Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

Self monitoring using C3 vs. landline-based central monitoring


  • Please log in to reply
5 replies to this topic

#1 TristateUser

TristateUser

    Cocooner

  • Registered
  • PipPip
  • 19 posts
  • Experience:novice
  • Tech:X10-PLC
  • Audio:Russound
  • Video:Custom
  • CCTV:ip

Posted 17 May 2019 - 06:16 PM

Does anyone has experience with HAI/Leviton Cellular Communication Center (C3)

http://dealerqa.levi...eet-English.pdf ?

It uses GSM network though. Actually you don't need any high speed LTE network for this; reliability is the most important criteria.  C3 seems to be a better option than using a dedicated landline w/ paid central monitoring.  There are mobile plans that cost as low as $6/month or you can bundle it with your existing cell plan as a additional voice-only line; both options turn out to be much cheaper than dedicated landline just for alarm monitoring. 

 

Of course, the other alternative is to use VoIP which unfortunately is only as reliable as your ISP.  Any other internet based services has the same drawback due to its dependency with the ISP.  Cellular networks seem to be more reliable in metro areas.

 

Any thoughts?



#2 ano

ano

    Cocoonut

  • Registered
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 3471 posts
  • Location:AZ
  • Experience:guru
  • Hardware:HAI OmniPro II
  • Tech:UPB, ZigBee
  • Audio:HAI
  • Phone:Ooma

Posted 17 May 2019 - 06:59 PM

Hi:

 

This topic comes up now-and-again.  There are a few things to consider. At one end is a professionally monitored system using cellular. You usually need to use the modem they specify (which costs ~$150 - $200) plus monitoring. I have Next Alarm which runs about $250 a year. You can also set it up to alert you if the cellular connection goes down. Here that has only occurred once in 3 years for maybe an hour at 3am in the morning. (I'm assuming it was cell maintenance.)  So this is very reliable.  Offsetting that cost is maybe a discount on your insurance. Lets say $60. 

 

Yes expensive, but it depends how much your house is worth to you I guess.  The key issue if you "self monitor" is how will that work?  I don't so much worry about a burglar, because a very loud siren is probably all you need, but more so with fire. So your away somewhere and you get a call that says fire. What do you do? Drive home? Call a neighbor? Call the fire department?  Most people will try to "check it out" first and that wastes time. For me at least, not to have to worry about that is WORTH the extra cost. But really its up to you. 

 

The C3 is rather old, and no longer supported, but all the wireless operators sell some type of wired phone to wireless converter, so you can connect wired phones in your house to cellular. The HAI acts like a wired phone so it should work fine with those. You might be able to find these on eBay also.  For T-Mobile, as an example, its called LineLink and costs $30.

 

If you do go that route, make sure you plan step-by-step what you (or a family member) will do for each type of alarm. Then practice it at a given schedule. (With the monitored method, it runs a test weekly.)  You will likely be panicked then, so make sure you practice and have this all planned out. 

 

Your going to pay $10/month for added cell line, so that is $120/year.  Monitoring is like $250-$60 discount = $190/year.  So your saving maybe $70/year. Is it really worth it? Its up to you.



#3 StarTrekDoors

StarTrekDoors

    Dedicated Cocooner

  • Registered
  • PipPipPip
  • 203 posts

Posted 31 May 2019 - 11:25 PM

If you really don't want an analog line, you might consider a SIP to cellular gateway which will support both SIP and cellular communications.   As Ano said, the C3 is old and you should consider that the C3 is also NO longer supportable / usable with most cellular carriers; unless they offer legacy communications support (most do NOT).

 

@ano  "it depends how much your house is worth to you I guess."  WELL SAID!



#4 pete_c

pete_c

    Cocoonut

  • -=Gold Supporter=-
  • 9362 posts
  • Location:House
  • Experience:average
  • Software:Main Lobby, Open Source Automation
  • Hardware:HAI OmniPro II, Mi Casa Verde Vera, Ocelot
  • Tech:X10-PLC, X10-RF, UPB, INSTEON, Z-Wave, ZigBee, 1-Wire, xAP, xPL, ALC
  • Audio:Russound
  • Video:MythTV
  • CCTV:analog, ip, dvr
  • Phone:Asterisk, FreePBX, Ooma, POTS, VoIP via ISP

Posted 01 June 2019 - 04:09 AM

I currently utilize Next Alarm (years now) with a monitored VOIP line and it fails over to a cellular line with a combo cellular modem here. 

 

The cellular modem is a back up Internet and cellular line connection.  The main house VOIP line failover to the cellular modem if primary ISP goes down.

 

Concurrent with the configuration I over do it a bit with using Homeseer / Omni plugin and Home Assistant with the OmniLinkBridge for self monitoring.

 

So here it is a bit overly redundant and has worked fine over the years. (get Next Alarm emails/texts and software HA communications).



#5 ano

ano

    Cocoonut

  • Registered
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 3471 posts
  • Location:AZ
  • Experience:guru
  • Hardware:HAI OmniPro II
  • Tech:UPB, ZigBee
  • Audio:HAI
  • Phone:Ooma

Posted 03 June 2019 - 01:58 PM

I currently utilize Next Alarm (years now) with a monitored VOIP line and it fails over to a cellular line with a combo cellular modem here. 

 

The cellular modem is a back up Internet and cellular line connection.  The main house VOIP line failover to the cellular modem if primary ISP goes down.

I see people do that, but I myself wonder the logic of it.

 

So you are using two methods of transport, IP and cellular.  Since cellular is very reliable, and IP is less so, why don't you use cellular FIRST and then IP as a backup?  During a fire, lets say, there are many reasons IP could go down. Lets say it does. Now your system has to "try" IP until it determines its down, then switch over to cellular.  I'm not sure how fast this happens, but its got to take some time, and this is time when fire trucks could be on the way. 

 

Most systems only test once a week, so there is not a whole lot of cellular calls actually being made, and you need to have the cellular line in place all the time, and that is the cost.

 

So what is the advantage of IP then only switching to cellular when IP is down?  Why don't you use cellular first, then only use IP if cellular is down, and since cellular is almost NEVER down, that won't happen often. Going the other way is marginally cheaper for your monitoring company, but not an advantage for you.

 

I only use cellular. Like I say, I monitor it constantly and have only seen an outage once in several years in the middle of the night, for less than an hour. Chances are, if cellular is down, there is a hurricane or wildfire, and police wouldn't be able to get to your home at that time anyway.



#6 pete_c

pete_c

    Cocoonut

  • -=Gold Supporter=-
  • 9362 posts
  • Location:House
  • Experience:average
  • Software:Main Lobby, Open Source Automation
  • Hardware:HAI OmniPro II, Mi Casa Verde Vera, Ocelot
  • Tech:X10-PLC, X10-RF, UPB, INSTEON, Z-Wave, ZigBee, 1-Wire, xAP, xPL, ALC
  • Audio:Russound
  • Video:MythTV
  • CCTV:analog, ip, dvr
  • Phone:Asterisk, FreePBX, Ooma, POTS, VoIP via ISP

Posted 03 June 2019 - 03:10 PM

Since cellular is very reliable, and IP is less so, why don't you use cellular FIRST and then IP as a backup?
 
Understood.
 
Just cuz I have not played with it tinkering mostly with other stuff these days.
 
ISP is Comcast and it's been down now some 3 times in the last two years where as T-Mobile has not been down once in the last two years.
 
So probably will switch primary to cell line.

It's $25 per month with unlimited everything and part of a set for my T-Mobile account.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users