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Discussion Starter #1
Wanted to share my experience with remote start installation.
I wanted one of the fancy remote starts that work with smart phones. There is a bunch of brands available, Viper being the most popular, but as it turns out most of them are owned by two parent companies, either Directed Electronics or Compustar.
After browsing through the forums, the impression that I got was that after sales services seem to be pretty awful with Directed, and a hit or a miss with Compustar.
Also, you may be able to buy the units cheaper on Amazon/eBay etc, but will not be warrantied by either company, unless purchased from AND installed by a preferred dealer.

After checking out some local stores including BestBuy and PC Richards, I decided to go with DroneMobile/Compustar.

Decided in favor of this for the following reasons:
1 DroneMobile has one module that has both remote start and GPS capabilities. Should I decide in the future that I would like to add on features, like geofencing etc, I wouldn't need to take the FJ back to the shop. I can simply purchase the services online.
2 The basic plan on both DroneMobile and Viper SmartStart are pretty comparable in features offered. While the Drone basic plan is $49/month, Viper's is $69.
The premium plans are $109 for Viper and $119 for Drone, although Viper does seem to offer more features with it's premium plan.

I took the FJ to the local audioshop here in Staten Island, and they quoted $475 for the hardware + install, and $525 if I wanted 2 remotes, in addition to the phone smartstart. Decided to go with the additional remotes, so that when the novelty of starting the car with my phone wears off, I can still use the remote.

I was a little disappointed the first day. After 4 hours of them working at the car, no results... they could get the remotes to lock/unlock the car but not to remote start. Asked them if they had installed the bypass module, and they confirmed in the affirmative. They suggested that I give them the valet key, so they can use it to trick the ECU, but I refused that. I don't want to leave a spare key in my car, to make it easier on any wannabe car burglars. The install guy, said that since my FJ is a 2010, it is a transition year, and the wiring was like a 2009, which I don't think is true, but anyhow.

Took the FJ again the next morning, and three hours later, they call me and sure enough, everything is working fine.

It's quite a bit of fun to be able to start the beast up from wherever I want, and its nice that it gives you feedback about the success/failure of the remote start. And the nice thing is I can check on my phone, status of the car, if it's locked/unlocked, or if the engine is running.

The cherry on top was that Dronemobile offers one month free on the smartstart app.

Hope this helps anyone planning to have smart start installed. Cheers
 

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I've had the smart start for a couple years. I love the starter and like the app feature. So that I don't have to be in view of the truck. I start it while drinking coffee and it's ready when I jump in...

Having said that, I have the same system on my second car too. In the FJ, the cell communication stopped after a couple months, I had to remove the box, bake it, and reinstalled. The soldering on these boards are very poor. Same situation is now occurring on the second car. Moreover, the Directed customer service is beyond poor. It is 100% terrible....
 

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Hope this helps anyone planning to have smart start installed. Cheers
Fortunate timing as I've been looking at the Dronemobile system from Compustar recently. A quick question if you don't mind. That antenna it comes with (if the pictures I've seen are correct) looks fairly large. Where did they install yours? I'm assuming it needs to be on or near the windshield to maintain the signal capabilities. Please correct me if I'm wrong here as I'm not really liking the idea of that thing just hanging out on the glass.:| Any pics if it is visible?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yes, it's an ugly, stubby antenna. They stuck it to my windshield, behind the mirror base, but it stuck out like an eyesore. I had them move it under the headliner, totally concealed. They did say that I might lose some reception quality/limit the distance from the remotes, but I'd rather have that, than the unsightly phallic thingy staring in my face.
 
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