Please comment on Alarm Insall Quote


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I want to install an alarm in my house. It is an existing structure with no crawlspace but does have an attic and is just under 3000 sqft. I have HAL2000 so I am going to use Napco hardware. The price includes installation.

(1) Napco 3200 Gemini alarm control panel (I am going to upgrade to a 9600)
(1) X-10 alarm interface
(2) Digital alpha-numeric keypad
(4) Acoustic glassbreak detector
(1) Combination smoke and heat detector
(1) 135 degree heat detector
(12) perimeter sensors (windows, doors, ecetera)

Total price: $2,471.00

What this covers is all the windows and doors on the first floor with sensors and glassbreaks. A keypad by the main entrance and in the master bedroom. An interface with my home automation software. A smoke detector on the second floor hallway (the first floor hallway is open to the second so any smoke would billow right to the second floor hallway). A heat detector in the utility room.

Please comment on the price, whether too high (or too low) and my choice of hardware. Also if I am missing anything please give me your opinion on what else I may need. Any comments are appreciated
Yes, I recently installed a Caddx NX8E alarm system and am still in the process of playing with it.

My system includes:

NX8E starter kit which includes the following:

NX8E board
12V Battery (power backup)
Motion Sensor
Security Mounting Box
LCD Readout Keypad
Necessary adapters, etc to install phone line on NX8E board.

In addition I also purchased:
Two additional motion detectors
Two additional glass break sensors
Two addition LED (cheaper) keypads
NX-507E Relay Expander Board
16-Zone Expander board (for total of 24 zones including the 8 on the NX8E board)
Magnetic Door and Window Sensors

Note that I don't have any smoke detectors yet as I wanted to get all of this working first (though I do have the extra spare zones for them when I decide on the smoke sensor).

I think I have about $500 total in that setup. I got all of my Caddx parts from Worthington so it shouldn't be too hard to look up.

The additional glass breaks and motion sensors ran around $40 each I believe.

I also use Nitrox's Caddx plugin (currently using version two older than current one posted) for Homeseer (plugin is FREE!).

I am a little disappointed in the flexibility of programming the Caddx NX8E. All I have read, everyone says how flexible this system is and how there are endless possibilities for customizing it to your application.

I have found this not to be true IN MY SITUATION!

I then wanted my garage door to have an entry and exit time separate and independent of the other zones. You can do this by placing it in its own "partition" but then you would need a totally separate keypad just for this zone.

I then wanted a way of letting the garage door know if I was entering or exiting (because of the way I arm the system from inside my laundry room door). Can't be done.

But, what the system does do is handle the day to day security needs and does have your typical security system variables like entry times, exit times, zones to be "bypassed" in a "stay" arm situation, etc...

The Caddx NX8E can be programmed with free software from Caddx called their DL900, but it is not the most user friendly. Luckily Nitrox comes to the rescue again and tells you the parameters needed to get this working (communicating) with your serial port (look at his first post on his HS thread).

Another thing, if you need any help programming the Caddx with that DL-900 software, you are on your own. I found GE's technical support to be very poor the two times I called them, and there are no good user forums that support this software (please note that I am talking about Caddx's DL-900 software and not Nitrox's excellent software and support forum). If you post a DL-900 question over at HS someone may answer it there, but that thread is mainly dedicated to the plugin.

Nitrox should also be applauded because he offers all of his hard work put into this plugin for FREE!

If you need more programming flexibility consider getting an Ocelot and a SECU16 unit (8 inputs and 8 outputs) with the system as described above. This is what I do except I have the SECU16I (no outputs).

What I would then do is use the relay outputs (from the relay expander board) to trigger inputs on the SECU16. You can then have the SECU16 outputs go to a couple of zone alarms (they will act like a door or window sensor).

This way you can do more complex programming scenarios for your arming/alarming/exiting/entering/timing situations AND have the reliability of the Ocelot system (which is every bit as good as the Caddx). The only disadvantage here is that the Ocelot system does not use the 12-volt backup system in case power is cut, but you can always get a cheap UPS system if you want.

As far as YOUR system goes, Hhmmmmmmmmmm, first glance seems pretty pricy compared to mine, BUT I really don't know if we are comparing apples to apples here as I am unfamiliar with the Napco system.

I will tell you though that I decided on the Caddx over the Napco after reading a lot of posts on the Napco HS forums.

I also must say that there are two plugins to Homeseer that are absolutely FANTASTIC and that is the Ocelot plugin my Michael McSharry, and this Caddx plugin by Nitrox (David Crawford) (and I'm not even using his latest version yet, which adds scripting capability).

I plan on doing a more formal review of the Caddx system when I get a chance, but wanted to post this information I'm generating "on the fly" here in case any of it helps you out.

Anyone, please feel free to chime in with their experiences and suggestions.


Thanks BraveSirRobin,
I say Nigh! to you.
My pricing also included running wires through finished walls. And I had quit a bit more hardware being installed. So labor was also included, I think you are comparing just hardware pricing.
Ah, I was wondering why the price was sooooo different. :) Now I know why! Do you have a detailed hardware price listing?

One other thing I wasn't sure of after re-reading your post. Are you going to do the programming or is the installation company going to do it?

The reason I ask is I believe most installation companies will not give you the admin password (so you can do your own programming modifications).

So for now, Brave Sir Robbin runs away...
No I will do the programming. The installation company is just installing the hardware because I don't have the time to run all those lines myself.
Ah, seems worth the price. Running those lines would be pretty labor intensive.

Do you plan on using the Homeseer Plugin for monitoring this system? (I'm not sure if you even have Homeseer).

Just curious!