• You've been granted Beta access to this site, allowing you to explore some of the new features while they're still under construction. More information can be found in the Beta forum.

Where to begin with an integrated security system?

timkur

Member
Is there a beginners guide or a FAQ for security systems?

I am planning on using a PC for home automation, and will probably use the RedRadio touchscreens to control it.

My house, being constructed right now, is being pre-wired for a security system, and the security guy is ready to sell me the security equipment too. However, I would like something that can talk with my PC and I can turn on/off the security system and see the status of each sensor from my PC via the touchscreens.

In addition, I'd like to have a "regular" security control pad, to guard against the PC going down (crash, hardware failure, etc) and would be responsible for calling the monitoring service in the event of a break-in.

In my mind, I'd want a security system whose control panel has a RS232 port that can be fully programmed/queried through a PC. Is that what other people are doing?

Thanks for your help

Tim
 
I recently purchased an Elk M1. I am still in the installation step, but I looks like it will do all of the things that you mention. Others on this forum have gotten a lot further with it.
 

timkur

Member
I've noticed a lot of people are using that Elk M1... it just didn't click as to what the system was.

Can it be used with any external monitoring service that I would choose? For instance, could I use that with the ADT monitoring service?

Thanks

Tim
 

bfisher

Active Member
welcome to cocoontech!

Elk M1 is a combination automation system and security system. It is very robust (it's hardware based) and powerful. It should be able to do everything you've asked for.

Others (myself included) have broken these two functions into other components (either by choice, or based on limitations of available hardware). Personally, I use GE Caddx for security and HVPro (Homevision Pro) for automation and AV control.

There are many options out there - good luck! You're in the right place to ask questions and read lots of other opinions. One suggestion, do a search... there is a lot of information here on the forums already!
 

Steve

Senior Member
timkur said:
Can it be used with any external monitoring service that I would choose? For instance, could I use that with the ADT monitoring service?
Yes, it supports all the standards such as Contact ID. It will even do monitoring over ethernet to a CS with Osborn Hoffman. I doubt ADT will monitor other equip besides their own, but then again why would you want to pay those crazy rates when there are plenty of much less expensive companies such as NextAlarm or AlarmRelay.
 

Digger

Senior Member
Does anyone know of a CS that monitors an ELK over internet installed by a DIY'er? I am ready to hook up to a CS.
 

Steve

Senior Member
I've been working some angles with a contact I made at EHX, but unfortunately nothing yet.
 

jlokanis

Member
timkur,

I am doing nearly the exact same thing as you. I am planning to wire my house myself, however, because the bids from the HA guys are WAY high. I figure I can do it myself for about 25% of the cost.

I plan to use an ELK for security and core HA. I will be using the redradio screens for a GUI. I will use a PC to talk to the ELK, do some Insteon stuff (beyond what the elk might do) and control video/audio. I am writting my own app for the PC to do the touchscreens. I plan to integrate iTunes, the ELK, Nuvo audio router and lighting scenes into my software. Might also add camera viewing as well with a PC capture card.

I have been looking into this for awhile and I think the Elk is the best option. The guys on this forum are a great resource for getting good solutions.

Once the whole thing is done, I hope to write it all up and post it here for others to share in my research and mistakes (I'm sure there will be a few).

-John
 

timkur

Member
Thanks for everybody's input. I think I've got enough background knowledge now to understand a lot of the other posts... getting started is always the hardest part. Thanks for your patience, and for not giving the STFW response.

jlokanis,

Yeah, I'm guessing we're going to be doing near the exact same thing. The redradio touchscreens open up so many possiblities.... it's pretty amazing. It seems like I come up with a new idea every day. I think when everything is all said and done, I will have about a year's worth of programming to do to include all of the different features that I want to control with these screens.

Any particular reason why you went with a Nuvo instead of a Russound for your distribution amp?

I hear you about high HA bids. Unfortunately, I'm building a house where I am not the general contractor (bought a "presale home"), and so I don't think I'm "allowed" to do anything myself... and I've done drywall repair to know that I want to avoid it when I finally move in. But still... paying $110 for them to install a single can light really hurts. ;)

Tim
 

Tymon

Member
I use the Elk M-1, Homeseer and Mainlobby.
The Elk is functionaly independent from the HA so if the computer goes down it does not affect the Elk. I REALLY didnt want my alarm relying on Micro$oft.

That being said, the Elk ties into HS so well you would think they are all one system!
Throw the MainLobby interface on top of everything and I couldnt be happier!
I have a floor plan of my house tied into Elk and HS and I can tell which window or door is open immediately. It is really awesome.

Ty
 

TCIII

Member
I have a GE Caddx NX8E tied into my JDS Stargate SG-IP which communicates with the NX8E through a serial com port.

I believe in distributed processing so if the SG-IP goes down, I still have the NX8E for security.

Regards,
TCIII
 

jeffx

Active Member
I use a Honeywell Vista 128BP security panel with HAL2000. Working very well so far, but the Vista panel can be complex to program.
 

Digger

Senior Member
Honeywell Ademco is coming out with a similar panel the VISTA-HM which is almost identical to the Vista-128 except it has 250 zones. Its a takeoff of the Vista-250FBP I believe.
 

jeffx

Active Member
Digger said:
Honeywell Ademco is coming out with a similar panel the VISTA-HM which is almost identical to the Vista-128 except it has 250 zones. Its a takeoff of the Vista-250FBP I believe.
I can't imagine exceeding 128 zones in most normal-sized residential situations ;) Do you use a Honeywell panel?
 
Top