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Time Warner or ADT Monitoring


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#1 MrMayface

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Posted 21 April 2007 - 08:37 AM

Hi! I'm new to the forum. My wife & I are closing on our 1st home on Monday. The home already has an alarm already installed in it, the keypad is made my DSC thats pretty much all I know. My question is should I go with Time Warner or ADT to monitor? Also the family did not have a motion detector installed, Time Warner told me it would be $77 to install one. ADT said it would be about $125 to install one. Is this something I can add myself?

Thanks

#2 WayneW

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Posted 21 April 2007 - 09:30 AM

Welcome to CocoonTech. I am not a fan of ADT and similar. I don't know anything about Time Warner monitoring, but I expect it would be similar (overpriced, IMHO). I would suggest you look at NextAlarm.com or some of the other companies that favor DIYers. Adding a motion sensor will require two things, one is running the wires (unless you use wireless) and the second is configuring the panel, which probably requires the installation or master access code. See if you can obtain this code from the sellers (if they know it) or research the panel after closing and see if you got lucky and the code is still the panel default or the previous company default (ADT tends to use the same code company wide, I hear).

#3 Steve

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Posted 22 April 2007 - 01:19 PM

I agree with Wayne, just be sure you do not HAVE to choose one of them for a long term contract. Many times the alarm hardware is given away or included, subsidized by a high monthly rate. If you are free to go on your own, I would definitely look at NextAlarm, AlarmRelay, etc. You can get good monitoring for < $15 month. If you have the budget and you are not technically inclined and just want ease of setup/use and full feautures, uControl is another option but you will pay $40 month for pots/broadband/cellular which imho is a little pricey.

#4 MrMayface

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Posted 22 April 2007 - 01:46 PM

The system has a glass break sensor but not a motion detector. I don't know how to install one, would one of those companies be able to install one for me?

#5 Steve

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Posted 22 April 2007 - 01:52 PM

Who put the system in - the builder? As Wayne stated, the panel usually has a secure code to get into the programming, which many times only the installer know. So, if for example, ADT installed it then likely someone else would not be able to 'enhance' it. If the builder installed it and does not have any binding contracts, then you need to ask them for the installer or programming code and then anyone can install additional devices. If you have confidence and can use basic hand tools we can usually walk you thru it, or you can always use a wireless one (assuming the panel has a wireless receiver) in which case it would be alot easier to hook up. Programming instructions can usually be found at www.panelguides.com.

#6 MrMayface

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Posted 22 April 2007 - 02:34 PM

The sellers moved to Denver, & I've been trying to get my realtor to get me a # for them so I can ask them. I'm hoping the sellers can tell me something. So if the sellers don't know the codes, I will have to go through ADT if I want to add something? Will ADT just give me those codes if I tell the the situation? I'll try and find out tomorrow if the panel has a wireless receiver.

#7 cliffs

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Posted 22 April 2007 - 02:51 PM

If it is a DSC system the installers code has probably been reset. There is no way to reset the panel without returning it to the factory or replacing it. They NEVER give the homeowner these codes. Some brands require a special programming instrument to program the panel.

The majors(ADT & etc.) always set the installers code and they don't give it out to anyone. In the trade it is called the anti-takeover code. The majors also make you sign a contract that is continuously renewable unless canceled
within a very short time, which can be up to 90 days before expiration. If you miss the cancel date by as little as one day you will be charged a several hundred dollar cancel fee.

When you bought the house check to paperwork to see if you have involuntarily assumed the contract.

Cliff s

#8 tech-home

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Posted 22 April 2007 - 09:20 PM

If you want to keep the panel, I highly suggest you get a Elk-M1 :D take a look here.

http://www.tech-man.com/unlockit.asp

I've heard good things but haven't used him myself.

#9 technerd

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Posted 23 April 2007 - 01:24 AM

If it is a DSC system the installers code has probably been reset. There is no way to reset the panel without returning it to the factory or replacing it. They NEVER give the homeowner these codes. Some brands require a special programming instrument to program the panel.

The majors(ADT & etc.) always set the installers code and they don't give it out to anyone. In the trade it is called the anti-takeover code. The majors also make you sign a contract that is continuously renewable unless canceled
within a very short time, which can be up to 90 days before expiration. If you miss the cancel date by as little as one day you will be charged a several hundred dollar cancel fee.

When you bought the house check to paperwork to see if you have involuntarily assumed the contract.

Cliff s

Wow that stinks Cliff.

I was VERY lucky. When I had my alarm system put in, the Monitronics installer did a great job, and they also gave me the installer code on the day of the install.

Can the installer code be guessed or hacked? Mine was only 4 digits...

This is reminscent of the cellular phone unlock codes, except the alarm companies think they own the alarm system even though the consumer paid for it?

#10 technerd

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Posted 23 April 2007 - 01:34 AM

Hi! I'm new to the forum. My wife & I are closing on our 1st home on Monday. The home already has an alarm already installed in it, the keypad is made my DSC thats pretty much all I know. My question is should I go with Time Warner or ADT to monitor? Also the family did not have a motion detector installed, Time Warner told me it would be $77 to install one. ADT said it would be about $125 to install one. Is this something I can add myself?

Thanks

Call your security installers in the yellow pages and get at least 5-7 quotes, to get a good idea of what is the average price.

In terms of monitoring, my first home I already had an alarm system, but no service. I got a telephone only monitoring service locally from a company owned by a former cop, and it was only $15 per month.

#11 jlehnert

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Posted 24 April 2007 - 10:56 PM

This is reminscent of the cellular phone unlock codes, except the alarm companies think they own the alarm system even though the consumer paid for it?


In short, YES.

#12 MrMayface

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Posted 24 April 2007 - 11:10 PM

I was able to get the master codes after we closed on the house. Now I just need to decide on a monitoring company, and who will install a motion detector at a reasonable price. Open to suggestions!

#13 CollinR

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Posted 25 April 2007 - 12:12 AM

In OK it's illegal to not default (or provide) the install code if the customer requests it and the customer owns the equipment.

If they play that game you state ~probably~ has a pretty cut and dried document.

For OK peoples.
http://www.health.ok.....ith Rules.pdf
page 13

blah blah blah

They ask, you have 48 hours to default the installer code and open any lockouts.

blah blah blah

If they have no contract you must leave the installer code defaulted with no lockout.


Don't let them take advantage of you not knowing the law.

#14 sandman

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Posted 25 April 2007 - 09:15 AM

If you want to keep the panel, I highly suggest you get a Elk-M1 :) take a look here.

http://www.tech-man.com/unlockit.asp

I've heard good things but haven't used him myself.

I'd have to agree here. My folks bought a home with an ADT system here in Sydney Australia and when I checked it out, I simply couldnt believe what was done. The system had 3 PIRs, one front door reed switch and an internal piezo and they charged the previous owner over $2K AUS !!!...Not forgetting the battery would have powered the thing for less than 10 minutes on a power fail it was so small :-)

I ripped the thing out and stuck in an ELK-M1g, put another 3 PIRs on the thing, a bunch of reed switches, horn speaker, strobes and wired up the telephone socket properly. The installer simply put the panels phone connection in parallel with the existing outlet...

Mum n Dad are now most happy...

Pete

Edited by sandman, 25 April 2007 - 09:17 AM.


#15 batwater

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Posted 29 April 2007 - 07:41 PM

I had ADT, they did as several others have described, installed a shoddy over priced solution, one that at the end of the day did not adequately protect my home. I was burglarized, the alarm was armed, it did not go off. ADT typically uses 3rd party sales / installers that have no vested interest in the solution they are installing, it's just another sale/install.

Your best bet is to find some a local security company that specializes in DSC, several if you can, and get bids. You can go to the DSC web site and find local distributors. The smaller companies are interested in staying in business by making the customer happy and keeping them happy. I found a local distributor/installer who was willing to sell me parts to upgrade my system to interface the alarm system to my home automation system. (Note that the alarm is interfaced to the automation system but runs stand alone and does not in any way depend on the home automation system to run correctly.) After I was burglarized I went to this company to have them correct the deficiencies left by ADT, mind you, I was still under ADT contract at that point though only for a few months. Once ADT was out, this company took over my monitoring for 1/2 the cost ADT was charging me. Happy ending, personal service by someone who cared, they gave me good feedback like, don't go overboard on the security its a natural reaction after being burglarized, get what you need to protect your house nothing more.

Ben




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