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Best *Low Power* home alarm system?

NeverDie

Senior Member
Is there a good quality low-power home alarm system? I'd like something that could run for up to a month on battery power alone and still function if the mains went out for whatever reason. If I assume an average draw of 1amp at 12v, then to cover 30 days I'd need a 720ah battery, which would get rather pricey. Hence, an alarm system whose average consumption was around 100ma would be a lot better, and anything lower than that would be better still. Is there an off-the-shelf product which can do that?


Presently I have a Vista-20p hardwired system, and even just the keypads alone draw a lot of power.

I realize solar power backup might be a viable alternative to a massive battery bank, but if I can avoid having to rely on such a thing, then so much the better.

Any suggestions?

If not, then the next fallback might be to put together some kind of arduino based system, since, for example, an atmega328p can sleep while consuming just 100na while waiting for an interrupt, so I suppose I could use that as a front-end and wake-up a regular alarm system from there.... Still, I can't be the only person in the world who wants this, so I thought I'd ask first.
 
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keepersg

Active Member
What would be the situation where the mains failed for a month? Installing a generator might be an option (which is the one I took). There's a discussion about the issues of powering an alarm system from battery power here that provides some background material that might be helpful.
 

NeverDie

Senior Member
What would be the situation where the mains failed for a month?
Good question. Here's a scenario: let's say I go on a vacation for a month, and a bad guy cuts power to my house, knowing that typical batteries don't last all that long when it comes to powering a home alarm system. Once the battery goes dead and the alarm is out of action, he robs my house at his leisure, knowing that he won't be detected by an alarm system.
 

NeverDie

Senior Member
Depending on your requirements, 1 or more ESP32s may perform the job, and support very low power modes (just need to make sure you get the right version).


source
Right, but rather than roll my own solution, I'd rather install an off-the-shelf solution, if there is one. That's the reason why I posted the question.
 

kurtmccaslin

Active Member
I have a OmniPro 2 (no longer available) and it sends me an alarm when the power is cut for a certain amount of time. Seems like a common feature. You could have a neighbor check for a cut wire if it is off for more than a day.
 

NeverDie

Senior Member
I have a OmniPro 2 (no longer available) and it sends me an alarm when the power is cut for a certain amount of time. Seems like a common feature. You could have a neighbor check for a cut wire if it is off for more than a day.

🤦‍♂️ Very good idea!

My other thought that I had after the OP was to cut power to all the keypads, since those seem to be the biggest energy hogs in the system, and then power one on just in time to disarm the whole thing when I return. Not sure if that would actually work, but maybe. If it does work, then it would surely stretch the battery life a bit further than leaving everything full-on. Meanwhile, I have a 12v 100ah LiFePO4 battery arriving tomorrow as a battery upgrade, so that at the very least will buy more time to track down a neighbor, as you suggest.
 
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NeverDie

Senior Member
Closing the loop: because of time pressure to get it done, I ended up installing a low power alarm system in parallel with my old wired system. That way there was at least minimum coverage that would continue if the power failed.
 
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