the stock central locking motor along with it, which will in turn lock/unlock other doors.

If Economy doesn't have remote convenience then its out, got to check if Classic has got it.

Thanks!
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Old 24th May 2010, 12:06   #12
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exactly. according to the info given to me, they have the economy, elite & navigator models costing 7000, 12600 & 16500 respectively.

Navigator is GPS based.

As per their website, even classic does not have a remote. another important point in elite is that it has its own battery backup.

Last edited by raj_5004 : 24th May 2010 at 12:11.
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Old 24th May 2010, 12:10   #13
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Wonderful Raj.

Just one question: Does it send an alert, if the installed car was towed without a break-in?
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Old 24th May 2010, 12:16   #14
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Good review, was looking forward to it.

I hope you have tested all the features using the SMS.

And I suggest you use the SMS functions once in a while to get used to it.
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Old 24th May 2010, 12:16   #15
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@ rocky: It has that facility as an optional fitment. when i enquired, they said its not yet available to the dealers. as & when its available, i can get it fitted.

if the car has to be towed, the thief has to disengage the handbrake. so he has to open the door. if he does that, i will get an SMS.

Also importantly, the kit DOES NOT come with its own hooter. but you can install a hooter if you wish to. its a 2 min job according to the installers. so i will be purchasing an Autocop hooter & installing it soon.

@ dadu: yes, i have tested all the features, then & there. i tried the tracking SMS, vehicle immobilizing SMS, i also tried each & every door to see the alerts. it sends a different SMS for every door indicating which door has been opened.

Last edited by raj_5004 : 24th May 2010 at 12:19.
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